AMES, Iowa — Anti-Asian hate crimes during health crises are unfortunately not new, according to a new academic paper examining the history of this phenomenon.
The team looked at how anti-Asian hate crimes – including verbal harassment and physical violence – during the COVID-19 pandemic have furthered the historical “othering” of Asian Americans and reproduced inequalities.
“Unfortunately, eruptions of xenophobia have historically followed close on the heels of pandemics,” the authors wrote.
“Sickness cultivates fear, which in turn cultivates bias.”Today, social media plays a significant role in exposing anti-Asian hate crimes, particularly when bystander videos are posted and then referenced by the news media.
“Not only is it critical to stop the spread of COVID-19, but also the racial hatred it has produced,” the authors wrote.