RAB Source Entry 2 — Lisa

My research question is:  How has the CV pandemic exacerbated Anti-Asian racism? 

Source Entry #2

Part 1:  MLA Citation

Yang, Andrew. “We Are Not the Virus But We Can Be Part of the Cure.” 1 Apr 2020 The Washington Post. The Washington Post. Web. 2 Apr 2020.  www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/01/andrew-yang-coronavirus-discrimination/

Part 2: Summary

Former US presidential candidate Andrew Yang writes a Washington Post op-ed about the racism and the stigma that Asian Americans are facing as a result of the CV.  Yang explains that the economic downturn resulting in job insecurity and financial stress has caused some Americans to mistakenly blame the Asian community for causing the pandemic.  Yang writes, “People are hurting. They look up and see someone who is different from them, whom they wrongly associate with the upheaval of their way of life.” He points out that 17% of American doctors are Asians presently fighting on the front lines of the war against Co-vid virus.  He ends his essay by encouraging Asian Americans to show their patriotism by volunteering, donating, helping neighbors, and actively joining in the effort to fight the crisis.  Yang calls upon his fellow Asian-Americans to “[d]emonstrate that we are part of the solution. We are not the virus, but we can be part of the cure” (Yang par 6).  

(160 words)

Part 3:  Reflection (with my own original thinking)

Yang provides a solution to the problem of scapegoating Asians for the CV spread, but I have a few questions about his argument. He taps into the Chinese model minority myth by stating the fact that 17% of doctors working on the CV battleground are Asian Americans.  He uses this fact to prove that Asians are integral and contributing members of American society, but he seems to assume that all Asian Americans are doctors or engineers or super professionals.  While Asians do take pride in their achievements in America, I would ask Yang doesn’t this perpetuate tribal politics and sense of superiority?  His solution also asks Asians to show their “American-ness,” their patriotism, but aren’t we Americans?  I would ask Yang:  Why do we have to prove that we are American?  Distrust and racism are undercurrents that run deep in our society.  America needs to usher in a new era of complete acceptance:  Asian Americans are Americans period.  This pandemic is exposing fault lines in how we view each other. We need to make our diverse national identity a source of unity and strength.  In this time of pandemic, we don’t need to be fighting each other; we need to be fighting the real enemy: the virus.

(206 words)

Part 4:  Rhetorical Analysis

            Yang’s primary audience is Asian Americans. In his title he uses “We.”  His purpose is to call on his fellow Asian Americans to be visible in the effort to combat the pandemic. His writing style is clear and effective and persuasive. The essay is short and he makes his point clear. The occasion is the recent racially motivated attacks on Asian Americans related to the corona virus pandemic. Yang’s genre choice of the op-editorial is an effective way to call for action. He uses the rhetorical appeal of pathos when he recounts his own life experience in the opening scene, the personal narrative of the family grocery trip and getting “accusatory” looks from the locals.  He makes the reader feel sympathy. Yang also uses the appeal of ethos. As an Asian American, he can effectively reach other Asians. He has strong credibility because he is a successful entrepreneur and the first Asian American to run for president.  All this gives him credibility with the Asian community and with all of America.  Publishing his op-ed in The Washington Post gives credibility because it is a national newspaper of record.  Washington Post has a readership of 160,000 and is the one of the leading daily newspapers in the USA.  It has won 65 Pulitzer Prizes.  This article is current information because the date is April 2020.

(167 words)

Part 5:  Notable Quotables (with author name and page)

“People are hurting. They look up and see someone who is different from them, whom they wrongly associate with the upheaval of their way of life” (Yang par 4).

“Some 17 percent of U.S. doctors are Asian and rushing to the front lines” (Yang par 8).

“We Asian Americans need to embrace and show our American-ness in ways we never have before. . . . We should show without a shadow of a doubt that we are Americans who will do our part for our country in this time of need” (Yang par 9).

“Demonstrate that we are part of the solution. We are not the virus, but we can be part of the cure” (Yang par 9). 

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