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The Novela Coronavirus: How COVID-19 exposed racial prejudice against Asian people

Ye Yellow Fever is coming from the East, rare.

***NOTE: This is meant as a humor piece with some facts, contains strong language.***

It’s only been a few months in the year 2020, but (!) there’s probably a strong argument that this year has sucked lots and lots of balls. So far, the world lost basketball legend Kobe Bryant, Brexit finally went down in January (after years of teasing to pull out like the British Lads they are), and, currently, America is running out of toilet paper. Coronavirus fever has finally hit the States, and it’s causing a flurry of commotion at grocery stores across the nation- resulting in robberies and physical clashing of every Chad and Karen known to man. Are these toilet paper hoarders crazy? Yeah, they probably are. But, who knows? These people might actually need the ultra-softness of Charmin’s mega roll after their assholes explode from eating a Costco worth of ramen noodles and canned beans.

So, why is this Coronavirus making people so crazy? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19, or its street name: Novel Coronavirus, is causing such a ruckus because there currently isn’t a cure, and it’s hard to contain. Seems more like a Novela Virus with all the drama it’s causing. Compared to its cousin Influenza, which only kills less than 1% of those infected, COVID-19 has already killed about 11%. This virus hops onto the next person faster than a contestant on The Bachelor

World leaders have taken drastic action by placing their citizens in a state of quarantine. The economy has also taken a nosedive, causing massive lay-offs. With major music festivals like Ultra and Coachella being canceled or postponed, even Instagram THOTs are feeling the burn of unemployment. And there ain’t no cream for that.

Yes, things are pretty fucking crazy right now. 

But, do you know what’s spreading faster than a Bachelorette’s legs on ABC? I mean, Coronavirus? Racism! Aside from having to worry about getting a virus that makes you cough blood and post memes all day because of having to “Shelter in Place,” people of Asian descent now have to, also, worry about xenophobia and discrimination from idiots who thinks that every John Chinaman is spewing out COVID-19 like NBA star Rudy Gobert at a press conference

Mmm, touch dem mics

Nothing says quarantine like a classic mic stroking, eh? 

France was perhaps the first country out of China to warn its citizens of COVID-19. But for one local newspaper, Le Courier Picard, the print decided to go full Fox News when they labeled the crisis “Alerte Jaune” or, in English, “Yellow Peril.” 

You might ask, “Why is this color-metaphor racist?” Well, my non-yellow friends, it’s because this phrase was used in the early 1900s as propaganda against people of the East. So, is it racist? Maybe we should ask the Chinese woman wearing a protective mask in the picture the print decided to use for their piece. She must be thrilled to be the face of French Coronavirus propaganda. Awkward.

Though the newspaper apologized for their mislabeling and bastardization of Chinese people, the damage was already done. On Twitter, the hashtag  #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus, which translates to “I’m not a virus,” started to flood social media as a means to raise awareness of the rising discrimination against French Asian citizens. I think this whole story is nuts; Asian people in France, actually existing, like in Rush Hour 3, nuts!

As Coronavirus fever made its way to Harry Potter world, stories of Asian students getting their asses beat like it’s the 1840’s were starting to make headlines. One of the first cases involved a Singapore man named Mok on the streets of Oxford. While being assaulted, Mok heard one of the four assailants say, “I don’t want your Coronavirus in my country”. A statement that probably doesn’t sound good in any context. And a month later, four Chinese students wearing medical face masks were harassed at Vincent’s Walk in Southampton. With immigration playing a key role for Brexit, Asian people getting their asses beat was inevitable. I guess having free education doesn’t stop assholes from being arsehole.

I think the sign and hat isn't bad. But that girl in the back, too far, bro.

I think the sign and hat aren’t bad. But that girl in the back, too far, bro.

Even in the land where weed and hookers are legal, the Netherlands, there are cases of racial discrimination. A Korean woman was almost assaulted by two men while riding her bike, Meghan Rajagopalan reports on BuzzFeed News. The victim, Jiye Seong-Yu, said she heard one of the men yell out “Chinese” as he swung. Rajagopalan’s piece also mentions a Korean American woman living in Amsterdam who was harassed online. The woman was called a “Chinese bitch” on Facebook and received other hateful comments. 

And the COVID-19 World Tour doesn’t stop there. America may be late to the party, but we are currently putting all the other country’s racist games to shame. 

Starting from the East Coast in NYC, a woman named Min, who goes by @princessmin_c on Twitter, said that a woman sitting across from her moved when she coughed. Min said the woman also covered her face before she decided to play a game of Runawayfromtheasian. 

In San Fernando Valley, a 16-year-old Asian kid was beaten and sent to the hospital because his schoolmates thought he had the Coronavirus. A couple of miles away, a man was yelling at an Asian woman about how all the “Chinese” are dirty on the Los Angeles Metro. The kicker is that the woman isn’t even Chinese. I don’t know what’s more ridiculous: a man of color assuming the woman is Chinese or that he believes this woman just flew in from Cronavirusville, China, only to ride in the elegant carriage of the LA Metro?

Mind you, these are just a few accounts from an overabundance of many. Every time I’m on NextShark, I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed with all the new stories flooding in, gangbanging my faith in humanity. 

Even esteemed news sources like CNN and NPR are chiming in, telling people to not do something that I didn’t think needed to be said. It’s gotten to the point where California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, had to address the recent rise in racial prejudice against Asian people in a press conference.

When talking about big media covering the Coronavirus, we, of course, have to talk about the elephant in the room: Fox News.

On an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the comedian jests about how one Fox News correspondent really felt about China. (It’s at the 16-minute mark of the episode/link). Spoiler Alert: Donald Luskin doesn’t think they are civilized people. Though, it’s not surprising with similar past segments on FOX taking the piss out of Asian people who (literally) can’t defend themselves. Just between you and me, everyone at Fox kinda looks like your average neighborhood racist that hates the “Chine-knees” but still jerks-off to oriental porn when the wife’s at spin class.

Haters gonna hate. During these trying times, people would usually look to their leaders for pluralism and guidance. But, this is “Trump’s America” we’re talking about. 

Between the tariffs and political ass-kissing, President Trump has a complicated relationship with China. Unlike with Russia, where the leader is literally Putin it in his mouth, Trump’s relationship with Jinping is more of a

Yeah, he said it.

will-they-or-won’t-they kind of situation.

However, the president of the United States made his feelings pretty clear when referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus” in a tweet. An unfortunate choice of words would probably be a gross understatement. Of course, Trump being Trump didn’t stop his White House staff from using the term “Kung-Flu” at a press dinner. CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang had the honor of being the “Asian person in the room” for the staff to throw down their new slang. The amount of professionalism here is equivalent to, “If I say it to my Asian friend, then it must be ok.” 

Just like the time your white friend asked your black friend if it’s ok to use the “N-word” if he uses a soft “a” and not the “er,” it’s a hard fuckin’ no! Especially at an official White House event filled with reporters, you fucking idiots.  

You might be thinking, “The president and these officials aren’t being PC, who cares?”

I guess it would be ok . . . if we were in our 20’s and at a fucking frathouse. But these are public officials who are held to a higher standard! 

Just because Trump can’t use big words, we can’t have the president of the US demonizing an entire race by personifying a virus as Chinese. There are already stupid people who can’t tell the difference between Chinese people from China and Asian people from other countries . . . in Asia . . . that isn’t China. I know this isn’t exactly rocket science, but sometimes I feel like it is. 

Honestly, I can keep going on about shit people doing shit things, but let’s start wrapping this up. I know I’ve given a lot of examples, but, like a child asking for a toy a hundred times, I feel like I have to annoy you till you feel pissed off to do something about it. 

I actually got a taste of this Coronaracism last month when I was called a DIRTY CHINESE, CORONAVIRUS, and a ZIPPERHEAD. This happened in the locker room at the 24 Hour Fitness in Koreatown by a Latino guy. In fucking Koreatown! Full of Asians, I know, the balls on this guy. 

Truth be told, I was taken by surprise. This was one of those “I hear about it online, but it never happens to me” kinda deal. So, I did what any millennial would do: write about it on Facebook. 

I was actually surprised by how many people responded to my post with support. I was even more surprised how some of my non-Asian friends were unaware of the current Yellow State of Affairs. Though I shouldn’t have been surprised since racism isn’t new. 

But why now? Why is it currently “ok” for stupid people to Trojan Horse their chauvinistic feelings against Asian people during Coronapocalypes? 

Anna Russell tries to answer this question in her piece for The New Yorker, “The Rise of Coronavirus Hate Crimes.” Her article points out that dumbasses feel it’s ok to attack Asian people because “lots of people agree” with the attacker’s emotions. In millennials words, because it’s fucking trending. I’m just paraphrasing here. 

A lot of people’s lives have been affected by this virus, and some of those people feel the need to blame someone. And it’s not gratifying blaming a virus because a clump of RNA can’t react to someone’s grievance (unless it’s the anime Cells at Work). 

So what’s the next best thing? It’s good ole fashion racism. The situation has gotten so bad in America that some Chinese Americans now fear for their lives. Just look at these testimonials in The New York Times from people who have been attacked

You’re probably wondering, how can we stop this intolerance against Asian people? Well, it’s easy, really. But the fact that I even have to say it is absurd; DON’T BE A FUCKING RACIST! 

What if you’re in a situation where an Asian person is being bullied, and you’re not the one being racist? Well, Josephine Harvey tells us precisely what to do in her piece for the HuffPost. If you see something, say something. 

It could be as simple as saying, “Hey! Not cool, bro.” If you’re more of an action person, then you can just stand next to the victim. Just a sense of solidarity goes a long way. If bystanders show support for the victim, then the perpetrator might realize it’s not normal to be a racist dick. Be like this guy standing up for his fellow American citizen on an NYC train. 

And now reporting Coronavirus-related attacks is even easier with this new website by Asian American and Pacific Islander groups. According to NBC News, the information collected will be used by nonprofit groups for education and media campaigns telling people to, you know, not be a racist.

For all you racist out there, all I’m asking for is just some basic things: read a map and figure out the difference between a Chinese person and another Asian person; stop assuming every Asian person has the Coronavirus because we probably all have it by now; maybe educate yourself about the virus and how it isn’t in every Asian-looking person’s DNA (you uneducated swine); and, most importantly, you should stop punching Asian people in angry mobs then running away (you fucking coward). If you think an Asian person has the Cough of Death and you run towards ‘em, then you definitely deserved to be coughed on. Unless you’re Stretch Armstrong, punching someone isn’t exactly social distancing.  

Right now, the Coronavirus isn’t just a Chinese problem; it’s a global epidemic. Even if you think this corona thing is a hoax, this problem will affect your life, whether you like it or not. The circumstances have changed, and we need to band together if we’re going to survive. I know being in quarantine is driving you mad, and you’re probably playing around with the idea of starting an Only Fans/Patreon, but we gotta stop stabbing Asian people at grocery stores. If we can’t do that, then at the very least, stop buying more than one mega roll of toilet paper. Because if people run out of to-go napkins to wipe their butts with, then we’re going to have a pinkeye epidemic next. 

I guess it’s time for those Micky Dz napkins.