THE RACE EPIDEMIC
Resurgence of the Yellow Peril
The Race Documentary is now The Race Epidemic. The new name refers to the epidemic of hate based on race against Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). Racism is America’s epidemic – it has plagued our nation since its inception. It attacks different groups more intensely at different times, but it always persists. Unlike a pandemic, an epidemic is localized- a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease through a community.
The Race Epidemic
The Race Epidemic is about another outbreak caused by COVID-19. An epidemic of hate based on race against Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). With a politicized pandemic sweeping through the country and a former President calling it the Chinese Virus, the rise of attacks and hate against AAPIs is not surprising.
Can naming a virus after an innocent ethnic group cause the outbreak of an epidemic of hate? Or is it something hidden deeper within American society? The film takes a close examination of xenophobia and racism against AAPIs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Race Epidemic is a significant film of our times as innocent AAPIs are being attacked and murdered on the streets. It’s time to act. We can no longer be the silent minority. Our voice will not be silenced.
THE EPIDEMIC OF FEAR AND RACISM
An Untold History
Xenophobia and fear of the other has always been a part of America. The original sin of slavery foretold other sins and discrimination against every “new American.” From the Italians to the Irish, Jews to Asians to Latinx and every other immigrant group that has found their way to America, racism, prejudice, discrimination, and violence have been part of their history and our history as a nation.
AAPIs have long endured hatred and bias in their adopted homeland. However, unlike some other ethnic groups in America, the racism and discrimination has not subsided. Blending in has not been an option. AAPIs are the unwanted Americans, the perpetual foreigner, never welcome in their own homes. Fear, economic uncertainty, and insecurity drives this hate and violence.
Starting with the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Gentlemen’s Agreement which limited Japanese immigration, to the Muslim ban, AAPIs are the unwelcome immigrant. Discrimination, prejudices and ultimately violence have been too common in the Asian American and Pacific Islander experience. In Los Angeles Chinatown in 1871, 500 white men lynched 20 Chinese men, and San Francisco followed suit in 1877when a mob of angry white men rioted in Chinatown for 3 days killing 4 Chinese men and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. In 1982, Vincent Chin was murdered because he was mistaken for a Japanese American – economic rivalry and misperceived threats fueled this violence. Now AAPIs are being attacked and murdered in broad day light caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Why Our Documentary?
The documentary tells the story of AAPIs and their unique story in the broader context of racism in America. Racism is America’s epidemic – it has plagued our nation since its inception. It attacks different groups more intensely at different times, but it always persists.
Film is one of the most powerful media to reach and communicate to the mass because it effects emotion and changes perceptions. An image beats a thousand words. It is time for AAPIs to change the wrong perception and stigmatized image of us from the past. The Race Epidemic seeks to heal America through understanding, compassion, and knowledge.