Towards the end of 2019, a novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China. And upon writing this article, upwards of a quarter-million people have succumbed to the virus now named COVID-19. However, despite the coronavirus claiming the lives of people from a multitude of nations, races, and ages, it has also been packaged into a tool for racist and nationalist propaganda. It is such an eerie reaffirmation of humans’ capacity of manipulation for self-gain.
Racial tensions have been on the rise. The coronavirus, due to its Chinese origins, has been an effective driver for many to exhibit hostile and discriminatory behaviors to not just the Chinese, but other Asians as well. Certain world leaders are also known to have nicknamed the virus, “the Chinese virus”. Around the world, there are Asians being verbally and physically assaulted, and at worst, killed by people of a variety of races simply on account of their outward appearance. This matter in its entirety has no foundation in reality or logic.
It is in these desperate and precarious hours that humanity’s true nature starts to show. Of course, there are a plethora of people from all backgrounds around the world giving their all to stop the relentless onslaught of the virus. However, a small, yet noticeable minority continue to tarnish the good work of the majority. This minority fails to grasp the mere foundations of logical thinking. They back themselves with speculations and conspiracies that pin fault on the Chinese government, and even if such accusations are proven to be true down the line, this does not necessarily incriminate the entire populace. This definitely does not give cause to harass anyone bearing remote resemblances to the stereotypical image of a Chinese person. The mindless, irrational targeting of one distinct group of people has occurred many times in history, and it has often led to grave consequences that act as blemishes on humanity’s advancement.
While I still remain hopeful that the reason and appropriate moderation will continue to quell the brewing waters of racial hatred, the consequences of this worldwide incident leave us with much to consider. Some of us have once again fallen back on the inviting cushion of “it’s not us, it’s them” mentality. However, the utmost priority for the world is to eradicate the virus, not to point fingers at each other. It is imperative to comprehend the magnitude and gravity of the situation we are in.