Unmasking the Virus of Hate

Adriana Rubio, Reporter


Now surpassing the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, we reflect on how many Americans began to adapt to their lives in quarantine and watched from their homes as the virus spread at a rapid pace. 

But Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) witnessed something spread much faster than a universal virus: Rampant hate and discrimination against the members of our community. 

Although rascism and xenophobic culture is not new and isolated to the Asian American community, the widespread outbreak and media coverage of it has only attributed to the stigma and discrimination impacting them. The former President, often referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus” and “Kung flu,” manifested this harmful rhetoric into classrooms, the common streets, workplaces and even spas.

Between March and December of 2020, the Stop AAPI Hate Organization tracked a spike of complaints, and reported that 8.7 percent of the incidents involved physical assaults while 71 percent included verbal harassment.

Several elders have recently been targeted in places such as Oakland’s ChinaTown, San Francisco and New York. The report of attacks range from racist remarks to coughing/spitting and violently shoving. A mass shooting occurred recently in Atlanta, Georgia in three metro Asian massage parlors that senselessly left eight killed, six victims being Asian women. A typed letter left on the front doorstep of a local Japanese cookware business that included the message “We want you to move out,” and more threats of violence like bombing. 

To transform these circumstances requires a community response and solidarity amongst AAPI lives. Educating yourself on the differences between the Asian ethnicities and how to educate others is a vital form of coalition. Checking in with your API friends and colleagues along with speaking and standing up for the Asian American community is support. 

Hate is the most contagious virus of them all. Stand against any and all forms of emotional, verbal, physical, economical, spiritual and political violence against AAPI existence..