Burden of Blame

3rd Place, People's Choice, Spring 2020

By: Adrija Chakrabarty, Madison Thantu, Nimah Rashid, Sandhya Murgan, Sohini Halder

Why misattributing blame for the spread of COVID-19 is historically redundant. And dangerous.

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As we collectively reflect on the seemingly infinite number of ways the SARS-CoV-2 virus has upended our world, it has become increasingly important to gain a deeper understanding of how this virus is disproportionately affecting certain communities more than others.

One such community is the Asian American community which has fallen victim to rampant racism, xenophobia, and unwarranted blame for the global spread of COVID-19. In our magazine we aim to dissect the racism being directed at Asian Americans today and contextualize it in the history of xenophobia and blame directed at the community for the past multiple decades.

This magazine delves specifically into how the construction of the Asian race influences the optics of disease, why the seemingly opposing labels of “foreign” and “assimilated” work in concert to obscure health disparities experienced by Asian Americans, and how historical forms of “Yellow Peril” stereotypes add fuel to the fire of contemporary manifestations of anti-Asian American xenophobia.

We hope this magazine provides readers with a robust understanding of how our institutions allow unchecked racism to exist even when there is no global pandemic raging. By talking about such issues, we aim to convey the significant but often unexamined consequences of placing the onus of disease on Asian Americans not just throughout history but in the present day.

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Based on Bootstrapious.com and Kishan B