In the Mind of Racism

In the mind of racism, it doesn’t matter that I have lived in the United States fourteen years longer than I have lived in China. In the mind of racism, it doesn’t matter that people from all over the world are in similar circumstances as me and face racism on a daily basis. In the mind of racism, the only thing you are, the only thing that defines you, is the color of your skin or the shape of your face. Your intelligence, your personality, or the way you treat others no longer matters.

I asked a few Bolles students that could possibly be impacted by racism from coronavirus. All that I spoke to had positive feedback about the community, and they have not any received negative or hurtful comments.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) started in 湖北 (Hubei), one of China’s many provinces, specifically, in the capital city of 武汉 (Wuhan). As the virus has been traveling across the globe, Asians worldwide have faced an increase in violence against their communities. The virus has become an excuse for racism.

Jonathan Mok, an East Asian (from Singapore with Chinese ethnicity) student, was violently assaulted in London on February 24th while someone told him, “I don’t want your coronavirus in my country.”

Another case, that of Jiye Seong-Yu, occurred in the Netherlands on March 2nd.  Although she is Korean, a man shouted, “Chinese,” at her while someone else tried to punch her off of her bike.

The community in which I identify is under attack while racism, xenophobia, and prejudice are spreading faster than the virus itself.

Coronavirus is a serious public health threat. It’s not an invitation to racial stereotyping.”

Ignorance is still detrimental in society today.

I’ve been on the receiving end of ignorant comments due to my race throughout my entire life. People have asked, “where I’m really from” when they aren’t satisfied when I tell them Florida. Sometimes I’m asked if I eat dogs or cats. Back in elementary school, it was a popular thing for people to pull their eyelids back so they could “be Chinese.” These questions and actions were fueled by an ignorant mindset, but they left a lasting, hurtful impact on me that I remember vividly to this day.

However, violence against an entire community during a time when the world should be united is so much more than that. Rather than using Asian people as a scapegoat, we should unite to find a way to stop people from becoming ill. The ideas that eating at a Chinese restaurant or popping bubble wrap from China causing coronavirus are ludicrous and do nothing but increase the spreading fear of Asian people.

It is the responsibility of all people to be consciously aware of what they are saying and to stop the situation if they see it arise. I also firmly believe that people should become more educated on the topic in order to prevent the circulating rumors about an entire ethnic group.

It is important to remember that, as Senator Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) wrote, “Coronavirus is a serious public health threat. It’s not an invitation to racial stereotyping.”