UIllinois warns students against 'racist and xenophobic' coronavirus language

The University of Illinois sent a mass email to its students relating to COVID-19, which raises concern about the “xenophobic and racist comments being used in national discourse about COVID-19.”

The email came after President Donald Trump faced backlash from the left for calling COVID-19 the “Chinese Virus."

The University of Illinois sent an email to all of its students relating to resources available online to students. In the email, the administration appeared to take a shot at the Trump administration for “racist and xenophobic language.”

“All of you are valued members of our university community. It is distressing to hear racist and xenophobic language being used in national discourse about the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated a campus-wide email signed by both Chancellor Robert J. Jones and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Dr. Danita M. B. Young. 

[RELATED:  Profs: Trump is ‘racist’ for calling coronavirus the ‘Chinese Virus’]

“Such language is antithetical to the values of this university, and we expect everyone to treat one another with respect and dignity. Our university does not tolerate discrimination, and the stress of this moment should only strengthen our resolve to uphold our commitment to our community and our shared values.”

The email comes amid controversy surrounding President Donald Trump’s choice to call the coronavirus the “Chinese Virus,” because, as he has repeatedly pointed out, “it comes from China.” 

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Professors are among those speaking out against this language as being “racist” toward Chinese people.

Columbia University professor Marie Myung-Ok Lee responded to the president’s statements by insisting that “white supremacy can be a factor even in the way that we name viruses — such as when the language around it, purportedly objective and scientific, stems from a white-centered, xenophobic perspective.”

Georgia State University, shares a similar position, claiming that “the comments made by President Trump intensifies the xenophobia and racism that’s become rampant against Asians and Asian Americans globally. He’s fueling fears against Chinese specifically.”

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