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U.S. racism flares up during COVID-19

By Kayla Lupedee

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak makes its way through the United States, there has been an unruly number of racists rising to the surface and portraying their true colors. However, is this really something that is even surprising anymore? Racism in America seems to feel almost too ordinary, even in 2020. 

This virus can target anyone. It doesn’t discriminate. On the other hand, people do. 

 Several analyses show high infected and death rates from COVID-19 among African Americans in the U.S.. These statistics are somehow encouraging racism to break out. Many are placing blame on blacks for their COVID-19 deaths. 

Many people will see one black person going against social distancing and in turn, group him or her with the whole of black culture. These people facing extreme backlash are not seen as individuals, they are only seen as a racial stereotype—a group. 

It is clear there are racial disparities arising from the number of infected. However, those racial disparities are not to be blamed on black people just for being black. These disparities are prevalent from the racism driven by the U.S., in which black people still face unequal opportunities and are therefore put in circumstances where they face higher risk. 

 At this point, the racism in America is beyond ridiculous. It is shocking, incredulous, and disgusting. How could someone place blame on an entire race for the heart-breaking rise in death numbers from COVID-19? 

 Even so, the black community is not the only race that has fallen victim to the racist uproar in America. Asian Americans are being threatened by many who believe the ridiculous racist idea that the entire continent of Asia is to blame for COVID-19. 

 Since COVID-19 broke out in China, there has been a stir up of racial slurs against Asian Americans. Xenophobia is taking control of the U.S., as many Asian Americans are experiencing violent hate and racism. 

 Whether it is through verbal or physical attacks, there is an anti-Asian war brewing up in America, and it is highly unsettling. Despite never even stepping foot in China, many Asian Americans are being tormented merely because of their race. 

 Throughout social media, many are sharing their experiences, making it all the more real and alarming. Chinese-owned stores and restaurants are not only losing business, but they are also being vandalized. For what? Simply for being Chinese-owned. 

 These problems in our society are deeply rooted in the concept of needing to place blame. There is no one, not even a race, to blame for this pandemic. Just because COVID-19 broke out in China, it does not give a green flag to endorse racism against anyone. 

 It becomes a matter of concern for the moral grounds of the U.S., where it is ultimately filled with an unbelievable number of racists who place blame where it is not applicable. The true colors of many in our nation are showing through. 

 The conspiracy theories that are circling society, whether through news platforms, social media or word of mouth, are leaving more Chinese or Asian Americans victims of racism. 

 The theory that COVID-19 was man-made by the Chinese government as a bioweapon against other countries is ultimately doing more harm than good. It is pinpointing an accidental spread of disease on a specific group of people. Racists in America are being highlighted, bright and obvious to the rest of our society. 

 Spreading this misinformation is uprooting racist ideas and diffusing hate, uncovering and emphasizing the hidden xenophobia within the U.S.

 COVID-19 has left turmoil in its tracks, not only through diminishing health, but significantly by stirring the pot, exposing the racism in our country.

Kayla Lupedee can be reached at kayla.lupedee@spartans.ut.edu

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