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Racism and the Coronavirus

By: Devosmita Debnath

The recent rapid spread of the “deadly” coronavirus has taken the world by a storm. Everyone is freaking out and trying to stock up on food. Asian dads are bragging to their kids about the 6 bags of rice they bought the other day. My own mother over here is paranoid and she has been beating herself over the fact that she took us out to eat the other day. In her mind, she is thinking we could have gotten the virus. Supermarkets are running out of food and toiletries. But the most shocking of all is the racist action and comments that are occurring all around us.

People are being aggressively racist towards others, and the main targets are the Asian community. Black people are super sensitive about others being racist yet they are the ones attacking Asians the most. If they are so conscious about racism, why can’t they understand the problem when they have faced it themselves.

Today's era is a time where social media has a big influence on the world. Most of the young generations spend their time going through their social media. As a person of that crowd, I can confirm I get most of my updates about current events from my Instagram. While scrolling through the post and watching the stories of the people, I have come across various sensitive posts and videos reposted by many of my friends. As written in one of the posts, a woman was attacked in a NYC subway for wearing a face mask. It was explained in the comment of the post that in Asian culture, most people wear the mask to protect themselves from the virus or to prevent the spread of the virus in case they have it themselves. Most of the time they wear it to protect themselves. However, in western culture, people only wear face masks if they are sick. Since the woman was wearing a face mask, a black man suddenly attacks her, assuming she is carrying the virus. In another instance, a video was posted showing a girl being attacked by several young black men for being Asian. An Asian man was trying to protect the girl with his body. A few days later, another video was posted of a black man yelling at a young Asian man and claiming his people are bringing the virus over to the USA. Lastly, a while back, a video was posted of several black men throwing an elderly Chinese man out of their community (majority black) for being Chinese. The poor old man was devastated and in tears.

These inhumane acts are mostly being done to others by the community who once, if not still now, face similar discriminations. I’m not claiming that it is only black people who are being racist. Neither am I trying to hate black people. However, it is concerning to me when I see people not understanding and not being sympathetic towards others when they have faced very similar situations in the past. They should be the last ones to be attacking the Asian community, yet they are the ones that do it the most. What has become of humanity? What does the future hold for us?

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