MarketWatch: ‘I was in so much fear that I started running’: Asian Americans must grapple with racism — as well as the coronavirus pandemic
MarketWatch - It was Oct. 3, 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act that abolished the so-called National Origins Formula, giving to Asian Americans, among other minorities, the right to become U.S. citizens after years of tension and discrimination, particularly in the wake of World War II. The law, supported by both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, was a milestone in American history.
But now another moment could risk complicating years of progress for Asian Americans: The coronavirus pandemic. . .
“After 9/11, President George W. Bush reminded the American people that the Muslim Americans were not terrorists despite the terrorist attack,” said Jerry Vattamala, Director, Democracy Program at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, an organization that protects civil rights of Asian Americans.
“Bush’s presidential tone had preserved and stemmed a further spiking of episodes of discrimination back in 2001,” he said. Vattamala thinks that the current president is fanning the flames of hatred instead.
“A historical moment like this, it can become dangerous for the daily lives of all the Asian Americans, not only the Chinese population,” said Vattamala, whose parents moved from India to the U.S. in the 1980s. . .