"Asian Australians have fared worse during the COVID-19 period than the rest of the Australian population"
Over 8 in 10 Asian Australians faced racism amid the Coronavirus pandemic as reported by ABC.
A study held by Australian National University (ANU) surveyed over 3,000 people and found that 84.5% of Asian Australians reported at least one instance of racism between January and October 2020.
Asian Australians are more likely to have their livelihoods adversely affected by Coronavirus according to the survey.
The demographic are also more anxious about the pandemic than other Australians – 80.7% vs 62.4% respectively.
Working hours dropped five hours between February and April 2020, which is twice the rate of the general Australian population.
Survey co-author Nicholas Biddle said the impact was felt in the demographic because Asian Australians were younger and more likely to live in urban areas as well as being employed in industry sensitive jobs.
“[But] we cannot discount the effect of labour market discrimination as well,” said Biddle.
Jieh-Yung Lo, director of the ANU Centre for Asian-Australian Leadership, said that discrimination has followed her throughout his life.
Despite being born in Melbourne, discrimination has been a big part of my life due to my ethnicity,” Lo said.
“From outright racism in the school playgrounds, coming face to face with the ‘bamboo ceiling’ during early parts of my professional career, dealing with unconscious bias in the workplace, and in recent years having my allegiance and loyalty to Australia challenged and questioned due to my contribution to the public debate on Australia’s bilateral relationship with China.”
Lo said the Asian community’s experience with SARS has made the group “more vigilant” about Coronavirus but they also faced “the rise and resurgence of xenophobia and racism” including physical and verbal assaults.
Nonetheless, the survey found that Asian Australians are still well trusted – 65% compared to 55% for Anglo Australians.
In recent news, a Chinese restaurant in Victoria, Australia has received a racist letter telling the owners to “go back to Wuhan”.