The racist epithet — again
Much of the country is in lockdown or semi-lockdown due to the Chinese Coronavirus, Wuhan Virus, or Covid-19. Commerce is slowed to almost non-existent, schools are closed and could be closed well past the Connecticut-mandated March 31, people have been told to work from home, paper goods, meat, and other foodstuffs are ripped from the shelves as fast as they are stacked, and a general surreal atmosphere has permeated daily life. The virus has, because of its uncertainty, disabled an entire world.
While information has been forthcoming and the various state governments have worked with the federal government to mitigate the spread and effects of the pandemic, there are many in the media who cannot get with the program. Instead, they are fixated on the same tropes they have been on for the last three-plus years: blaming Donald John Trump for anything and everything with the goal of delegitimizing his presidency.
Having failed with Russia, Russia, Russia, and the silly Ukraine debacle, the media is now trying to portray the administration as incompetent, when the facts show something entirely different. We will leave it to other outlets to give the timeline, but whilst the Congress was futzing around with a trumped-up impeachment charge (pun intended), the administration was handling things with the Wuhan Virus.
The crux of their problems with the administration was the President’s attempt to calm the population while the media was attempting to drum up hysteria. The fact the president didn’t play Chicken Little irks his adversaries in the press, and does to this day. This past weekend he has attempted to further calm the fears of the nation in his Sunday briefing.
But now we have the most recent kerfuffle concerning the naming of the virus. Somehow it has become insensitive to call it the Chinese Coronavirus (something CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS and other did until recently). Now it is racist. No, it’s accurate. The racist charge came from members of the famous “Squad” in Congress, that group of women angry at virtually anything. It was then picked up by the Chinese government, which is trying to do anything to deflect its own incompetence in the face of the virus outbreak months ago.
While the world is trying to cope with something that is verging on catastrophe, there are reporters and politicians still hoping to use identity politics against the administration. Calling a virus by its point of origin has always been the case. But we live in a time when, because the media hates the present administration, will do anything to cause division.
Witness the latest. CBS reporter Weijia Jiang, a Chinese-American, contends a “senior White House official” called it the “Kung Flu.” This was a two-day story ostensibly about something said to her. When confronted, she refused to say who the official was, and is now getting deserved blowback from both sides of the political aisle.
First off, what is the problem? Why is this bit of gallows humor – for that is what it is – so offensive? The answer: because people want to be offended. They want to show the administration is racist. They want to show America is a racist country. They want, when all is said and done, to foment division.
It is not racist to call this the Wuhan Virus. It is not racist to point out the country of origin is China. It is not even racist to make a small word-play joke about it to ease tensions. If everything is racist, nothing is racist. If everything is offensive, nothing is.
There are people looking to be offended, and looking to score political points in doing so. The next time someone tries to shut down a conversation with the call of racism, just answer them: That’s your problem. In the final analysis, it is exactly that – their problem. Then move on with your day.