How has the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated pre-existing racist and discriminatory tendencies in the United States?


Artwork by Yael Berezdivin

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a massive increase of hate crimes against American citizens of Asian descent. Three of these cases are stated in the lower portion of the piece above. I included these three cases to make it clear that this sort of discrimination is really occurring although we do not all see it. Many people are blaming Asian-Americans for bringing the virus into the U.S. or spreading the disease when these claims are not substantiated by any information given by the CDC or other reputable healthcare organizations. These racist tendencies are perpetuated when President Trump uses language such as “the Chinese Virus,” further linking COVID-19 to the Chinese population. When spoken, words may be invisible, but they still have very tangible consequences. Words hurt. In my piece (shown above) I drew a Chinese woman using graphite and color pencil. Using a tablet, I added the illusion of a black eye and a cut lip to represent the physical consequences of words. Moreover, the word “infected” is stitched on the woman’s face, an un-erasable label that someone else has marked her with. The red lines shooting towards the woman are interrupted by the word “Chinese Virus” as this is how President Trump has labeled the disease. The lines and words are representative of all the racist anti-Asian slurs that have been hurled at this community since the pandemic broke out. 


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