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Anti-racism Resources

This guide explores the causes and impacts of racism and how to be anti-racist.

COVID-19 Pandemic Related Violence



Defined as a fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign (Merriam-Webster, 2021), xenophobia describes attitudes, prejudices and behavior that reject, exclude and often vilify persons, based on the perception that they are outsiders or foreigners to the community, society or national identity (International Labour Office, 2001).

Pandemics & Xenophobia

Disease and Virus Naming Conventions

In 2015 the World Health Organization issued disease naming conventions that focus on descriptive terms, based on the symptoms that the disease causes (e.g., respiratory disease), as well as any more specific descriptive terms, such as age of onset (e.g., juvenile), how it manifests (e.g., progressive, acute, etc.) and the pathogen (e.g., influenza virus, coronavirus, etc.).  Descriptive terms that should be avoided are those that specify geographic location (e.g., Spanish Flu, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, etc.), as well as racial, ethnic, national, or cultural references (e.g., Wuhan or Chinese Coronavirus). 


Coronavirus and the Racist History of Pandemics


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News Sources: Anti-Asian Sentiment & COVID-19

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History of Anti-Asian Violence

History of Anti-AAPI Violence and Discrimination


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  • Kurashige, L. (2016). Chronology. In Two Faces of Exclusion: The Untold History of Anti-Asian Racism in the United States (pp. Xix-Xxii). Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

The end of open borders in the United States started with the first immigration laws in the late 19th Century that focused on limiting and prohibiting the entry of Chinese immigrants.

Page Act of 1875 

Passed March 3, 1875, the Page Act was named after its sponsor, California Representative Horace F. Page (R), who introduced the bill in order to "end the danger of cheap Chinese labor and immoral Chinese women". The law technically barred immigrants considered "undesirable," defining this as a person from East Asia who was coming to the United States to be a forced laborer, any East Asian woman who would engage in prostitution, and all people considered to be convicts in their own country. 

Chinese Exclusion Act

The Chinese Exclusion Act, passed on  May 6, 1882, was the only U.S. federal law prohibiting all immigration of Chinese laborers. Building on the earlier Page Act of 1875 which banned Chinese women from immigrating to the United States, the Chinese Exclusion Act was the first, and remains the only law to have been implemented, to prevent all members of a specific ethnic or national group from immigrating to the United States.



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The Chinese Massacre: One of Los Angeles' Worst Atrocities



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Facts & Figures (Encyclopedia Britannica) 

  • Japanese American internment was the forced relocation by the United States government of approximately 120,000 of Japanese Americans to detention camps during World War II. 
  • Japanese-American Population (at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941):
    • Continental US - ~127,000 Japanese Americans  
      • ~80,000 are Nisei  or second generation, meaning American-born Japanese with U.S. citizenship) and Sansei or third generation, meaning the children of Nisei
      • ~47,000 are Issei, or first generation, meaning immigrants who were born in Japan who were ineligible for U.S. citizenship under U.S. law.
    • Hawaiian Territory - ~200,000 Japanese immigrated to Hawaii
  • February 1942, the U.S. War Department created 12 restricted zones along the Pacific coast and established nighttime curfews for Japanese Americans within them.
  • March 18, 1942 - the federal War Relocation Authority (WRA) was established with the mission to “take all people of Japanese descent into custody, surround them with troops, prevent them from buying land, and return them to their former homes at the close of the war.”



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Representation & Perceptions

Asian Misrepresentation in Media | by Peter Westacott


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Yellow Peril

The "Yellow Peril", also called Yellow Fear, Yellow Terror and the Yellow Specter, is a racist, skin color-based metaphor that seeks to portray East Asian peoples as an existential danger to the Western world. Yellow Peril imagery cast Asians as exotic perils to white society, representing a potential economic, military, and social threat. (Cortés, 2013)


“Yellow Peril” and Anti-Asian Prejudice in the Shadow of Coronavirus


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Racial Fetishization as taking a sexual desire towards someone for their ‘exotic’ physical and cultural attributes they possess, specific to their race group. For example, skin, physical features, cultural practices and so on (Vera, n.d.).

Yellow Fever is the derogatory term used to describe a fetish for Asian, in particular Asian women, which is rooted in the stereotypes of Asian women being subservient, passive, and quiet, while also exotic and seductive (Chang, 2006), creating a trope of the hypersexual but docile Asian woman (Ramirez, 2021). 


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Model Minority is a term that has been used predominately in the United States to identify a minority demographic (whether based on ethnicity, race or religion) whose members are perceived to achieve a higher degree of socioeconomic success (education, income, profession, etc), especially when compared to other minority groups. 

Model minority is often applied to Asian Americans, who, as a group, are often praised for apparent success across academic, economic, and cultural domains—successes typically offered in contrast to the perceived achievements of other racial group. 

Model Minority Myth

The concept of the model minority is built on positive stereotypes of a particular ethnic group, for example Asians work hard and are good at math. While these characterizations of an entire grouping of people may seem positive and therefore not harmful, the use of stereotypes erases the differences among individuals. This myth overlooks the fact that Asian Americans are a diverse group of people, with unique cultures, backgrounds, and aspirations. 


Why Do We Call Asian Americans The Model Minority? 


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“Open CSCU” by the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 International License. The individual items included are subject to their respective license provisions.