Coronavirus Racism Infected My High School

A Chinese-American teenager on what she and her friends are encountering during the outbreak.

Comments: 166

  1. This outburst of prejudice reflects both the susceptibility to racial bias that infects the American psyche and the bizarre survival of a Medieval tendency to attribute unexplained tragedies (in the popular mind) to some marginalized minority. Had this particular virus originated in Africa, then some Americans would hold our black population responsible, despite the fact that most African Americans have lived here for multiple generations. As late as the 17th century, Europeans (and Americans) blamed unexplained illnesses, crop failures or other natural disasters on the supernatural curses cast by witches, almost invariably identified as elderly women who had violated one of the community's social norms. This kind of targeting lacks the excuse of scientific ignorance that partially shields our ancestors, and this is especially the case in the current crisis. Scientists have traced this pandemic to unregulated open-air meat markets in Asia, a potential source of contagion in large parts of the world. Prejudice can prove resistant even to high-quality education, but it should concern us that at least some schools, themselves, appear to serve as incubators for a kind of bias which the institutions' science classes are designed to stamp out.

  2. Remember the example of yelling fire in a crowded theater not being protected as free speech? How is Fox News incessant and comprehensive lying throughout this entire crisis any different? Reagan, Hannity and Ingraham come on the air night after night and lie for 60 minutes. Same for Lou Dobbs on FBN. It should not be allowed in a national emergency where facts matter. What they're doing is dangerous and irresponsible.

  3. @Lou Good I didn't think I was living in a crowded theater. I thought I was living in a country that used to call itself free.

  4. @Lou Good It is not just the lying by Fox News and other right wing media that should be condemned. The NY Times has published countless articles that should be considered opinion pieces written by reporters in Beijing or other parts of China that are clearly anti-China. Blaming the virus on "cover up" and "censorship" of the CCP. The WHO and the world's scientists, including American scientists, have been clear that the initial weeks of the epidemic in China were difficult times for Chinese scientists in attempting to determine what the virus was. And that as soon as it was determined to be a new coronavirus, China shared the genome sequence, test protocols and test kits with the world. Scientists have called for the media to stop trashing China. Despite Fox News and the like, even Trump himself and Fauci have stated that China has shared all the data it had. These reporters have even suggested that President Xi avoided the spotlight in order to avoid any responsibility for the viral epidemic. It is patently obvious that Xi was unwilling to turn this epidemic into a political moment and instead, allowed China's scientists to speak to world scientists. If only Trump had kept his mouth shut and stayed out of the picture as Xi did. America would have been far better off and perhaps even contained the coronavirus.

  5. @Paul Easton Ideology will not protect you from infection.

  6. I'm sure, in some cases, there is some element of genuine ignorance combined with panic reaction and the unconscious desire to seek scapegoats in a crisis. However, it has been my experience that there are sadly still a lot of outright racists in this country. The coronavirus outbreak is really just their latest excuse to come out in the open and flaunt it. The age of internet, sadly, provides those sorts of people with plenty of opportunities and outlets for that sort of thing.

  7. @citybumpkin There is outright racism throughout the world, in every country. How do you think Americans would fare in China if a deadly virus that originated in America caused sickness and death throughout the world?

  8. Thanks for your courage in making this public.

  9. Thanks for giving this prejudice attention and giving these young people a voice.

  10. Ms. Oung reports another manifestation of the divisive presidency of Mr. Trump rooted in, but not solely, the Republican party. The most difficult of changes in any institution or in any society is cultural. It doesn't happen without driven risk-taking leadership. Leadership for all the people. But who, for example, is Mitch McConnell for? He made the great sacrifice, during a national emergency, of shortening his ten day break to three days to consider life-saving legislation. He led a tax cut that excluded a vast majority represented by Ms. Oung; why expect real concern from him now? Maybe Speaker Pelosi will get a crack at fixing the sick pay provisions. Hundreds of years of racism is proving a lot more difficult to fix. Progress will not occur under continuation of Republican type leadership.

  11. Public officials that use the name Wuhan virus and claim that it has no political or social repercussions. I recall the titles in the media, asking whether or not it is appropriate to use such xenophobic names. Not reacting strongly and clearly - as has been the pattern up to now - will have tragic consequences. The most painful aspect and the greatest irony of the US failure to deal with this is that China did miracles to contain the virus and bought the time for the West - which it squandered. The emerging display of racism would be comic were it not tragic.

  12. @GoranLR The chinese government suppressed the outbreak for months. They are responsible in part for the extent of the problem. We cannot let their government off the hook.

  13. @AK China doesn't appear to have "suppressed the outbreak for months". I know that's what everybody thinks though. Dr. Li Wenliang sent out his whistleblower post on December 30th. He wasn't exposing a cover up at the time, just explaining to colleagues that there were patients that looked like they had some sort of corona virus infection which needed to be sub-typed. On January 3rd Dr. Li was admonished for rumor-mongering by the Wuhan Public Security Bureau. On February 4th China admitted that the admonishment was a mistake. Prior to that admission though, China was taking measures to fight the the virus. On January 1st they shut down the "wet market" in Wuhan that everybody is referencing (probably incorrectly) as the source of the virus. On January 7th China determined that they had a new virus and they informed the WHO. On January 23rd Wuhan was completely quarantined and air and rail traffic was shut down. With the exception of criticizing Dr. Li and his colleagues which doesn't appear to have affected the actual ground game, I don't see any evidence of irresponsible behavior on the part of China's government. Certainly I don't see the Chinese reaction as more irresponsible than that of other world governments, including the U.S. government. They've certainly moved hell and high water to control the virus since then. My sources are Al Jazeera and Wikipedia.

  14. So what do you want from Chinese government? To pay the world?

  15. Thank you Katherine for sharing your perspective and experience. For all those who are being mean to Asian Americans during these times, I wonder if they've been to a hospital recently. Asian Americans are vastly over-represented in the health care profession nationally, and especially so in New York City. When you are in the most vulnerable moment in your life, you'll most likely need the kindness, the skills, and the compassion of an Asian person. You know what they say about karma.

  16. Thanks Miss Oung for sharing your experience. Even here in the Bay Areas, where people take pride of racial and cultural diversity, many Asian American kids have experienced insults and discriminations at school recently. My heart is broken for you and your friends. Racism comments from classmates and “friends” hurt a lot more than from strangers. I applaud for your bravery and please remember you are not alone.

  17. The 1918 influenza is believed to have originated in the United States Midwest but I do not think anyone ever blamed mid-westerners for it. AIDS originated in Africa. Every pandemic originated somewhere. People have to be taught that it doesn't matter where a pandemic originated. It or something similar was bound to originate somewhere and there will be more pandemics in the future that will probably originate somewhere else. All that matters is doing everything possible to mitigate its further spread.

  18. @David Friedlander This virus started in China in an unregulated market. These type of unregulated markets are common in Asia. They do not exist in America or Europe because Europe and America have strict regulations. No one is blaming Chinese Americans but many are blaming China. Get ready for the blame game because it's coming and it will be squarely aimed at China and any country that allows this type of activity. This could have and should have been prevented.

  19. @William did you even bother to watch the video or read some of the comments here? It's not true that "nobody is blaming Chinese Americans." Your denial does not speak very well of your intentions. Also, re "this could have and should have been prevented"--there is no proof yet about a market being the source--it's speculation. And viruses can arise in other circumstances--like big poultry or other animal holding places anywhere. No one can predict when and how this arises. These "unregulated" marketplaces that you speak of are marketplaces that have been in existence forever. I have seen some and they are sad to watch as far as the animals, but I get the same feeling driving down I-5 in CA going by industrial, super crowded cattle farms. Where do you think McDonald's or KFC get their meat? The flu pandemic of 1918 may have arisen in Kansas. We don't even know how or how to prevent it after all these years.

  20. @Kaveh - There is so proof that this virus originated in China. Please watch a recent Joe Rogan interview with Michael Osterholm online, he's an expert in epidemiology as follows. Michael Osterholm is an internationally recognized expert in infectious disease epidemiology. He is Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, a professor in the Technological Leadership Institute, College of Science and Engineering, and an adjunct professor in the Medical School, all at the University of Minnesota.

  21. Before I moved to Amsterdam, I was a professor at UC Berkeley, where ~70% of the students in the College of Engineering (where I taught) are Asian-Americans (or from Asia). I was surprised when students told me of the prejudice they faced simply because they were Asian. Racism and the willingness to marginalize entire groups seem to be a deeply rooted part of American society. This is true elsewhere, obviously, but in most developed nations, the leaders work hard to foster a commitment to the greater social good, to bring people together -- all the people. When the leadership is willing to fan the flames of racism and division, they persist and grow.

  22. @Kimmen Racism in Netherlands? A Radio made a racist music blaming Chinese people for the coronavirus, then a woman got stabbed by a bunch of dutch men on the elevator while playing that music to her. Then again, you remember Europe's impressive race erasing resume and it's not so surprising.

  23. @Kimmen Wow. I do appreciate the comments about bad and racist leadership, which we hope will go away very very soon...but "racism and the willingness to marginalize entire groups seems to be a deeply rooted part of American Society" is interesting. You live in Europe...the overt racism toward Africans in Europe is stunning to see--and I have seen it with my own eyes and been treated angrily by hoteliers for the rest of my stay in Barcelona when an African friend showed up to pick me up to go somewhere. Also Europeans toward to Jewish people. And Middle Easterners. Truly stunning. My African friend visiting the U.S. for the first time from Europe was really surprised to see African Americans of all socioeconomic statuses walking down the street with no reactions toward them walking down the street. It seemed normal. No one thought anything of it. This is NOT SO in Europe. Racism and reverse racism is rampant everywhere at the moment, but present everywhere in the world. America has been willing to accommodate people from everywhere until 9-11, when that attitude began to change markedly. Our history of willingness is not replicated elsewhere. So please, take the log out of your own eye before you try to get the splinter out of someone else's. It is terrible what Asian kids are facing in school; it is terrible when any person is treated badly because of racism or sexism or elitism.

  24. @Kimmen Kimmen ... do look around and go out more. I went to school in Belgium and London ... have lived in HK/ Japan/ Germany/ Switzerland/ SA ... spent much time in Amsterdam. People can attack the USA all they want ... and do. But no country does immigration better ... it takes about 14 percent to cause issues in the USA. 14 people sets off Japan and many of the others are not far behind .... The Netherlands is not doing all that well with the recent groups. Amsterdam -- a well to do liberal American in academia. Do I need to say more?

  25. Stress brings out the worst in all of us. When people feel threatened they will retreat into their virtual or actual redoubts and pull up the drawbridges and drop the portcullis. Wealth, station and especially race and gender become shorthand expressions used to identify the "good people". As the size of groups increase arithmetically, the risks of contagious diseases increase geometrically. In just such a way, fear increases alongside actual risks. And this is the saddest part of this whole business. The first casualty of this pandemic are the submergence of the first three words of our Constitution, "We the People..."

  26. Katherine, thank you for your courage. By saying something, you stand up for yourself, your family and friends, and for all of us Asian Americans. I am so proud of you.

  27. As a Chinese-American, this piece breaks my heart. I'm a second-generation immigrant from mainland China - my parents emigrated for PhD's in the 1980's and have worked in medical research for 35 years. Their labs are in a research hospital with confirmed coronavirus cases. I bought them overpriced masks from Amazon, but they are afraid to wear them even to their workplaces, much less local stores, because they would be too stigmatizing for an Asian with accented English to wear one in public. If two medical researchers are refusing to wear masks simply due to widespread anti-Asian sentiment and disease stigmatization, I can't imagine what it it is like for younger Asian-Americans in high schools today. By the way, this type of perpetual outsider stereotyping and the "bamboo ceiling" for Asians in corporate America is part of why I moved to Shanghai 5 years ago, after attending an Ivy League college and believing in the best of America. I still believe in America and stifle under the autocracy here, but my day-to-day life (including the reactions I get when someone asks "where you're from" and I say "America") is honestly, and sadly, better.

  28. @Xenophon You've got a good point. Anyway, your career growth will be much faster in Asia (this is coming from someone who spent 10 years working in Asia as a Asian-American).

  29. @Xenophon id you love something you dont give up on it. This is true of a pet and true of a nation. I find is strange you'd move to a place that basically murdered a man for trying to warn the world about COVID-19 over one that at least has knock down dragged out fights about how to be better. I too attended an Ivy and the conformity factory nature of it frightened me; perhaps it prepared you better than you think?

  30. @Nathan It’s not strange that Xenophon moved to Shanghai for better opportunities and for not to deal with racism daily. My friend moved to Singapore after finished her PhD. My brother moved to Hong Kong last year. I like China; however, I condemn the Chinese communist regime. I love freedom of speech. America is not perfect, but it allows us to talk about issues. I hope that will make a better world for my nieces and nephews and for future generations.

  31. Thank you for your courage in sharing this. Xenophobia and racism against Asians and Asian-Americans is sadly very real. I've found myself preparing/steeling myself against such assaults and ignorance whenever I venture outside now. I worry for my children as well. Prime example: I'd prefer to wear a mask, but have consciously decided against doing so out of caution that donning such a mask would actually make me a target for unwanted attention and attacks. It's so sad that this pandemic is yet another reminder of the failure of so many to envision America as country as anything but a country of black and white, when in fact, it is fast becoming a brown country with Latinos, Middle Easterners, and various Asians. Let's hope that when we eventually reach the other side of this pandemic, we'll all come out better human beings , become just a bit more enlightened about our own prejudices and realize that Asian doesn't mean eternally foreign or alien.

  32. @Yongsoo Infectious racism against Asians, like the infectious racism against the brown people you mention, is as American as apple pie. Think the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 or the Internment of Japanese-Americans in 1942 for starters. All of us who are attacked, especially from the embolden of this current president, must stand together, call out it for what it is. Similarly, just as we are attempting to eradicate this current virus, we must too, eradicate the highest office of its lowest president (another virus), with the vote we Americans all have. Only then, will we have relief from infection.

  33. Sorry that you've had this experience. One of my earliest childhood memories was a similar one, where I was suddenly made to realize that my friends viewed me as not fully one of them. There have been many more moments like that since, and I imagine moments like this for every other Asian-American. I do think it's more shocking for those born here because being an American is often the primary way that we identify ourselves. It doesn't take much to strip the illusion away - a little economic stress or societal turbulence is all. I hope this doesn't change your ideals, your relationships, or your desire to move all of us forward. And I deeply hope it won't sting so badly the next time.

  34. @Eric Thank you so much for this comment. At times, it can feel like we’re genuinely accepted as Americans until we aren’t... To some, we are irreconcilably foreign. Moving in educational institutions mostly populated by white people, I had this exact experience of prejudice many more times than I care to recount.

  35. What must all the Asian-American employees at FOX think of the race baiting coming out of their network? What must anyone working there think?

  36. US media coverage of the coronavirus crisis further demonstrates Chinese Americans and Chinese in general are disposable collateral damage in America's ongoing propaganda war with geopolitical rival China. As declared in these pages endlessly by NYT opinion writers and in its news articles America is in an "existential systems competition" with China and America's media has abundantly displayed itself to be in this conflict up to their necks and supporting the home team. If this means "othering" and demonizing Chinese so be it. Look no further than today's NYT front page story on China "hoarding" masks when in fact it is making emergency shipments to Iran, Italy and other affected areas of masks, and medical equipment like respirators and ventilators was the real story. Oh well. Carry on.

  37. I was going to write about a close encounter my Chinese-American daughter, a New Jersey middle school teacher, had at Rockaway Mall last week with a white male. She was scared and ran! She does not know what she would have done if her 8 year old daughter had been with her. More importantly, however, are the false, anti-Chinese reports on TV. Tonight MSNBC, not FOX, reported on "Richard Engle On Assignment" that Corvid-19 originated at a Wuhan, China live market. The picture showed a woman hacking away at something on the butcher block with the commentary that bat urine and virus was transferred to the worker, thus starting the pandemic. I have never eaten bat meat. Or for that matter rattle snake, squirrel, wild boar or pangolin.

  38. The racism isn’t new, it was dormant and was triggered by the endless barrage of news articles demonizing all things China related.

  39. Fear begets hatred and xenophobia. Just ask Muslims what they have endured around the world since one man in a cave and his 19 hijackers did in 2001. Humanity is hopeless.

  40. This is despicable conduct to our Chinese-Americans and to the Chinese people. I feel so sorry for this young girl! Racism at it's very worst is reprehensible. Please, America, find some empathy within yourselves!

  41. sound similar how many African refugees and immigrants were treated during the 2014 Ebola crisis, the current one in the DRC is ignored by the media (and this was already the case before the global pandemic of the corona virus)

  42. People are tribal in nature, no getting around it and they become more tribal and ignorant in times of stress. This country could be 100% white and it will still exhibit bigotry, as evidenced throughout its history starting from the 1700's.

  43. well if we saw Voyager 1's pale blue dot pic and toke it in our hearts, we'll understand how petty these arguments are...

  44. A lot of second hand and/or weak anecdotal statements of racism. I am sure some does occur. But in the big picture, come on, this isn't the killing of Chinese railway workers in the 1880's folks. Get on to something more significant in your reporting.

  45. Americans are racists. And so are their children. Trump must be peeved that the country of origin for coronavirus is China. Our top trading partner. Imagine, if the virus started below the border. The wall would be finished and the it would be twice as tall, three times as thick, and the hundreds of billions of dollars in cost would have passed congress in a minute.

  46. Dear friends! It is certainly not the fault of the many Asians living abroad, be it in America, Canada, western Europe and Australia. You cannot not simply blame them. If you people have guts, criticize the culprit in China. The CCP of China under Xi Jing Pings and his thugs has the responsibility and they should be blamed for hiding this virus outbreak in Wuhan in December 2019. Now the funny thing is that China‘s CCP is blaming the USA and its military for bringing the Corona virus to China in Wuhan. Who do we believe now? I know for sure that it all Started in Wuhan from China. So my point is that racism has no place in any country and most important don‘t be a Panda Hugger, criticize China for their wrong doings and common Chinese people also has the right to know what is right and what is wrong and free speech.

  47. A researcher with ties to China was recently escorted out of the National Microbiology Lab (NML) in Winnipeg amid an RCMP investigation into what's being described as a possible "policy breach." Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, her husband Keding Cheng and an unknown number of her students from China were removed from Canada's only level-4 lab on July 5, CBC News has learned. China’s only Level 4 microbiology lab that is equipped to handle deadly coronaviruses, called the National Biosafety Laboratory, is part of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Instead of properly disposing of infected animals by cremation, as the law requires, they sell them on the side to make a little extra cash. Or, in some cases, a lot of extra cash. One Beijing researcher, now in jail, made a million dollars selling his monkeys and rats on the live animal market, where they eventually wound up in someone’s stomach.

  48. This is sad beyond all recognition. As a 67 year old African-America male, I have seen racism and prejudice up-close, even while wearing the uniform of the United States Air Force. That said, it seems that we still have this bigoted approach to things that are not in one's control. The time for sticking together; as opposed to the ideology and manner of the current occupant of the White and his his loyal minions. God help us... TSgt Ronald Barnett, USAF Retired

  49. Continue to speak out. Don’t let ignorance rule the day!

  50. Obviously, no US citizen should be discriminated against because of his or her race. That said, the CCP is amplifying these concerns in order to save face. Do you think it’s a coincidence that the virus occurred shortly after Xi tried to bring back folk remedies for the sake of some idiotic nationalism?

  51. I'm so sorry this is happening. I've been thinking a lot about the worst years of the AIDS epidemic. Being gay wasn't accepted back then. Gay sex was illegal in most of the county. So instead of sympathy, it was considered shameful, for those infected, to walk down the street, with awful facial lesions, in the immediate process of dying. I remember, very early in the epidemic, how, when the charge d'affaires at the UN died, (the #2 man there), it was nearly unreported, and his illness was unspoken even among colleagues, because to have connected him to homosexuality, would have been to malign a dead man. It was openly debated in Congress, if we should be put in camps. For me, it still feels like yesterday. Prejudice is very hard to process and cannot be trivialized. But when you and your family are hurting, you should know that by a margin of enormous magnitude, most of us support you, stand with you, and would bring you comfort.

  52. Well, that's too bad... Never got the Asian hate thing. Just never crossed my mind. Strange that, since my father saw and lived some horrible things in dealing with the Japanese in WW2. What he said of them was, "They fought and died for their country, good as anybody." He was madder at the US politicians and US generals and how they ran the war than the guys on the other side. Hateful people hate. Go around them.

  53. Sad to say, that racism she is experiencing was probably already present in the persons involved. The virus (and Trump) just emboldens them and gives them an excuse to bully.

  54. Prejudice is borne out of ignorance, insecurity and hatred towards others regardless of facts or fiction.

  55. This is somewhat naive. How do you think Non-Chinese will be treated in China now that the epicenter has spread to Europe? It is interesting how it is only racism when it happens to you.

  56. The New Zealand Human Rights Commission has issued simple advice for the coronavirus epidemic: Wash your hands, and don't be racist. I couldn’t agree more but it’s a shame people have to be reminded. Hugs to all Asian people getting a hard time for simply being Asian.

  57. I don't blame Chinese-Americans and I feel sorry for those who are being attacked for their ethnicity but the president of China allowed or looked the other way with these "wet-markets" with all kinds of exotic animals from all over the world where viruses can easily jump from one species to another and then into humans. These "wet markets" are all over Asia. That is the cause of this virus and it was also the cause of the SARS virus and many many people are dying or are going to die and many are going to lose their livelihoods because of it. Of course people are scared and angry. They act irrationally when they are scared and under extreme stress. Asian countries need to ban all of these wet markets with exotic animals sold for consumption.

  58. Exactly right.

  59. @Sam C. It certainly is heartbreaking to think of all of those innocent animals being killed in those barbaric live markets. So many pandemics have started in China and there will be more to come if the government doesn't close down those markets.

  60. I am so, so sorry to hear your experience. Such racist tropes and morbid generalizations are disgusting. Lately I have read multiple reports elsewhere on anti-Asian especially anti-Chinese incidents, such as the BBC's report on a Singaporean man being beaten in London and an Asian man stabbed in Brooklyn for wearing a mask. Also read about business in Chinatown going down despite the fact that no community spread case has happened there. The Times has published an article on why bats carry so many viruses, but I haven't been to any Chinese restaurant that serves bat. Covid-19 did not originate from people "eating bats" either. However, rumors such as "THE Chinese eat bats" prevail online. The Times should do more reporting on this issue!

  61. This is an excellent story that demonstrates how mindless racism hurts the innocent.

  62. Unfortunately people need someone to blame when they are either traumatized or inconvenienced. Our President got himself elected by blaming Hispanic Immigrants for all of Our Country's problems. This pandemic initially became visible in Wuhan, China so non-thinking people blame ANY Chinese person that they see. It's not right but unfortunately it is America today.

  63. Hmm, Trump gets to be blamed for everything, should he claim racism too? I am very sorry to hear this, but my very woke friends make fun of my foreign accent all the time without any consideration. I guess it is OK since I look like white male.

  64. It’s terrible I do blame the Chinese obsession with cruel and horrible wildlife trafficking which is what caused this. Nature fought back with a vengeance and let that be a lesson to is for everyone rationalizing the cruel treatment of animals and the horrific illegal wildlife trafficking. And, of course, constant destruction of the earth’s balance. But to attack and blame all Asians is ridiculous and terrible. We have to stop this stereotyping and mean treatment- we can attack the actions that cause these pandemics.

  65. There is a Chinese saying that "when the top likes certain things those below will go to extremes". Did any one catch what Putin's Donny said on his Oval Office speech on Wednesday when he pretended to appeal for unity? This is a "foreign virus" not his doing. Perhaps he is not a racist, as he claims, and he is just doing his handler's, Putin's, bidding to divide the country.

  66. from: "Early 14th century central Europe was seized by a series of rumor-panics. Some malign conspiracy (Jews and lepers, Moslems, or Jews and witches) was attempting to destroy the Christian kingdoms through magick and poison. After the terrible devastation caused by the Black Death [bubonic plague] (1347-1349), these rumors increased in intensity and focused primarily on witches and "plague-spreaders." Witchcraft cases increased slowly but steadily from the 14th-15th century. The first mass trials appeared in the 15th century. Then, around 1550, the persecution skyrocketed. What we think of as "the Burning Times" -- the crazes, panics, and mass hysteria -- largely occurred in one century, from 1550-1650. (Gibbons, "Recent Developments in the Study of the Great European Witch Hunt".)" and: "Jenny Gibbons...points out that estimates made prior to the mid-1970s, when detailed research into trial records began, "were almost 100% pure speculation." (Gibbons, Recent Developments.)...for the most reasonable modern estimates suggest perhaps 100,000 trials between 1450 and 1750, with something between 40,000 and 50,000 executions, of which 20 to 25 per cent were men." (Briggs, Witches & Neighbours, p. 8.)" The most "witches" were burned in Germany, including 12 year old girls. The fewest in Ireland.

  67. I know this kind of racism very well. Receiving misplaced blame for what pains this country, is an easy relief for those who should know better. When you look different from ideals that flash bright smiles in commercials and in magazines, you also make it easy for these attacks to fester. We still have families with young children, and even babies, held in unsanitary conditions at the border because according to the president who spreads lies like the evil serpent in the garden of Eden, they belong to a group of, "rapists, murderers and drug dealers" who happen look different too. Ms. Oung calls it out for what it is. Racism rears its ugly head once again, and speaks through the mouth of the same orange-faced, yellow-haired serpent who calls it, "a foreign virus."

  68. Why is it not hard to believe that under the administration of trump’s presidency racism is rearing its ugly head? It’s disgraceful and disgusting. I’m so sorry this is happening to people of Asian descent and you won’t see either me or my family behaving like this. As for the spread of the virus, what is happening in some of the 13 designated airports in this country as returning citizens are forced to wait 8 hours or more in packed arrival halls to retrieve their luggage and clear customs and medical screening is beyond disgraceful, it’s criminal. Talk about enabling community spread.

  69. Welcome to Trumpistan, sister, and I do really mean the sister part. Most of us are decent human beings who would see you as, well, another human being. We can fight this though, we really can. Vote them out! And we all know who I am talking about, right? ;-)

  70. Well, to state the obvious: thanks Republicans; thanks "Mister President"; thanks conservative "patriots". Great job, mission accomplished, I hope you're proud of yourselves. "Best" part: take away the quotes, and the lines above would rack up likes in conservative social media, with no trace of irony. Let us please show up in November, in droves. The idea of Kamala as president of the Senate, taking names and throwing elbows at those racist old degenerates, is almost too perfect. And her CA seat will be safe besides, when she gives it up to take the vice job.

  71. @dan The thought of Kamala Harris holding national office is frightening for black people. The viral video of her gleefully saying she wasn’t going to do anything that benefited black people is evidence that she is a threat to us. If she is the VP nominee or it appears that the presidential nominee will make her AG, I will take my chances with Trump. He is horrible to everyone.

  72. This outrageous prejudice is more remarkable since a disproportionate percentage of American doctors are of Chinese ancestry......they are contributing far more than their numbers would suggest to the medical welfare of Americans generally.

  73. So sad to read this. As an Italian American growing up in NYC in the 1950’s, I couldn’t walk home from school without the Irish students calling me a wapo, greaser, and of course worse. I promised myself then that if I ever I had children I would teach them about racism and stereotypes. I did and I’m proud of it. This piece make me sad that others in this country didn’t follow suit. My father who was born in Italy would often tell me that America was the most racist country on earth and I would argue constantly about it. He grew up in fascist Italy and reiterated that what he saw here was worse. Twenty years after his death, I am left to wonder.

  74. @Unbelievable Interesting that you should write that. I am from a town in PA that had a large Italian population which was discriminated against until after WWII. However, I have been observing that, now, Italians and other groups in our area are discriminating against Hispanics and others. Now that it is safe to be one of those groups no longer at risk.

  75. @Unbelievable Of course your father wouldn't experience racism in Italy - he was Italian. But are Italians more accepting of African or Syrian refugees than other countries?

  76. I grew up with a great deal of anti-Asian racist bullying in the 70s. I have always worried that my two daughters would face the same situation. They have been in public school on Long Island for the past eight years without a single incident. I had been feeling very grateful that they were growing up in better times, where Asians are more accepted. Then during the 2016 election some local teens (strangers to me) in a car, cursed at me as I was walking down the sidewalk, yelling “Make America Great!” and I got worried again. But nothing these past three years, just normal middle school girl drama. Now I feel that I am holding my breath again, waiting for something to happen. I know that most of my neighbors are good people, but fear and ignorance are spreading faster than the virus..

  77. @Kno Yeh wrote "...Then during the 2016 election some local teens (strangers to me) in a car, cursed at me as I was walking down the sidewalk, yelling “Make America Great!” It happened to my friend. The stranger even yelled at her: Go back to your country. I'm worried for myself, my family, my friends and neighbors. We're home. America is our country.

  78. I was at whole foods two days ago. I asked the cashier how her day had gone, and she said it was interesting. Interesting how? She said that a well dressed Chinese man was checking out, and behind him, some Caucasian woman began berating him about covid-19. Expect more interesting events like this in the days ahead.

  79. @qisl A sad sign. . .We all need to bolster each other’s spirits and practice the best kindness we can.

  80. Be strong young lady, as your mom will tell you most high school kids do not have a fully developed brain and talk to much.

  81. Tell them that the so-called “Spanish Flu” of 1918-19, that killed tens of millions and set the standard for modern pandemics, started right here in the good ole USA and should be called the “Kansas Flu.” It first broke out at an army base and they tried to cover it up at first. The only country that reporting on it at first was Spain so it got to be called the “Spanish Flu”. Even though IT CAME OUT OF KANSAS.

  82. Clearly blaming Chinese Americans is racist and wrong. But that also does not mean that we shouldn’t discuss the issue of how these viruses start. There is evidence that HIV was a disease of chimpanzees and that it may have jumped to humans from the « bush trade » (consuming monkeys). This disease (Covid 19) may well have originated in a « wet market ». A place where wildlife are confined in horribly close quarters in cages so humans can consume them. Nor is this the first time this has happened. I would hope we can question the morality and wisdom of these practices without making it an issue of race.

  83. As someone who is not Chinese, please except my apology for the ignorance and racism of those among us. It sickens me to think that we can be so inhumane. I am sorry!

  84. No apology needed. They should apologize instead for engaging in horrendous behavior towards animals such as eating them while alive.

  85. Congratulations for making the front page of the NY Times. We should never allow a pandemic or any other disaster to distract us from the fact that America is indeed the Land of the Deplorables! This is a much needed cathartic release for many fellow readers.

  86. We have not heard any Corona virus report from Moscow.

  87. @Zabala Zoron I doubt if the Russians have any live wildlife/meat markets and certainly don't eat dogs and cats. They are too intelligent. I think that they closed off the borders to China. Good for them. But racism toward Chinese-Americans because of coronavirus or any other pandemic is not right. They have nothing to do with it. The Chinese government needs to close those markets and educate the people.

  88. A lot of older Chinese people voted for Trump. I wonder if they thought Chinese people would be spared if racism was allowed and encouraged to flourish in the U.S. That said, there's a special descriptor for people like the Fox News anchors who knowingly encourage racism and xenophobia for the sake of drawing attention away from the failures of our president. Subhuman isn't quite enough.

  89. Sad but a timely awakening to all Chinese Americans ... you will never be one of them. Study very hard, get scholarships, take up scarce University places, work in prestigious companies, gain experience and then go back to China to help the motherland. It's better to see China great than ...

  90. Have you lived in America?

  91. It's unfortunate, but the disease originated in Asia and took flight in areas with high populations of Asian tourists and residents. Racist comments and attacks are completely uncalled for. However, the origin of people's unease is understandable.

  92. It would be helpful if we all corrected our understanding of the word ‘racism’. Ignorant generalizations are not automatically racist. Calling every incidence of misguided opinion ‘racism ‘ stokes fires which could be extinguished easily by reason.

  93. Racism/ prejudice will exist till we change the very name "America/ American", which is a toxic, European name. It will probably happen in another couple of hundred years.

  94. @Trevor Diaz How absurd! What do you propose to change the name to?

  95. I'm happy to see this perspective represented in the New York Times, because it says something true. The observation in this video is about Chinese, not Asian in general. Chinese people face aggressive social distancing, behind-the-back poisoning, and simply hating multiple times on a daily basis. Very often, people who perpetuate the xenophobia do not realize how wrong and hurtful it is. Frankly, Chinese people must learn to survive the hatred.

  96. Given the historical weaponization of smallpox by people of European background in North America, and the widespread deaths caused deliberately by that version of biological warfare, this kind of nonsensical racism is as ironic as it is obnoxious. What's more, this ignorant divisiveness is highly counterproductive to the necessary shared effort of protecting EVERYONE'S health. This kind of destructive (including self-destructive) behavior is a great way to fail the "Darwin Test." Stay strong, Ms. Oung, people of any background with a functional intelligence know very well that we all need solidarity to get past this global challenge.

  97. Katherine, this virus didn't make people racist, it just revealed the racism that they've always felt. That is who they are and what they believe, and no matter how much you try, you're not going to change them. Some advice to you that I wish I could give to the younger me. Don't try to change them by showing them how American you are, don't try to make them like you by being like them. Be yourself. Embrace who you are. Life in America isn't going to be easy for people like us, but keep working hard for yourself to achieve your own success. Don't do it for anyone but you. Also don't forget that even though it's harder for us, the world isn't against us. Think the best of people unless they show you otherwise. And even then, realize that we're all just flawed human beings all of us, and keep love in your heart.

  98. @Leo "Don't try to change them by showing them how American you are, don't try to make them like you by being like them. " Yet, it's that kind of will to blend in that has successfully assimilated generations of Americans before us. And it's the insistence that Diversity and otherness must be celebrated that perpetuates the alienation some recent immigrants feel today. Proceed with Identity Politics at your own risk, and don't blame the locals if they treat you differently if you insist on being seen as different. It's just common sense.

  99. This is how untouchability started in India. Professions that discarded dead animals and humans , killed rats in the fields, cleaned outhouses were confined to a different part of the city, with their own drinking wells. It was a survival decision, not an economic one.

  100. It was 1958 when Oscar Hammerstein wrote these lyrics. They always bring a lump to my throat. You've got to be taught to hate and fear You've got to be taught from year to year It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear You've got to be carefully taught You've got to be taught to be afraid Of people whose eyes are oddly made And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade You've got to be carefully taught You've got to be taught before it's too late Before you are six or seven or eight To hate all the people your relatives hate You've got to be carefully taught Some things are slow to change.

  101. @Jack Off by a decade. The show opened on B'way with those words in 1949 after R&H refused to take them out to appease some investors.

  102. Horrifying, but completley predictable in the Age of Trump. Trump's unleasing of racism is a direct contributor to this outrage. To be sure, there are other contributors, such as the latent racism that underlies too much of American culture and history. Before Trump, decent people were pushing these behaviors beyond the standards of acceptability. With Trump, these behaviors are beikng re-normalized. One question is "How bad can it get?" Another is "Will we see open racial violence?" If so, "Are there any Republicans who will stand up for civil rights?" At some point, ignoring evil becomes evil. We passed that point when Trump was elected. Will we reach a point where we turn this around?

  103. @Thomas Briggs Don't forget that the "Age of Trump" was brought on by years of Leftist/Feminist "White male" bashing. And don't pretend that Hillary Clinton's campaign didn't happen, or that she didn't bet on Intersectional Identity Politics hoping to get an edge on the reality TV host she was up against. She managed to alienate both an entire ethnic group and a gender, and THAT cost her the election, not some resurgence of tucked-down White Nationalism. To turn the page of the so-called age of Trump, Democrats will have to do better than gather a bunch of incompetent candidates with nothing more than the right amount of gender and diversity points to represent them. Many people who voted for Trump had previously voted for Obama, so there's no reason a non-white Democrat couldn't be elected again, just as long as that candidate isn't solely running on his/her skin color and/or gender and/or fluency in spanish. Get rid of the racist/identitarian types ruining the Democratic Party, and you'll find there's a lot of former "deplorables" who might consider coming back to the fold.

  104. In 1960 there were almost no Asians in Florida. Today they make up significant percentages of the bests classes and university enrollment. If there is real racism being felt, it is probably more because of the massive migration of privileged Asians. Their race simply makes them easy to identify. People seem to believe they have a right to the wealth of America and Americans don't have a right to be resentful. Families who fought our wars and paid taxes to build our infrastructure are being pushed out of the communities and institutions they paid to build. How dare they voice their frustration.

  105. This made me cry. I am of Irish and French Canadian decent and live in Colorado. Katherine, I truly wish I could apologize to you and your classmates for what you have gone through. Unfortunately, that won't help. However, I promise to be an advocate for you where I am. It's disgusting that people act this way and I applaud you for speaking about your experience in the NYT. All the best to you, your family and friends. I know we are all doing our best to stay healthy and prevent spread of this virus. Thank you for contributing this piece.

  106. A critical distinction that would perhaps ameliorate this situation is between the dictatorship that runs China and the Chinese people, who are also victims of the coronavirus and their government's initial crackdown on sounding the alarm about this disease. When people say, "the Chinese" they should clarify that their criticisms are of the government, not of a people. Anything else would be bigoted and unacceptable.

  107. @Brendan Centine: It’s the Chinese people (in China) who want to buy and eat live bats and porcupines and monkeys and civets and pangolins and . . . That’s where these viruses come from. And this has been known for a long time. So yes, we can blame them. Their behavior has to change.

  108. I condemn the practice too but condemn the ones who do it not the entire country of Chinese citizens as not everyone practices this.

  109. Bigotry, bulling and ignorance is the dark side human nature. They are also on the minority side. Nevertheless, there is now no culture, sexual identify or age bracket dysphoria that doesn't have a victimization component. We can only deal with the hurts we can affect with understanding. Remember the name of our local football team and the catholic students during the Right to Life March. White on white racism and gender identification insensitivity. We are living in an era of emotional rage that will hopefully pass soon. As in the coming election.

  110. As an Asian woman who is getting unwanted hateful attention these days, I fully empathize with Ms. Oung and appreciate her for sharing a tough story. It is absolutely wrong to have our fear drive ourselves to xenophobia and racism and so is stigmatizing a certain group. However, I am confused as to whether we should not "blame" China. Yes, pandemics have occurred all over the world for various reasons throughout history. However, I am mostly upset about how Chinese government has been so boldly irresponsible and even shifting the blame to other countries by arguing that source of Cov-Id19 is the U.S. soldiers, for example. The Chinese government, while busy keeping the outbreak of the virus to themselves for months, has been negligent and let people continue a practice they know is dangerous. If a less hygienic practice of eating exotic animals and killing those on site is part of culture and is pervasive, I believe it is the government's job to regulate butchers at those markets not to slaughter the animals human beings are especially susceptible to when consumed, and also let people know it is dangerous. As much as eating certain types of food is a culture that people of different background should respect, when it comes to compromise health of millions of people in the world, I believe health comes first. Therefore, to ensure the pandemic of a similar kind would not happen again, it is the government's job to take accountability of its mishandling of the situation.

  111. @Gabbie Great comment.

  112. @Gabbie - I think the Chinese government's response obviously could have been better. I'm not sure that changing behaviors of exotic food consumption is necessarily the low-hanging fruit to future prevention. With respect to zoonotic hosts, North America is equally or more dense to Southeast Asia in rodents and carnivora, though less dense in avian species. (Reference Han BA et al. Global patterns of zoonotic disease in mammals. Trends in Parasitology 2016.) Zoonotic transmission events will continue to occur and are probably inevitable. As you say, enforcing food safety standards to limit spread at early stages could be a difference-maker. I don't know enough about China's regulatory structures to understand what the implementation challenges would be, but the last few weeks seem to suggest that if any society could autocratically enforce higher food safety, it would be China. The world will be conducting post mortes for many years on whether countries should have been more aggressive with containment measures at early stages of this pandemic. I would hope everyone would agree in those discussions that failing to acknowledge outbreaks at early stages helps nothing.

  113. @Gabbie Excellent comment

  114. Thank you Katherine for your courage to speak out against the racial virus that has the potential to spread hatred at this time when we should be looking after and out for each other. Come on people we can do better than to make life unnecessarily more stressful..

  115. Although I don’t doubt racism exists against Asians, this has more to do with survival than racism. I’d be equally distancing myself from an Italian or a New Yorker. Once it spreads everywhere the stigma would be gone!

  116. @Wolfgang The stigma may seem to be gone but I think that the classmates who are saying things about Chinese-Americans will still be as racist as ever. They will simply recede behind a veneer of politeness. This young lady should take note of who her real friends are now.

  117. I have heard of and indeed seen episodes of anti Chinese/Asian prejudice in Italy too. I am currently stuck in Northern Italy, and now people here begin to understand that China, while definitely not blameless in this instance, has at least given the rest of the world an advanced warning about the disease. In any event, racist prejudice is found everywhere, but it breaks my heart to see these teenagers being so brutally made aware of it. Stay strong (sorry for this platitude)

  118. Thanks to Ms. Oung for this video. I appreciated that she not only depicted prejudice East Asian Americans are enduring now, but also noted cross-cultural, historical antecedents. The rise of hate and xenophobia in the face of threat appears to be a universal human phenomenon that must be understood to be ameliorated.

  119. Of course, racism is nonsense. I suppose there is a slightly greater likelihood that a Chinese American person has been to China recently, but President Trump (thank goodness -- and over the usual Democrat claims of "racism" and "xenophobia") long ago banned travel from China and quarantined Americans returning from China, so there is no need to fear Chinese Americans. We should all condemn bullying of Chinese Americans, and only the most ignorant among us engage in such behavior. Ms. Oung might take this experience as a clarifying moment on who her real friends are and who among her classmates are heartless ignoramuses. However, it was an intentionally misleading moment for the video to include a shot of a Fox commentator saying "The Chinese owe us an apology." The commentator was clearly NOT talking about Chinese Americans or even Chinese citizens, but the Chinese government, which, at the very least, initially was not forthcoming about the new virus, enabling its spread -- and which DOES owe us all an apology. In further disinformation, a Chinese government representative has said that the US infected Chinese people in October -- and obvious lie since China also says that the first confirmed case was on 08 December.

  120. One of the worst atrocities to occur in recent times was in Rwanda. All of the people involved were the same race. Some were classified as Hutsis, others as Tutsis. People will find a way to notice differences no matter how homogeneous you manage to create the group. Some in that group will seek out others to torment. It is human nature and will always exist.

  121. @GregP You had me until the last sentence. "China is the geographic disease epicenter >> people of Chinese ancestry are disease vectors" is a logical short circuit. It's the equivalent of a jumper wire between two data points. It's stupid thinking. Stupid thinking isn't "human nature"- it's rote mammalian-territorial reaction, provided with a veneer of rationalization after the fact through that logical short circuit. Often triggered by or connected with survival concerns, which may or may not have an authentic basis. Asserting that the logical short-circuiting "will always exist" amounts to denying that humans can do better than being run by bogus reactive programming. That's an abrogation of responsibility. We can do better than rote deference to instincts triggered by conditioned responses to symbolic data points. Human beings are supposed to be able to tell the difference between mindless reaction and reflectively aware intelligent thought. A crucial difference from, say, chimpanzees, who have more or less stayed stuck where they are as a species. The fact that human beings can squander self-aware consciousness and default to behaving like chimps, or bots, or barnyard chickens, or what have you, doesn't change the fact that we possess the potential to chart our course toward a higher standard of behavior. The crucial component of "human nature" that's too often overlooked or dismissed.

  122. I am absolutely and utterly SICKENED by the demonization of Chinese-/Asian-Americans, spearheaded by right-wing media (Fox News now calls SARS-CoV-2 "the Chinese virus"). I like to remind people that with about 80k cases in China, that's literally 0.005% (0.00005) of the population, and the other 99.995% are just as scared as we are. My heart goes out to you and everyone else suffering from racism, while the real villains, those who are obfuscating the dangers of disease, ignoring appeals for social distancing, etc., aren't getting nearly the amount of opprobrium they deserve.

  123. Thank you to Ms. Oung and her friends, Mr. Stockton, and everyone who put work into this video. I plan to use it in my (virtual) classroom.

  124. I think a lot of Americans are really freaked out that this virus originated in a market in China that sells endangered animals to eat. China and Chinese people need to take a hard, cultural look at that practice and take action. To cry racism is just covering up this reality by burying it under political correctness. This scenario of disease originating in those markets is such a cliche (in other words has happened enough times to make it one) that there's a Hollywood disaster film about it, aside from real life documentaries by news organizations like 60 Minutes Australia. This cultural practice has got to stop. Stop covering it up with political correctness.

  125. I agree that this practice has to stop and you are not alone, Asian Americans are also against this. This is why it's even more frustrating that myself and my children and any other people of East Asian descent have to feel the effects of the hate for something that we have no control over. similarly not everyone in China attend wet markets and eat anything they want. They are just as upset and disgusted by their government. its like people thinking that all Americans go gator hunting and eat roadkill because this is what they see on reality shows on Netflix. Please do not rationalize the behavior Yes it is okay to be scared, I am too and by the way born and raised in NY and I served in the AF. I am an American too.

  126. @SL Those live markets need to shut down once and for all. They are so horrible. I cry for all those innocent animals. There is something wrong with the Chinese culture that would allow such cruelty to animals. More pandemics will happen in the future unless the government educates the people who must be quite ignorant. The whole world has to suffer because of them.

  127. Of course it's ridiculous to blame a Chinese-American girl in Florida for anything related to the virus, but let's face the scientific facts: 1. China is responsible for this outbreak 2. This outbreak was caused the same way as SARS was 17 years ago: the mixing of wild animals who carried the virus with farm animals in their live animal markets. 3. China was grossly negligent and the world should make them pay.

  128. When does America pay? For what you ask? There is a long list, some of it much more malicious than enjoying a bit of bushmeat. Remember Iraq? The lies about WMDs? 100s of thousands dead. Who is going to pay?

  129. Unfortunately -- we are up against human nature. We all have to tell those around us to be mindful of this creeping prejudice. This type of behavior is not new and frankly was to be expected ... The other is always suspect. Be it Irish in an Italian neighborhood in the 60's (or vice versa) ... I was a Catholic dating a Protestant in college -- that was a strange one. Or more recently (somewhat) having most of the world fear you because your were gay .. even late in the AIDS crisis. Add poor Haiti into that mix. Nope -- nothing new. Wish I had an answer .. stay strong.

  130. We are too eager to place blame where there is none. Asian American citizens are not responsible for the inception nor the spread of clovid-19.

  131. Thank you for sharing this video. I am most disgusted by Fox News stoking the latent racist fears. They are doing this to divert attention from the utterly inept handling of the crisis by the Trump administration.

  132. @Sri We are all camped out together -- we removed ourselves from NYC. So we have the family all together with more then one TV on ... Have you been watching FOX ? We had both FOX and MSNBC on all day today .... trust me MSNBC makes FOX look mainstream. It's had no real "news" ... Not that FOX is not biased .... I think people what to blame .. so in liberal circles bashing FOX makes them feel smart. I can't watch much TV anymore ... a bit if CNBC -- unless Cramer is on.

  133. @GT Einstein was right: everything is relative. What you consider 'mainstream' is also relative. For instance, if you believe in a 'deep state', the conspiracy theory that people who are required to do their jobs in a nonpartisan fashion are secretly conspiring to advance a liberal agenda within the government, then Fox will definitely be mainstream. If you think all leaders are corrupt liars who care about themselves more than the people they 'serve', then Trump is just politics as usual, the attacks on him are purely political, and Fox again looks mainstream. If you think all politicians sell the powers of their office for personal gain, demand loyalty to themselves before loyalty to the country, and extort bribes from foreign leaders to help them win elections, then anyone who criticizes that are hypocrites and Fox is mainstream. Criticizing a right-wing propaganda outlet does not make anyone 'feel smart'. Your idea that 'feeling smart' is what drives people to criticize biased 'reporting' which is designed to justify and normalize what Americans have opposed for our entire history (lying, corruption, profiteering, narcissism, incompetence) simply indicates how thoroughly you've bought into the blinding cynicism they peddle daily. I don't feel smart telling you this. I feel sad.

  134. Hawaii has a history of distinguishing between generations of immigrants although this can lead to another type of inter-generational prejudice. I recently had the experience of asking a student from China in casual conversation where he was from and he whispered in my ear that he was from Wuhan. In fact he did not even want his classmates from China to know that much. Although these children are relatively recent arrivals, the have all been here for at least a year. One other thing is that Hawaii is, so far at least, relatively unaffected. Our only cases to date have been arrivals with no know community spread. We will see how well our "Aloha" spirit holds when that inevitably happens.

  135. @TH wrote "...he whispered in my ear that he was from Wuhan. In fact he did not even want his classmates from China to know that much..." Your student is wise to keep that to himself. Even people in mainland China discriminate Chinese from Wuhan.

  136. America is less racist than most of the world. How do you think Americans would fare in China if a deadly virus that originated in America caused sickness and death around the globe?

  137. Don’t recall Americans being abused elsewhere for H1N1...

  138. Man, we really do not need this. I know people are scared but, let's stay in reality, folks. Racial attacks on a teenager (or anyone) is stupid beyond words

  139. Of course it did when you go looking for it.

  140. Please read today’s excellent review of Philip Roth’s great “The Plot Against America”, the series that starts tomorrow on HBO. Roth, of course, is writing about anti-semitism, but more profoundly about the endemic racism in America that came over with its earliest settlers and rapidly developed into its defining mythology during slave-holding colonial America. The political right wing factions in our country zealously, religiously supports these fascistic attitudes and looks back to those times for its inspiration. The motto is MACA, make America colonial again.

  141. What do people expect? High school and college textbooks still teach that European colonists brought pandemic diseases such as smallpox, cholera, measles, diphtheria, influenza, malaria, scarlet fever. typhoid, typhus, and tuberculosis to Americans. The news media—including the New York Time—publish endless articles reminding European Americans that “Europeans diseases” killed millions of Native Americans who had no immunity to them. This is why U.S. students hold ethnic groups responsible for pandemic diseases. .

  142. But it's true, white Europeans brought measles, smallpox, influenza, typhoid, and other diseases to the New World and decimated all of North and South American indigenous populations who had never had any of these diseases before. They even purposely sent blankets infected with smallpox into American Indian communities to kill them. That's historical fact and truth be told, white Europeans in the 15th and 16th centuries were indeed dirty and unhygienic carriers of disease.

  143. Take notice, Australian-British-American businessman and mass media heir, Lachlan Keith Murdoch. (He is the executive chairman of Nova Entertainment, co-chairman of News Corp, executive chairman and CEO of the Fox Corporation.) The careful responsibility demonstrated in Katherine Oung's video is infectious. The tipping point has arrived; and Sean Hannity ain't the future.

  144. As a white American woman, I am ashamed that racism continues to dominate our country and world. When will people recognize that we all are just that: people!

  145. Thank you for this piece, Ms. Oung. America has always been racist, but only in the last 4 years has any sense of control or decency been removed in this country. What is sad is we may yet have another four years of this behavior, although I am hoping Covid has something to do with stopping it. Fox News ought to be banned, rather than be the courier of the racism virus as you so well called it. Not only has the country become more racist, it has become even more dumb. Eventually, we will find a control for Covid-19, but sadly, we won't find a cure or a control for the mass stupidity and ignorance that has affected this nation, my old generation and your young one.

  146. I truly appreciate this piece. I count many Asian Americans as friends and I have not witnessed discrimination so aggressively levied at any other ethnic or racial group- even prior to the current coronavirus pandemic. Interestingly, Asian Americans seldom complain about the outright bigotry they endure and journalists only occasionally seek to mention it. Maybe such articles do not generate clicks, like discussions on alleged discrimination towards African-Americans, which I seem to read about daily in this paper? Maybe it is because Asian-Americans, despite a bevy of obstacles, have achieved miraculous professional and academic success? Nevertheless, thank you for elucidating the persistent prejudice towards Asian- Americans, which is so often overlooked.

  147. @Mark I strongly agree, and would add that Katherine would appear to have a real gift for journalism. If you are reading this, sister, please please do consider going into this field! We have always needed good journalists, and we need them now more than maybe ever.

  148. The President of the United States Donald John Trump,Sr is a Florida resident and America's most openly avowed out and proud white European American Judeo-Christian majority bigoted prejudiced racist ethnocentric xenophobe.

  149. Miss Oung, thank you so much for sharing your experience. As a fellow Chinese-American woman, I wanted to say how much I appreciate that you’re speaking out about this issue. I’ve faced the same prejudice many times in my life, when people—even my teachers and friends—repeatedly stereotyped Chinese people as being short (I’m 5’8”) or prone to eating animals that others consider “disgusting.” We eat plenty of pork in America, and many cultures consider that disgusting! People who are in the dominant group tend not to think of others’ feelings and perspectives when they have power. I deeply worry that this particular hierarchical pattern of behavior, which is so engrained in American society, will be what kills so many people unnecessarily in this pandemic. Please be kind to one another, and try to see things from someone else’s perspective. Think about how you would feel if it were you being discriminated against for how you ate, your height, your eye shape, your way of life. Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

  150. @HC New York high school textbooks teach that ethnic groups bring disease to America. For example, they teach that the “dominant group”—Europeans—brought smallpox, cholera, measles, diphtheria, malaria, scarlet fever, typhoid, typhus, and tuberculosis to America, virtually wiping out the Native American population. The New York Times frequently refers to these as “European diseases.”

  151. There is no excuse for this racism. Whatever the cause for the virus to have started in China - probably from the consumption of certain bats in a local market - that is no reason to berate people of Chinese descent in the U.S. But I have to wonder about the motivation of NYC teachers who want to close schools while the those same teachers continue to collect their paychecks for several months. How about sharing the pain? Give up 25% or even 50% of the salary so the taxpayers will have a lesser burden to bear when the schools reopen.

  152. I don't care if you criticize China as I agree with much of it, but tone matters. News reports can be factually true but we all know that the way you frame things can leave a strong underlying message. The way Fox News and some others are reporting on this has created an atmosphere of explicit discrimination against a group of people many of whom are at the forefront of advancing the U.S, from molecular biology to missiles technology. Surely there's a way to report on our fraught relationship with China without fostering a climate of fear and loathing against a group of Americans who are doing so much for our country.

  153. I’m not for eating cat or dogs, but saying the Chinese are cruel for eating different animals is glaringly ironic. Did you know that cows are revered in India? Does it make Americans and the rest of the world cruel and inhumane for eating so many hamburgers and steaks? What this really boils down to is basic human instinct to divide and differentiate between us and them. From the day we’re born til the day we die we learn to label, categorize, and organize things based on some system that we create. For example, colors. Most from recent generations were taught that blue is for boys and pink is for girls. How does that make sense? Colors don’t innately have preference for biological sex of humans. Did you know that once upon a time, pink was considered the more masculine color? Our world is full of these irrational differentiations, and a lot of times we take them one step further. For instance, sports. Most of the world would argue that football/soccer is a better sport than American football, baseball, hockey etc. Now we have a division between soccer and football, then we further divide ourselves based on which team we like best, then go even further still by dividing which players we like best, and even further still by speculating about how each player should play the game. These examples abound in daily life, and are so ingrained in our minds that it just becomes second nature, and we’re blind to it unless we start thinking rationally about our perceptions and judgements

  154. @Sue Do you mean Teflon, which causes cancer, and was spread globally by either illegal dumping or from products made with it, invented and manufactured by an American company called DuPont? Or do you mean high fructose corn syrup , sugar, fast food etc, that caused obesity and various related diseases? Or do you mean the atomic bomb/energy and the subsequent disaster that it wrecked upon the world? Or do you mean the opioids that American pharma made that has destroyed so many lives? I don’t hear of Americans being discriminated against in China for spreading those disease and catastrophes around the world.

  155. It's certainly disappointing that in times where people should come together there exists a tiny group that behaves this way. Most people see this as wrong. I will say that a majority of anti-Asian actions I have seen or read about come from another minority group. As do many of the anti-police acts and anti-semitic acts.

  156. As a natural born Chinese-American myself, the faux woke outrage from the media over “xenophobia” and racism was entirely predictable. Firstly, incidents of bias are going to be naturally over-represented in the media because the handful of people that are exposed to said incidents are the ones that are going to be running their mouths, which gives the MSM and online echo-chambers ammunition to whine about racism and scapegoat Fox News. Secondly, nativism and “fear of the other” is a natural impulse, plain and simple. A society is judged not by the existence of bad impulses, but by how well it can contain and override these impulses. Americans do a comparatively good job of containing these impulses. Pew Research statistics show that America overwhelmingly believes that racial diversity is at least somewhat good for the country. Look at the data, not the anecdotal stories reported by the MSDNC or the Amazon Washington Post. For those that are concerned about racism and “xenophobia” with the rise of the virus, Hanlon’s razor tells us that you should not attribute to malice to things that can be adequately explained by other factors. People’ lives are on the line, which will by default lead to more instinctive, reactionary thinking. People are simply concerned with their livelihoods, and that can occasionally draw out a reactionary response. That's all there is to this.

  157. I abhor racism and was raised this way. That said, I’m aware that I have subconscious racism buried inside me, some shallow, some deep. I’m also aware that even as a lesbian, I also possess subconscious sexism and homophobia. After all, I am socialized in society just like everyone else. I try and challenge myself routinely in an attempt to root this ‘ick’ out, but I know that it’s a work in progress (its often insidious). When I was an undergrad, some 35 years ago, I was admittedly naïve. However, I was still surprised by the frequent, routine, flagrant racism between groups of students from various Asian countries towards each other, all who had come to the US to study. The only time I have encountered that level of overt racism in my life has been from (some) White Americans and Australian Whites against native Aborigines when I spent a year down under. While I loathe racism, including any related to Covid-19; fear, anger, confusion and disgust at otherness/difference is clearly baked into our Human DNA, and always has been. No one is immune as we have so many subconscious cognitive biases (mental shortcuts our minds use as a matter of course) as humans: Racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc., are just an extension of that. Doesn’t mean its ok or we shouldn’t spend a lifetime fighting it in all its forms, inside ourselves and in others when we encounter it – even in our own icky President.... .

  158. The media, even the NYT, has been brutally critical of China in their coverage of this outbreak. While the CCP is certainly not above reproach, they actually did a lot right but that is somewhat beside the point. Why is it any surprise that the average American can't figure out the differences between, the CCP, a Chinese citizen, an Asian person of non-Chinese ethnicity and finally, an ethnically Chinese person of non-Chinese nationality e.g. an American. Exactly, I can't keep track of what I am writing myself. So to most, Chinese is Chinese, exotic and "other" like the animals they are alleged to eat. Btw, NYT, what exactly makes an animal "exotic"? Thought we had done away with labels like that for human animals already, so what gives?

  159. The NYT current approach of yelling racism too often is going to backfire and make it even more difficult to attain their stated objective.

  160. The irony is that in the NYC area, New Rochelle has many more cases than do any of the Chinatowns.

  161. Not super sorry. As someone who's travelled to China extensively and lived with a Chinese family 2 years.... This White Ghost understands the hygiene issues and culinary challenges we write off as culture. it IS the China virus.

  162. As an American of Jewish heritage, I feel your pain, anger, and concern. The only thing to take comfort in, ironically, is that if the virus had originated in Argentina, these same scared, irgnorant, and outwardly racist people would be having the same reactions toward Hispanics, rather than Asians. Many people unfortunately still allow their primitive selves, wired to fear all who look different, to control their modern worldview. They make feel that this is "normal", but we possess a higher order of thinking capability that should be applied when primitive fear raises its usually very ugly head.

  163. It does not matter where it started except for academic and scientific interest. This targeting of groups (given added life and encouragement by this admin and their mouthpieces for their own self-serving agendas, votes etc.) is unconscionable? They have crafted discrimination into a finely tuned weapon from day one and many have jumped into the fray with them. Wild meat is a Chinese problem? Really! There is a long list of wild meat that is hunted and sold here and all over the world: alligator, antelope, buffalo, duck, elk, goose, rabbit, venison, wild boar, quail, pheasant, squab, and fish, crustaceans, sea mammals of all kinds. If not culled directly from the wild do farmers stick to regulations? Are the regulations in place enough to mitigate a 'spillover'? Apparently not because there have been severe and debilitating outbreaks. It's narrow minded, careless & cruel to point fingers. c.f. viruses and diseases that jump from domesticated animals to humans, here and globally. Finding out why is the only goal of any importance, especially with climate change, the uptick in environmental degradation and human encroachment into wild habitats—a mitigating factor? Laying blame and targeting a specific ethnicity, race, faith, gender, country... is destructive/self-destructive and dangerous. It has always been a lose-lose for mankind's well-being. Hence our incredibly slow evolution into a wise, intelligent, thinking species, to deserve our name.

  164. Perhaps the writer is too young to experience the natural human inclinations that we all are prone to. therefore, she assumes the mantle of "victim" which seems a PC response in today's world. the fact is that if our roles were reversed and the C-virus had originated in New York City or London, then it is most likely that the people of Asian or Chinese ethnicity would associate with white people only with nervous suspicion and justifiable reserve. what we are witnessing is a typical human response to a dangerous situation. In spite of the "in-vogue" impulse to play the victim, just use common sense and chill out. we all basically love and care for each other as fellow humans.

  165. @edward murphy Yup, good thing you and Fox News are fighting against victimhood! I'm sure Rush Limbaugh and you would love it if there were widespread discrimination against all white people or all Christians and never once complain. Truly the white Republican male is a model of charity and a stiff upper lip, all despite realizing there is worse discrimination against him than against black people (he'll admit he believes this in polls, but only out of his spirit of scientific accuracy, certainly not because he feels himself a victim).

  166. @edward murphy Unfortunately, racism is often manifested in the so-called "typical human response to a dangerous situation". I don't think Asian Americans are trying to "play the victim". They have been singled out and blamed for the messed up situation in China, which they most likely have no connections to, and it's honestly quite dangerous to have a complacent attitude and consider the racist/xenophobic remarks justifiable (i.e. it's human nature to discriminate people based on race/ethnicity)