Virus unleashes racism in Western societies

By Mu Lu Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/2 22:28:40

A staff member (1st L) distributes publicity materials about prevention and control measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus at Huatai Township in Wuxi County, southwest China's Chongqing, Jan. 28, 2020. (Xinhua/Huang Wei)

German weekly magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday had a cover headline saying the novel coronavirus was "Made in China." The act was instantly condemned for racism and shows the urgency and vigilance against racist discrimination that is increasing in the West. And this was not just about China or Chinese.

Amid a crucial period of fighting the novel coronavirus, some Western media outlets - with a deep-rooted racist mind-set - have lost their objectivity and rationality, issuing biased reports that would create panic among people and that may thus trigger more serious social problems. 

A global challenge needs to be addressed globally. Biased and discriminatory misinformation will not help us prevent the epidemic from spreading or find an effective way to control or curb the virus. On the contrary, it will lead to stigma and fear.

In addition to the German weekly, a Danish newspaper published on January 27 an insulting cartoon against China but refused to apologize. More similar cases have shown that some Western racists are obstinate. Within this great spiral of racist discrimination, China and Chinese people have repeatedly been the target of rumors.

The racists are too arrogant to understand the culture that is different from theirs. Even in the current era of growing globalization, they still bear the imagination of being conqueror and ruler of the world and fail to realize that they are to some extent like a frog born at the bottom of a well and living a lifetime within it. 

A short-sighted, racist mind-set prevents them from recognizing the efforts and sacrifices of the Chinese government and people who have helped ensure the number of the novel coronavirus-related pneumonia cases in the rest of the world remain relatively small so far. 

Fortunately, the racists are still a small part. Many Westerners have realized the threat that racism has imposed. For example, German lawmaker Karl Lauterbach said it is of no medical sense and not acceptable to have Asian-looking people suffer discrimination in Germany due to fears of the coronavirus. 

A majority of Western countries are clear that racist discrimination is harmful to their own social stability, will cause splits among different ethnic groups and will affect sound mutual interaction between different civilizations. Eventually, it will be their countries' development and international competitiveness that suffer. 

The world is in irreversible globalization. Many racists may be driven by their anti-globalization concepts and concerns about the rise of China and many other Asian economies. This group of people wishes they could squeeze out of the room other ethnic groups and civilizations with racist discrimination. 

Although their malicious intention will not be realized in the end, the world should be vigilant about the havoc racists can wreak in an attempt to achieve their evil goals. They must be stopped before it is too late. 

Just as WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesuss said, "The only way we will defeat this outbreak is for all countries to work together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation. We are all in this together, and we can only stop it together."

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