by Katelyn To
Graphic by Madison Laxamana
Xenophobia is disliking or prejudice against people from other countries. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, xenophobia and racism rose to higher grounds all around the world, specifically towards those of Asian descent, regardless of whether Asia is someone’s birthplace.
On March 16, Donald Trump posted on Twitter: “The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus.” That tweet earned him backlash from many, including Asian-Americans. In response to this, junior Sarah Long said, “Because he has many avid followers, they follow in his example and start to harbor dislike for Chinese people. People like this are usually close-minded and make assumptions, so they generalize and start to hate all Asians.” Additionally, junior Lorraine Pracale said, “Just because it started in China, does not mean it is a ‘Chinese virus.’ It may have started there, but it ended up spreading to countries all around the world, regardless of race. No country is immune, and anyone can carry it.”
Racism also spread outside of America. In London, a 23-year-old man named Jonathan Mok was brutally attacked simply because he is Asian. Mok heard people shouting “coronavirus” before four people assaulted him. Also in London, the Affordable Art Fair exhibition dropped Vietnamese artist An Nguyen. An email sent to her stated, “The coronavirus is causing much anxiety everywhere, and fairly or not, Asians are being seen as carriers of the virus. Your presence on the stand would unfortunately create hesitation on the part of the audience to enter the exhibition space.” Long said, “It doesn’t benefit anyone when Asian people are being accused of having the virus but have no evidence to back the claim up. All it does is create more xenophobia.”