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Jakarta Post

Stop prejudice, the novel coronavirus has no race

  • Kung Phoak

Jakarta   /   Sat, February 22 2020   /  01:48 am
Bare necessities: A man and a child wearing face masks look at empty shelves of canned food and instant noodles at a supermarket in Singapore after the government raised the coronavirus outbreak alert level to orange on Feb. 8. ASEAN member states are working together to fight the virus. (Reuters/Edgar Su)(Reuters/Edgar Su)

Bare necessities: A man and a child wearing face masks look at empty shelves of canned food and instant noodles at a supermarket in Singapore after the government raised the coronavirus outbreak alert level to orange on Feb. 8. ASEAN member states are working together to fight the virus. (Reuters/Edgar Su)On Feb. 2, 2020, a video of a blindfolded and masked man standing in a plaza in Firenze, Italy, was posted on social media. Next to the man, who was identified as a Chinese-Italian, was a sign written in English, Italian, and Chinese: “I’m not a virus. I’m a human. Eradicate the prejudice.”

In late January, Asians in France created the #Jenesuispasunvirus (“I am not a virus”) Twitter hashtag to protest numerous reports of racist slurs and racial discrimination against Asians of Chinese descent. It has become a battle cry of sorts among those targeted by the discrimina...