Race in the time of Corona:

By Lea Murray, CoBiz Race & Equity Ambassador

COVID-19 dominates the news and our present consciousness. We shelter in place because of it. It’s a surreal feeling to isolate at home. This is the new normal and we are forced to adapt. I truly am a social being—despite being an introvert. My consolation has been connecting virtually with a small group of women in my Brown Sister Circle. In this space I am able to confide and receive support from women with wonderfully melanated skin like mine. Here, sharing the physical signifier of brown skin is a unifying attribute.

However, for some, the unique signifier of Asian heritage is detrimental. There is always a reason for hateful people to hate. Today they hate because of the so called “China Virus” referred to by President Trump. Since the start of the outbreak, people of Asian heritage have been the target of racist abuse in Europe and North America. In Asia, Chinese people have been targeted and discriminated against. They are called names, excluded from places, and blamed for the spread of the virus. Perpetrators of racism and xenophobia use the fact that the virus began in China as the basis for their discrimination.

We stand with our brothers and sisters of Asian descent to fight the virus and not each other. For more information on how COVID-19 intersects with racism toward Asians refer to the links below:

1. “I’m not a virus” https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51294305

2. Podcast: When Xenophobia Spreads Like a Virus (3/4/2020) https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510312/codeswitch

About the author : CoBiz

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