Acts of Racism Against the Chinese because of Corona

The spread of the Corona virus from China has been accompanied by racist campaigns against the Chinese in various countries of the world, even developed countries, which prohibit xenophobia and whose laws criminalize discrimination on the basis of color, race or membership.

Even the media had taken part in those campaigns, and not only the social networks, which were now full of racist “hashtags”, publications and videos mocking Chinese culture and customs.

In Canada, and after the resurgence of racist campaigns against the Chinese and the increase in hostile comments against them on the Internet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was quick to warn Canadians of any discrimination against the Chinese community living in Canada, calling on his fellow citizens to show solidarity with the Chinese. “There is no place in our country for discrimination that is fueled by fear and misinformation,” he said at a ceremony in Toronto marking Chinese New Year.

In France, all Asians, not just Chinese, are paying the price of a racist campaign on social networks, asking them to go home. French media have reported that students of Chinese origin have been bullied in schools, including those among them who have never set foot in China.

This led young Chinese students to launch a counter-campaign on Twitter under the hashtag: “I am not a virus”. However, some French newspapers did not hesitate to publish articles with openly racist headlines about the Corona virus. This is the case of the Courrier Picard, which published on its front page a photo of a Chinese woman wearing a mask on her face with the words “Yellow Alert”, referring to a term first used in the 19th century, when the wave of Chinese immigration to the United States began, and which contains racist slurs and misconceptions about Asians.

In Denmark, the newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a satirical drawing, depicting a picture of the Chinese flag with the image of the Corona virus in place of the five stars decorating it, earning the wrath of the Chinese, who saw the drawing as an insult to them. Thus, they launched a campaign on social networks against Denmark, publishing its flag with Nazi skulls and slogans, demanding an official apology. The Danish Prime Minister refused to comply, believing that the newspaper had simply acted within the framework of freedom of expression. The Chinese embassy in Denmark retorted that the cartoon was “an overstepping of the moral bounds of freedom of expression and an offense against human morality,” according to the British newspaper Daily Mail.

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