Current Event Friday #98

Racists and pandemics are a bad combo

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) doesn’t discriminate about who it affects or infects. Sadly, some humans are discriminating towards others in the midst of this pandemic. The racism and discriminatory practices tied to those thoughts are today’s #CurrentEventFriday topic.

woman in crew neck t shirt wearing face mask
Photo by Skye Dingle on Pexels.com

While the origin of the virus has been linked to China since early Winter, this origin has provided cause for racism. Many in the mainstream media harangued Pres. Trump for his usage of ‘Chinese Virus’ in his tweets to label the disease. Many have argued that this inflames tensions and is an approval of racist practices. Those who defend usage of this label point out that during the onset of this disease prior to its widespread effect in the United States, that the term ‘China virus’ was commonplace. Specifically, the media personalities condemning Pres. Trump were using ‘Chinese virus’ themselves until the pandemic became so prevalent in the United States. Further, that by calling it a Chinese virus, Pres. Trump and others are pointing out China’s totalitarian government contributed to a lack of information and allowing the disease to run rampant when they tried to control the spread of information and punished those who spoke out about it.

In the midst of the kerfuffle of how exactly to label it, a doctor of Korean descent was refused service at a gas station near Indianapolis this last week. Even worse, a man in Texas stabbed several members of an Asian family at a local supermarket including two young children. Others of Asian descent in California and New York have been assaulted in the last two months by people fearful they will be infected while using racial slurs.

Obviously, Chinese people are not guilty of spreading the disease. There are enough problems with lost wages and widespread infections without adding discrimination efforts based on race. The problems with the disease’s origin can be linked to a totalitarian government not protecting its citizens and under-reporting the severity of its disease, not the citizens themselves.

Racism will not solve this pandemic crisis, and in fact the United States by some statistics is the largest affected nation. Arguably, Americans who are strongly independent have allowed the disease to spread counter to the spread in China. Too many Americans are suspicious of government and resist grand-scale government intervention as a result of these suspicions. I’m waiting to see if a federal law is enacted to force people to stay home but I don’t expect compliance by everyone. I’m hopeful that with warmer weather and people taking this seriously we can see the disease reach its high point and taper off soon (so I can return to #CurrentEventFriday that isn’t linked to Coronavirus). Time will tell of course

Have you observed anyone being racist in the midst of this pandemic?