DAC and AS create anti-Asian racism social media campaign

Reports of racial discrimination against Asian-Americans have emerged since President Donald Trump’s reference to the coronavirus pandemic as the “Chinese Virus.”

In recent weeks, acts of racism including racial profiling, hate-fueled incidents, harassment, and microaggressions have increased, with the main targets being Asian and Pacific Islanders (API). 

According to the database website Factbase, President Trump referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus” more than 20 times in news conferences between March 16 and March 30.

Following the increase of racist profiling in America, Chico State started a social media campaign called, Anti-Asian Racism Social Media Campaign – #RiseAgainstRacism to help educate students about COVID-19 and support students who have been heavily impacted by the discrimination associated with it. 

“The Diversity Affairs Council, our student body president Trevor Guthrie, professional staff, students, and I decided to show support by running this anti-racist social media campaign to combat racism,” Commissioner of Diversity Affairs Emonnie Jones said. “It will show our students that we support them and do not stand for racism or discrimination in any way or form.”

The social media campaign started on April 15. “Infectious diseases do NOT discriminate based on race, ethnicity, age, size, etc. Neither should we,” the Associated Student’s official Instagram page said in its first campaign post.

The post described the ways that the coronavirus pandemic has marginalized specific ethnic groups and how students can support the groups and raise awareness against racism. 

“We’re all new to this so we are doing our best to fight for the best interest of students across CSU Chico. The campaign is just one of the ways,” Jones said.

The official Chico State Facebook page shared a post by sociology Professor Chunyan Echo Song and her experience with racism since the coronavirus pandemic began. 

Song emphasized that to contribute, citizens should cast their vote for community leaders and politicians who strongly support diversity and social justice. Additionally, individuals should reach out to their Asian-American friends and neighbors to show support and kindness during this time. 

“We have an array of people working hard to let students know about the resources they have,” Jones said. “A support group was held and led by Xia ‘Billy’ Lo, an EOP coordinator here on campus … the purpose of the group was to figure out where students were as well as help them cope during these frightening times.”

The hashtag, #RiseOverRacism has been used across social media  to raise awareness and encourage individuals to stand up against acts of injustice. 

“We are all at home but we all have a way to inform each other without hurting each other … we are all in this together, so keep in mind that this virus affects us all and doesn’t choose us based on the color of our skin or our physical features,” Jones said. 

Keyla De Los Santos can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @keyladls.