Since the outbreak of the coronavirus there have been concerns about whether Asian Americans would be racially profiled, discriminated against or even targeted by violence. Unfortunately, these fears have been realized. Reports of violence and fear-fueled discrimination are beginning to surface across our country and in Southern California.
We call on all the people of Orange County to refrain from the racism and xenophobia that misinformation and conspiracy theories are promoting. The risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 comes from prolonged exposure, not ethnicity, race or nationality.
Our great nation is at its best when we unite and live out our commitment to liberty and justice for all. In the wake of tragedy, Americans have been known to put aside our differences and work together. But our history also tells us that our fears can divide us and, if unchecked, lead us to grave injustices like the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII.
If you have been the target of a hate crime or incidents tied to the outbreak of COVID-19, we urge you to report it here: http://www.ochumanrelations.org/hatecrime/report/ or by calling 714-480-6570.
As we face this outbreak, we must remember that no amount of fear will excuse discrimination or hate. Instead, stick to the facts. According to the OC Health Care Agency, the best way to protect yourself is:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
At OC Human Relations we envision an Orange County where all people feel safe, valued and included. Please join us in ensuring that none of our neighbors are the targets of hate!