Yesterday I watched a painful scene of an Asian woman getting slandered with unwelcome and unkind words by a a few white Americans on TV. The words spoken are “It’s your fault that we are getting sick! Go back to your home!” These young male Americans were not only vomiting toxic words but eye were also throwing garbage or stones at the woman. She started to run away from them and they gave chase. The news clip stopped and we do not know whatever happened after that.
I remember our mayor in LA, Gil Garcetti, meeting not to discriminate against Asians or to destroy businesses owned by Asian people. Twice in his daily debriefings spoke on this at the 5:00 televised briefings which began soon after the COVID-19 outbreak in our nation. I appreciate Mr. Garcetti for his effort to communicate the updates on the COVID-19 each day and I was especially struck by his comments about the racial slander against Asians that are happening ay this already difficult time. As our nation faces overwhelming amounts of people with COVID-19 infections and the death toll increases everyday, t is easy to get numbed by the news. As of today, 946,234 COVID-19 confirmed cases and more than 47,858 people have died worldwide. And in the U.S., we have 214,461 confirmed cases with 4,841 deaths. As of yesterday, our nation is facing whether recommend wearing of facial masks for everyone.The entire news, very hour and days filled with the COVID-19 stories. I this environment it is natural for the people to fear, especially when people cannot trust our leaders in government, medical experts, and even the entire infrastructure and social systems. We place some level of trust in the medical experts who should know how to advise people—whether we should wear masks or not. One day they say “no,” and another day, “yes”. Whatever the reason may be, the trust should not change. The medical experts should have come out and recommended that the entire population should wear masks. But we do not have enough medical supplies and therefore we should give the PPE to medical personnel and others who are on the front lines facing sick patients. It appears all leaders are changing their stories and recommendations “flying by the seat of their pants” depending on the circumstances. If we had known what’s coming tomorrow, we would have done a few things differently to prevent this infection, and leaders would have prepared better to protect the nation, but we are all humans and now, it is what it is. In the meantime, fear among the general population increased, manifested by stockpiling food and toilet paper and attacking Asian-Americans who most likely lived in America for a long time, like fellow Americans who live in this beautiful country and yet they are getting singled out for an outpouring of anger from other races. It is frustrating to have this COVID-19 crisis which originated in Wuhan, China. It must have been started by an individual person recklessly tasting an exotic food for his/her curiosity and pleasure which is now resulting in the loss of so many lives. It is easy to blame others because it is one of our coping mechanisms, but it is a cowardly way to deal with the current circumstances. As an immigrant Korean-American person, and a physician who takes some risk going to work during this crisis, I cannot help toffee sympathetic to other Asian-Americans who face racial discrimination during this painful time. Misery usually compounds, yet this touches me personally. The unfairness compounds since I am not Chinese, but because an “Asian face is an Asian face,” all Asian nationals are a target for the blame by ignorant people in America.
Recently Americans were told our death and infection rate may peak in two weeks, which means even the current situation is not the worst. The worst is yet to come. Loss of jobs, lack of money to pay the bills, hunger, sickness, fear and loss of mind and lack of judgment will increase to the degree we have not seen in America. The blaming game which is the original sin form Adam and Eve times will spike to the level when Adam said “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” Eve said, “The serpent deceived me. That’s why I ate it.” Neither of them claimed responsibility but fingered someone else or something else for their actions. This blaming game fractures relationships in the marriage, families and nations. At a different time in the history of the US, different types and races of people get the blames. Now, the COVID-19 era unfolds and blame targets the Asian race, similar to the World War II era when Japan invaded Pearl Harbor. All Asians suffered in America. Rather than blaming others for our calamities, it is time to turn our focus toward our creator God who is allowing such a time as this in our nation. In Psalm 110: 5-6, the text states “He will strike down many kings when His anger erupts. He will punish the nations and fill their lands with corpses. He will shatter heads over the whole earth.”
Maybe God is doing something globally and we need to figure out what that is. In the meantime, we need to fill the needs of the people, stepping up to help out our neighbors and not be among the numbers who spread this deadly disease to others. It is my hope to cease the easy route of blaming, and come together in prayers to pass this unprecedented time together as stronger Americans. Discrimination is a cop-out, a cowardly act, and it gains nothing. In Psalm 110, it reveals who is the Messiah and says, “He will be victorious”. Later in Matthew 22:41-46: “Then, surrounded by the Pharisees Jesus asked them a question. ‘What do you think about the Messiah” Whose son is he?’ ” They replied, “He is the son of David.” Jesus responded, “then why does David, speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit call the Messiah, My Lord? For David said, “The Lord said to my Lord, sit in the place of honor at might hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet”. Since David called the Messiah my Lord, how can the Messiah be his son?” No one could answer him. And after that, no one dared to ask him more questions.”
This Jesus is our Lord who sits at the right hand of our Father God, and won the victory over evil.