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Anti-Asian Racism and Covid-19 by Jennifer Ho

DES Statement about Anti-Asian Harassment and the COVID-19/Novel Coronavirus

The Centers for Disease Control recently announced that the COVID-19/novel coronavirus may spread in the United States. As people take precautions to stay healthy, the Ethnic Studies department wants to also acknowledge the rise of anti-Asian (especially anti-Chinese) harassment that many Asian Americans (particularly those who look East Asian) are experiencing. As a department dedicated to the study of race and racism, we want to be very clear that harassment of Asians due to fears of the coronavirus are not only unwarranted but sadly part of a longer history of stereotypes associating Asians, especially Chinese, with disease. As a department, we stand firm in rejecting anti-Asian bigotry in the guise of people expressing fear of COVID-19. We also urge people to find resources that will educate them about staying healthy, as well as why their prejudices/biases in assuming all Asians have the coronavirus are rooted in a history of Yellow Peril rhetoric, xenophobia, and anti-Asian racism. For more, please see this open-source syllabus on resources for addressing anti-Asian bias associated with the coronavirus. And please remember: frequent handwashing not anti-Asian stereotypes/harassment are your best means of staying healthy.

Don’t Ignore It:
CU Boulder policy prohibits discrimination and harassment based on protected-class  identity. All members of the campus community should report any acts involving unfair treatment, abusive words or expressions, or intimidating behavior aimed at any member of the campus community based on an aspect of identity. For additional resources and reporting options go to colorado.edu/dontignoreit/.