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Letters: Please don't applaud Trump

A Richmond News reader takes issue with so-called "ethnic jokes"
Former U.S president Donald Trump

Dear Editor,

Re: “Trump got it right,” Letters, April 8

I’d like to respond to Wayne Clouston’s letter of April 5 asserting that President Trump “got it right” for placing blame for COVID-19 on China.

It is true the virus originated in China, and China was late in sharing information about the outbreak to the world. China can be faulted for that.

But Trump has his own share of the blame for the way he mishandled and downplayed the seriousness of the virus early on in the outbreak.

It is well documented how his denial of science has resulted in the needless death of hundreds of thousands of American lives.

He certainly should not be “applauded” for putting the blame on China.

He did that only when it suited his purpose — to deflect blame for his own failings and egregious mishandling of the pandemic in his own country.

I will agree Trump’s calling of the virus “the China virus” or “Kung Flu” was probably directed at the Chinese government (CCP) and not the Chinese people.

But intentionally or not, that has resulted in a huge spike in attacks on not just ethnic Chinese, but other Asians (Koreans, Filipinos, Japanese...) all over the world.

Yet that has not stopped Trump from continuing to use these inflammatory terms. He could help to defuse the situation by making a public statement to denounce these racial attacks.

But he has chosen not to.

Furthermore, Mr. Clouston is way off base to say the China Virus or Kung Flu is just “good-natured hilarity.”

I wonder if the thousands of people of Asian descent who have been insulted or brutalized since Trump’s remarks think it’s funny.

Will Mr. Clouston feel the hilarity when the Chinese persons in his family are assaulted?

The fact is ethnic “jokes” about people’s physical characteristics, behaviours and language are unfunny and only serve to perpetuate long-standing racial stereotypes.

And, as we have seen lately, they are far from harmless.

Douglas Ng