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The Coronavirus: An Opportunity for Latent Racism to Surface? News 

The Coronavirus: An Opportunity for Latent Racism to Surface?

On January 28th, a 60 year old man had a heart attack outside of a restaurant in Sydney’s Chinatown.

He could have been saved, had any of the several bystanders performed CPR, but instead of doing so, they waited for the NSW Police as they feared he had the coronavirus. No one helped him, leaving him to die despite the paramedics’ efforts, given too late.

This is a clear example of the latent racism that tends to surface around us in times of crisis.

Closer to home, there has been the alleged assault and cyberbullying of a Chinese transfer student at Marianopolis.  According to several (seemingly deleted) posts from MConfessions, a Facebook confession page for Marianopolis students, a friend of this student allegedly attacked her at the library, calling her names and accusing her of carrying the coronavirus.

Commenters were quick to point out that if the girl was afraid of contracting the virus, the last thing she should do is physically assault someone she suspects of carrying it.  That aside, the transfer student obviously did not have the coronavirus. Yet, since she had recently come back from a trip to China, she was also allegedly cyberbullied and told to stay home to not infect anyone else.

This behavior should not need to be called out, for it should not even happen in the first place. Sadly, this incident shows us that living in 2020 does not guarantee 2020 vision, so I would like to take this opportunity to remind VInsider’s readers that if you happen to come across a similar situation, or if you suspect someone to be the proponent or the victim of racism, please speak up. Be the one who stands up against sheep mentality when no one else will.  Don’t be one of those ignorants who share memes shaming people who allegedly started the coronavirus outbreak by eating bats.

Chinese culture is very different from Western culture, and bat soup has been served in China for ages. The cause of this outbreak remains unknown anyway, so let’s not jump to conclusions. Furthermore, it is true that eating bats could potentially spread dangerous diseases, and it is even suspected of having started the 2013-2016 Western Africa Ebola epidemic; however, this also has not been confirmed. People in Africa and in Asia who eat bats do so because they are uneducated about the dangers of consuming this type of animal, not because they are dumb or have malicious intent.  Instead of shaming different cultures, why don’t we instead raise awareness about the risks surrounding the consumption of wild animals?


By Sophie Dufresne

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