WASHINGTON — Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a group of five civil rights organizations, issued the following statement and call to action about the coronavirus on Feb. 19:
“We are disappointed and disturbed by the discriminatory sentiment aimed at Asian Americans in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic in Asia.
“In order to prevent xenophobia, Asian Americans Advancing Justice calls on the media to be conscious of how they frame stories around the coronavirus and for social media platforms to dispel the spread of misinformation. We also urge the public to refrain from targeting Asian Americans. Common sense needs to prevail where people understand and focus on the facts of the virus.
“No amount of fear can excuse prejudice and discrimination against Asian Americans. Throughout history, Asian Americans have been wrongly targeted due to mass hysteria, from the use of the racist term ‘Yellow Peril’ to refer to East Asians as a danger to Western civilization to the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII.
“Every Asian American has the right to go to school, work, and other public places without being subjected to racial discrimination.
“We encourage individuals who have experienced a hate incident or other racist actions tied to the coronavirus outbreak to report it to StandAgainstHatred.org.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all: Advancing Justice | AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice–Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice–Los Angeles, Advancing Justice–Atlanta, and Advancing Justice | Chicago.