Date of Completion

Winter 1-23-2021

Thesis Advisor(s)

Patricia Rossi

Honors Major

Molecular and Cell Biology

Abstract

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, anti-Asian hate crimes have increased sharply. Although this is one of the first instances where a larger portion of the population is actively participating in discussion on this topic, Asian discrimination has woven itself throughout American history. Concepts like the model minority myth, racial triangulation, and panethnic fate have been common tales within the Asian American diaspora. Ostracism in tandem with valorization applies from the mid-1800’s California Gold Rush to Reagan era affirmative action cases. In some aspects, Asian people are tokenized, while in other instances, they are labeled as foreign and alien. Asian Americans have also endured a long history of medical scapegoatism in multiple epidemics, receiving backlash during the smallpox and bubonic plague outbreaks to the more present SARS and coronavirus pandemics. Solutions to racial discrimination require a multifaceted approach that integrates political, health, and educational institutional sectors to shift society into celebrating diversity.

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