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In a recent Washington Post op-ed, former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang called upon Asian Americans to become part of the solution against COVID-19.

But Asian American history, my field of research, suggests a sobering reality.

A history of anti-Asian racismUp until the eve of the COVID-19 crisis, the prevailing narrative about Asian Americans was one of the model minority.

But in the United States, Asian Americans have long been considered as a threat to a nation that promoted a whites-only immigration policy.

Meanwhile, incarcerated Japanese Americans in camps and African Americans were still held under Jim Crow segregation laws.

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