|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
February 7, 2020
Asian American and Pacific Islander Civil Rights Organizations on the Coronavirus: “Not a Green Light to Target Asian Americans and Asian immigrants with Racism and Hate”
Washington, DC— Incidents of Anti-Asian racism, including hate attacks, and messages have increased amidst the spread of the coronavirus. As of February 6th, there have been 121 confirmed cases of the coronavirus outside of China, 12 of which are confirmed cases in the US.
The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) issued the following statement:
While the coronavirus represents a legitimate public health concern, it is not a green light to target Asian Americans and Asian immigrants with racism and hate. We are concerned with the growing xenophobic rhetoric that harkens back to the dehumanizing, anti-Asian trope of the “yellow peril,” that was used during the 19th century. We have consistently stood against efforts to cast our community as “perpetual foreigners,” and sadly, we find ourselves having to do so again.
We call on news outlets and social media platforms to do more to curb racist and inaccurate content in addition to removing misinformation on the coronavirus alone.
National Director, Gregg Orton added: “Many Asian Americans are just as concerned as everyone else about the coronavirus–even more so considering how in some cases, our extended families could be impacted. But to let someone’s health status be a measure of how American they are is absurd. Mass hysteria will not help, and neither will bigotry. Be better than that.”
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 35 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.