B1 Intermediate US 64 Folder Collection
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“Everyone knows Chinese people are disgusting.”
“They’ll eat any type of animal.”
“They’re dirty.”
That’s what my classmate said,
just days after the Coronavirus outbreak
started in the United States.
It felt like a stab to my chest.
I’m Chinese-American, and this is someone
that I’ve gone to school with for almost three years,
who I consider a friend.
But it’s no wonder that she feels this way.
“An obscure virus arising
from a meat market in eastern China.”
As the Coronavirus spreads,
there’s another virus spreading that we
need to be talking about.
“A woman who's Asian says
she was punched by another woman in midtown Manhattan
and she accused her of having the Covid-19 virus.”
“I don’t want him [inaudible] me. Tell him to move.”
Young Asian-Americans
like me are feeling hate infect
every part of our lives.
“And I’d like to just ask the Chinese for a formal apology.”
Not only do we have to be afraid about our health.
But we have to be afraid about being ourselves.
Class basically just started. One of the girls
said all Chinese people were disgusting.
And so I literally like raised my hand up
and was like “I’m Chinese.”
She didn’t even say sorry. She didn't.
She just like blew past it I guess.
And then she like kept going on about it.
I never knew it would happen to me, especially
at this school.
Good morning.
Yeah, basically this Chinese restaurant was
like texting their customers saying none of our staff
have been to China.
We have no contact with the Coronavirus.
Please like like, come back to us.
And people were like making fun of it.
There are thousands and thousands of cases in Italy.
But no one’s boycotting Olive Garden.
No seriously like, no one is boycotting
a mom and pop’s pizza place. Like it's the same thing.
Historically, pandemics have stoked xenophobia.
In the 19th century, people spread rumors
that Irish immigrants carried cholera, and tuberculosis was
known as the “Jewish disease.”
In 1900, when a Chinese man supposedly died of the plague
in San Francisco, Chinatown residents were forcibly
quarantined by police, while white residents were
allowed to leave the area.
It seems like since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak
schools have been a Petri dish for racism.
It’s dangerous to normalize behavior
like this for people my age.
So you just spoke with the other student.
So can you tell me what happened?
She understood my frustration and anger.
They didn’t really mean to say that.
And they were actually making a generalization.
And so she apologized to me basically.
And I really appreciated it.
Coronavirus may have originated in China.
But the disease doesn’t discriminate in the way
that people do.
It’s extremely important that people
have accurate information on how to stay safe.
So we can kill this virus without spreading
another one.
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How Coronavirus Racism Infected My High School | NYT Opinion

64 Folder Collection
Fibby published on March 24, 2020
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