Demonizing China for the COVID virus has had a very predictable effect:
The New York Times attempted to capture a sense of the rising tide of anti-Asian bias nationwide. Using media reports from across the country, The Times found more than 110 episodes since March 2020 in which there was clear evidence of race-based hate.
There have been many more attacks on people of Asian descent in which hate is not a clear motivation the way it is when racial slurs are used. Those cases include the fatal attack of a Thai man in January, as well as the assaults of a 91-year-old man in Oakland’s Chinatown and a 89-year-old woman in Brooklyn. Those episodes, and other brutal high-profile attacks, have terrified the Asian community.
But there is no ambiguity about the cases The Times collected: These are assaults in which the assailants expressed explicit racial hostility with their language, and in which nearly half included a reference to the coronavirus: “You are the virus.” “You are infected.” “Go back to China.” “You’re the one who brought the virus here.”
Jacob Levy’s text remains critical here.