Corona virus exposes racial ignorance

Corona virus exposes racial ignorance

Amal Jama, Co-Editor

The disease that emerged in late December dubbed the “corona virus” has been dire not only to its infected victims, but also to those who are in perfect health. Unfortunately, the presence of the corona virus has exposed some racist and xenophobic associations with Asians in the United States and other countries around the world.

The corona virus first appeared in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The virus is known to cause pneumonia, as well as other symptoms. Those who have fallen ill are reported to suffer from coughs, fever, breathing difficulties and in severe cases organ failure. With more than 560 corona-virus deaths, countries like Russia, Japan, Pakistan, Italy, United States, and Australia have closed off their borders, declining any passengers who have been to China since December. While keeping the possibly infected citizens out, other countries, such as Canada, where a young boy was cornered by students to test to see if he had the corona virus because he was “half Chinese”, are harboring a growing fear of Asian students.

Sadly this behavior includes our very own Tartan Senior High school. Here the news of the corona virus has sparked some ignorant comments towards Asian students– comments such as  Chinese food being the cause of the virus. Further some Asian students have felt the need to suppress any coughs or wheezes, so as not to be seen as a threat or receive nasty glares from their classmates.

Some of these xenophobic feelings against Asians are rooted in history and seem eerily familiar to the Chinese exclusion act of 1882 and the Geary act of 1892.   Not only did these Acts prevent Chinese immigrants from voting,  but they paved the path that required people of Chinese origin to carry identification or face deportation. This lead to the permanent ban of all possible Chinese immigrants, all Chinese-Americans who had citizenship, and citizens who were married to a Chinese male. 

Using the corona virus as an excuse to mask hateful views as fear towards a group of people is morally wrong.  It’s one thing to be concerned, it’s another to use it as an excuse to be racist towards our fellow humans. Picking on others for things such as this does nothing to combat the problem of this disease. Instead of racist remarks, consider donating or supporting those attempting to do research on this virus.