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  • Writer's pictureMariela Gomez

Embracing our Asian Community members during the COVID-19 pandemic

Originating in Wuhan, China, the novel Corona Virus has spread worldwide, causing millions of deaths. The infectious disease has been coined the "china virus" by many political leaders and the media. The narrative that Asians are to blame for the pandemic has reignited racist stereotypes and reinforced "othering" in our country.

Over the decades, when a deadly virus has emerged, humans notoriously blame particular groups for spreading deadly viruses. More often than not, the blame is put on marginalized groups. Blaming one specific group is a form of "scapegoating." Scapegoating asserts that a dominant group will [most likely] target a subordinate group with aggression and prejudice. In turn, this ideology further perpetuates stereotypes and division in society.

The Asian community has faced an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States. The Hate Crime Statistics Act defines hate crimes as "Crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, gender and gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity." According to the 2020 orange county hate crimes report, there was an 1800% increase in hate acts motivated by anti-Asian hate in America.

Now, imagine how covid-19 has affected our Asian community members. The pandemic has highlighted the racist attitudes that plague our nation. COVID -19 has proven the drastic social disparities that exist in our communities. Families continue to face emotional and economic challenges amid the pandemic. On top of facing the challenges of the pandemic, the Asian community continues to be alienated and targeted in today's societal climate.

Today, more than ever, we must practice kindness, compassion, and awareness. Here are some tips on how to embrace our Asian brothers and sisters.

1. Speak out against acts of prejudice.

2. Smile, say hello, and check-in with your neighbors.

3. Be purposeful in engaging in conversations that foster a genuine connection.

4. Refrain from using the term "china virus."

5. Educate yourself about Asian culture.

6. Remind them that you are an allay.

7. Donate funds to organizations that are helping those affected

Do your part. Take a stand. Wear a mask.

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