Anti-Asian Racism in the Shadow of COVID-19 in the USA: Reported Incidents, Psychological Implications, and Coping Resources

Inna Reddy Edara (Graduate Institute of Educational Leadership & Development, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei, Taiwan)

Article ID: 1932



Racism, which has been a deeply rooted feature of so many human societies across the world for centuries, has become rampant in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past racism was thought to be as somehow “natural” or “biological.” Later on, sociologists recognized “race” as a socially and culturally constructed ideology, which exists in a society at both the individual and institutional levels. Further down the timeline, psychologists viewed racism as an individual or a collective psychological defensive mechanism generated by feelings of fear, insecurity, and anxiety in the face of imminent or presumed internal or external threat. No matter how it is described, racism has become rampant in the shadow of COVID-19, manifested in the incidents of racial slurs and verbal abuse, online bullying, physical attacks, vandalism, and others. It took the forms of white supremacy, xenophobia, Sinophobia, and institutional and aversive racism. It was institutionalized, politicized, and religionized. Given this increasing occurrence of racism triggered by COVID-19, this paper tried to trace the historical roots of racism, followed by the analysis of the specific incidents of anti-Asian racism and discrimination related to COVID-19 in the United States. This paper also sketched the psychological implications of racism and some coping mechanisms for the victims.


Anti-Asian racism; Coping mechanisms; COVID-19 pandemic;Psychological implications

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