Last year was one of the most difficult years of my nearly 40 years on this earth. There was an unthinkable pandemic spreading throughout the world. This pandemic would go on to change the way we went about our daily lives. Teleworking became the norm, while Zoom and Microsoft Teams calls took the place of face to face meetings. Thousands of businesses were shuttered, which pushed millions of people out of work. If these things were not stressful enough, the United States was turned on his head with the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.
These two incidents lead to continued calls for equality and police accountability. There were people throughout the country taking sides, which brought the United States to a tipping point. Protests, riots, destruction of property, and loss of life continued throughout the summer. While these issues were at the forefront, there were slights, jokes and racist rhetoric thrown about in casual conversation and the media about COVID-19.
The former President of the United States (POTUS) of America referred to the virus as “Kung Flu” and “China Virus” on numerous occasions. The continued references with racial overtones were used throughout the country. This led to many publications posting about the potential harm the terms Kung Flu and China Virus could have towards Asian Americans.
“Experts on Asian American culture and studies told Business Insider that while the disrespectful moniker could perpetuate dangerous microaggressions against Asian Americans, it also works as a diversion from the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus in the US.”
The article went on to say:
“…reports of verbal and physical abuse against Asian Americans have emerged over the duration of the pandemic as some people find misplaced blame on them for the coronavirus spread.”
As we flipped the calendar into a new year and presidential administration, the attacks on the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community is dominating the news. There have been unthinkable attacks on women and elderly people, which has led to a collective speaking out against the senseless violence.
UBER shared the following message about the ongoing hatred towards the AAPI community:
The hate and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is heartbreaking. We stand with our Asian-American friends, community, and team to strongly denounce these frightening and painful acts of hate.
Asian people have the right to move without fear. That’s why we’re reaffirming our stance as an anti-racist company with the following commitments:
Together with Stop AAPI Hate, we’re working to improve reporting and responding to anti-Asian hate and harassment. If you witness or experience an incident on or off our platform, go to http://www.StopAAPIHate.org, where you can also find valuable safety tips.
We’re also sharing resources from Hollaback to provide bystander intervention education to everyone who rides, eats, and works with Uber.
And, we’re partnering with local AAPI organizations throughout the country to help support their important work across the community.
This is just the beginning. We’ll continue to work locally with the AAPI community to help make our cities safer.
As a reminder, whether you drive, deliver, ride, or order, everyone who uses Uber must abide by our Community Guidelines.
Racism has no place on our platform. If you tolerate racism, delete Uber.
I can appreciate the efforts of UBER and others to denounce AAPI hate. There has to be a sustained effort to educate the masses, not only about the origins of COVID-19, but highlighting the fact that the melting pot of cultures in the United States is what makes the country appealing. It does not make sense to hate individuals for the color of their skin, but we continue to do it 250 years after this nation’s founding. If we continue on this path, the country will never reach its full potential.
This. Has. To. Stop.