How to Address Prejudice Towards Asian Americans in the Pandemic

 

The ongoing Covid-19 outbreak has brought increased incidents of racism, discrimination, and violence against Asians worldwide and particularly in the United States, with more than 100 reports of hate crimes each day. What do companies and organizations need to understand – and what can they do to address bias and, in turn, reduce stress amidst the pandemic?

    • Global Racism: Since January 2020, many Asian Americans have reported suffering racial slurs, wrongful workplace termination, being spat on, physical violence, extreme physical distancing, etc., as media and government officials increasingly stigmatize and blame Asians for the spread of Covid-19.
    • Institutional (Presidential) Racism: In the U.S., when President Trump insisted on labeling the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus,” attacks became more virulent and common.
    • The FBI warned of an increase of hate crimes against Asian Americans, and a surge occurred. Since the Stop-AAPI-Hate website, a project of the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council and Chinese for Affirmative Action, launched on March 19 to track anti-Asian harassment, it has received more than 1,000 reports from people in 32 states detailing verbal abuse, denial of services, discrimination on the job or physical assaults.

Othering Behavior: Throughout history, infectious diseases have been associated with “othering,” referring to the process whereby an individual or groups of people attribute negative characteristics to other individuals or groups of people that set them apart as representing that which is opposite to them. The Lancet discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered social and political fractures within communities, with racialized and discriminatory responses to fear, disproportionately affecting marginalized groups.

Be an Ally: How to Help Fight Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia

The CDC discusses how stigma is affecting individuals of Asian descent, how that stigma is based on erroneous information, and how individuals can counter that stigma.

Unfortunately, hate crimes involving Asian-American victims have continued to soar in 2021. Officials are grappling with the problem even as new incidents occur.  While President Biden has vowed to ramp up efforts to combat anti-Asian violence in the country and as attacks sadly continue to occur on a regular basis.

This month there is at least one bit of hopeful news to report over this dark chapter in America’s history: in recent weeks, there has been a surge in donations, contributions, activism and advocacy intended to fight against anti-Asian racism in the U.S.

Cultural Competence, Overcoming Biases, and Tolerance Conversations

With the rise of COVID-19 infections came an increase in racism and xenophobia. Companies and organizations are looking for conversational and educational solutions to empower their leaders, employees, and customers to overcome harmful biases and stereotypes. Inclusive Leaders Group offers virtual mini-workshops, keynotes, and Guided Storytelling to respond to racist or xenophobic comments about coronavirus or anything else.

For helpful cultural competence tips for avoiding bias and reducing stress during the pandemic, download 5 Things You Can Do To Interrupt Racial Bias in the Wake of COVID-19

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