In light of increasing reports of pandemic-related cases of xenophobia, discrimination, and racism, including acts of violence, against Asians and Asian Americans, as well a statements by the US President and other high-level government officials that appear designed to incite such sentiments, the undersigned organizations strongly and unequivocally condemn all forms of racism and ethnocentrism, especially recent attempts to scapegoat Asians or Asian Americans for the coronavirus pandemic.
There is a long history in American society of both direct and indirect language demeaning members of some ethnic groups, including unjustifiable stereotypes associating Asian immigrants with disease, in particular. Intentional or unintentional use of such language inflames both explicit and implicit biases against such groups. Terminology such as “Chinese Virus,” “Wuhan Virus,” and “Kung Flu” tend to highlight differences among people rather than making any kind of meaningful designation about an organism or a disease.
Let us support the Asian and Asian American members of our communities by rejecting all forms of xenophobia and racism, treating Asians and Asian Americans with dignity and respect, and encouraging all individuals (especially government officials and leaders within civil society), organizations (especially governmental agencies), and media outlets to use the official designations from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization to refer to the virus as SARS-CoV-2 and the disease as COVID-19.
American Philosophical Association
American Folklore Society
American Historical Association
American Sociological Association
American Studies Association
Medieval Academy of America
Middle East Studies Association
Rhetoric Society of America
Society for Ethnomusicology
Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study
The above statement was drafted by the APA Committee on Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies.