To all angry people,

“After planning the destruction of the world by the coronavirus, China would have never imagined that it would face the wrath of nature.”

This was the headline narrated by the reporter on an Indian news channel after China experienced floods last week. There was no sympathy for the people who suffered in his tone. On the contrary, it seemed like the people suffering from the floods deserved it.

If this was all, it would probably have been fine. But, my 10-year-old sister started exclaiming with joy. The reason, you ask? She was happy because China was getting destroyed.

Yes, that’s exactly what she said. I asked her why China should be destroyed. She said China was a bad country. I asked the next logical question: Why is China bad? And she had no answer. I was so shocked that a 10-year-old child who barely knew anything about the world had so much hatred towards another country. I went around asking my friends, family, and even random delivery people if China was a bad country. I asked about 40 people and 34 said yes. I asked if China deserved to be destroyed; 26 said yes. I asked for the reason and all 26 said because they spread the coronavirus. Some even mentioned the border skirmishes between India and China. Baffled by this, I asked them, what about the people of China? What should happen to them? Most of them were stunned and had no response. A few said that they should die.

It was not her hatred, it was that of the people around her.

I finally understood the reason for the hatred my sister had. It was not her hatred, it was that of the people around her. And just like the other people, she saw the destruction of China as the loss of buildings and money. But what she didn’t see was the people of China suffering. This hatred is mind-boggling to me because it doesn’t have any reason. Even if (and mind you, this is really big and implausible if), the Chinese government intentionally spread the coronavirus, what do normal citizens have to do with it? They suffered just as much as everyone else. Why hate them? Why hate the whole country just because of a few people? 

I thought to myself, surely the opinion of just 40 people around me does not represent the whole world? Surely people would not hate other people whom they’ve never even met without any rhyme or reason? Sadly, I was wrong. I looked around myself, at the state of the world and saw that this was not limited to just India and China. This has spread to all communities.

Isn’t the hatred between Muslims and Hindus in India also baseless? Isn’t the same happening in the US between white and Black people? This is when I realized, we have words for this baseless, unreasonable hatred —  “racism, sectarianism, and xenophobia.” 

As a part of the Minerva community which has so much diversity, it pains me to see such hatred in the world. People who know me know that I’m very indifferent about racism among a lot of other things. In any other situation, I still may have been indifferent. But in this situation, I cannot be indifferent. We’re battling one of the worst crises humanity has faced in recent years — the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeing so much hatred when we all should be united and helping each other angers me.

I ask you to question yourself about this hatred and anger. Any feelings towards a group need to be questioned, be it hate, anger, disgust, or even love. It is rare that the whole community deserves any single feeling. Why do you hate the Blacks, the Muslims, the Chinese? Because of their skin color? Because of something that their government did? Because they steal your jobs? Are any of these even logical or human? 

Do not blindly accept other people’s hatred and anger.

Do not blindly accept other people’s hatred and anger. Do not direct your hatred towards the whole community just because of a few bad people. Question if the people you’re directing your hatred towards really deserve it. Separate the labels of a community or a group from individual people. Do not mix them. Don’t just believe what people say, not even me. Question! Question yourself and your feelings before you decide to act on them.

Peace,

Jatin