I once met a woman enthusiastic about joining the military. She is what the right colloquially refers to as a social justice warrior. After a triggering occasion on a slight infraction of social justice (a fellow quoted from the TV show Friends, which had homophobic slurs), she was visibly frazzled and stormed off.
After her retreat from the perception of bigotry I quipped, “I don’t believe she’s capable of fighting ISIS”.
Social justice warriors are often not up to the task at hand, deteriorating a bad situation rather than improving it. Though not always, I do occasionally have sympathy for their societal gripes. But often they aren’t merely wrong — their gripes are also dangerous.
We’re being bombarded with accusations of racism by referring to this present malady as “the Chinese Virus”. This isn’t simply a case of being mistaken, it’s a case of being dangerously mistaken.
1. It’s dangerous to label truth as racism
Labeling true facts as racism only serves to empower racism. We need to tackle the reality of true facts and address why they are the way they are to find legitimate solutions. This is how to undermine racism.
Your conspiracy theory friend is wrong. You know, the guy on your friend list who is always proposing his alternatives to scientific consensus, in spite of the fact that he’s never accomplished anything scientifically. This time around he likely believes this virus was invented. He thinks it’s a fact that it’s invented, and this is not up for dispute. Well, he’s wrong.
I’ve written two papers on biomathematics, specifically on the rates of change of malaria within a population. Biomath is among the most difficult subjects to comprehend. It makes economics look like fourth grade arithmetic. After an overly-laborious and intellectually taxing completion of the research, I quickly retreated to the safety of finance for future endeavors. Biomath is more difficult than the level of research your idiot friend has done.
Conspiracy theorists are ad hoc know-nothings. The scientific method actually predicted the emergence of this virus in 2007, and successful predictions are how scientists gather the truth of the matter. A paper was published by scientists from the Hong Kong University titled “Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus as an agent of emerging and re-emerging infection”.
This virus didn’t merely originate geographically in China, it originated from the bizarre culinary practices of the wet market. Their eating exotic animals introduces new viruses to humans — the wet market was a ticking time-bomb. Further, it rapidly exploded because the Chinese government censored vital data, necessary for other countries to combat this problem.
It’s a true fact that this is the Chinese Virus.
2. We need to have an extremely uncomfortable conversation, and the accusation of racism makes it more difficult, and it makes people more defensive of intolerable practices
The standard practice of labeling viruses after their place of origin was never more necessary than it is now: Spanish Flu, West Nile, Zika, Ebola, are standard names, but in this instance, we need to address the specifics of Chinese culture and governance.
We have to tell the Wuhan wet market that their cuisine is no longer tolerable. It’s extremely uncomfortable for many people to say that we don’t tolerate an aspect of someone’s culture. In this case, we don’t have an option. The wet market in Wuhan has even reopened. Unfathomably reopened. We have to say “no” because this virus, and potentially future viruses, are the result of this practice.
This isn’t racist because they aren’t exclusively members of the Chinese race. They’re also members of the human race, and our race needs to show maximum intolerance for the wet market.
We need to have this conversation. The left doesn’t get a vote. We have to have a conversation about the wet market being unacceptable, and yes, we need to show intolerance. This is not optional. We must act to save our civilization. The next mutated virus could be far worse.
The reason why this isn’t racist is that it isn’t rooted in generic prejudice, it’s rooted in objective science. I’m Canadian. We have bizarre cultural cuisine of our own. If someone says eating poutine is a bad idea, I likely won’t listen to them but I won’t take offense as a Canadian because they aren’t suggesting it out of prejudice, they’re just speaking a scientific truth motivated by concern for well-being.
If it brings any comfort, this isn’t Chinese culture. Most Chinese people are aware this is a disgusting practice. It’s a specific subset of Chinese culture that we must no longer tolerate.
Beyond that, we need to take swift, firm, resolute, and strong, action against the Chinese government. They lied, and our people died. I’ve read Bloomberg estimates that suggest Canada is looking at a 25% contraction of our GDP. I’ve read JP Morgan Chase estimates that suggest the Americans are about to experience a 40% contraction in their second quarter. The Chinese government must be held accountable.
3. We need the term “racist” to combat actual racism
The reason why we need to combat racism is to combat events like what happened in Rwanda or during the Holocaust. It isn’t to combat the offensive things leftists invented last week. Racism is far more serious than the left treats it.
C.S. Lewis wrote that we shouldn’t use the word ‘infinitely’ if we really mean the word ‘very’ because then there’s nothing left when we want to talk about something infinite.
We were told by the left that George W. Bush is a racist. We were told that John McCain is dangerously racist. Mitt Romney is a misogynist because he was trying to hire women but described the process of collecting their resumes in an odd fashion.
In 2015 and 2016 the term racism was used and abused. Everything was racism. Racism was lurking around every corner. The man who believed all races ought to be treated equally — he was perhaps the most racist of all.
After this, in 2016, there were no words left to describe an actual, dangerous, racist, misogynist, who spoke openly of bombing civilians, denying the competence of judges on account of their heritage, and bragged of randomly entering women’s locker rooms. Republicans had been inoculated, vaccinated against the ugliness of racism such that when the real word was needed, it had no impact.
More than America, we need the word “racist” to help combat the rise of the far-right in Europe. Some of these political movements make Donald Trump look like Martin Luther King Jr. The AfD in Germany wants to ban Islam, and if the concept of Germans sending a particular religion to jail doesn’t scare the hell out of you, I don’t know what will.
This is a Chinese virus. It originated from practices in China. We need to call it for what it is, have an uncomfortable conversation, and then go on to combat real racism. Calling our response to the Chinese Virus racist is unacceptable. It impairs our ability to do what needs to be done in the light of this. This is a Chinese virus, and there’s nothing racist about that.