GCORR Denounces Trump’s Racist and Xenophobic ‘Chinese Virus’ Language

March 22, 2020
Photo credit: Getty Images/The Washington Post/Jabin Botsford
GCORR denounces the U.S. President’s racist language to describe the Coronavirus as “The Chinese Virus.” Not only does this unapologetic use of xenophobia and racial terror create physical, emotional, and economic harm to persons of Asian descent, it amplifies President Trump’s individual racism with the institutional power of the United States government. When a leader of the world makes individual racist statements, they provide an evil courage and politicized cover for racism. People begin to believe that their own racism is aligned with national policy, and at times, it is. Institutions begin to believe racist policies and discrimination against People of Color are not only acceptable but protected, and at times, they are. We as a people of faith, in the God of justice and equity, Who always stands on the side of the oppressed, must take a firm stand against racism in all of its forms. This is especially important, now, in these times when fear and uncertainty drive many to either their best or worst selves. Racism, xenophobia, and exploiting the vulnerable are anathemas to the Word and will of God, to the heart and mind of God, and the mercy and justice of God. Let us be who we have been created and called to be — and refuse to engage in, make excuses for, or deny the real consequences of racism in word, thought, or deed — always — but especially as they are perpetrated by the most powerful among us.

5 things to you can do when you witness racial abuse:

  1. Say something. Tell the harasser, “Please stop. You have no right to do this!” Ask others around you to join in. Ask, “Is this how we want to be known as a community?”
  2. Move between the abuser and the victim. If you’re in a public place, move next to the victim and ask if they mind if you sit/stand next to them. Tell them you’re there to support them. Ignore the abuser; focus on the victim. If possible, stay with the victim until the bully loses interest.
  3. Report the harassment immediately. Seek the nearest law-enforcement officer, security guard, or manager, and report what you’ve seen. Tell them you think people are in danger and urge them to follow through.
  4. Do not allow stealth racism in your presence. If someone says something racist in your presence, let them know that you do not agree and that you are offended. Say, “As a Christian who follows the God who created all people, I will not co-sign your racism. Please stop right now.”
  5. Tell the story at church or at work. Many, many people STILL deny that racism exists or that it affects people in their community, your story can help raise awareness among co-workers, church members, or even you family about the harm that racism still brings.

*NOTE: Please do not put yourself in physical danger. We recommend this list if you are in a situation where it is safe and appropriate to intervene.

GCORR is building the capacity of The United Methodist Church to be contextually relevant and to reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.