Monday, 13 April 2020
It’s Not Racist; It’s a Very Naughty Virus!
If it comes to pass – and to listen to some commentators it already has – that the coronavirus has a racist slant, it would be wise to remember that it is a virus. It has no agency, no logic, no predilections; all it can do is reproduce and it is our own body’s reaction to its invasive reproduction that cause illness. It has nothing to do with the colour of your skin, or the flavour of your religion. And yet…
The lockdown response adopted by virtually every organised government on Planet Earth works for a reason. Limit the possible contact with the virus, limit the spread of infection. We have been told many times that a large proportion of virus hosts will be asymptomatic. We also know that the virus can survive for some time on all kinds of surfaces and it is spread by contact. It will live on that doorknob, the banister you hold onto, the lamppost you padlock your bike to and the money you handle. It will live on envelopes and parcels – and who knows how many have had physical contact with that parcel?
But despite these simple facts, the usual suspects among the commentariat are trying to make this a racial thing because they say it disproportionately affects BAME communities. It doesn’t; it is a virus and just as it has no agency, it has no agenda either, unlike the BAME flag wavers. And the use of black and minority ethnic is really a cover for saying this is a virus with an anti-islamic slant, because everything is about islam these days. Interestingly, repeatedly touching your face – as in the ritual act of cleansing before prayer five times a day – is a known method of transferring viral matter.
Ah, but, no, but hold your racist horses there: it isn’t just the muslim community. It affects poor people more adversely, see? And because BAME people are disproportionately represented among the poor and disadvantaged, they are especially vulnerable. Another way, of course, of contracting the virus is to ignore or deliberately flout lockdown rules and mingle with others; something that certainly does seem to occur more often in certain communities than others. Especially those communities who openly defy the laws and practices of the United Kingdom.
I repeat, viruses are not racist. But they may have a more lethal effect on people with underlying health issues, such as is found in many recent immigrant communities. We are an overcrowded island and one of our many burdens is somehow accommodating the millions who flock to our shores to take advantage of our naïve generosity with little or no reciprocal economic input. And if you sacrifice the health and possibly the lives of your family to the unprovable nonsense of religion and alien social practices, I have little sympathy for you.
Yes, yes, yes, many BAME British citizens work in the NHS, but is there any evidence that they are not getting infected via family members mingling in the wider community? This needs to be investigated in the fullness of time and of course we need to know if, indeed, certain ethnicities genuinely are at greater risk for possibly genetic reasons, but the most likely answer is that it is cultural, not racial.
If one good thing can come out of this it might be to impress on certain sectors of our society that their way is not better than our way. That the government governs for the country as a whole and you deserve no special favours just because your imams tell you that you do, or that the coronavirus is a soldier of allah and only affects infidels and insufficiently pious muslims. That there is one law for all and that segregated societies – often harbourers of disease and death and inbred congenital fragility – are just not welcome here. I’m not holding my breath.