In a statement to ChurchLeaders, pastor and Asian American Christian Collaborative (AACC) president Raymond Chang said, “In light of the 10,000+ cases of anti-Asian violence and hate, where the association of the Covid-19 virus and China elevated xenophobia through ‘yellow peril’ tactics, a post like this only adds fuel to the fire that is harming our communities.”
“For people to minimize racism in any form is unChristian. Attempts to call Asian Americans sensitive or say they are missing the intent of the humor after members of our communities have been assaulted and killed would be to say to their families and loved ones that they are blowing humor attempts that essentially come at their expense out of proportion,” Chang added.
Since the onset of the global pandemic in 2020, North America has experienced an uptick in anti-Asian racism and hate crimes, a trend that was exacerbated by former president Donald Trump’s insistence on referring to COVID-19 as “the China Virus” and “the Wuhan Virus.” Similar anti-Asian rhetoric has been echoed by other politicians and news pundits.
In April of 2020, the AACC released a statement condemning anti-Asian rhetoric, which has often led to physical violence against Asian Americans.
“We call for an immediate end to the xenophobic rhetoric, hate crimes, and violence against our people and communities,” the statement said.
“In the last two weeks of March 2020, Asian Americans have reported nearly 1,000 incidents of racism, and without mitigation, we expect that number to rise in the weeks ahead,” the statement continued. “Many of these were violent attacks against life and human dignity, and many more incidents have gone unreported.”
Urging Christians to “speak without ambiguity against racism of every kind,” the AACC said, “Faithful Christian witness requires anti-racist work, and silence only perpetuates the sins not addressed.”
This article has been updated to include statements made by Sam Won and Raymond Chang.