The New Ship: Coronavirus x Xenophobia Pt.2


Twitter @ChengwangL

This here is the French movement of the #imnotavirus with the paper saying “I’m not a virus” in French. The rising cases of xenophobia needs to stop.

Eunice Ahn, Photojournalist

Despite the awareness people are trying to bring to the problems of xenophobia, the new cases of attacks against Asians are increasing. In a time of fear, everyone can not help but feel frustrated and scared over how extreme the situation has become, but this does not justify the horrible acts of harming other people. 


There are cases out of the United States that show offensive actions towards Asians. In France, the second generation Asians also has their own tag of #imnotavirus with a direct French translation. According to Laetita Chhiv, a lady who runs an association for young children with Chinese descent, she had a student that was shouted at in a supermarket by a lady shouting at him to not touch the avocados she wanted to buy. She had shouted at him after asking where he was from and whether or not he had the virus (NBC News). He is a boy who is a second generation Asian living in France, and the fact that the lady had told him not to touch the avocados, even after asking him if he had the virus, shows how rude and insensitive she was acting. Not only that, an incident in France happened when on a newspaper, it said, with big block letters “Yellow Alert” (CNN). Everyone is susceptible to the virus; they should not have done something this insensitive, as it only furthers deepens the hatred and racism against Asians.


In Brazil, the Brazilian Prime Minister made an offensive comment against China through racist tweets. He had even imitated the Chinese accent replacing “r” with a capital “L” saying “BLazil” instead of “Brazil.” That is highly immature of someone with such a high political standing to do (Yahoo News). In Australia, a newspaper called The Herald Sun called Covid-19 a “Chinese Virus” which sparked anger among people who demanded them to apologize (NY Times). 


On social media, there are false posts telling people to stay away from Chinese products and creating false rumors (NY Times). There was also a case in London when a Singaporean student named Jonathon Mok was walking down Oxford Street and was attacked by a group of four men who told him, “We don’t want your coronavirus in our country.” He said he needed an operation on a broken bone near his right eye due to them physically assaulting him (NY Times).


People should not take this time and use it as an excuse to release their racist hatred against “minor ethnicities.” Everyone is susceptible to the virus, and just because the virus came from one place does not mean people should start assuming if someone has the virus or not. Enge You (10) said, “There have been changes to the world throughout time, but the fact that racism is still left shows not much has changed. But I believe that little by little, we are still trying to fix and change what is bad.” No one should be judged based on their ethnic background. Everyone should be treated equally and the same way people would want to be treated themselves.