One hundred and ten people in and around the University of Buffalo community lent their hearts and voices to a video called Your Bias Hurts Me. Qinghua Chen, a UB Presidential Scholar, directed this short film. She says she felt there was a change in the climate. While increasing violence and hate crimes against people of Asian and Pacific Island decent was a major factor in her decision to make the video, Oinghua Chen admits she had her own painful experiences to draw on very early on in 2020 when the pandemic hit the U.S. Chen says she started distributing facemasks to classmates and friends and she went to the post office to mail them and a white woman shouted at her: “stay away from me.” Chen says she didn’t say anything, and woman shouted at her and that was the first time she experienced racism, but it wouldn’t be the last. She says a white man gave her the finger without saying anything, maybe just because of her Asian face. Qinghua Chen came to the U.S. in 2017 as an international student. She is a doctoral student studying childhood education in UB’s graduate school of education.
Chen chatted with her Asian friends who are students and they had similar stories. She decided to channel this pain into something positive and she started thinking about what she can do. Chen believes in the power of education and maybe she can do something to help eliminate biases. It was with the guidance of her department chair and her adviser that she developed the idea for her video. Dr. Cameron says they started from a place of, we want this to stop; hate and violence need to stop. Dr. Cameron says her response to that was thinking about how you activate empathy and that’s where that have “your bias hurts me”. She says when you tell someone to stop doing something we are not giving them information about the affect it is having and this is what we need right now, is an understanding that these biases hurt and cause harm to human beings.