Coronavirus: Asian-Americans raise concerns about stereotyping

Editor
Read Time4 Minute, 39 Second


ST. LOUIS — Asian-Americans in St. Louis are raising concerns about being treated as scapegoats in the global coronavirus outbreak.

The virus doesn’t discriminate based on ethnic background or race. However, several Asian-Americans in St. Louis told 5 On Your Side they’ve heard people afraid of the virus are singling them out.

“That kept me more up at night than the virus itself,” said Melanie Liu, a graduate student from California studying at Washington University.

She recalled sitting in a coffee shop and overhearing a group of people say how worried they were about getting the coronavirus.

“Then they added, ‘There’s so many Chinese students at Wash U,’ and I thought, ‘Oh no. We’re being labeled,’” she said.

Her experience isn’t unique.

Others have reported glaring looks when they sniffle or sneeze in public, and Asian businesses in St. Louis are losing traffic, said Thong Tarm, president of OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates.

“I’ve heard when students are sitting down in the cafeteria, other students will get up,” Caroline Fan said.

She founded Missouri’s first statewide Asian-American nonprofit organization, EARLY. She works with students.

“All of the recent cases, for the most part, are folks who were traveling in Italy, but we are not hearing about people being concerned about going to Italian restaurants,” she said.

Fan called it casual racism and xenophobia, and she said it’s led to dangerous policies in the past.

“This is how Chinese-American exclusion happened. It’s how Japanese-American internment happened,” she said.

RELATED: VERIFY: Fact-checking this week’s viral coronavirus claims

Psychologists said stereotyping in a global outbreak isn’t unusual.

It happened to people from Africa during the Ebola crisis, too, said Dr. Jemeca Falconer, a psychologist and professor at Webster University.

“I think it’s very problematic right now,” she said. “I believe the fear is a rational fear for anyone to have, but they take this opportunity to express their hatred of other groups,” she said.

She said everyone has biases, and it’s important to recognize them and practice kindness.

At Washington University, graduate student and California native Sarah Kang spoke on a panel about battling xenophobia.

She said, in her experience, most of her classmates try to be politically correct. But, she said, they tend to over-correct and generalize the experiences of Asian students and Asian-Americans into one.

Kang said students who are from China and South Korea are afraid to wear masks, something that is common in their own culture, for fear of being viewed as “infected” here.

The university’s chancellor, Andrew Martin, addressed the issue in a blog post, saying, “Our institutional strength lies in our diversity and the essential qualities of affirmation, equity and inclusion — and it is especially important during times like these that we embody and model these values.”

More information on stereotyping and scapegoating from the Anti-Defamation League can be found here.

More coronavirus coverage: 





Source link

0 0

About Post Author

Editor

Editor is St Louis Media, LLC (STLM). STLM is a web hosting, design, SEO, press release distribution company and news agency located in St. Louis, Missouri. We own and operate multiple news sites in the region. Our objective with STLNewsMissouri.com is to offer readers a one-stop news site for Missouri news. We aggregate news from news media across the state. We do not aggregate news from all sources. We pick from those that offer RSS feeds and pick the best with eliminating those that might produce the same news stories, written differently.
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleppy
Sleppy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %
Next Post

Missouri's medical weed conference focused on opportunities, women

CLOSE What you should know about medical marijuana in Missouri: How to get a card, what are the qualifiers and more. Wochit Editor’s note: This report is part of a series of updates from the Missouri cannabis trade conference in downtown St. Louis this week. News-Leader reporter Gregory Holman has been following […]

Subscribe US Now