Michael Tesler, in FiveThirtyEight –
(Dr. Tesler is professor of political science at University of California, Irvine, author of “Post-Racial or Most-Racial? Race and Politics in the Obama Era” and co-author of “Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America.)
Even before the coronavirus became a worldwide pandemic, some astute observers of racial and ethnic politics feared that the emerging outbreak in China would lead to (and were already contributing to) a rise in anti-Asian sentiment in America. After all, the United States has a long and ugly history of scapegoating racial and ethnic groups for diseases in ways that are used to justify xenophobia.
Sadly, it didn’t take long for those fears to be realized. Racist harassment online, verbal attacks in public and physical assaults against Asian Americans all surged in the early days of the pandemic and have remained alarmingly high ever since. In fact, anti-Asian hate crimes in the U.S. increased by nearly 150 percent from 2019 to 2020.