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How Asian Americans In SoCal Are Navigating Instances of Xenophobia And Bigotry Amid Coronavirus Pandemic




Shoppers wearing a face mask buying toilet papers in a supermarket.
Shoppers wearing a face mask buying toilet papers in a supermarket.
Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images

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President Trump's use of the term "Chinese virus" to describe the coronavirus pandemic last week raised eyebrows across the country, especially in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco which are home to large Chinese-American and Asian-American populations. 

The president has defended his use of the term, arguing his intent was to be accurate because the virus originated in China, despite guidance from the World Health Organization urging people not to use geographic locations when naming the virus. On Monday, he revisited the subject in a tweet and said that Asian-Americans aren't responsible for the diseases spread, and should be protected. He has since said he would stop using the term. But that hasn't persuaded many public officials, health experts and Chinese-American and Asian-Americans who have accused the president of racism and xenophobia, and say the adoption and proliferation of terms like this will only lead more people to inaccurately connect the spread of disease with Asian-Americans. Research from academics at San Francisco State University found a 50 percent increase over about a one month period in the amount of news stories related to coronavirus and discrimination towards Asian-Americans. And while hard data doesn't exist yet, Asian-American advocacy groups have reported an increase in tips about verbal and even physical assaults since the start of the outbreak in the U.S.?

Today we'd like to hear from members of our Chinese-American and Asian-American listening community -- what has your experience been with this? Are you concerned about being the target of bigoted, xenophobic or racist remarks and has this affected how you go about your daily life amid the outbreak? Join our live conversation by calling 866-893-5722.

From 211LA.org: 

If you have been the victim of or witness to an act of violence, bullying, harassment, threat, or other act motivated by hate, please fill out the Hate Incident Report Form or call 2-1-1 to file a report and be connected to support services.  

Guest:

Robin Toma, executive director of the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, which is part of the County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services