A joint statement released on May 25 calls for solidarity against hate and racism against Asian communities in the US. The statement is signed by more than 100 prominent writers, artists, actors, and creative professionals. Many of them are Americans with Asian origins.
The statement is followed by a day-long event of online panel discussions hosted by Pen America and Asian American Writers’ Workshops on May 27. Panelists including college professors, writers and journalists drew attention on hostility mindset and behaviors after the COVID-19 pandemic, asking people to “speak out and fight hate”.
The statement refers to a report released by ADL, an organization watch for bias, discrimination and hate around the world. The report listed more than 100 anti-Asian incidents reported in the media and by victims since January. The attacks have happened in college campuses, city subways and online. Many individuals being spit on, stabbed, beat up, or verbally assaulted.
One incident reported by the Daily Beast is that a man from Myanmar and his two children, ages six and two, were attacked and stabbed at a Sam’s Club by a 19-year-old man in Texas on March 14. The alleged assailant admitted to targeting the family because he believed the family was Chinese and infecting people with coronavirus.
ADL points out that the list is still not comprehensive, but it is clear that these are not just isolated incidents. The anti-Asian sentiment is on rise, in both scale and quantity.
According to a recent Ipsos poll among Americans, 32% of them have witnessed someone blaming Asian people for COVID-19 and 24% would be concerned about coming in close contact with someone of Asian origins. With such an alarming proportion, things could be out of control if unchecked.
“They have been egged on at times by an administration drawing on racist tropes and stereotypes, eager to distract from its own missteps,” claims the statement. It highlights that public officials and leaders in the US have not taken sufficient steps to address such attacks, and in some cases are promoting theories that blame Asian people for the coronavirus pandemic.
“We, the undersigned, call on everyday citizens to join us in standing in solidarity with all those targeted by hate during COVID-19,” said the statement, “The time to turn back this wave of hate is now.”