Hate Worse Than Virus
One of the most deadly side effects of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak isn’t a fever, rapid coughing, or shortness of breath.
It is hate.
In the U.S., citizens subject Asian Americans to harassment, bullying, and discrimination.
Chinese restaurants tremendously lose revenue.
People have been beaten and spat upon.
Cowards have vandalized cars.
And public leaders have irresponsibly called the coronavirus as a “foreign virus” or “China virus.”
There has been little call to action to reign in this hate.
But in comes Jeremy Lin.
The former NBA standout and now a member of the Beijing Ducks for the China Basketball Association (CBA) committed. He will donate 1 million Chinese RMB to efforts to provide emergency medical supplies to the hardest-hit city of Wuhan.
Also, he will offer $150,000 towards additional efforts to combat the virus.
He declared his ideals on Instagram and explicitly called out racism and xenophobia.
Jeremy has been outspoken about his experience going back to his days at Harvard.
He talked fans and spectators heckling him by hurling horrific names and negative Asian stereotypes.
He became a breakout star for the New York Knicks during the 2011-12 season in what became known as “Linsanity.” Then, he defied stereotypes and became a role for so many Asian Americans.
Even amid that fame, fans leaped insults on him.
So it is evident that it is personal for Jeremy having been on the receiving end of hate and ignorance.
The challenge becomes for others who are not of Asian descent to step up and call out this behavior for what it is and to step up their efforts.
Society has constructed an idea that those who suffer from oppression are the ones responsible for fighting it.
Everyone Must Do Part
When in reality, it is incumbent upon everyone to do their part.
That means white people must call out racism.
Those who identify as males must call out sexism.
Individuals who identify as straight/heterosexual must call out homophobia.
Those who are able-bodied must call out ableism.
Those who are cisgender must call out transphobia.
Persons of an Anglo Saxon identity must call out xenophobia.
Those with privilege must use it for the greater good.
We need to follow Jeremy’s lead and do what we can to address this crisis.
At a time when hate crimes have been rising over the last few years, these recent episodes compound the coronavirus.
Dr. King said it best when he said: “The time is always right to do right.”
Well, the time is now.