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The Slur I Never Expected to Hear in 2020

April 14, 2020

(New York Times Magazine)

Cathy Park Hong

As an Asian-American, I’ve been conditioned to a certain kind of unspoken racism. This pandemic has unmasked how vicious it really is.

Early in February, I read unsupported speculations that a virus ravaging a distant city called Wuhan was due to a Chinese taste for a strange scaled mammal called the pangolin, which resembles an anteater but is cuddlier than its lumbering tube-snouted look-alike. Around that time, during a dinner party, I laughed when a friend quipped: “How...

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