Opinion: Now is not the time to spread hate and fear


Locals affected by the anti-coronavirus government measures receive free meals in a park in central Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. Some Buddhist monasteries and sympathizers provide meals for people in need, whose livelihoods have been affected due to the emergency regulations enforced in Thailand to control the coronavirus that has infected hundreds of people in the Southeast Asian country. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Valerie Cronenbold

In the words of Luis Gutierrez, former U.S. representative and defender of Latino rights, “When politicians do not have an answer to their social economic needs, then they blame someone and say, let’s all get together against them, then re-elect me.”

This is especially worrisome during a time when a far Eastern country is the origin for an epidemic that has paralyzed the world. Last month, the Tulane University Police Department told students of an incident on April 7th, around 6:30 P.M. at the intersection of N. Claiborne Ave. and Tulane Ave. The crime resulted in violent aggression. The report describes a confrontation by an unknown male toward a couple of Tulane affiliates. He questioned the pedestrians by asking their ethnicity, then threatened them by saying, “If you are Chinese or Japanese, I’m going to kill you.”

The subject continued acting as a menace by showing the affiliates a handgun and following them repeating the same question. One of the affiliates reportedly answered, “I’m here working at the hospital, I’m here to help,” as the subject kept following them. To this, he replied with an “Oh, you’re here to help?” and a fist bump. In a country that preaches freedom, the pedestrians were forced to measures of justification in order to flee disruptive danger while exercising their rights. Walking never felt so criminal.

Continuously, people blame individuals that are part of a race group for an incident that their country has caused and had an effect on the rest of the world. The same way the 9/11 attacks and the Boston Marathon bombing caused thousands of hate crimes towards innocent Muslims, Asians have been suffering hostilities of the nature because of the current pandemic. This type of fear-mongering rings true across the constant displays of xenophobia that occur not only in America, but across the world. However, these tactics have been repeatedly used throughout President Donald Trump’s political discourse, infamous for racial scapegoating.

Despite the trials of China’s communist and historically oppressive government, there is no reason for hatred to be misplaced towards Asian people as a whole. It should be needless to say that a citizen of a country is at fault for the wrongdoings of a government. New Orleans prides itself on being a melting pot of cultures, Southern hospitality and good times rolling all around. Let this crime scene serve as a shock of awareness and a step forward towards kindness.

In times of separation and social isolation, the last thing an already divided world needs is even more hatred.