Anti-Asian racism and violence in North America have been called a “shadow pandemic” – one that has intensified over the past year and builds on a long history of discrimination.
How, then, can we stop it?
“One of the things that I’ve been trying to promote in the aftermath of the shootings in Georgia is the power that allies and bystanders have,” says Jooyoung Lee, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Toronto. “If you’re a witness to harassment in public, just speaking up, just doing something … can have significant effects.”
Lee is one of two guests in “Scapegoat,” a special two-part episode of The New Normal podcast hosted by Maydianne Andrade. The second guest is Diana Fu, an associate professor of political science at U of T Scarborough and an expert on U.S.-China relations.
“Anti-Asian racism during the pandemic has been called a shadow pandemic and I think that term is very, very powerful,” says Fu. “It’s not just that Asians are experiencing the pandemic like everybody else, but, on top of that, we are being beaten, being yelled at, being spit at. All of those things are being experienced on top of experiencing the virus.
“And it’s also not a recent problem.”
Together, Fu, Lee and Andrade, a professor at U of T Scarborough and Canada Research Chair in Integrative Behavioural Ecology, explore the history of anti-Asian racism and its devastating impacts.
“Do you know what it feels like to have others act like you have less value than other humans? In Canada, we call it being racialized,” Andrade says. “How do we find solutions? How can we be agents of change?”
The New Normal is created in collaboration with a University of Toronto Communications team led by Lisa Lightbourn. You can listen to the podcast on Spotify or listen on SoundCloud. You can also find it on Apple or listen on Google.