Addressing Anti-Asian Scapegoating
The spread of COVID-19 has contributed to an escalation of race-based scapegoating throughout the U.S.
Our own college district in February 2020 asked district employees to ward against racial prejudice and discrimination, in a letter to district employees from Chancellor Judy Miner, 28 February 2020:
I join Dr. Sara Cody, the Santa Clara County’s health officer, in urging us all to resist discrimination and prejudice. Although the outbreak began in mainland China, people of Asian descent are not more likely to have the virus, Dr. Cody reports... It is important for all of us to stay informed about this situation so we can take care of ourselves and others. Updated information from the Santa Clara County health department is available here...
In May 2020, the district Board of Trustees denounced xenophobia and anti-Asian sentiment in a resolution:
...the Board of Trustees of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District Board of Trustees denounces xenophobia and anti-Asian sentiment; joins local districts, cities, counties, and states across the country in affirming its commitment to the safety and well-being of Asian Americans and in combating hate crimes targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; and affirms its commitment to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all students.
On 11 February 2021, following a wave of attacks on elderly Asian Americans in big cities in the U.S., De Anza College President Lloyd Holmes assured the campus community in a letter to students and employees:
De Anza College condemns these acts of violence against our community members. And we must not only condemn, but take action as part of the equity work in which the college has long been engaged.
De Anza has also created a series of short videos, CAN/DID, discussing anti-Asian discrimination and violence:
- Effects of Anti-Asian Racism and Scapegoating During the Pandemic
- Anti-Asian Racism: How Do We Make Sense of What's Going On?
- Anti-Asian Racism – Beyond Acts of Hate
- What Can We Do about Anti-Asian Racism?
Resources for Confronting Racism
The following are some resources for learning about anti-Asian acts of aggression and violence, and addressing race-based scapegoating individually and collectively.
Questioning "How-To" Anti-Racism
- "Black-Asian Solidarities and the Impasses of "How-To" Anti-Racisms," Elizabeth Hanna Rubio, Journal of Anthropology of North America, 10 March 2021, p. 1-16 - a scholarly research article that questions anti-racist "how-to" literature (podcast of Rubio speaking about this)
Report, Intervene, Volunteer
- Stop AAPI Hate: You can report incidents of aggression, racial profiling, and violence here in English, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. The Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council created this reporting center.
- Coronavirus Resources to Stand Against Racism: resources for reporting, documenting, and intervening in anti-Asian acts of aggression and violence. Created by Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
- Guide to Bystander Intervention: Created by HollaBack! Sign up for a free bystander training.
- Compassion in Oakland: a volunteer service to provide accompaniment for Asian Americans concerned about their public safety in Oakland
- Japantown Prepared: a volunteer service to provide accompaniment for Asian Americans concerned about their public safety in San Jose
Data Reports on Anti-Asian Aggression
- Report on Anti-Asian Reported Incidents with Stop AAPI Hate (March 19 - August 5, 2020)
- Report on Anti-Chinese Rhetoric Used by Perpetrators of Anti-Hate Hate (October 11, 2020)
- Report on 2020 Candidates' Use of Anti-Asian Rhetoric and Policies (October 21, 2020)
- More reports from Stop AAPI Hate
News Sources and Op-Eds
- "South Asians Are Asians Too. When Will Our Racial Reckoning Be?," Saili S. Kilkarni, Op-Ed, Ms. Magazine, April 24, 2021.
- "Support for Asian Americans Must Go Beyond Performative Statements," Emily Lawsin and Scott Kurashige, Op-Ed, The Michigan Daily, April 15, 2021
- "Swelling Anti-Asian Violence: Who Is Being Attacked Where," Weiyi Cai, Audra D. S. Burch and
- "The Deep American Roots of the Atlanta Shootings," May Jeong, Op-Ed, New York Times, March 19, 2021
- "How Racism and Sexism Intertwine to Torment Asian-American Women," Shaila Dewan, New York Times, March 18, 2021 - news article on the history of intertwined racism and sexism targeting Asian American women
- "Op-Ed: Working in Solidarity to Address Anti-Asian Violence and Xenophobia," Christa Grant, Gretchel Hathaway and D Ekow King, Op-Ed, Insight into Diversity, March 18, 2021
- "What This Wave of Anti-Asian Violence Reveals About America," Anne Cheng, Op-Ed, New York Times, February 21, 2012
- "Hundreds of volunteers are escorting elderly Asian Americans to help keep them safe from attacks," Aysha Qamar, Daily Kos, February 16, 2021 - news article on the formation of a volunteer chaperone service and pan-racial solidarity in response to attacks on elderly Asian Americans in Oakland
- "Brutal Attacks Against Bay Area Asian Americans Spur Calls for Action Statewide," hosted by Mina Kim, February 16, 2021, Forum, KQED - 55-minute radio program on Bay Area anti-Asian attacks and the unique racialized position of Asian Americans whose racial trauma is regularly deemed insignificant or invalid
- "Asian and Black communities aim to work together after high-profile attacks," Lisa Fernandez, February 10, 2021, Fox KTVU2 - news article on Asian American and Black communities working together after series of anti-Asian attacks in Oakland
- "String of attacks against older Asians leaves big city Chinatowns on edge," Sakshi Venkatraman, NBC News, February 9, 2021 - newsarticle on wave of attacks on elderly Asians in some big city Chinatowns
- "'We are crying out for help': Actors, activists sounding alarm on surging attacks against Asian Americans," MSNBC American Voices, Feb. 7, 2021 - 9-minute video interviewing actors and activist about anti-Asian attacks and lack of media coverage
- Twitter post by Amanda Nguyen, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, February 6, 2021 - 30-second video naming elderly victims of anti-Asian violence and urging media coverage
- "Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States," The White House, January 26, 2021 - text of executive order signed by President Joe Biden
- "Coronavirus reminds Asian Americans like me that our belonging is conditional," John Cho, Op-Ed, Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2020
- "Asian Americans Report Rise in Racist Attacks Amid Pandemic," PBS NewsHour, April 1, 2020 - 6-minute video presenting information of spread of anti-Asian attacks and interview with Cynthia Choi, co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action of San Francisco.
- "When Xenophobia Spreads Like A Virus," National Public Radio's Code Switch, 4 March 2020 - article on prevalence of anti-Asian hostility and attacks across the U.S. and in other countries, and 25-minute podcast with historian Prof. Erika Lee on the prevalence of anti-Asian scapegoating today and in U.S. history
- "How to contain the virus of racism during coronavirus outbreak," Sherry Wang. Op-Ed, San Fancisco Chronicle, 12 February 2020 - personal strategies for handling micro-aggression, verbal assaults, and hostility
- "Spit On, Yelled At, Attacked: Chinese Americans Fear Their Safety," New York Times, 23 March 2020 - news article describing widespread nature of anti-Asian hate and harassment and President's use of anti-Asian scapegoating language
Stories of Solidarity and Anti-Asian Aggression
- "The history of tensions — and solidarity — between Black and Asian American communities, explained,"
- Solidarity Stories - a website featuring histories of struggle and stories of solidarity, joy, and power in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities; a project of the National Asian American Leaders Table on COVID-19 Racism’s Solidarity Working Group.
- Interviews with nine Bay Area individuals and their experiences during the COVID pandemic - De Anza students in summer 2020 ASAM 10 class (Contemporary Asian American Communities) in partnership with the APALI (Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute)
- "I Will Not Stand Silent" - photo narrative of 10 Asian Americans by photographer Haruka Sakaguchi, Time Magazine, June 25, 2020.
Historical Context for Anti-Asian Scapegoating
- "Podcast: Racism and COVID-19: The historical, political, and social foundations," 41-minute interview by the Othering & Belonging Institute of UC Berkeley with professors Catherine Ceniza Choy (Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, and Comparative Ethnic Studies), Ian Haney López (Law), and Osagie K. Obasogie (Bioethics), April 29, 2020
- "The long history of US racism against Asian Americans, from ‘yellow peril’ to ‘model minority’ to the ‘Chinese virus,’" Adrian De Leon, April 8, 2020 - article written by a scholar for a general r adership
- "America or Americans," Prof. Erika Lee, Town Hall Seattle, December 10, 2019 - an extended recorded lecture, 1.5 hours, on the history of xenophobia in the U.S.
- "Our History of Blaming Immigrants for Disease," Robert A. Stribley, Medium, April 12, 2019 - a 9-minute blog post on the history of blaming newcomers for spreading illnesses in the U.S.
- "The Foreignness of Germs: The Persistent Association of Immigrants and Disease in American Society," Howard Markel and Alexandra Minna Stern, December 2002 - scholarly article in journal on population health and health policy
- "Chinese as Medical Scapegoats, 1875-1905," Joan B. Trauner - a historical essay from California History Magazine, 1978.
Racial Disparities with Pandemic
- "COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, updated December 10, 2020.
- "Less-educated Asian Americans among hardest hit by job losses during pandemic," Brian Cheung, Yahoo Finance,
- "Overlooked': Asian American Jobless Rate Surges But Few Take Notice," Scott Horsely, NPR Morning Edition, October 1, 2020.
- "Black Americans Face Alarming Rates of Coronavirus Infection in Some States," John Eligon, Audra D. S. Burch, Dionne Searcey and
- "Outcry Over Racial Data Grows as Virus Slams Black Americans," Associated Press, New York Times, April 8, 2020.
- "Race Forward Statement on the Coronavirus Emergency, Official Response and Its Impacts on Communities of Color" - official statement by advocacy alliance for racial equity and justice
Re-Thinking and Challenging the Carceral State
- "How not to think like a cop, with Naomi Murakawa," Time to Say Goodbye podcast, April 6, 2021 (1 hr 10 min).
- "Anti-Asian Violence and Black-Asian Solidarity Today with Tamara K. Nopper," lecture sponsored by Asian American Writers' Workshop, March 29, 2021 (2 hrs)
- "Why the trope of Black-Asian conflict in the face of anti-Asian violence dismisses solidarity,"
Resources for Teaching about Coronavirus Racism
- "What Is #StopAAPIHate to the Incarcerated and Deported?" Elizabeth Hanna Rubio, Society for Cultural Anthropology, Oct. 19, 2021 - essay on federal deportation of Vietnamese Americans
- "Anti-Asian racism and COVID-19," Jennifer Ho, professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado Boulder and president of the Association for Asian American Studies, April 8, 2020 - a web site and slide deck for teaching about anti-Asian racism
- "Treating Yellow Peril," Jason Oliver Chang (twitter @chinotronic), Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut - a shared document of resources
- Scholars v. COVID-19 Racism," Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, April 2, 2020 - article spotlighting what academics are doing inside and outside the classroom
- "Asian-American studies, more vital than ever: Coronavirus is a moment we should be learning," Vivian Louie, New York Daily News, May 19, 2020 - op-ed
- "'I Don’t Like China or Chinese People Because They Started This Quarantine': The History of Anti-Chinese Racism and Disease in the United States," Wayne Au, Rethinking Schools - essay and resources for teaching secondary school/college students
- May 13, 2021: Anti-Asian Hate and Anti-Racism in Higher Education. Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice. Moderator: Thai-Huy Nguyen, Policy Researcher at RAND Corporation. Panelists: Arlene Daus-Magbual, Director of Asian American & Pacific Islander Student Services,
San Francisco University; Marcia Liu, Licensed Counseling Psychologist and Mental
Health Coordinator for the Hunter College AANAPISI Project; Timothy Fong, Professor,
Department of Ethnic Studies, California State University, Sacramento.
- April 6, 2021: Then and Now – A Conversation on the History of Anti-Asian Racism in the U.S. De Anza-sponsored panel discussion moderated by Chesa Caparas, faculty coordinator for the Jean Miller Resource Room. Panelists: Robert Handa, De Anza alum, NBC Bay Area reporter and host of Asian Pacific America, Mae Lee, Chair, Asian American and Asian Studies, Jim Nguyen, Instructor, Political Science.
- March 22, 2021: Politics Podcast: The Attacks In Atlanta May Activate Asian Americans Politically. Five Thirty Eight. ABC News. Interviews with political scientist professors Jane Junn (USC) and Karthick Ramakrishnan (UC Reiverside).
- March 18, 2021: House Judiciary Hearing on Discrimination and Violence Against Asian Americans. House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.
- February 17, 2021: Conversation with Renee Tajima-Pena on her Oscar-Nominated "Who Killed Vincent Chin?" and Anti-Asian Violence Today. Part of retrospective series, Not Your Model Minority: The Art and Activism of Renee Tajima-Pena, co-sponsored by De Anza's Asian American and Asian Studies and San Jose State University's Film and Theatre Department. Recording.
- February 13, 2021: Love Our People, Heal Our Communities. Multiracial, interfaith healing event in Oakland, CA, 3-5 PM. Recording.
- October 7, 2020: Does a New Wave of Anti-Asian American Racism Require New Ways of Fighting Back? Wednesday, at 3 PM PDT/12 PM HST/6 PM EST. A Zócalo/Daniel K. Inouye Institute. Recording.
- October 6, 2020: What's happening in our schools? Anti-Asian Backlash in the Age of COVID. Tuesday, October 6, 7-8:15 PM. San Jose Nikkei Resisters. Recording.
- September 29, 2020: Fear and Scapegoating during a Pandemic. Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Moderator: Alexandra Lord, PhD, National Museum of American History. Panelists: Theodore Gonzalves, PhD, National Museum of American History, Erika Lee, PhD, University of Minnesota, Natalia Molina, PhD, University of Southern California.
- April - August 2020: "Let's Talk! Supporting Asian and Asian American Students through COVID-19." Eight-part webinar series by Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Cross-Cultural
Student Emotional Wellness.
- Webinar #1: Anti-Asian Racism during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Webinar #2: Living Through a Pandemic: Understanding, Coping, and Finding Meaning
- Webinar #3: Predictable Parenting for Unpredictable Times: Promoting the Success and Wellbeing of Asian and Asian-American Students through COVID-19
- Webinar #4: The Challenges International Students Face During COVID-19 and How Parents Can Be Supportive (Mandarin session)
- Webinar #5: Understanding and Supporting Asian International Students during COVID-19
- Webinar #6: Asian American Parents: Understanding and Supporting LGBTQ+ Children
- Webinar #7: Anti-Blackness and Racism in the Asian Community
- Webinar #8: Asian Allyship with the Black Community
- July 7, 2020: COVID-19, Racism and Xenophobia: A Discussion on How and Why the Pandemic is Affecting Asian Americans. Webinar by Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, featuring Prof. Jason Oliver Chang (University of Connecticut), Michelle Nutter (Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General), Fred Pinguel (Filipino Advocates for Justice), Prof. Noreen Rodriguez (Iowa State University), and Yan Yii (Teacher of 5th Grade, MA)
- June 1, 2020: Anti-Asian Racism and COVID 19: A Teach-In. Webinar by PEN America, with panelists: Professor Jennifer Ho (University of Colorado, Boulder, and President, Association of Asian American Studies), Professor Floyd Cheung (English Language and Literature and American Studies, Smith College), Professor Pawan Dhingra (American Studies, Amherst College), Professor Kathleen Yep (Asian American Studies, Pitzer College), (Moderator) Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf (Director of Literary Programs and World Voices Festival Associate Director, PEN America).
- May 6, 2020: Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Webinar by Asian American Bar Association of NY. Featuring Joe Gim, Deputy Bureau Chief, Nassau County District Attorney’s Office; Sheryl Koretz, Associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP; Jia Lynn Yang, Deputy National Editor, The New York Times; John Yang, Executive Director, Asian American Advancing Justice (AAJC); and Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation. Karen R. King, Counsel at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and a Vice Chair on the Pro Bono & Community Service Committee, moderated the panel.
- April 24, 2020: Confronting Anti-Asian Racism in the Time of the Coronavirus. Webcast by Asia Society, featuring Prof. Russell Jeung of SFSU.
See our list of some San Francisco Bay Area community organizations.