History Often Rhymes
COVID-19 and the Racialization of Disease
“HISTORY DOESN’T REPEAT, BUT IT OFTEN RHYMES.”
We like to believe that something like the incarceration of Japanese Americans could never happen again. But times of crisis, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, often result in discrimination and attacks on Asian Americans and other minority groups. Old prejudices can suddenly reemerge under fear, anger, and stress. In our country’s history, immigration, race, and disease have always been intertwined. Remembering that can help us to avoid making the same mistakes again.
Below you’ll find links to each section of this digital exhibit, starting with “Fear of the Foreign” and working through themes of xenophobia, scapegoating, the power of language and labeling, and the concept of the perpetual foreigner, ending in the final section that highlights what we can do today to combat these attitudes and protect others and ourselves.
exhibit map legend
yet to visit
You are hereFear of the Foreign
You are hereDisease Theory & Discrimination
You are hereWhy Are Names Important?
You are herePerpetual Foreigners
You are hereLooking for Someone to Blame
You are hereWhat Can I Do?
Fear of the Foreign
Looking for Someone to Blame