DALLAS, TEXAS (KDAF) – Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, there has been an increase in hate and vitriol towards Asian-Americans and Asians across the world.
The FBI recently warned of a potential surge in hate crimes against Asian-Americans as the pandemic grows. Seeing this trend, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum released a statement confronting the rise in attacks on Asian-Americans. In the statement, the museum says “To blame Asian-Americans, or any other group for its transmission is absurd. Yet, some Asian-Americans have been targets of verbal and physical abuse, afraid to go outside for groceries, toiletries, or travel alone. This must not be our response as Americans. We are better than this.”
CW33’s Jenny Anchondo spoke with Mary Pat Higgins, President and CEO of the museum about the rise in animosity and attacks on Asian-Americans.
She says “We know that viruses don’t know nationalities, ethnicity, we are all at risk for contracting the virus. We thought it was important to make a statement to help people remember how negative it is to fall into the trap of bigotry.”
The hate isn’t always in the form of direct attacks. Much of the bigotry and racism in the U.S. is systemic and embedded in our culture. Jokes are often a way in which they’re expressed, even if “unintended.”
Higgins asks that people remember that it’s not always just a joke. “‘We’re all finding that humor is important” she says, “but we need to be careful about that humor and make sure that it’s not hurtful, that it’s not based in bigotry.”
The museum might be closed, but they’re still offering ways to both see the harmful impact of bigotry, but also the resiliency of people who have overcome it. You can still take virtual tours of the museum and they are offer several book clubs for kids and adults.
On Sunday, April 19 they’re hosting a virtual Yom Hashoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day.
For more information on their virtual tours, books clubs, Yom Hashoah, and more visit dhhrm.org.