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How Right-Wing Extremism Uses the COVID-19 Pandemic: Focusing on Anti-Asian Rhetoric

Year 2023, Volume: 7 Issue: 1, 1 - 12, 31.01.2023
https://doi.org/10.47478/lectio.1242723

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity for right-wing extremism to legitimize its claims and promote anti-Asian rhetoric. This has led to an increase in hate crimes against Asian and Asian descendants in the US, UK, and Canada. Online platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, 4Chan, and Telegram have been used to spread disinformation and conspiracy theories and frame the crisis to promote the agenda of building a “white ethnostate.” Civil society and experts have expressed concerns that this anti-Asian rhetoric will normalize right-wing extremist ideology and increase its social legitimacy. It is important to understand that this rhetoric is being used to promote extremist ideology and recruit more members and that further research is needed to prevent further tragedies. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a multidimensional impact on Asians, and it is crucial to not overlook the growing anti-Asian sentiments in both online and offline spaces and to research the connection between right-wing extremist groups and radicalized individuals in order to tackle their harmful activities.

References

  • Alba, D. (2021, March 19). How anti-Asian activity online sets the stage for real-world violence. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/19/technology/how-anti-asian-activity-online-set-the-stage-for-real-world-violence.html
  • Bandeira, L., Aleksejeva, N., Knight, T., & Roux, J. L. (2021). Weaponized: How Rumors About Covid-19’s Origins Led To A Narrative Arms Race. Atlantic Council. https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weaponized-How-rumors-about-COVID-19s-origins-led-to-a-narrative-arms-race.pdf
  • Berger, J. M. (2018). Extremism. The MIT Press.
  • Center for the study of Hate & Extremism (CSHE). (2021). Report to the Nation: Anti-Asian Prejudice & Hate Crime. Center for the study of Hate & Extremism. https://www.csusb.edu/sites/default/files/Report%20to%20the%20Nation%20-%20Anti-Asian%20Hate%202020%20Final%20Draft%20-%20As%20of%20Apr%2030%202021%206%20PM%20corrected.pdf
  • Chen, E., Lerman, K., & Ferrara, E. (2020). Tracking Social Media Discourse About the COVID-19 Pandemic: Development of a Public Coronavirus Twitter Data Set. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, 6(2), e19273. https://doi.org/10.2196/19273
  • Comerford, M., & Davey, J. (2020). Comparing Jihadist and far-right extremist narratives on COVID-19. Global Network on Extremism & Technology. https://gnet-research.org/2020/04/27/comparing-jihadist-and-far-right-extremist-narratives-on-Covid-19/.
  • Commission for Countering Extremism. (2020). COVID-19: How Hateful Extremists are Exploiting the Pandemic. Commission for Countering Extremism. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/906724/CCE_Briefing_Note_001.pdf
  • Experts debunk fringe theory linking China’s coronavirus to weapons research. (2020, January 29). The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/01/29/experts-debunk-fringe-theory-linking-chinas-coronavirus-weapons-research/
  • Grierson, J. (2020, May 13). Anti-Asian hate crimes up 21% in UK during coronavirus crisis. Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/13/anti-asian-hate-crimes-up-21-in-uk-during-coronavirus-crisis
  • International Network for Hate Studies (2022). Publications: Covid-19/Coronavirus and hate crime. INHS Website. https://internationalhatestudies.com/topic/Covid-19-coronavirus-and-hate-crime/
  • Jeung, R., Yellow Horse, A., Popovic, T., & Lim, R. (2021). Stop Aapi Hate National Report. Stop AAPI Hate. https://stopaapihate.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Stop-AAPI-Hate-Report-National-210316.pdf
  • Kong, J., lp, J., Hwang, C., & Lin, K. (2021). A Year Of Racist Attacks: Anti-Asian Racism Across Canada One Year Into The Covid-19 Pandemic. The Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter. https://mcusercontent.com/9fbfd2cf7b2a8256f770fc35c/files/35c9daca-3fd4-46f4-a883-c09b8c12bbca/covidracism_final_report.pdf
  • Little, B. (2020, March 1). Trump’s ‘Chinese’ virus is part of a long history of blaming other countries for disease. Retrieved from Time: https://time.com/5807376/virus-name-foreign-history/Marone, F. (2020). Terrorism and counterterrorism in a time of pandemic. Italian Institute for International Political Studies. https://www.ispionline.it/it/pubblicazione/terrorism-and-counterterrorism-time-pandemic-26165
  • Marone, F. (2021). Hate in the time of coronavirus: Exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on violent extremism and terrorism in the West. Security Journal. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41284-020-00274-y
  • McNeil-Wilson, R. (2020). Framing in times of crisis: Responses to COVID-19 amongst Far Right movements and organizations (p. p.12). The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism. https://icct.nl/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Framing-in-times-of-crisis-Responses-to-COVID-19-amongst-Far-Right-movements-and-organisations.pdf.
  • Meleagrou-Hitchens, A., & Crawford, B. (2020). 5G and the far right: How extremists capitalize on coronavirus conspiracies. Global Network on Extremism & Technology (GNET). https://gnet-research.org/2020/04/21/5g-and-the-far-right-how-extremists-capitalise-on-coronavirus-conspiracies/
  • Moonshot. (2020a). COVID-19: Searches for white supremacist content are increasing. Moonshot. http://moonshotcve.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Social-Distancing-and-White-Supremacist-Content_Moonshot.pdf.
  • Moonshot. (2020b). Covid-19: Increase in far-right searches in Canada. Moonshot. Moonshot CVE. June 8. http://moonshotcve.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/The-Impact-of-COVID-19-on-Canadian-Search-Traffic_Moonshot-CVE.pdf
  • Pew Research Center. (2020a). 2020 Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel Wave 63.5 Coronavirus Survey (Election News Pathways Project). Pew Research Center. https://www.journalism.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2020/03/PJ_2020.03.18_Coronavirus-News1_TOPLINE.pdf
  • Pew Research Center. (2020b). Many Black and Asian Americans Say They Have Experienced Discrimination Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/07/01/many-black-and-asian-americans-say-they-have-e xperienced-discrimination-amid-the-Covid-19-outbreak/.
  • Ryu, J. (2021, 17 March). Caricature depicting BTS with bruised faces criticized amid rise in anti-Asian violence, brand apologizes. USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/celebrities/2021/03/17/bts-fans-criticize-topps-sticker-portraying-band-bruised-faces/4734929001/
  • Schild, L., Ling, C., Blackburn, J., Stringhini, G., Zhang, Y., & Zannettou, S. (2020). “Go eat a bat, Chang!”: An Early Look on the Emergence of Sinophobic Behavior on Web Communities in the Face of COVID-19. Preprint, p.4.
  • Schumann, S. (2021). Timing is Everything: The COVID-19 Outbreak as a Trigger Event for Sinophobic Hate Crimes in the United Kingdom [Preprint]. https://doi.org/10.21428/cb6ab371.283a70a2
  • Stevenson, J. (2019). Right-wing Extremism and the Terrorist Threat. Survival, 61(1), 233-244.
  • Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton). (2020, February 16). “1. Natural (still the most likely, but almost certainly not from the Wuhan food market),.” Twitter Post. Archived at https://archive.is/xm2zo.
  • White, A. I. R. (2020). Historical linkages: Epidemic threat, economic risk, and xenophobia. The Lancet, 395(10232), 1250–1251. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30737-6
  • World Health Organization. (7-8 April 2020). An ad hoc WHO technical consultation managing the COVID-19 infodemic: call for action. Geneva: World Health Organization.
  • Zhou, L. (2020, April 21). How the coronavirus is surfacing America’s deep-seated anti-Asian biases. Vox. https://www.vox.com/identities/2020/4/21/21221007/anti-asian-racism-coronavirus

Year 2023, Volume: 7 Issue: 1, 1 - 12, 31.01.2023
https://doi.org/10.47478/lectio.1242723

Abstract

References

  • Alba, D. (2021, March 19). How anti-Asian activity online sets the stage for real-world violence. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/19/technology/how-anti-asian-activity-online-set-the-stage-for-real-world-violence.html
  • Bandeira, L., Aleksejeva, N., Knight, T., & Roux, J. L. (2021). Weaponized: How Rumors About Covid-19’s Origins Led To A Narrative Arms Race. Atlantic Council. https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weaponized-How-rumors-about-COVID-19s-origins-led-to-a-narrative-arms-race.pdf
  • Berger, J. M. (2018). Extremism. The MIT Press.
  • Center for the study of Hate & Extremism (CSHE). (2021). Report to the Nation: Anti-Asian Prejudice & Hate Crime. Center for the study of Hate & Extremism. https://www.csusb.edu/sites/default/files/Report%20to%20the%20Nation%20-%20Anti-Asian%20Hate%202020%20Final%20Draft%20-%20As%20of%20Apr%2030%202021%206%20PM%20corrected.pdf
  • Chen, E., Lerman, K., & Ferrara, E. (2020). Tracking Social Media Discourse About the COVID-19 Pandemic: Development of a Public Coronavirus Twitter Data Set. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, 6(2), e19273. https://doi.org/10.2196/19273
  • Comerford, M., & Davey, J. (2020). Comparing Jihadist and far-right extremist narratives on COVID-19. Global Network on Extremism & Technology. https://gnet-research.org/2020/04/27/comparing-jihadist-and-far-right-extremist-narratives-on-Covid-19/.
  • Commission for Countering Extremism. (2020). COVID-19: How Hateful Extremists are Exploiting the Pandemic. Commission for Countering Extremism. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/906724/CCE_Briefing_Note_001.pdf
  • Experts debunk fringe theory linking China’s coronavirus to weapons research. (2020, January 29). The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/01/29/experts-debunk-fringe-theory-linking-chinas-coronavirus-weapons-research/
  • Grierson, J. (2020, May 13). Anti-Asian hate crimes up 21% in UK during coronavirus crisis. Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/13/anti-asian-hate-crimes-up-21-in-uk-during-coronavirus-crisis
  • International Network for Hate Studies (2022). Publications: Covid-19/Coronavirus and hate crime. INHS Website. https://internationalhatestudies.com/topic/Covid-19-coronavirus-and-hate-crime/
  • Jeung, R., Yellow Horse, A., Popovic, T., & Lim, R. (2021). Stop Aapi Hate National Report. Stop AAPI Hate. https://stopaapihate.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Stop-AAPI-Hate-Report-National-210316.pdf
  • Kong, J., lp, J., Hwang, C., & Lin, K. (2021). A Year Of Racist Attacks: Anti-Asian Racism Across Canada One Year Into The Covid-19 Pandemic. The Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter. https://mcusercontent.com/9fbfd2cf7b2a8256f770fc35c/files/35c9daca-3fd4-46f4-a883-c09b8c12bbca/covidracism_final_report.pdf
  • Little, B. (2020, March 1). Trump’s ‘Chinese’ virus is part of a long history of blaming other countries for disease. Retrieved from Time: https://time.com/5807376/virus-name-foreign-history/Marone, F. (2020). Terrorism and counterterrorism in a time of pandemic. Italian Institute for International Political Studies. https://www.ispionline.it/it/pubblicazione/terrorism-and-counterterrorism-time-pandemic-26165
  • Marone, F. (2021). Hate in the time of coronavirus: Exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on violent extremism and terrorism in the West. Security Journal. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41284-020-00274-y
  • McNeil-Wilson, R. (2020). Framing in times of crisis: Responses to COVID-19 amongst Far Right movements and organizations (p. p.12). The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism. https://icct.nl/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Framing-in-times-of-crisis-Responses-to-COVID-19-amongst-Far-Right-movements-and-organisations.pdf.
  • Meleagrou-Hitchens, A., & Crawford, B. (2020). 5G and the far right: How extremists capitalize on coronavirus conspiracies. Global Network on Extremism & Technology (GNET). https://gnet-research.org/2020/04/21/5g-and-the-far-right-how-extremists-capitalise-on-coronavirus-conspiracies/
  • Moonshot. (2020a). COVID-19: Searches for white supremacist content are increasing. Moonshot. http://moonshotcve.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Social-Distancing-and-White-Supremacist-Content_Moonshot.pdf.
  • Moonshot. (2020b). Covid-19: Increase in far-right searches in Canada. Moonshot. Moonshot CVE. June 8. http://moonshotcve.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/The-Impact-of-COVID-19-on-Canadian-Search-Traffic_Moonshot-CVE.pdf
  • Pew Research Center. (2020a). 2020 Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel Wave 63.5 Coronavirus Survey (Election News Pathways Project). Pew Research Center. https://www.journalism.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2020/03/PJ_2020.03.18_Coronavirus-News1_TOPLINE.pdf
  • Pew Research Center. (2020b). Many Black and Asian Americans Say They Have Experienced Discrimination Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/07/01/many-black-and-asian-americans-say-they-have-e xperienced-discrimination-amid-the-Covid-19-outbreak/.
  • Ryu, J. (2021, 17 March). Caricature depicting BTS with bruised faces criticized amid rise in anti-Asian violence, brand apologizes. USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/celebrities/2021/03/17/bts-fans-criticize-topps-sticker-portraying-band-bruised-faces/4734929001/
  • Schild, L., Ling, C., Blackburn, J., Stringhini, G., Zhang, Y., & Zannettou, S. (2020). “Go eat a bat, Chang!”: An Early Look on the Emergence of Sinophobic Behavior on Web Communities in the Face of COVID-19. Preprint, p.4.
  • Schumann, S. (2021). Timing is Everything: The COVID-19 Outbreak as a Trigger Event for Sinophobic Hate Crimes in the United Kingdom [Preprint]. https://doi.org/10.21428/cb6ab371.283a70a2
  • Stevenson, J. (2019). Right-wing Extremism and the Terrorist Threat. Survival, 61(1), 233-244.
  • Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton). (2020, February 16). “1. Natural (still the most likely, but almost certainly not from the Wuhan food market),.” Twitter Post. Archived at https://archive.is/xm2zo.
  • White, A. I. R. (2020). Historical linkages: Epidemic threat, economic risk, and xenophobia. The Lancet, 395(10232), 1250–1251. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30737-6
  • World Health Organization. (7-8 April 2020). An ad hoc WHO technical consultation managing the COVID-19 infodemic: call for action. Geneva: World Health Organization.
  • Zhou, L. (2020, April 21). How the coronavirus is surfacing America’s deep-seated anti-Asian biases. Vox. https://www.vox.com/identities/2020/4/21/21221007/anti-asian-racism-coronavirus

Details

Primary Language English
Subjects Political Science
Journal Section Research Articles
Authors

Chaewon KİM
University of Warsaw
0000-0003-4634-4469
Poland

Publication Date January 31, 2023
Submission Date January 26, 2023
Acceptance Date January 31, 2023
Published in Issue Year 2023 Volume: 7 Issue: 1

Cite

APA Kim, C. (2023). How Right-Wing Extremism Uses the COVID-19 Pandemic: Focusing on Anti-Asian Rhetoric . Lectio Socialis , 7 (1) , 1-12 . DOI: 10.47478/lectio.1242723

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