• Sakaar Sopori 10th Etiwanda High

Racism against Asians worldwide during COVID-19

Racism against Asians worldwide during COVID-19 gave a surge in hate crimes in the US and around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic caused uncertainty and stress among the people. They lost their calmness, temper, and tolerance against each other. A certain ethnic group has been held responsible for the coronavirus. Asians in European countries such as Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, the UK, and in many other countries have been physically attacked, verbally (racial) abused and threatened as well as in the press and media. The day the WHO announced and reported that COVID-19 started from the city of Wuhan, China, Asians have been accused and constantly held responsible for the spread of the pandemic.

Moreover, a certain set of people have labeled Asians as the “Chinese virus,” “you are the reason the coronavirus is here,” “go back to your country,” and other derogatory comments are shouted at them. The world has maintained silence and has turned a blind eye towards the innocent people who have been abused based on their appearance. This is like how George Floyd was killed for being a colored man. Everyone got united for “Black Lives Matter.” In fact, the whole world united for the cause. However, the world seems to be divided as Asians in America have been attacked, spit on and racial slurs are yelled at them. Discrimination against Asian-Americans is on the rise and the mass killings of Asians is taking place all over the country. A few days ago, in Atlanta, Georgia, six Asian women were killed in a shooting by a 21-year-old young male adult. Many elderly people aged 77 to 91 have been violently attacked, harassed, pushed and killed. Their fault was just their roots to Asia. This has created outrage and frightened Asian people living in every corner of the world. Common people are scared and shaken in the country. Extra attention and vigilance needs to be implemented to stop the hate.

Nearly 3,795 hate incidents have happened in this country from the time that the virus was declared as a pandemic. Most of these attacks have been reported on public street and business. Many showed and poured support to the Asian community stricken over the deadly rampage. Vigils were held for the spa shooting victims and demand for justice. Many peaceful protests were held in Chinatown and in Los Angeles.

It is the need of this hour that the government take some immediate action against such hate crimes. It is high time to crack down the crime, spin words into action and maintain harmony and integrity. Law enforcement needs to be vigilant and patrolling in the busy areas of Asian business (stores, bars, spas) and community locations, so that hate crime is crushed down. More police presence and scanning of security cameras will help in tracking down suspects who are out to create trouble and unrest.

We, Americans, are taught to treat each other with dignity and respect. The words seemed to be lost due to the pandemic. The world follows the American way, as we the people from different ethnicities have set an example that America is a “Great Nation.” We, Americans,

believe and have faith in the Constitution no matter which faith we follow. Being an American, this has caused discomfort to me as to why we humans are holding each other responsible for the pandemic. This country is formed by people of different diversities and ethnicities. Our enemy is COVID-19, not Asian people. We need to stop the “blame game” and work towards protecting the ecosystem of planet Earth.

I personally feel that stricter and controlled gun laws should be implemented. Due to the Second Amendment, people have easy access to guns and claim to have guns is their right. Guns have taken many innocent lives in various events, which have happened in the past way prior to COVID-19 pandemic and present. We, Americans, have more gun deaths than any country in the world. Therefore, it is the universal call to all the nations to unite together and make strong and stringent laws against hate crimes. “We need to fight COVID-19, not ethnicity.”

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