The world is devastated as we fear our global economy on the track to a meltdown caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. A virus, which started in China has practically gone round the world, claiming lives and casualty – that’s what globalization does. While scientists struggle to find a cure while scrambling to save lives, the rest of us are agitated, praying and hoping that we will conquer this horror. So you can imagine how shocked I have been when discrimination in the form of racism and racial attacks made its ugly head into this pandemic.
I believe the earliest came from Donald Trump when he tagged it the “Chinese Virus” and got the whole world riled up. I don’t think that when lives are being lost in such great numbers, it should matter where a virus originates- rather, concerted effort should be put in place to battle the virus. Perhaps after lives have been saved, one can go back in retrospect to see what went wrong and how such a pandemic can be prevented from re-occurring. But to blatantly call it a “Chinese virus” is racist. And I thought it would end there until people began attacking the Chinese online.
I believe that the rest of the world have reasons to be upset with China simply for the fact that the government did not come forth with the realities on time. That being said, the average Chinese isn’t his or her government! Should the rest of the world attack the Americans for having a racist president? I mean, common! African leaders are the worst leaders on the planet but does that make me who is Nigerian, greedy, corrupt and incompetent? Of course not! While you can direct your anger to the Chinese government, you should not be attacking the Chinese people because guess what? They are suffering just like us! And please let’s remember the many Chinese descents who are serving as doctors and nurses in so many countries across the world and helping to fight Coronavirus. So since some people are saying Chinese nationals should be sent back to their countries, should we also send the brilliant Chinese doctors and nurses who are risking their lives to save your own nationals back to China?
Just when I thought we had been dished enough discrimination in the midst of this crisis, news filtered in again about how French scientists were suggesting using Africans as guinea pigs for Coronavirus vaccine and I was livid again! What is wrong with people? Do you not see people beyond race? I mean, as humans, we all have the same physical structures, right? We all have our challenges, our dreams just as any human being. Our skin colors just like our unique cultures and religions are some of the things that makes diversity intriguing. But if you think Africans are nothing but guinea pigs, well, then you are a lost cause and cannot be redeemed.
My latest anger is directed to Guangzhou, China where Africans are being evicted from their homes and being thrown on the streets because the local authority believes that Africans brought Coronavirus to China. Not only are Africans being rendered homeless as landlords and hotels are refusing to accommodate them, some of them are being forcefully tested for Coronavirus even though they have no recent travel history. All I can say is this: how hard can it be to treat a fellow human being with respect?
That’s the question I will use to end this post. It’s a good for thought for everyone of us. HOW HARD CAN IT BE TO TREAT A FELLOW HUMAN BEING WITH RESPECT?