Rep. Judy Chu (D-California) recently told CNN that it is ‘dangerous’ for the President to refer to Covid-19 as the ‘Chinese Virus’.
“He is creating more xenophobia every single time he does that. And we can see the results in what’s happening to Asian Americans across the country.” A recent BBC article examined how the ‘virus of prejudice’ is manifesting in the nation of Kenya. It cited several recent examples, such as a viral video of an Asian man and woman being bullied by a large crowd in the capital of Nairobi.
The BBC explains such prejudice is rooted in the economic relationship between the two countries: “Kenya has borrowed a large amount of money from China for big infrastructure projects. While the ordinary Kenyan is not feeling the benefit, they are looking for someone to blame for their economic woes”.
This interpretation completely misses the forest for the trees. The forest, in this case, is the enduring criticism that China has long been engaging in “new colonialism” with respect to Africa. But isn’t colonialism supposed to be considered racist?