Earlier this year, there was a surge in xenophobia directed at Asians during the rise in cases of COVID-19 in the United States. There were clips of Asians getting harassed on public transportation and beat up by groups of people broadcasted all over the nation. We had celebrities of all races urging for an end in the abuse of Asians and regular people speaking up when they witnessed any form of harassment. Nevertheless, most outspoken of all were the African Americans and black people who could relate to being discriminated based on their appearances. Black people urged their brethren to be less ignorant and reprimanded other people of color when they saw anyone being prejudice or discriminatory. However, times have changed, with the dwindling of xenophobia directed at Asians, there is now a rise in xenophobia directed at Africans in China. Furthermore, compared to the support that the Asians received, there has been virtually no coverage of what is happening to the Africans.
One might be wondering, how is this happening? When we calculate the number of deaths and new cases in all fifty-four countries in Africa and compare them to the cases in countries like the United States or Italy, African would have drastically fewer numbers. So why are Africans being barricaded into their homes and kicked into the streets of Guangzhou, China? Why are they being denied service by restaurants, hotels, and hospitals? Known as “Little Africa,” Guangzhou houses over two hundred thousand Africans. Four thousand five hundred of them got forcibly tested, and the authorities are saying that one hundred and eleven of those people tested positive. With the release of that news came racial propaganda against foreigners in China. A cartoon advertisement was posted onto the platform Weibo and showed black and white people being thrown into garbage bins by Chinese workers. This advertisement served as one of the triggers of what is currently happening.
However, there are crickets. There has yet to be any mainstream celebrity that is not black, talking about the abuse the Africans are facing and Asian celebrities are acting like they do not know what is going on. The American media is too deep in China’s pockets to speak up against anything, and every other minority group is busy taking care of their own. There is no one speaking out for the Africans, just like there was no one speaking out for them when they were getting harassed during the Ebola debacle. The Africans in Guangzhou are on the streets with nowhere to go, no way to get food, and no place to sleep. Some Africans were fortunate enough to have friends who hid them or are sneaking them food. However, it seems like every other day, a new video gets uploaded of an African person getting beaten by multiple people.
African government officials are trying to confront the Chinese government about what is being done to their people. However, they have been met with denial and excuses from the Chinese. So there are some countries taking control of the situation. Countries like Guinea have arrested all the Chinese nationals in their country and are exchanging them for the Guinean nationals stuck in China. Depending on whether or not this strategy works, other African nations are looking to follow in Guinea’s footsteps. We are tired of being taken advantage of by other nations. There has already been an incident where a group of French doctors went to a school in Guinea and started testing COVID-19 vaccines on the students. Two of the students died on the spot, and the others were rushed to hospitals for treatment. Africa has been ravished enough. It is time that we learn from the past and care for our own.