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Fear of the coronavirus leads to discrimination against Asians

Discrimination can happen for many reasons. Some people discriminate because they think that one culture is dirtier than another, for example. Another might discriminate because they have been taught that one race is smarter than the other.

What some people are seeing now is that discrimination based on race is possible when there are outbreaks of illnesses. In the case of the coronavirus, it's a real problem. An article from Feb. 3 described the issues that some Asians and Asian-Americans have been having. One young woman described how simply coughing on campus got her strange looks and glances. Another woman said that her son was cornered at his school because he was half-Chinese. The students wanted to make him get tested for the coronavirus.

Viruses that crop up and seem uncontrollable do cause a panic sometimes. The trouble really starts when misinformation and rumors lead to xenophobia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has directly come out and stated that people should not panic about the virus and should avoid stereotyping. Not every Asian or person of Asian descent has the coronavirus.

The discriminatory aspect of these cases is not that people are scared of illness or a single individual who is sick. Instead, they fear an entire race. That can lead to poor treatment in the workplace, school or in public.

No discrimination is appropriate. If you're harassed because of being Asian or being of Asian descent, it's not okay. You can speak out if you're harassed or discriminated against at work or in another place, like your University or high school. You deserve to be treated as an individual.

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