The A-Z blogging challenge is quite straightforward, blog everyday in April, except Sundays, with subjects that follow the alphabet. It’s all a bit of fun. My subject is ‘A month in lock down’.
X is for xenophobia, the fear of foreigners. Be in no doubt, COVID-19 is someone’s fault, or so our media and certain politicians would have you believe. It is not their fault that we are suffering dreadfully from this disease, it is because others did not take the necessary action early enough and these people are foreigners.
The first rule is to find someone to blame, the second is to make it stick. All the better if they happen to be from across the seas, of a different colour or ethnicity.
And Trump is at the vanguard. It didn’t take long for him to refer to the Chinese virus, despite America’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention warning him against using the phrase as it would lead to racist association with the Chinese. His executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United states has led him to being accused of xenaphobic scapegoating.
He is not alone. Anyone from a different background to you is now a threat. Here, Muslims are being targeted by far-right groups claiming they are responsible for spreading the virus by breaking lockdown rules. Old video footage is circulating from before the lockdown showing mosques still open.
Racists and xenophobes never need an excuse.
It appears though that some groups are affected more than others but this tends to be because they occupy positions in society that make it difficult for them to lockdown or avoid social distancing. Poor people can’t rely upon their savings and don’t have a spare room in which to isolate.
COVID-19 can affect anyone, even the prime minister of the United Kingdom. It knows nothing of race, creed and colour. It knows nothing of xenophobia.