The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Coronavirus isn’t an excuse for xenophobia

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When the coronavirus was first detected in China early this winter, concerns about a worldwide outbreak escalated. In addition to suffering from symptoms of the deadly flu virus, people of Asian descent around the world are being subjected to discrimination in the form of xenophobia.

Xenophobia is a fear and hatred of foreigners, and the discrimination borne out of the coronavirus crisis has taken many forms, and xenophobia and racism tend to overlap.

This concept is harmful in every way, from spreading racist ignorance to full-on bullying and verbal and physical attacks against someone foreign. And in this case, anyone who appears to be Chinese is being subjected to this abuse.

A Thailand restaurant banned anyone who was Chinese, and an Asian woman on a New York City subway was assaulted, traveling while wearing a medical mask. In Canada, a young boy of Chinese and Pakistani nationalities was bullied by fellow students who believed he was a carrier of the disease. From these incidents, it is clear that ignorance and fear have manifested into vicious and unwarranted behaviors against innocent people.

This is not the first time that an outbreak has caused a racist backlash in the U.S. Other outbreaks attributed to cholera and typhus in the 1880s resulted in racism against Russian Jewish immigrants, and SARS sparked hatred against Chinese communities.

Several mayors across America have voiced their confidence that residents should feel safe rather than threatened. This public declaration is what is needed to inform citizens that it’s fine to be cautious, but not OK to taunt or harm anyone of Asian descent out of fear.

Discriminating against others needs to be fought against just as urgently as the virus itself. An antibiotic won’t cure this virus, and discrimination for ignorant reasons will never be gone completely.

Still, a compassionate and informed attitude can go a long way to alleviating the pain of those who are victimized by xenophobia.

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