3/19/20

How the Media Used Racism to Divide Americans During Covid-19

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One of the concerns I have regarding the current Covid-19 pandemic and quarantine is the possibility that exists for civil unrest. As the mayor of Baltimore knows the problem civil unrest can cause during a pandemic well, as evidenced by the fact that he recently asked his city to decrease the number of murders in order to free up hospital space for those suffering. However, there is another kind of civil unrest, more widespread than the crime existing in some of our metropolitan areas.

The default American setting has been to trust our civic leaders, on all levels, during times of crisis. I lived outside of New York City during September 11, 2001, and saw first hand what American pride and working together looked like in the midst of a local and global catastrophe. Political bickering was temporarily suspended to tackle a much bigger threat! I remember at the time, the mayor of NYC, governor of NY, and President of the U.S.A. were all Republicans, but that didn’t stop the majority Democrat area I lived in from rallying around their leadership. Mutual trust was second nature. But that was then.

Today, both the media and global elites have unrelentingly pushed a narrative against both President Trump, his administration, and in some cases, Americans in general, that can lead the general public to believe that efforts to respond to the Covid-19 virus are, in part, motivated by racism and xenophobia. It’s this kind of a narrative that causes the most social justice minded among us to take out their microscopes and examine every action taken to fight this deadly virus, by ensuring no hidden racism was present in the motivations behind each decision.

From January through early March, media outlets around the world downplayed the dangers of the virus while exaggerating even alleged instances of discrimination against Chinese people. President Trump was criticized for fanning the flames of hatred when announced a travel ban from China in late January. By the middle of March, however, the narrative switched. President Trump was now portrayed as irresponsible for his late response. The one charge that still remains is the accusation that he is still motivated by racism for using the term “Chinese Virus.”

If liberal Americans are convinced that the President is making decisions from a position of incompetence and racism, how seriously will they accept his leadership in this time of crisis? If conservatives think they both they and their president are being unfairly called names, how seriously will they take other vital reports the media is providing concerning our response to the virus.

Public trust has continued to break down, as it was before Covid-19 came to the shores of the United States. Interestingly, Chinese state officials and government controlled media outlets are using the same exact talking points and have been for weeks. Does it bother Americans, Left and Right, that a Communist government which seeks to undermine us sounds very similar to what our own media outlets are saying?

Now is the time to come together, just like it was after 9-11. Let’s put aside our differences and work to defeat this virus, and restart our economy as soon as possible.

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