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College newspapers lecture us about ‘racism’ re: coronavirus

Note: “racist” and “racism” are italicized in the following article because it’s BAD — BAD!!!

College student newspapers across the country are making sure their readers are aware of a danger allegedly as bad as the spread of the coronavirus: anti-Asian racism and xenophobia.

This is because the plethora of college grievance-based “studies” classes demands that the majority inhabitants of Western nations be portrayed as seething-with-hatred ogres. If you’re one of these individuals, you may not even know you secretly loathe those with different skin color. That’s why there are courses on “whiteness studies” and numerous “experts” traveling from college to college (and school districts) lecturing on “white privilege” and “white fragility.”

Many of these same college news outlets touted an alleged rise in “hate” incidents following Donald Trump’s election (many of which turned out to be hoaxes), and especially how the 2017 incident in Charlottesville, Virginia was the apex example.

Never mind that, as of this moment, universities are moving to online courses for the remainder of the spring semester, US states have declared states of emergency, and one country, Italy, has completely sealed its borders. But … whatever you do, don’t dare “glare”, for example, at an Asian passenger while riding mass transit … and especially not while covering your mouth. That would be insensitive. And racist.

MORE: ‘Coronavirus party’ leads to campus outrage, demands for apology

Meanwhile, CNN would have us believe that coronavirus-inspired “racist assaults” and “ignorant attacks” are “spreading faster” than the disease itself in the US (yet cites a total of four incidents). Of course, any such attack is contemptible and should be prosecuted immediately and appropriately. But this doesn’t justify silly hyperbole.

There’s also the matter of news organizations who had little issue using terms like “Wuhan virus” now chiding people for doing same — because, again, it’s racist.

At Harvard, The Crimson notes pandemics like the coronavirus bring out “the worst in us, as the spread of xenophobia and racism around the world in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak demonstrates.”

In a separate editorial, The Crimson says “coronavirus cannot become the object of racist rhetoric or a vehicle for racialized and xenophobic policy […] the spread of such a disease must be addressed vigorously, but not at the expense of tormenting and ostracizing our neighbors.” 

Over at The Cornell Daily Sun, the opinion columnists go further. One Asian student claims the current scenario is just “another reminder that when people see Chinese/other Eastern Asian people we are still viewed as un-American.” Another notes “the implications of containing xenophobia is just as important as containing coronavirus.”

And then there is the perceived racism: An Asian Cornell student recalled how a local cashier had used hand sanitizer “immediately” upon returning the student’s ID. 

A piece in The Daily Princetonian lambastes as racist those who question the dietary habits of the Chinese … even though some Chinese themselves have brought up the food factor in relation to coronavirus.

The (Duke) Chronicle went so far as to label travel restrictions as racist, while a Daily Trojan columnist compared coronavirus travel bans to Jews being “blamed and viciously persecuted” for the 14th century Black Plague, and to “newly arrived actors and artists” being scapegoated for a 1793 yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia. Both these pieces were published over a month ago; is anyone having second thoughts, especially given how both schools have announced suspension of in-person classes?

Not to mention, will we see editorials on how President Trump’s March 11-announced European travel ban is racist?

Finally, a columnist for the Yale Daily News brings us full circle by saying fear of coronavirus leads to a “fear of the ‘other,’” and she employs critical theory to “draw the line between legitimate concern” and racism: “That line lands depends on whether we are pointing fingers at the victims or the oppressors.” 

What’s intriguing is that the situation with the virus is one of the few times Asians are seen as victims and/or minorities. Typically, especially in higher education, this demographic is denied such classification because it violates what progressives despise: success. 

MORE: Cornell panel: Global xenophobia due to Western imperialism, Trump

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.