Recently, Salt Lake Community College participated in a campaign aimed at fighting a new outbreak — one of fear and violence.
Because of the current coronavirus pandemic, the Asian and Asian-American population has seen a rise in hate crimes, racism, and xenophobia. Supporters of the #WashTheHate campaign believe it is more critical than ever to fight racism, and to stand as a community.
“It is imperative to participate in this awareness campaign because I do not condone racism, in general, and anti-Asian racism in particular. I say the latter because we must not lose sight that the racism and xenophobia that surfaced as a consequence of COVID-19 was directly targeted to people from Asian origin and descent,” said Alonso Reyna Rivarola, the assistant director of SLCC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.
#WashTheHate videos show people washing their hands for 20 seconds while speaking out against discrimination during the pandemic. In a reply to his own video, Rivarola challenged Utah State Rep. Karen Kwan, who is also an associate professor at SLCC, to join the campaign.
#WashYourHands and #WashTheHate. I invite @glennjo67, @RepKarenKwan, @urbannavajo, @itsr4y and @elizabethhvalle in condemning anti-Asian and Asian American discrimination and washing the hate. #UtahWashTheHate #SLCCWashTheHate https://t.co/h0eeWhfSsf
— Alonso (@areynarivarola) April 16, 2020
“The purpose of the #WashTheHate campaign is to raise awareness and promote unity,” Kwan said.
Additionally, Student Association President Mason Bancroft, along with other SLCC students, faculty and staff, joined the social media campaign, encouraging students to #WashTheHate.
“We must understand that if we want to come out of this together and stronger than ever, we need to come out as a community,” Bancroft said in a video posted to Twitter and Facebook. “Right now is when our community needs us most, so let’s be there for one another and promote the welfare of everyone, so please join me and wash the hate away.”
Mason Bancroft, our Student Association President is joining in with @slcc_diversity & @saltlakecc as they show us how to #WashTheHate away! Will YOU join us to? #utahwashthehate#slccwashthehate #WashYourHands pic.twitter.com/4a2zbbiFsx
— SLCC Student Association (@slccsa) April 21, 2020
By participating in #WashTheHate, students can show solidarity in the fight against discrimination while creating awareness and protecting Asian-American communities.
“The #WashTheHate campaign asks all of us to unify and speak up when we see or hear something xenophobic or blaming. We are all in this together,” Kwan said.
Visit the #WashTheHate website to see more videos and learn more about the campaign.