The Spread Of Coronavirus Across The World Is Now Being Followed By Racism & Xenophobia
The spread of the deadly Coronavirus has spawned a disturbing new trend in many cities across - racism against Asians, The viral spread of misinformation and the mainstream media's framing of it as a 'Chinese disease', has made people assume things they shouldn't.
The virus has now turned up in over a dozen other countries, including France, Japan, South Korean, Australia and the United States. While public health officials look to contain the crisis, racism and xenophobia have widely spread across the world.
It's the deluge of facts and figures on pages like Wikipedia (i.e. crowd-sourced information) which has also played a huge role in fueling hate incidents toward Asians around the world, in connection with the novel coronavirus.
According to a Wired report, the 'Wikipedia page on coronavirus had existed since 2013, the article about the 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak was created on January 5, 2020', and it has 'more than 6,500 edits by over 1,200 editors'.
At the helm of this fast-spreading virus are Asians who are feeling increasingly vulnerable. From anti-Chinese, and anti-immigrant memes to many looking at any Asian wearing a mask with suspicion, things have been getting out of hand.
On platforms like TikTok, the common joke is how white people are now overly suspicious of any Asian person they see, and it's the Asians themselves are slamming this prejudice by posting ironic videos.
Sam Phan, a master’s student at the University of Manchester, wrote in the Guardian, 'This week, my ethnicity has made me feel like I was part of a threatening and diseased mass. To see me as someone who carries the virus just because of my race is, well, just racist'.
“As an east Asian I can’t help but feel more and more uncomfortable,” added Phan, a British citizen. “On the bus to work last week, as I sat down, the man next to me immediately scrambled to gather his stuff and stood up to avoid sitting next to me.”
As of 6 pm on Tuesday, the entrance to a seafood restaurant in downtown Seoul bore a sign that read, in red Chinese characters, “No Chinese allowed.” That same day, union of food delivery workers asked to be excused from making deliveries to areas with a large Chinese population pic.twitter.com/tSE0Z7wwhk— Klaus (@Kakapolka) January 29, 202
Another more disturbing example of hatred is a public advisory (now deleted) pushed out by the University of California Berkeley Health Services, which tried to comfort students and faculty who might be “experiencing” xenophobic thoughts and reactions, by saying it was normal!
According to a Guardian report, in the UK, some Chinese immigrants say wearing a mask makes them a target for hate.
“Stereotypes of Asians as submissive and non-aggressive make them a target that people think they can make fun of and laugh at. I’ve seen posts saying Chinese people are dirty, disgusting, uneducated, we ‘deserved’ the virus because of our ‘weird’ food habits,” Jex Wang, a Chinese-Australian DJ and writer, told The Guardian.
What's even more worrying is that racism is taking place not only in the West but within China itself. It's now a stigma the people of Wuhan find themselves unable to shake off. The outbreak has fueled resentment and discrimination against people from Wuhan. Some have become outcasts in their own country, shunned by hotels, neighbors etc.
Amid the increasing cases of xenophobia and the historic trend of blaming the victim population (China) for the disease, it must be mentioned that not all Chinese or Asians carry the virus; people do not deserve to be ostracized and discriminated against simply because they're Asian.
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