COVID-19 Does Not Validate Racism

Rachel Singleton, Editor-in-Chief

As the dreaded COVID-19 spreads across the world, another infectious disease is expanding just as rapidly: racism. Whether it be as simple as weird looks on the street or as violent as aggressive mob attacks, Asian Americans have been targeted; they have been verbally and physically assaulted these past few months because of their race.

People are also calling the virus insensitive nicknames such as the “Chinese Virus” or the “Kung Flu.” These racist nicknames have even been utilized by our own president and other

politicians, which is horrifying.

As an Asian-American, I have noticed this xenophobia taking hold of the people around me where it had not previously existed. Before the virus had become this serious and people were still going out in public, I would often get strange stares from people as I walked down the sidewalks and some would inch further away. Whenever the virus would be mentioned in class, some heads would turn toward me or other Asian-American students.

One of the most upsetting experiences occurred when I was walking in the park. As I passed a lady and her children, the mother frowned at me and then pulled her children away from where I was walking. It saddens me that this woman felt so threatened by me simply because of my race. It’s absolutely disgusting that the fear of this virus has manipulated the common sense of mankind. My experience just goes to show that racism exists everywhere, even in quiet communities like Fauquier.

I can’t believe that some people in our world are still so ignorant or apathetic to how their actions and fears are hurting others. These are real people. This racism is hurting me. It’s hurting my family. It’s hurting my friends. It’s hurting everyone in the Asian community. I find it extremely sad that people need to be reminded of this.

My message to those uncomfortable with Asians during this time, or any time for that matter, is this: We cannot let fear lead our actions and words. By associating the virus with China or Asians with nicknames and jokes, we are creating negative stereotypes that could promote further racism. Even if people disagree that it does this, it is still harming the Asian communities and we must always remain sensitive to this.

It deeply hurts me to know that this racism persists in the U.S. and even in our local Fauquier County. These are innocent people, men, women, even children, who are being attacked and did nothing to deserve this hate. I hope with light now being shined on this, we as a society can work to amend this pressing issue.