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Thread: Why "Chinese Virus" is racist

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    Industrial Grade Linguist Copernicus's Avatar
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    Why "Chinese Virus" is racist

    Some people are arguing that the term "Chinese flu" is not racist--that it is just another case of political correctness from the left. The most famous proponent of this view is, of course, Donald Trump, but the theme goes well beyond him. (See Trump Defends Using ‘Chinese Virus’ Label, Ignoring Growing Criticism). So, what is wrong with calling it the "Chinese flu" or "Wuhan flu"?

    Basically, the answer is that the label invites people to blame the Chinese people for a global epidemic that could have started in any country. We can certainly criticize the Chinese government for its initial attempts to suppress information about the outbreak, but the government is not the people. What has been happening around the world, and especially in the US, is a lot of anger directed at people who are ethnically Chinese. I have some Chinese friends (my neighbors are even PRC citizens), and they have all expressed fears to me about being harassed because of this move to bash China. In the early days of the virus, business at Chinese restaurants dropped off a lot. Over a month ago, at a lunch with retired colleagues, one of my best friends said that he was worried he might not be allowed into the restaurant. I thought he was joking at first, but his fear was real.

    We do not normally name these epidemics by their country of origin anymore. The so-called "Spanish flu" did not start in Spain. It was just first detected there. It was actually spread to Europe from the US during WWI, especially by US soldiers. The 2009 "swine flu" epidemic was first detected in Mexico, but we did not call it the "Mexican flu". If we had, then we could expect Mexicans to be blamed and harassed for it, even though they are no more guilty of anything than other ethnic groups.

    It was not a good idea to adopt the label "corona virus" for this disease, because there are other corona viruses. The name COVID-19 was adopted in order to give people a fairly neutral label that would get people to focus on the novel disease itself, not the people who come from the country where it was first detected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    Basically, the answer is that the label invites people to blame the Chinese people for a global epidemic that could have started in any country.
    Yeah, any country that lives with its livestock and eats exotic critters and has no health and safety standards.

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    So suddenly conservolibertarians are against deregulation??

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSwizzle View Post

    Yeah, any country that lives with its livestock and eats exotic critters and has no health and safety standards.

    Battery cages are the predominant form of housing for laying hens worldwide.[1][2][3] They reduce aggression and cannibalism among hens, but are barren, restrict movement, prevent many natural behaviours, and increase rates of osteoporosis.[3] As of 2014, approximately 95% of eggs in the US were produced in battery cages
    Battery cage

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    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don2 (Don1 Revised) View Post
    So suddenly conservolibertarians are against deregulation??
    Amazing how quickly a political viewpoint can change when it's carried to its extreme conclusion in real life.
    When conservatives realize they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will abandon democracy.

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    Contributor blastula's Avatar
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    It depends on who's using the term. It could be a neutral descriptor, but I mostly see it used by those who do have a bigoted intent.


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    Quote Originally Posted by TSwizzle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    Basically, the answer is that the label invites people to blame the Chinese people for a global epidemic that could have started in any country.
    Yeah, any country that lives with its livestock and eats exotic critters and has no health and safety standards.
    Seems the red hats think it is more important that Trump wasn't responsible for the cause of the initial outbreak rather than dwell on how poorly he has reacted to the outbreak, most of which centers around his denial of being responsible for the initial outbreak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Higgins View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSwizzle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    Basically, the answer is that the label invites people to blame the Chinese people for a global epidemic that could have started in any country.
    Yeah, any country that lives with its livestock and eats exotic critters and has no health and safety standards.
    Seems the red hats think it is more important that Trump wasn't responsible for the cause of the initial outbreak rather than dwell on how poorly he has reacted to the outbreak, most of which centers around his denial of being responsible for the initial outbreak.
    This. It's purely a redirection tactic. We should counter by always referring to it as the Trump Failure Virus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Higgins View Post
    Seems the red hats think it is more important that Trump wasn't responsible for the cause of the initial outbreak rather than dwell on how poorly he has reacted to the outbreak, most of which centers around his denial of being responsible for the initial outbreak.
    This. It's purely a redirection tactic. We should counter by always referring to it as the Trump Failure Virus.
    Covfefe-19?

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    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Higgins View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Higgins View Post
    Seems the red hats think it is more important that Trump wasn't responsible for the cause of the initial outbreak rather than dwell on how poorly he has reacted to the outbreak, most of which centers around his denial of being responsible for the initial outbreak.
    This. It's purely a redirection tactic. We should counter by always referring to it as the Trump Failure Virus.
    Covfefe-19?
    Covfefe-45
    When conservatives realize they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will abandon democracy.

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