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French Asians Hit Back at Racism with ‘I am not a virus’ Hashtag

French Asians have taken to social media to complain of a backlash against them in response to the Chinese coronavirus outbreak.

French Asians
Image Source: The New Arab

A fourth case of the deadly virus was confirmed in France on Wednesday and is said to be an elderly Chinese tourist on holiday in Paris, prompting racism and stigmatizing remarks towards people of Asian ethnic origin.

The French hashtag #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus (I am not a virus) has been trending online and they use it to complain about the abuse they have received on public transport, social media, and even mainstream media.

The trend appears to have started after a French daily called Le Courrier Picard on Sunday published a print headline reading ‘Yellow alert’ (‘Alerte Jaune’) and an online version reading ‘New yellow peril?’ (‘Nouveau Peril Jaune’), both featuring a photograph of an Asian-looking woman with her mouth covered.

Stephane Nivet, head of the International League against racism and anti-Semitism told BBC that no newspaper would have ever used the headline “Black alert”.

The publication has since apologized after triggering outrage from social media users, saying it had not meant to use some of the “worst Asian stereotypes”.

French Asians are using a hashtag ‘I am not a virus’ in an effort to counter racist abuse. Lou Chengwang appealed on Twitter: “I’m Chinese, but I’m not a virus! I know everyone’s scared of the virus but no prejudice, please.”

French Asians
Image Source: BBC News

French Asians have adopted the hashtag ‘I am not a virus’ to counter racists accusing them of trying to spread the coronavirus. French Asians have complained about an upsurge in racism since the virus became public

French Asians
Image Source: BBC News
Image Source: BBC News

Not only in France but also around the globe, people are too quick to judge a person by its looks and its activities especially these days, after the coronavirus outbreak become the highlight news all over the world involving Chinese people.

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