Coronavirus is Not an Excuse for Discrimination
Meanwhile, across the globe—as anyone watching the news can attest—panic, fear, and hysteria are on the rise, impacting every aspect of our interconnected lives on this planet. This fear, in almost all cases unfounded on facts, has also been the catalyst for xenophobic, racist, and discriminatory behavior especially against individuals of Asian descent in several locations around the globe, and right here at home in the U.S.
Santa Monica College’s mission is to provide a “safe, inclusive, and dynamic learning environment” for all students, and SMC prohibits unlawful discrimination and harassment in any arena of college life. The college will not tolerate such behavior against students or employees who are targeted based on actual or perceived race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or immigration status, among other things. This institution holds dear the values of diversity and inclusivity in a world where fear of “the other” and misinformation propels despicable incidents, which no human being should have to endure.
So, what are the facts? According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity. This means people of Asian descent are no more likely to get COVID 19 than you or me. It is also important to note that—even as we prepare for any eventuality and focus on preventive measures—the risk of getting COVID-19 in the U.S. and California is currently low, per the CDC. In addition, someone who has been quarantined or released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to others.
Complaint Form for Unlawful Discrimination
If you witness an incident of possible unlawful discrimination, or believe that you have been a target of such behavior, refer to the following resources:
Students/Employees: Fill out the Unlawful Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF)
- SMC Ombudsperson: firstname.lastname@example.org | 310-434-3986
- The Center for Wellness & Wellbeing: 310-434-4503
- Campus Police: 310-434-4300
- Office of Human Resources: email@example.com | 310-434-4415
- Employee Assistance Service for Education Program (EASE): (800) 882-1341
Online Reporting Center
The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) along with the Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) created an Online Reporting Center where people can fill out a form — currently available in English, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese and Korean — to report the location and type of discrimination experienced and other details.