Anti-Asian Racism Continues With 31% Of Australians Blaming “Chinese People” For The Spread Of COVID-19
11 September, 2020.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The COVID-19 Racism Incident Report Survey has been open for five months to date and has recorded almost 500 reports of COVID-19 related racism incidents in Australia. This continued growth in incidents indicates a need for more action by the Australian Government to tackle anti-Asian racism and combat misinformation about COVID-19.
An Essential Poll conducted online (based on 1,010 respondents) on behalf of the Asian Australian Alliance from the 6th – 9th August found that 31% or nearly 1 in 3 respondents believed that “Chinese people” had brought most cases of the virus into Australia. 21% or 1 in 5 felt that Chinese communities and families were more likely to spread COVID-19.
Just over half (53%) believed it was not true that “Chinese people” had brought most cases of COVID-19 to Australia, and two thirds (66%) believed it was not true that Chinese communities and families were more likely to spread COVID-19. These results suggest that there continues to be significant misinformation in the community, leading many Australians to associate COVID-19 with Chinese people.
These poll results are telling in light of a recent letter which was posted on a shop window on the 1st September, in Clayton, Victoria which accused Chinese Australians of “eating animals”, causing the virus, “stealing” jobs and businesses and being “murderers”. (https://twitter.com/CrStuartJames/status/1303526938284179459 )
Victorian Convener for the Asian Australian Alliance, Molina Asthana says:
“The results of the Poll validate the data collected by us in our COVID19 Racism Incident Report Survey and reinforces our call for action for the Commonwealth Government to spearhead a new National Anti-Racism Strategy and for the strengthening of anti-vilification laws. “
Research Fellow at the Per Capita Thinktank and survey co-author Osmond Chiu stated:
“Contrary to the evidence, a sizable minority of Australians link getting COVID-19 with people of Chinese heritage. The levels of misinformation may help explain the widespread incidents of anti-Asian racism we have seen since this pandemic began. Governments need to do much more than have Ministers make one-off comments and raise awareness about existing reporting mechanisms.”
National Convener for the Asian Australian Alliance Erin Chew expressed her concerns by saying:
“It is disappointing , but not surprising to see the results from the poll that 1 in 3 Australians believe that “Chinese people” had bought the most cases of COVID-19 into Australia. The ignorance and misinformation spread by the tabloid/commercial media and right wing commentators about COVID-19 and more broadly about the growing influence of China is a cause for concern in spreading the hate and widespread racist incidents.”
For more information and press enquiries, please contact Molina Swarup Asthana on 0400 785 299 and/or Osmond Chiu on 0424 159 463. You can also email enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org .