Apr 19, 2020
Michell Meow, well known radio and TV host on LGBTQ+ and other
issues, joins me on Everyday Conversations on Race, to talk about
this important topic of racism against Asians during Covid-19.
Michelle shares her background as the daughter of Laotian
immigrants in Stockton, California. She offers her perspective on
the increase of physical and verbal attacks against Asians, as well
as how to stop them.
Key points from Michelle Meow:
- In order to understand the recent racist attacks against Asian
people we have to talk about race as a historical and systemic
- We have to talk about race and racism on a systemic level and
how it impacts all of us
- Everyone has bias and those biases are more acute during
crises. Michelle is always checking her own biases.
- She grew up very poor in Stockton, California around mostly
southeast Asians. The median income for families is $35,000. When
her father died and her mother was left with five kids to raise,
they moved into the projects and she became friends with more Black
and Latino people.
Views on the Covid-19 pandemic and racism
- This pandemic is scary and people need to stay healthy
- People are looking for other people to blame. The president has
empowered people who are in extreme fear to blame Asian people for
Coved- 19. As a result, elderly Asian people have gotten beaten up,
yelled at, spit on and stabbed.
- Asian people are scared about the virus and also scared about
being targeted by racists and people who have bought into what
Trump has been saying in the media. It’s very painful for her to
know that now Asian people have to be scared of getting beaten up
by people who are also scared.
- If people did their homework, they would understand more about
Covid-19, how it all began, the fact that the US was warned about
Covid-19 and did not prepare. Instead of taking responsibility many
people in the US government who should have been preparing us are
blaming China and Chinese people.
- Scientists and doctors have talked about it for a long time and
begged the world
to pay attention
- With all the messages and racist beliefs being spouted from the
White House and allies, there are concerns amongst Asians about
bias and getting the right care if they do get sick.
- Even in other Asian countries there is discrimination and
stereotyping of Chinese people. There have been incidents in
Thailand of restaurants refusing to serve Chinese people.
- There are also incidents of Chinese restaurants in China
refusing to serve Black people
What we need to do
- We should focus on how to keep humans healthy
- Understand racism and how racism is being used as a distraction
to not look at government responsibility
- Covid-19 is a global pandemic and will take a global
- We are the wealthiest country with the most resources and are
the most impacted. Most of us never thought this could happen in
the US. Even that was racist, thinking it could happen in China or
countries of people of color but not here.
- We have to pay attention to who is dying and that it is mostly
Black and Brown people who are losing their lives. They are the
essential workers in the frontlines of the public.
- Racism creates a barrier from people coming up with
- There are more good people who don’t want to give power to
racists and haters.
- There are African-American and Asian leaders who have been
reaching out to work together and stop racist attacks against any
What we can do as individuals
- We can speak up and intervene if we see or hear racism against
- Offer to help shop for older Asian people who are afraid to get
what they need
- Educate ourselves about historical and structural racism.
Educate other people and speak out against hate and fear of
ABOUT MICHELLE MEOW, Radio & TV talk
show host - in her own words
I've always dreamed big. As a little peculiar kid who grew up in
Stockton, CA, I had an imagination that was too big for my little
brain. I fantasized about a lot of things but as young as I can
remember, I fantasized about being loved and accepted. The first
time I tried to make friends with kids around my neighborhood, I
was told to go "back to my country." Born here in California, I
didn't know what they meant until the fights in the neighborhood
became violent. The hatred you face from childhood to adulthood is
dangerous and damaging. I hope one day we can change this for all
of us. Why can't we learn to love and accept one another for our
differences and our similarities? That is the journey or quest I am
on and the reason behind the "Michelle Meow Show."