On March 14th in Midland, Texas, an Asian-American family was brutally attacked and stabbed in a Sam’s Club store by a man because “he thought the family was Chinese and infecting people with the coronavirus,” (ABC News). This is just one example of many hate crimes against Asian-Americans have occurred in the United States and around the world.
In addition to this, President Trump has repeatedly, and purposely, referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus”, which only further amplifies prejudice against Asian-Americans during this time.
These examples of racism towards Asian-Americans can be considered as modern Orientalism, which is still very present in the United States and around the globe.
Orientalism is defined as the belief among Europeans and Americans that Arab and Asian societies are “exotic, backward, uncivilized, and at times dangerous” (Reclaiming Identity: Dismantling Arab Stereotypes).
As defined, both the man who attacked the family in Sam’s Club, as well as President Trump, who referrers to the coronavirus in an incorrect and racist manner, are examples of how Orientalism is present today, during a global pandemic.
Orientalism is not dead, and it never has been. During this time of global crisis and at all other times, it is important to destroy these racist stereotypes that Asian-Americans are currently living with, as they are in fear for their lives. During this period of uncertainty, it is essential that everyone from around the globe stands together as one in order to defeat both the coronavirus, and the racism that is incorrectly being associated with this pandemic.