Fake News, Discrimination And Coronavirus

 

These are difficult times for the whole world, Coronavirus, Cornonavirus alerts, lockdowns, news and fake news have taken over our daily news information.

Not only news but also fake news.

Ghana has announced hard measures against fake news and spreading of fake news, stricter and harder than most countries in the world.

But we all know about the Chinese doctor being one of the firsts to warn the world against this new Coronavirus and he was actually accused of spreading fake news and fear mongering by China.

His story got spread when he was diagnosed with the Coronavirus and became more tragically after he died, showing that his fears, and the Coronavirus were real.

Read well: He was accused of spreading false (fake) news, and it turned out to be real news that could have helped many people if the world would have been alerted much earlier.

I am (almost) sure the intentions of our governments are good, especially looking back at fake news on remedies and prevention of spreading and curing Coronavirus around the world.

But let’s be open minded and check if our, and many other governments around the world are not trying to use that kind of powers and penalties against fake news to their political advantages or trying to hide things, their mistakes .

One of the best programs I recently watched on TV was the Spanish Flu, the closest great worldwide pandemic in our recent history since the plague, was partly caused by fake news and misinformation.

The other dirty beast I see coming up, is real and fake, is discrimination.

Understand one thing and that xenophobia is a “normal” human behavior in difficult times.

When times are tough we are “naturally” trying to blame others.

Not only Mr. Donald Trump accusing journalist asking, what he calls: nasty questions.

Also our own, Ghanaian population discriminating against Chinese, for bringing in the Coronavirus to Ghana.

Later against Europeans because our government and others continued that the Coronavirus was imported (whilst it was everywhere except for China imported).

These apparently “small” details, can lay a basis for discrimination against foreigners.

The first Coronavirus victim was a Ghanaian born, Ghanaian of Lebanese origin, but has always been mentioned as a Lebanese.

After a few weeks the vast majority of imported Coronavirus cases were spread by Ghanaians returning home from Europe, China and the USA but that was only mentioned when we had already over 200 Coronavirus affected people.

The outbreak in Kpong, has obviously been caused by an Indian expatriate returning into Ghana.

He spread the virus among 14 other country men. But why not test immediately over 200 Ghanaians who worked with them every day.

Why not correcting this to: 34 people are infected in the same camp, adding the Ghanaians who also tested positive?

These are “minor” incidents, as far as with discrimination we can ever talk about minor, compared to discrimination of Africans in China.

But has any journalist checked the background of this horrible discrimination against Africans in China?

Has any journalist investigated this big racial discrimination, or have they just written their articles based upon one or more videos on YouTube or other social media?

Sometime ago, I was been threatened by an African brother (not from Ghana) because I tried to broaden someone’s views on a certain French doctor’s statement.

He stated that I should never defend or react on articles about discrimination as a white person because that means I am a latent racist.

After I tried to respond and react to him in a normal human manner explaining who I was what I did and how I interpreted the article he just started to threaten me and answered that from now on he would monitor all my reactions on linkedin and take further action on it.

I hope that his behavior is not the new world Coronavirus has pushed us into.

Simply because I believe that an open-minded discussion can inform anybody and shape his/her ideas and mind into looking from different sides, background and cultures to a problem.

The reaction of Chinese people, yes Chinese people against Africans is one of the worst discrimination against Africans in the last decades.

But as I stated earlier I always try to look behind the first reactions and am actually disappointed how quick people and journalist especially actually follow the opinion of the masses instead of doing research into the problem first and try to get more background information.

I will start to “defend” the Chinese Government on one part and complain against them later.

First of all this discrimination is not caused by China, or at least not by the Chinese government.

You may think whatever you want but China is ruled by a long term and careful thinking government with clear long term goals for China.

One of these goals, is to create safe supply chains of materials and resources from Africa to support their vast population and industries.

The second goal is to create the African continent into a loyal customer base of Chinese goods, preferably produced in China.

They are doing that by creating an image of China as the best development partner for Africa, which is obviously not in line with their other goals and I am 100% sure that the development of Africa is not in the interest of China although they will never admit that.

Do you really think China would destroy their carefully built, over 30 years built image of helping Africa and African development by this Coronavirus?

Never I am 100% sure the Chinese government is not happy with the videos of Africans thrown out of their hotels and apartments and will try to do anything to prevent that these videos will tarnish their carefully built image in Africa.

I think the real people behind the discrimination of Africans in China are the Chinese citizens.

The Chinese people and many others around the world are afraid of Coronavirus and have started blaming others, in this case Africans for it.

Real and fake stories came up after Mr. Trump started calling it “this is a Chinese virus”. China started defending itself by blaming it was brought to China during an event in Wuhan Province where Americans took part in. Then the first “fake” stories started coming: This is a virus developed in a laboratory by Chinese, later by Americans and not by nature at the market of a natural cause, etc. etc.

All around the world the media started the stories that the Coronavirus would hit Africa harder than any other continent (that’s probably wrong because of our young population and weather conditions) because of lack of medical care facilities.

Once again I am just trying to think logically and not (and never) making excuses for discrimination against Africanss or any other race, but I bet those stories also hit the Chinese media and caused panic among Chinese people who saw Africans coming in or already in the country and triggered this horrible discrimination against Africans.

Indeed I blame these, badly informed Chinese people for this grave racism against Africans.

But I don’t blame the Chinese government for that.

I do blame the Chinese government however for not standing up against their people by informing them that Africans are not the cause of this new surge in Coronavirus cases.

And if they are, it’s not only Africans but just like in Ghana, all other foreigners and homecoming Chinese citizens.

I also blame the Chinese Government for not protecting these Africans in China.

I also blame the Chinese Government for not providing Africans alternative places to stay or recuperation back to their countries.

But what does the Chinese Government do?
Sending excuses all over the world’s media that they don’t discriminate and that these are “minor incidents” or fake news.

And I think that is going to hit hard on China’s carefully build reputation, because Africans won’t forget this easily.

The writer, Nico van Staalduinen, is a concerned Ghanaian

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