Perhaps one of the worst social parts of the coronavirus outbreak is the racism it has spurred.
Since the virus was first discovered in China, people are blaming Asian Americans for its spread. There have been wild theories about people of Chinese descent eating wild, disease-infested bats and snakes, and that is why Americans are suffering.
Of course, our racist-in-chief President could not resist getting in on the racist fever. In a wildly racist tweet where he was busily insisting that Americans would get financial help to survive the crisis, Trump once again followed up his earlier racist tweets to blame Chinese people once more. He raved:
“For the people that are now out of work because of the important and necessary containment policies, for instance the shutting down of hotels, bars and restaurants, money will soon be coming to you. The onslaught of the Chinese Virus is not your fault! Will be stronger than ever!”
Trump defended using the line Wednesday afternoon during a press conference in the White House, when he was asked by reporters if he felt his words were racist:
“It’s not racist at all. It comes from China, that’s why” it’s okay to say, Trump said.
However, calling it the “Chinese virus” just spurs the racism in his base further. Trump’s entire political career has been built on blaming “the other” for the woes of the “right” kind of Americans. He has spent his entire time in office cozying up to white supremacists and stoking white resentment.
So, of course, the coronavirus crisis, being painted as something that has infected America from a faraway distant land filled with people unlike ourselves is just perfect for him and his ilk.
Even the CDC has warned against this language, and said in a statement:
“Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans… Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads.”
This is an ugly trend that has been peppered throughout American history, and it seems that it will continue now. It really is disgraceful that it is coming right from the mouth of the President of the United States, though.
Featured image credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr