Coronavirus Pandemic Exposes Racism, Bias, Conspiracy Theories, & Disproportionate Racial Impacts

Old biases resurface and new scapegoats are created during times of fear and anxiety-especially when governmental leadership feeds those biases. We encourage everyone to promote correct information about the coronavirus, its risk and transmission, and the importance of not stigmatizing any person or group based on background or country of origin. According to the ADL, "Contagious diseases often fuel scapegoating and xenophobia. As with any public health crisis, the fear of a pandemic leads to misinformation, conspiracy theories and scapegoating, especially on social media platforms and the internet." Many of us have seen the news regarding incidents of attacks against Asian and Asian Americans (reports incidents here). Moreover, there is an uptick in white supremacist groups using the virus to attack Jewish people, shifting responsibility for the spread of the virus to them as a plot against white European-descended Americans. And, according to a University of Southern California study, "a new form of discrimination and maltreatment resulting from fear of infection is rearing its ugly head and targeting both black Americans and Asian Americans at an alarming level." Plus, the pandemic has exacerbated systemic racial disparities, resulting in a disproportionate adverse impact on communities of color. Knowing that those who perpetuate racial myths are still hard at work and even taking full advantage of the pandemic, we must continue our community's pro-integrative work and our activism.

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