Joseph Kim Lexington Jr. High 8th Grade
Racism has been a big concern ever since the pandemic has started. People now need to stay cooped up at home. And on the rare occasion they go out for supplies they must fight life and limb in order to get basic necessities. These different challenges have created a unique global frustration. A frustration that leads some people to blame other races. Countless videos online show Asians in particular getting harassed as the subject of blame for the Coronavirus. Of course this harassment is disgusting and reprimandable.
However, where I deviate from the popular opinion is that politicians spread and encourage this racist behaviour. For instance, Trump recently came under fire for calling Covid-19 the Wuhan Coronavirus during a press conference. Trump also blamed China for the coronavirus. Many called this type of redirect dangerous and racist. I disagree with the previous statement completely. I don’t believe it’s unreasonable to say China is responsible for Covid-19 or at the very least did nothing to try to halt its advancement. Chinese authorities silenced doctors and reporters who alerted the world and the Chinese government about Covid-19. Furthermore, China tried to ignore the first cases of Covid-19 as early as December 10, 2019 and tried to cover up to the world their negligence. The University of Southampton published a study that concluded that if China were to act just 3 weeks before it did the cases of Coronavirus could have been decreased by 95 percent. Even if all of this wasn’t true and China couldn’t do anything to stop Covid-19 simply stating the geographic origin of a virus does not incite any racism or violence. Covid-19 came from Wuhan so it would be appropriate to call it the Wuhan Coronavirus. All of this redirect does nothing to encourage violence, especially because it is true.
A Sophmore from Cypress High School, Eunice, would also agree, “ I don’t think speech incites violence unless it directly says so. It’s a fact that Covid-19 started in Wuhan China; it’s not wrong to call it the Coronavirus.” Another Sophomore from Cypress High School, Channah, has a slightly different spin on the topic, “ It is simply stating the location of coronavirus which is now known as where it originated. I think that among those who are uneducated, that type of phrasing may incite violence as they are either ignorant or unwary of factual information.”
Coronavirus is no excuse for racist harassment towards anyone. It is also no excuse to pinpoint factual phrases such as “the Wuhan Coronavirus” and claim that they would incite racism and violence. The Wuhan Coronavirus is a phrase used to direct blame to where it is rightfully due; not to evoke racism as some claim.
<Joseph Kim Lexington Jr. High 8th Grade