Self-isolation. Quaratine. Lockdown. The outbreak of COVID-19 and its subsequent dissemination across the globe has left a shock wave of disbelief and confusion in many countries.
Accompanying this wave has been a spike in racist terms, memes and news articles targeting Asian communities in North America. Asian Americans report being spit on, yelled at, even threatened in the streets. There has been a recent stabbing in Montréal and increased violent targeting of Asian businesses. Asian Americans reported over 650 racist attacks last week according to the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council. These incidents demonstrate rising racism against Asian communities in North America.
“Viruses know no borders and they don’t care about your ethnicity or the colour of your skin or how much money you have in the bank,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s health emergencies program.
Yet language can easily spark discrimination in times of fear, with dire consequences.
~ Paula Larsson, Doctoral Student, Centre for the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, University of Oxford; Portions of this article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
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