President Trump continued to use racist and xenophobic language today during a news conference about the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. by calling it the “Chinese virus."
In doing so, he doubled down on his effort to eviscerate both U.S. and international asylum law, using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to turn back asylum seekers at the border.
The following is a quote by Southern Poverty Law Center Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Karen Baynes-Dunning:
“The rhetoric from the nation's highest office is creating a climate of hate that is permeating the country and putting people at risk. There has been an increase in reports of bias-related attacks against Asians and Asian Americans in communities and online.
“Hate has no place in our country and certainly should not be propagated by our commander in chief. As a country, now is the time for us to unite and say enough is enough. We will not tolerate hate and bigotry.
Recent examples of anti-Asian hate include:
- Earlier this month, an Asian man was sprayed with an air freshener on a New York subway.
- Propaganda with a fake seal of the World Health Organization tells Los Angeles residents to avoid Asian American businesses because of a coronavirus outbreak.
- In Philadelphia, Asian Americans have been regularly facing verbal and non-verbal forms of street harassment since as early as February.
If you have witnessed a bias-related incident or have been the victim of one, you can report it to Stop AAPI hate, after reporting it to the authorities: http://www.asianpacificpolicyandplanningcouncil.org/stop-aapi-hate/.
To learn more about the historical context of racializing public health events, please visit: https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/speaking-up-against-racism-around-the-new-coronavirus.