I guess this could be Part II of my post ‘Tracing roots of coronavirus pandemic is not racism’ where I ranted at Christine Flowers for trying to defend Trump as not being racist for calling out China as the originators of coronavirus. 

Today, I’m drawn to a Philadelphia Inquirer article that describes how the new rise in hatred toward the Asian community is having an impact on their mental health. The article does an excellent job explaining how racism and mental health go hand-in-hand. I’ve seen many articles like this come out, especially following the Michael Brown protests in Ferguson, MO back in 2014. But, outside of the Black community, those mental health concerns fell on deaf ears.

Reading today’s Inquirer article about the Asians and their mental issues dealing with racism, it’s easy to see an entirely different dynamic…

“Chinese Americans have been increasingly worried about their safety every day, and the issue is getting deeper and deeper into their mental health concerns,” Wang said. “Among [the group members], the biggest concern is that when someone goes somewhere, [they] may be attacked, verbally or physically, because of being Asian or Chinese Americans.”

Wang started a WeChat group for Chinese Americans who were worried about the rising numbers of racist incidents during the pandemic. Soon after, he began working closely with state and local police, the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, and other law enforcement agencies to encourage Chinese Americans who experience racist incidents to report them.

The only thing Black folks got was people yelling ‘All Lives Matter.’

The article states the number of hate crimes against Asian Americans has been decreasing for 15 years, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report data from 2003 to 2017. However, negative comments about Asians increased 167% the week after President Donald Trump used the phrase China virus during a news conference.

A 2007 study that surveyed 2,047 Asian Americans identified racial discrimination as a significant predictor of mental health disorders over a 12-month period. I wonder if anyone counts how many Black folks have ever been identified with the same issues of racism’s affect on mental health.

“When people are treated unfairly, it can create a stress response called allostatic load,” said Gilbert Gee, a professor in the department of community health sciences at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California Los Angeles. “Allostatic load can impair the body in many ways, such as weakening our immune systems.”

I guess we should focus on Asian’s immune systems. Black folks are immune to immunity issues, I suspect.  

“Even if people aren’t experiencing direct incidents, just the knowledge of it can cause them to feel anxious, depressed, or hyper-vigilant, which can lead to other mental health issues,” Nadal said. “It’s a collective trauma —the anticipation comes from people of your shared identity having experienced violence.”

This was a huge issue in Black circles during Furguson and the many other shootings and choking of Black unarmed people. As the news seemed to be on constant rotation of the latest incident, it was documented within the mental health community that Black folks across the country who were not experiencing direct incidents, just the knowledge of it, became anxious, depressed, and hyper-vigilant. It’s just that those stories didn’t make mainstream media.

Hopefully, the attention the Asians are now getting to situations Black folks have constantly been dealing with for decades will support attention to help to solve the mental anguish racism causes for both groups.