Solidarity in the wake of COVID-19: Challenging Sinophobia, Anti-Black Racism, and Global Capitalism
Lynn Ly (They/She) is a queer Asian scholar based in Toronto, where they are a Ph.D. Candidate at the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. Their work focuses on transpacific solidarity movements, queer relationality, Asian North American history, and the connections between settler colonialism, anti-Blackness, and Asian subjection under liberal humanism.
Huda Hassan is a writer from Scarborough. She has written essays and reviews for Hazlitt, Pitchfork, BuzzFeed, Gawker, Quill & Quire, and Ethnic Aisle. She is a mentoring editor of in:cite journal, a youth-led peer-reviewed social justice journal based in Toronto. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Toronto’s Women and Gender Studies Institute.
Similar to the 2003 SARS outbreak, Sinophobia is on the rise once again in North America, and many are speaking out against anti-Asian violences. Increasing reports of anti-Asian rhetoric, and verbal and physical hate crimes against East and Southeast Asian communities have led to a renewed discussion about the long history of Orientalist discourse that displaces social anxieties about contagious diseases onto Asians in Canada and the US. Simultaneously, Black people make up an alarmingly disproportionate share of COVID19-related deaths due to anti-Black medical racism, compounded with everyday public policing and hyper-surveillance, and racial and class disparities in front-line occupations. Lynn Ly and Huda Hassan explore the impact of COVID19 on ongoing global anti-Blackness projects, as well as the interplay between Asian subjection and model minority discourse. Thinking through state structures of policing, incarceration, gentrification, surveillance, and public health initiatives in a time of North American anxiety about China’s global influence, moderators will think through how the 2020 pandemic lays bare a deeply intertwined project of state violence and global capitalism as the condition of possibility for our current moment.
This HCCI talk will explore what mutual solidarity and care between East Asian and Black communities in North America could look like at this moment, and thereafter.