Alexa Alice Joubin publishes essay on Anti-Asian Racism under Covid

Global Social Security Review cover
Global Social Security Review
March 29, 2021

In her latest essay The Roots of Anti-Asian Racism in the U.S.: The Pandemic and ‘Yellow Peril’, Professor of English, Theatre, International Affairs, East Asian Languages and Cultures Alexa Alice Joubin observes the growing rise in anti-Asian sentiment and racism as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic through a historical and linguistic perspective. The essay was published in Global Social Security Review, under the Korean Institute for Health and Social Affairs in Sejong City, South Korea. 

Joubin writes that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the strict nature of stay-at-home orders led to a growth in online usage as individuals turned to social media to connect and socialize, including those who characterize east Asians as carriers of the disease. This was accompanied by an increase in anti-Asian and sinophobic behavior on platforms such as Reddit, Twitter, and 4Chan, which culminated in the rise of hate crimes targeting those of east Asian descent.

Following different moments in U.S history., Joubin explores how those of east-Asian descent have been historically associated with disease and unhygienic practices. She notes how the use of different terms, such as “yellow peril”, have been used throughout U.S. history to develop negative archetypes towards those of east-Asian descent while enforcing institutionalized racism and hostility. By examining anti-Asian sentiment through different lenses, Joubin offers strategies of inclusion in the post pandemic world through the use of history, political coalition, and legislation to decrease racist sentiments as steps towards a better society.