How to #WashTheHate
2020 has already been a rollercoaster of emotions. Everyday, we wake up to a yet another article on COVID-19, a coronavirus which causes respiratory illness with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. Health Canada has instructed for everyone to maintain good hygiene – that means washing your hands, avoid touching your face, and to incorporate social distancing in your day to day life.
Whether the virus originated in China or not (a Chinese diplomat’s theory that the US Military brought the virus to Wuhan). President Donald Trump has renamed the virus from “Corona Virus” to “the Chinese Virus”.
By calling it the “Chinese Virus”, Trump instantly opens up the window to encourage racism against the Chinese community. “He is creating more xenophobia every single time he does that. And we can see the results in what’s happening to Asian Americans across this country, says Chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American caucus. Such incidents to the Asian American community include a masked woman assaulted at a New York subway station, a teenage boy beaten up by bullies accusing him of having coronavirus, and a family of four stabbed in Texas while buying groceries to escape the pandemic. Unfortunately it’s not a question whether or not Asian-Americans feel targeted with this new label.
On the flip side, people are speaking up and are more vocal than ever before to protect the Asian American community.
Daniel Dae Kim, an actor/voice actor/producer known for his roles in “Lost”, and “Hawaii Five-O”, publicly shares his coronavirus journey. “People have been asking me why I’ve been silent in the face of the blatant acts of racism against Asian people during this outbreak. The truth is there have been so many it’s been too heartbreaking to comment on all of them”, says Kim on Twitter. “Please, please stop the prejudice and senseless violence against Asian people. Randomly beating elderly — sometimes homeless — Asian Americans is cowardly, heartbreaking, and it’s inexcusable. Yes, I’m Asian, and yes, I have coronavirus, but I did not get it from China … I don’t consider the place where it’s from as important as the people who are sick and dying”.
Lana Candor, a rising Netflix star in “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” also speaks up against Trump via Twitter. “To wake up to your chaos is truly a nightmare… You have no idea the ramifications your racist words & actions have on the Asian American community. You simply cannoy even fathom the danger you are putting our community in… You call yourself a leader? They LEAD by setting good examples and ACTION. Something we’ve yet to see you do. You need to take notes.”
To combat the coronavirus-related discrimination and violence against individuals of Asian descent, a new campaign began called #WashTheHate. Wondering how to get involved? Record a 20-second video of yourself washing your hands and sharing a personal story about how the coronavirus has impacted you. Why 20 seconds? That’s the recommended time to thoroughly clean your hands. Celebrities who have joined the challenge include Actors Tzi Ma (Mulan, Rush Hour), Celia Au (Wu Assassins), Ludi Lin (Power Rangers, Aqua Man), Musician AJ Rafael, Influencers Chris Kerr, Sharla May, Camly Nguyen, and so many more.
“Stop it. Acts of violence against Asian Americans will not stop the spread of this virus. So the next time you wash your hands, wash out the hate that you may have for your fellow Americans. Hate will get you sick, even if the virus doesn’t.” – Tzi Ma.