Don’t Call It a Comeback

Thanks to COVID-19, Orientalism is making a return in major ways, including the President of the United States immaturely referring to a professionally-labeled virus as the “Chinese virus” on several occasions. The truth is that Orientalism went pretty dormant for a while but that would not last forever. Historically, people, regardless of ethnicity, have felt the need to assign blame on a culture if society is trending negatively or if they perceive a major threat. In WWII, Germans believed it was the Jews’ fault for Germany’s economic downfall. After 9/11, Muslims everywhere were blamed for any terrorist attack. In a time of uncertainty, people like to make one thing certain: who is to blame. Orientalism can be overcome just like the Jews overcame the antisemitic reign of Hitler and Muslim-Americans are toughing out a battle with Islamophobia. It is important to actively protest Orientalism in all forms and consider what truly matters more in a time of crisis, blame or resolution. (The answer is resolution).

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