Your Racism Is Showing: Coronavirus and the Racist History of Pandemics: The Root

By: Felice León


“There are some members of the Trump administration who continue to refer to [COVID-19] as the ‘Wuhan virus,’ and I think this continues to perpetuate this very strong link between Asian people more generally or Chinese people more generally and the virus itself…And this tendency to kind of shift it, to reduce it to this one country I think can also contribute to some of the xenophobia that we’ve been talking about.” — Merlin Chowkwanyun

Coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, has traveled across the world, and its numbers—of new infections and deaths—are quite distressing.

As COVID-19 spreads, so does fear, prejudice and xenophobia—or, a fear of “foreigners.” The virus appeared in Wuhan, China in December 2019, and Chinese people (along with other East Asian folks) have since been turned into villains—those thought to be the carriers of this disease. Hence, the rise of a more specific form of bigotry: sinophobia, or the fear of Chinese people.


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Last updated byAnonymous on March 25, 2020