Commentators have said that people are being racist for worrying about Coronavirus and especially when they avoid Chinese people. We should never treat people poorly or be a jerk, but when you have a serious infectious disease problem with a lot of unknowns, the use of discrimination can be rational. However, there is a racism associated with this virus that people aren’t talking about, and it’s the same racism that we see with America’s foreign policy attitudes.
There’s some speculation that perhaps males and perhaps Asian males might be more susceptible to the virus for certain reasons. I’ve noticed on Twitter a lot of people asking experts, “But, is it true that caucasians are less vulnerable to this disease?” This is what you’d call NIMBY racism.
People like to feel safe. When they see danger, believing that it’s someone else’s problem is one way to feel safe. This is racism, but I wouldn’t call it evil. It’s more human and normal. What is evil is when you look at the “other”, whom you’ve decided are the ones threatened by a problem, and then decide to be apathetic about the problem.
There’s a reason why our bad government cannot be changed or reformed. There’s a reason why bad foreign wars, which the majority is probably naturally against, happen anyway. As soon as people believe a problem is someone else’s problem, they are unwilling to risk or put up anything of their own to solve the problem. By playing into this unethical attitude, government frustrates efforts that seek reform.
I’ve seen members of the libertarian community recently downplay the virus threat using WHO and media numbers of all things (then blame the media for hyping the virus). I gotta tell you, I’m in Japan right now and the media is not hyping this virus. It’s much worse than the media is saying, the problem is a ticking time bomb. Right now we have governments and bureaucracies suppressing information, which prevents individuals, families and communities from preparing. Libertarians shouldn’t wait until government martial-law quarantines to decide the virus is an actual problem. I suspect many are cautious and preparing, but last week’s downplaying wasn’t consistent with the whole picture.
WHO has recently threatened countries that enact travel bans above and beyond what WHO recommends. In a libertarian world, those privately owned roads and trains could have been shut down two weeks ago by their owners. It’s called decentralized authority. Anyway, I feel as if the virus downplaying is coming from the statist side this time, which is not usual. It’s not the time for kneejerk, “pandemic hype is statist propaganda.”