During a time full of fear and uncertainty, much like the time we’re in now, it is not unheard of for people to commit attacks against those they deem responsible for the panic. This has been seen in the past with various outbreaks.
The 2009 Swine Flu Pandemic was joined by an increase of hate crimes against Mexicans, since Mexico is where this outbreak originated. The 2014 Ebola outbreak led to an increase in hate crimes against Africans because this outbreak is said to have originated in Guinea. Now, in 2020 in the U.S., the Coronavirus Pandemic has led to an increase in hate crimes and attacks against people who look or identify as Asian as a result of this outbreak originating in China's Mainland.
Although hate crimes seem to be a pattern, as the targets are of the same culture or nationality the public holds responsible for each pandemic. It does not help when the United State’s president, Donald Trump, nicknames the virus the “Chinese Virus’ as he did during a televised speech earlier this week.
In a later response to the backlash he received from his comment, Trump stated that he did not believe his comments were racist. He continued to say that he wanted to be ‘accurate’, seeing as China is where the virus originated. Trump has since continued to use the phrase ‘Chinese Virus’ and other nicknames for the virus such as ‘Kung-Flu’ have surfaced as well.
From White House Correspondents, to celebrities, to general social media users. People have taken the time out to express their hate, experience as a person of Asian descent, and concern surrounding the increase in hate crimes.
With what seems like approval from President Trump to make racist and demeaning comments towards people of Asian culture, people may wonder - how bad will it get for Asian-Americans?
Between viral videos of attacks on Asians, hate crime arrests made since the beginning of the pandemic and an overall increase in hate crimes under the Trump administration - do people simply feel that their expressions of hate is acceptable and something they can get away with?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!