"One moment we are Americans, the next we are all foreigners, who “brought” the virus here"
The Korean American actor said he warned his parents of the dangers of racism at the moment.
“I called my parents a few nights ago to tell them to be cautious when stepping out of the house, because they might be targets of verbal or even physical abuse,” the 47-year-old actor said.
“It felt so strange. Our roles had flipped. My plea mirrored the admonitions I received from them as a child growing up in Houston.”
Cho came to the US at age 6 in 1978 and naturalized in 1990.
He went on state how the virus, which is believed to have originated in China has affected Asian Americans.
“The fact that the coronavirus seems to have originated in China has spawned a slew of anti-Asian hate crimes,” he said.
“Across the country, Asian American parents and children are making versions of the call I made.”
“The pandemic is reminding us that our belonging is conditional,” Cho continued. “One moment we are Americans, the next we are all foreigners, who “brought” the virus here.”
Cho went on to say that in order to combat the pandemic, society needs to work together.
“If the coronavirus has taught us anything, it’s that the solution to a widespread problem cannot be patchwork,” he said. “Never has our interconnectedness and our reliance on each other been plainer.”
“You can’t stand up for some and not for others,” he stated. “And like the virus, unchecked aggression has the potential to spread wildly.”
Cho also called for immediate action by those who witness hate crimes.
“Please don’t minimize the hate or assume it’s somewhere far away,” he said. “It’s happening close to you. If you see it on the street, say something. If you hear it at work, say something. If you sense it in your family, say something.”
“Stand up for your fellow Americans.”
In related news, the FBI have expressed concern about hate crimes towards Asian Americans amid the Coronavirus pandemic.