Coronavirus Memes: Humorous Images to Calm the General Public or an Initiative Toward Hate Crimes?

Coronavirus Memes: Humorous Images to Calm the General Public or an Initiative Toward Hate Crimes?

As the fear for contracting Covid-19 grows worldwide, so have the memes for this disease on Google and many social media sites. However, physical attacks on Asians in the United States have also surged.

According to Catherine Kim, a journalist for Vox, Julie Kang, a Chinese woman living in San Diego, had been verbally attacked several times due to her race. On March 9, she mentioned one woman who gave her a death threat, peremptorily demanding her to “‘go back to China.’”

In addition, a woman attacked an Asian woman with an umbrella on her head in the Bronx on March 28. Also, Jeannie Mai, a TV personality, reported receiving racist comments on Instagram, several which involved posts of herself and her love interest to CBS.

  While some memes and media poke fun at the seriousness of the pandemic amid populations, others point out Asians, especially the Chinese. Could racist coronavirus memes be contributing to these hate crimes?

Dozens of Covid-19 memes clutter Google’s images section and social media’s web pages amid the crisis. While some recognize less offensive events of this pandemic, like the shortage of sanitary supplies as a result of panicked people hoarding them in their homes, others specifically target Asians, specifically those of Chinese descent. False, exaggerated information has already messed up American minds, and now memes are contributing to the cause as well.

Teenagers and young adults are especially vulnerable to encountering these captioned pictures with hate messages. In fact, Jenny Xu, a 21-year-old alumni at Georgetown University, reveals that she heard racist, verbal comments from students that were meant to elicit laughs. Ignorant claims about Chinese culture and customs have also spread through the university. Moreover, the NYPD arrested a 13-year-old male last month, who intentionally kicked a 59-year-old man to the ground, resulting in injuries needing medical assistance.

Hostile memes targeting specific ethnic groups are cruel enough; physically attacking others because of their race has brought this issue to another level. Memes criticizing Chinese traditions and people need to stop proliferating, and attacks perpetrated on them need to end.