Posted by Arab American Institute on March 13, 2020 in Blog

No BigotryAs concerns rise over the global pandemic COVID-19, the Novel Coronavirus, so too have racist attacks and discrimination against individuals of Asian descent. Such attacks have occurred around the globe – in public transit, schools, businesses, and even on sidewalks – individuals of Asian descent are being targeted by violence and increased discrimination over an incorrect and bigoted assumption that someone with Asian heritage is likely to carry COVID-19.

Indeed, even the Centers for Disease Control released information on stigma and resilience related to the Coronavirus, noting: “Fear and anxiety about a disease can lead to social stigma toward people, places, or things,” they continued, “For example, stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease.”

As a community, Arab Americans know what it is like to be the targets of bigotry and hate in the wake of incidents that spark fear and anxiety. Bigotry, hate, discrimination, intolerance – these are all unacceptable and counter to the ideals of an inclusive democratic society. 

This is why the Arab American Institute signed on to a letter led by the National Council of Asian Pacific Islanders. We joined over 260 civil rights and community-based organizations in calling for Congressional leaders to denounce the racist attacks and discrimination against Asian Americans.

We must do better.