Hate, in general, is never a positive thing. After all, having a negative response, often found in the form of disgust, anger, or even disrespect, towards something or someone is never good. As a teenager of Asian descent, specifically since the pandemic, there has been a fair amount of stereotypes and hatred targeting us Asian folks. So why does Asian hate exist
To understand any type of hate, we should at the very least understand the definition of hate. According to Merriam Webster, the definition of hate is “Intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury” (Webster 1). To put it simply, the definition of hate is an extreme dislike of something or someone due to fear of being hurt and anger. From this, we can understand and discern that fear reveals an enormous factor to why individuals in groups hate someone or something.
Now, knowing and understanding fear’s role in hatred, we should figure out where it comes from. You see, many phobias and other fears derive from the fear of dying. According to the Paul Ekman Group’s official website, “fear arises with the threat of harm, either physical, emotional, or psychological, real or imagined” (PaulEkmanGroup 1). Simply put, fear exacerbates hatred.
Now, integrating the definition of hate, we can tell that people hate due to the fear of harm to others and themselves. Hatred can come from a variety of sources, usually from scary and traumatic events. One most notable example is the attack of the Twin Towers on the fateful day of 9/11/2001. According to the 9/11 website, in the early morning of September 11, four planes were hijacked by nineteen terrorists from an Islamic extremist group. Two of those planes crashed into the Twin Towers, another into the Pentagon, the last one “thankfully” crashing into a field instead of Washington D.C. Either way, the goal of the extremists was to instill fear into the hearts of the Americans by attacking their “symbols.” The attempt was extremely “successful,” and many Americans who experienced the horrors of that day still remember what happened.
Due to the nature of how the human brain works, individuals found someone to blame. The media, which plays a big part of spreading information, identified the 19 terrorist as from an Islamic group, and so, the majority of Americans started blaming the Islamic culture for the terrifying incident even though the vast majority could not have been involved. Those who have families who fell victim to the tragedy may have started hating Muslims due to the racial and religious backgrounds of the terrorists. In fact, according to an article from National Security and Defense Program, Muslims suffered from “physical assault, emotional abuse, and discrimination” after 9/11 attacks (Pandith 1). They became the scapegoats and were blamed for everything.
Approximately 18 years later, the same type of dynamic started to target Asians, specifically those of Chinese origin. A new virus (later on known as Covid-19) started emerging in China, and some scientists deduced that the virus originated from bats. Due to several videos of bat soup being linked with Chinese influencers, and the fact that it did start in China, a “good” majority decided that it was all 1.5 billion Chinese people’s fault. The hatred against Asians was compounded after a certain president named Donald J. Trump decided to refer to the Covid-19 virus “The Chinese Virus”. Many people fell for the president’s propaganda, and very soon concluded that the entire Chinese population was to blame. Many of these individuals started racializing the virus, spewing racist remarks, and some Chinese and other Asian communities. From A Toolkit for Addressing Anti-Asian Bias, Discrimination, and Hate from the NYC human group, it says that “During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City saw a sharp increase in harassment and violence against Asian people and communities, especially Asian elders” (NCY human group). This all happened due to a mix of misinformation, lingering hatred, and political figures’ manipulative machinations.
Now, to the allegations that Chinese people eat everything. Both of my parents were raised in China, and I have visited there numerous times staying at my grandparents’ house. I must admit that, yes, we do eat a few strange animals, but no, none of us have ever consumed any bats. In fact, in Chinese culture, bats represent luck and eating them is considered highly disrespectful and unlucky. And yet, during the pandemic, I witnessed many on the internet making demeaning jokes about us Chinese people. So, why must we, or rather, why must any race become a scapegoat due to the hatred and machinations of the few
I must point out that the media and politicians also contribute to the current hate and fear that plague our nation. You see, when a country wants to go to war with another, in order to make the people of that country want to support the war effort, those who declare war have to justify their actions. Therefore, in order to support and maintain the war effort, the media spreads propaganda about the so-called enemy. And those who are prone to propaganda start supporting the war, and now, the country is able to go to war! Not to mention, although the media claims that its coverage is fair and unbiased, when in reality, it is often biased. There might always be some amount of biased information integrated within the non-biased information. A very good example is when the terrorists of 9/11 were classified as Islamic terrorists. We really didn’t need to know terrorists’ religion, because the most important point is that they were terrorists and they terrorised our nation. However, the media is still quick to use the phrase “Islamic terrorist” in news reports. By doing this, a significant number of Americans were misled to scapegoat the Islamic world, as the media is quite widespread. And now, that same hatred and fear is being directed towards Asians.
It is incredibly frustrating and disappointing that at this late date of human history, certain human beings choose to hate others due to skin-color, religion, gender, class, sexuality, and many other factors. After all, we are made of skin, bones, muscles, blood, water, and other biological materials. All of us are trying to get by in this world. There is really no fundamental difference between human beings on this planet, except for our experiences and knowledge. This is the truth that sadly, too many people do not acknowledge.
So why should Asian Hate exist and go unchecked Or rather, why must we be conditioned to hate and fear other racial groups due to the mistakes of the sole few and the propaganda produced by the deceptive Why should we hate Muslims, Asians, Africans, Latinos, Natives, or honestly anyone for that matter, if underneath, we are made out of the same matter and spirit After all, we are all human, aren’t we?
Rachel Chen, San Jose