Asian American community hit by wave of targeted verbal and physical attacks


Across the world, there has been a spike in violence and discrimination towards those of Asian descent as a result of fear of the novel coronavirus. Although the virus originated in China, there is no correlation between transmission of the disease and race.

Priscilla Woo, Academics Editor

While the spread of the coronavirus has sparked a growing fear in many to keep their families and loved ones safe, the virus has brought back a different kind of fear for many Asian Americans. 

Videos have started to surface on the internet of Asian Amercians getting spit on, followed by people spraying disinfecting sprays at them, harrassed on buses and beaten up on the streets. An Asian family of three was stabbed in Texas, and small Asian-owned businesses all over the country are being vandalized almost everyday, simply because of their ethnicity. The coronavirus’ origins in Wuhan, China are causing some to create unsound assumptions that all Asians may carry the virus, leading them to blame Asian Americans, some of whom have never even visited Asia.

“I’m just really disappointed in our society. People are blaming us because I guess we are an easy target and there’s always been that deep rooted discrimination,” senior Iris Chen said. “Additionally, during a time of crisis, many people need to find fault in a group of people to make themselves feel better or comforted.”

Although Northern Virginia is a fairly diverse community, the fears of social discrimination and hate crimes have affected many in Chantilly as well. 

“My family was hesitant about ordering delivery because they heard workers would spit into our food because our last name is very obviously Asian,” Chen said. 

These recent events following fears of the coronavirus continues to remind the Asian American community that at any given moment, they can change from being Americans to being foreigners; acceptance is only conditional. 

“I feel that it’s unjustified for some people to act this way. It’s in a sense stereotyping too by stating that the whole Asian culture is to blame,” junior Stephanie Fang said. “Ever since this whole fiasco, I’ve been living in constant fear of being prejudiced against even more.”

Despite these fears, according to the World Health Organization, a person’s ethnicity does not have any correlation to the transmission of the coronavirus. These attacks that are targeted toward Asian Americans do nothing to benefit anyone. In fact, according to ABC News, these attacks are interfering with efforts to “flatten the curve” because it means people are not taking the time to understand the disease and not following practices to stop the spread.

Many Asian Amercians are part of the doctors, nurses and healthcare workers that are pouring their efforts in order to save lives in the midst of this pandemic. Asian Amercians are simply just Americans and have been a part of this community for decades.  

“The blame shouldn’t be put upon Asians. They, too, face the same quarantine conditions and are forced into self isolation,” Fang said. “These attacks are unnecessary and just create further tension.”