Why Hate During Unsettling Times?
I'm troubled by increasing incidents of racism and xenophobia, as it relates to COVID-19, and will talk about these issues at my next virtual town hall this Tuesday, April 14, at 2:30 pm. You can submit questions through my website here, then join the live conversation on my Facebook page.
The coronavirus pandemic has touched all of us, forcing us to live a different life right now and for many weeks to come. Some of you have seen impacts to your jobs or businesses. Others may have gotten sick. Most of us can't visit family and friends.
The disruption and discomfort have given rise to a disturbing trend: hate toward Asian Americans, particularly those of Chinese descent, because of the coronavirus, misplacing the blame of our public health crisis on them. Harassment, bullying and physical assaults have been reported - even in San Francisco, a city known for tolerance. It also doesn't help to have a president calling COVID-19 the "Chinese Virus," further fanning hate. A new website tracking these incidents logged more than 1,100 reports nationwide in its first two weeks. The true number is probably higher, as many victims don't come forward.
My guests for the town hall will be Asian American Studies Professor Russell Jeung from San Francisco State and Cynthia Choi, Co-Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action. Both are not only amplifying the prejudices we're seeing in our communities, but also working toward stopping them through education and policy changes.
I hope you can be part of this very important discussion.
Assemblymember, 19th District