Yang opinion piece delusional, not realistic

By Wang Ming

The Washington Post recently published an opinion piece by Andrew Yang, a former US Democratic presidential candidate, titled, “We Asian Americans are not the virus, but we can be part of the cure.” As an Asian in the US, I was extremely irritated by his abnormal mentality.
In the piece, Yang writes, “I felt self-conscious – even a bit ashamed – of being Asian,” after a middle-aged man looked up at him with “something accusatory in his eyes.” I too have witnessed “something accusatory” in the eyes of strangers multiple times since February, especially when I started wearing face masks. One of my Chinese friends endured insults while riding a subway in New York City. However, what I felt was pure anger.
Have we Asians ever done anything wrong? Scientists believe the coronavirus came from a natural process, and its origin has yet to be determined. New research suggests that “most New York coronavirus cases came from Europe,” not Asia, according to the New York Times.
Could Yang please clarify why Asians should be ashamed? Why did he – as an Asian American – admit to a few fabricated faults?
If any group should feel ashamed, it’s American politicians. They repeatedly used racist slurs to call the virus, which had already been named by the World Health Organization, fomenting racism and placing Asians in an undeserved situation. They also failed to prepare for the pandemic in its early stages – despite warnings from Asian countries – and are now failing to contain the respiratory virus. The lives and expenses of Americans are jeopardized because of the inaction and incompetence of US politicians, not Asian Americans.
US racists should also feel ashamed. ABC News reported a March 14 case, in which a man in Texas allegedly stabbed three Asian Americans “because he thought the family was Chinese, and infecting people with the coronavirus.”
This was only one incident among several. The FBI warned that “hate crime incidents against Asian Americans likely will surge” across the US. US racists are also hurting Asians in the US with their unprovoked hostility and causing the ethnic demographic to live in fear, not the other way around.

Yang also called on Asian Americans to “show our American-ness in ways we never have before,” and to “do everything in our power to accelerate the end of this crisis.” Yet this “cure” is only partially correct.
As US citizens, Asian Americans have a responsibility to help the government cope with the virus. Confronting the common enemy should be every human being’s responsibility, but making it a demonstration of “American-ness” is degrading.
Moreover, Asian Americans have spared no effort in their responsibilities. Prior to the outbreak, Asian Americans had been contributing to US society. Even though I’m not an American citizen, I have paid tens of thousands of dollars in taxes while living here. Have racists acknowledged the contributions made by Asians?
Yang wrote that “some 17 percent of US doctors are Asian and rushing to the front lines.” The percentage is almost three times the Asian American demographic in the US. The Asian community has also raised money and gathered supplies to help fight the COVID-19 crisis. Meanwhile, have the racists dropped their discrimination?
It was a friend of mine that once said, “We Asian Americans can only fit in when racism is eliminated in the country.” As racism is increasingly tearing apart the self-proclaimed melting pot, it is true that “saying ‘Don’t be racist toward Asians’ won’t work,” Yang wrote. However, the solution is not to grovel and to feed racist egos, but to present a clear and tough attitude against discrimination.
As an entrepreneur and former presidential candidate, Yang should have used his influence to speak for Asians and do something positive to fight against racism. Now, he is asking Asians to bow down. This is entirely disappointing, and as one Chinese netizen commented, “I also feel a bit ashamed of Yang being Asian.”
Perhaps for many Asians who once yearned to live in the US, the country is losing its appeal as politicians and racists have shown their true colors amid the pandemic.
–The Daily Mail-Global Times news exchange item