Why are children racist towards Chinese?

Coronavirus: no justification for racism!

As the MDR reported in February, the Hanns Eisler Music University in Berlin initially refused the 26-year-old Juntao Ye and other Chinese people the entrance exam because they wanted to give other applicants the opportunity "to take the entrance exams without fear of infection". In Essen, a doctor's office refused to treat a patient with cold symptoms because she was Chinese. The behavior of the music college and the doctor's office is racist, as they assume that Chinese people are ill per se because of their origin - just because the coronavirus first broke out in the Chinese province of Hubei. In these incidents, it was not of interest whether the students or the patient had actually been in risk areas in the past few months.

Times of crisis like the coronavirus pandemic mean that marginalized groups are even more marginalized and dehumanized, says political scientist Dr. Liya Yu. In such exceptional situations, one can often observe two reactions in society: "Either people behave as if the pandemic does not exist or they are looking for a personification of the danger posed by the virus". As a result, Asians would be held responsible for the crisis, but it could also affect other marginalized groups such as refugees or people with disabilities.

The mixing of diffuse fear with racist stereotypes can also be observed in the media. In early February, the Bild newspaper asked whether you could still eat fortune cookies or accept parcels from China. The news magazine Der Spiegel showed a person in red protective clothing on the cover picture in February, completely covered with a breathing mask and protective goggles, with the title: "Corona virus. Made in China. When globalization becomes a deadly danger". Both examples not only mark the entire Chinese population as the cause and spread of the virus. "Made in China" also suggests that the virus was "manufactured" and "exported" in China - an argument that can also be found in colonial-racist conspiracy theories.