Covid-19, Racism, and Our Part in Creating a More Compassionate World

Updated: May 5, 2020

I want to start off by saying that I have been trying to bury my head in the sand when it comes to the topic of Covid-19 and the stigmatization of Asian Americans. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, there has been a lot of fear and panic leading to mistreatment and verbal and physical aggression against Asian Americans. Sadly, I believe Asian Americans will continue to be a target of misplaced anger and verbal harassment long after this pandemic is over. This hits very close to home for my family. I can't remain silent, hoping that with the restoration of “normal” activities and our normal lives, this stigmatization against Asian Americans will stop. My youngest daughter was born in China . We are very proud of where she came from and that part of her identity. In fact, if you personally know me, you know that I have traveled to China many times since we adopted her in 2012. I love China, I love its people, I love its culture,I love the country. I have engaged in providing trauma informed trainings at communities serving vulnerable children in my travels there. I have also visited and have engaged in supporting several non-profits serving and empowering women. I can share so many stories of redemption and many more stories of beautiful humans doing beautiful things for others--Those stories for another blog.

A few weeks ago, a friend and I were walking on a trail near our home as my 10 year old daughter was riding her bike ahead of us. A woman saw my daughter and after passing her, she began verbally assaulting my friend and I. I won’t go into the specifics of what she said, however it was based on the fact that my child is of Chinese descent. At first, we were confused at such behavior (she even threatened to call the police). We quickly realized, she had associated us with my daughter who was biking ahead of us and was angry and yelling racist remarks simply because of my child’s race. Thankfully, my daughter had gone ahead of us and didn’t hear the assault. It took me a while to process what had happened, but as the weeks have gone by I have noticed when we are in public, some people look at her with disgust, this is extremely hurtful and damaging to any adult, even more so a child. I wish I didn’t have to have the conversation of racism, xenophobia, and hatred with my daughter who is so young, but the alternative is not a choice.

These are our personal experiences which thankfully have not led to physical assaults. But this, and even worse, is happening all over our country. I can’t stop thinking about the Asian American family of three, including two young children, who recently were attacked and stabbed at a Sam’s Club. Every day, there are 150+ cases of physical and verbal assaults against Asian Americans being reported