Asian Americans are using social media to organize and fight back against racially motivated attacks during the pandemic, which the FBI predicts will increase as infections grow. A string of racist run-ins in the last two weeks has given rise to hashtags — #WashTheHate, #RacismIsAVirus, #IAmNotCOVID19 — and online forums to report incidents. Critics say President Donald Trump made things worse by calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus.”
For a group with a history of being scapegoated — from Japanese Americans detained during World War II to a Chinese American man killed by autoworkers angry about Japanese competition in the ’80s — there’s urgency to drown out both bigotry and apathy.
To that end, the California-based groups Chinese for Affirmative Action and the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council set up a hate reporting center last month. New York’s attorney general also launched a hotline.