With the increase in reported cases of coronavirus (now named COVID-19) globally and in the United States, we are alarmed by recent incidents alleging racial discrimination and xenophobia in our Asian Pacific Islander (“API”) community. Several instances of misinformation about the virus has resulted in bias toward our API community. ABAW condemns these actions.
Recent news stories about the negative impact of COVID-19 on the API community are concerning to ABAW. For instance, local businesses in the International District are losing customers. https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/coronavirus-fears-impact-business-seattle-international-district/281-d0250731-41d5-4641-bf50-1be4a0f7ed95. Additionally, Asian and Asian American students at U.S. universities have been subject to mistreatment. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-02-03/fear-panic-around-the-coronavirus-fuels-racist-sentiment and https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-02-03/coronavirus-outbreak-narrative-xenophobia. This mistreatment expands to those beyond business owners and students.https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/16/us/coronavirus-american-mood.html?referringSource=articleShare andhttps://time.com/5775716/xenophobia-racism-stereotypes-coronavirus/. These alleged instances of reported discrimination and xenophobia are equally concerning to ABAW.
“These types of reactions have a negative impact on our API community and perpetuate racist sentiment and stereotypes,” said ABAW President Serin Ngai. “The spread of the virus is extremely concerning as are the misconceptions about who has the virus and how it is spread.”
ABAW encourages the community to become better informed about the virus and to stop the dissemination of misinformation and perceptions based on stereotypes.
Some resources to learn more about COVID-19 include the Center for Disease Control website, https://www.cdc.gov/, and the World Health Organization website, https://www.who.int/.
The Asian Bar Association of Washington (“ABAW”) is the professional association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students whose mission is to promote justice, equity and opportunity for Asian Pacific Americans.