My thoughts on the discrimination sweeping my community in the wake of COVID-19
On occasion, Flywire uses this blog to share the opinions of our FlyMates (employees) on important topics. We think this particular issue—Asian hate and discrimination—demands a platform.
Flywire has a significant business presence in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore as well as representatives in Vietnam and Malaysia. Many of our clients also recruit international students from the region. As an organization, diversity, equity and inclusion are also an integral part of our culture. We strive to reinforce these values through an inclusive approach to our work and by creating and maintaining a safe, inclusive, and equitable environment for all FlyMates. Flywire does not tolerate hate, violence, or racism and we stand with all of those who continue to fight oppression.
The experience that follows is one individual's perspective. We recognize and respect that other experiences may differ.
As a global program associate in Flywire’s Education vertical, and an international student from China, I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts on the discrimination being faced by the Asian community in the wake of COVID-19. While I’m very nervous—in my eight years living here, this is the first time I’ve felt compelled to talk about a subject like this in a public way—I know I need to stand up and lend my voice to let people know what is happening and how these victims feel.
This video from USA Today gives you an idea of the anger, anxiety and fear that the Asian community is experiencing as irrational discrimination and racism spreads through this country and around the world even faster than the Coronavirus.
It's difficult for me to watch, every time. I’m always left wondering how all of this is happening and why people feel justified in taking their anger and hatred out on innocent people. As we’ve seen in the news recently, it feels like things are only getting worse as people continue to try to mine political value from a virus causing so much pain and anguish in this world.
When people started using the term “China virus,” my family in China worried about my safety here. Not because of the virus, but because of racism. It was heartbreaking. They never come to the U.S. and are not familiar with my daily life here, but they understand human nature, and they’ve seen what happens when influential people blame a country and a race for something like a global pandemic. They are preaching that it’s ok to take your anger out on a group of people. It’s obviously not okay, but it’s also a reality that Asian people are experiencing every day.
Pictured below is a brief timeline of the fear and hatred that Asian people have been facing around the world. Over 50 countries have reported incidents of discrimination since the start of the virus. Over 2800 incidents of discrimination have been reported in the US alone since the virus became widespread in March of 2020.
But, what about all the cases not being reported? We all know how fast discrimination can happen. Just a sentence, a gesture, a moment of eye contact. You don’t know who that person is or how to describe to the police what is happening. It’s for those people that I wanted to speak out today. I want to do something to help them and lend a voice to their silence.
We can all be healed by medicine, and made immune by a vaccine, but how about those victims who have been assaulted and shamed since this all began? How do they heal?
I appreciate you taking the time to read this and hope you will join me in speaking up against discrimination. We've provided resources below for more information and ways you can get involved.
Recommended Resources and Ways to Get Involved