Mar 18, 2020
President Donald Trump--whose presidency has been marked by repeated and grossly offensive racist rhetoric and policies--came under fire Wednesday for again defending his use of the racist term "Chinese virus" to describe the coronavirus sweeping the globe.
"Because it comes from China!" Trump responded during a White House press briefing when asked by ABC News correspondent Cecili Vega about his use of the phrase--one which critics have said is overtly racist and puts those of Chinese descent and other Asian people at risk of further discrimination and bigotry amid the pandemic.
\u201cWhen asked why he continues to call it the \u201cChinese virus\u201d the President\u2019s response is \u201cbecause it comes from China, it\u2019s not racist at all\u201d\u201d— Acyn (@Acyn) 1584549394
"The question," noted journalist Gabriella Pagan on Twitter, "comes as many Asian Americans become the target of racism, discrimination, violence amid COVID-19 outbreak."
According to recent statements by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, "Stigma, to be honest, is more dangerous than the virus itself."
While Trump in his remarks on Wednesday echoed a slew of right-wing commentary of recent days by claiming "it's not racist--not at all" to use the phrase, that is simply a self-serving lie.
The NAACP was unequivocal in its condemnation of Trump's statement.
"When this level of racism and discrimination is allowed to be so openly exercised from highest office in the nation," the civil rights group tweeted, "those who are silent become complicit. We will not be silent."
As William Thomson wrote for Quartz on Wednesday morning, "This pattern of conflating race with a specific disease is a constant thread in American history."
In a scientific sense, Thomson explained, "we know that viruses are race-blind, and its origin and spread has nothing to do with skin color, features, or culture. Humans, however, are not race-blind."
We're optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.
We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter counts.
Your contribution supports this new media model—free, independent, and dedicated to uncovering the truth. Stand with us in the fight for social justice, human rights, and equality. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.