By Jasmine Nguyen, Culture Editor
A month ago I wrote about the growing xenophobic behavior towards Asian Americans due to the now pandemic of COVID-19. Back in February, it was a few uncomfortable glances and unfunny tweets on Twitter but now as the virus has fully become a crisis for many Americans, the xenophobia against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community has only skyrocketed.
The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council recently created an online resource called Stop AAPI Hate where individuals can report cases of xenophobia. And since its creation, Stop AAPI Hate has stated that since its launch on March 19, 2020, they have received over 650 reports of verbal harassment, shunning and physical assaults towards the AAPI community.
Earlier this month, two Garden Grove high school students videotaped themselves physically harassing a Vietnamese-American female student while she was wearing a facemask. The two high school students were also seen yelling coronavirus during a traditional Vietnamese performance at an assembly.
A now-deleted video went viral recently when a Miami based rapper uploaded a video of him yelling “Come here! You need some hand sanitizer,” as he chased an Asian woman while holding a bottle of Purell.
Celebrities can’t even avoid this rampant form of xenophobia, Tzi Ma, an actor known for “The Farewell” and the upcoming “Mulan” remake, was out getting groceries when a man drove up to him and said “You should be quarantined” before driving off.
It’s no surprise in a country where the President refers to COVID-19 as the “Chinese Flu”…CONTINUOUSLY without a second thought. A reporter even tweeted that a White House official referred to the virus as the “Kungflu” to her face.
Great example. Truly the leader we always dreamed about.
By calling it the “Chinese Flu” or the “Kungflu” is just furthering the age-old stereotype of the Yellow Peril.
People can say that oh, well you know it did come from China, so it’s okay to call it that. Well, I don’t call the smallpox the white people plague, but they sure did bring it to the Americas.
Like okay sure you can chuckle about the dumb pun or whatever, but that doesn’t take away the fact that I’m scared that when my grandparents go out to the store they’re going to get verbally abused or jumped because they’re Asian.
By using these terms you’re only furthering the idea that Asian people are in the United States to spread disease and MSG (We’re not by the way, and MSG isn’t even bad for you so calm down about that.)
And from the various incidents involving xenophobia in the past few months, I’m starting to think that this hatred towards Asians isn’t a recent thing. People were just waiting to find a reason to hate Asians.
Like I said, being xenophobic isn’t going to stop you from getting COVID-19, instead stay home and wash your hands.