Purpose: The Asian American Business Development Center (AABDC) has compiled a list of recommended dos and donts for corporations, their managers and employees who wish to demonstrate support to their Asian American colleagues, partners, customers and the community during the Covid-19 “Coronavirus” pandemic.
The coronavirus crisis has been the trigger for a rise in harassment, hostility and racism against some Asian Americans, particularly those of East Asian origin. There have been numerous reports and accounts from Asian Americans who have been unfairly targeted for no other reason than their physical appearance.
- Realize that the virus’ link to China has led to stigmatization of not only those who come from China, but anyone who “looks” Chinese.
- Remember that the coronavirus, just as many previous pandemics like SARS and H1N1, has been indiscriminate in spreading across boundaries.
- Be sensitive that the Asia Pacific region has a large and diverse cultural base, and that each nationality is distinct and shares its own unique identity.
- Be aware that your East Asian American employees, customers and partners may be feeling particularly sensitive about being connected with the origins of the virus from China.
- Be mindful of comments, even meant in humor, that use stereotypical language to describe or discuss the virus and the connection with China, can be extremely hurtful.
- Tell your managers and employees that these challenging times require extra care and sensitivity during interactions with each other.
- Maintain an open door policy for all your employees and managers to raise any issues relating to virus-related racism or harassment.
- Ask managers to be vigilant to observe for any signs of targeting or stigmatizing. Some of these interactions may be subtle and those who are targeted may be reluctant to speak up.
- Share this and any other materials that discuss this issue and join other companies and organizations to speak up against this virus-linked racism.