Yes, coronavirus started this sudden spike in the hatred and racism towards Asians; but that doesn’t mean that Asians have not gone through years and years of discrimination and being belittled. Racism towards Asians has always seemed to be pushed aside and not taken seriously. In late March, California Congresswoman Judy Chu stated that there are approximately a hundred hate crimes against Asian Americans that happen each day (Strochlic, 2020). With harassment against Asians rising, A3PON asked the California attorney general’s office to collect data and within two weeks, the Stop AAPI Hate tracker got nearly 700 new reports from all across the country. People were being called racial slurs, being spit on, punched at, and even stabbed trying to go to the grocery store.
In the past century, the U.S. had put out national policies and laws out of discrimination against ethnic groups. The United States hasn’t exactly been the best at acknowledging their past mistakes with its anti-Asian history. In 1917, the Asiatic Barred Zone Act stopped a good majority of Asian immigration and these race barriers were not removed until the Immigration Act of 1965 (Strochlic, 2020). In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt established Japanese internment camps and forced over 100,000 Japanese Americans into them all because of the Pearl Harbor attack which caused racism and war hysteria. President Ronald Reagan formally apologized and paid restitution to Japanese internment camp survivors in 1988. In 1982, Asians in America started to fight for their civil rights and what triggered it was Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American who was murdered by two white men just a couple of days before he was supposed to get married. These two white men beat this Chinese man to death because they thought he was responsible for Japan’s powerful auto industry (Strochlic, 2020.). In 2011, the U.S. formally apologized for the Chinese Exclusion Act, which was a law signed by President Chester A. Arthur in 1882 which prohibited all immigration of Chinese laborers. It also banned not only new immigrants, but existing residents from being able to become United States citizens. The history of anti-Asian in America is incredibly sad. It is sad that we consider ourselves Americans, but we are fighting with people who view us as the enemy.
In the past 15 years, there was a decline in hate crimes against Asian Americans. It has definitely made a large increase since COVID-19 decided to take over the world. It is the worst that it has been in awhile. Today, the Trump Administration continues to point fingers and blame the virus on China. In July 2020, Trump had stated that the Chinese government were the ones that were responsible for unleashing this virus to the world (Strochlic, 2020). U.S. President Trump repeatedly refers to coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” and really pushed on a theory that it was created in a Chinese lab. Because of this, by April 2020 according to an IPSOS poll, three in ten Americans blamed China and Chinese people for this virus and pandemic (Strochlic, 2020).
Strochlic, N. (2020, September 06). America’s long history of scapegoating its Asian citizens. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/2020/09/asian-american-racism-covid/