Despite the fact that coronavirus is a global pandemic that is affecting all the countries without an exception, Spanish and German newspapers were denounced over a cartoon and a title that were marked as igniting racism against African countries.
The German newspaper DIE RHEINPFALZ wrote a huge, front-page headline reading “The Virus from Africa is with us.” Furthermore, the Spanish newspaper, Tribuna de Albacete, has drawn a cartoon where Omicron variant particles are portrayed as black South Africans riding a boat, with the South Africa's flag on it, and heading toward the EU.
On the left is Germany newspaper @rheinpfalz with a headline “The Virus from Africa is with us.”— Hopewell Chin’ono (@daddyhope) December 5, 2021
On the right is a Spanish newspaper @TribunaAlbacete with a cartoon saying black South Africans are coming to Europe on a boat with Omicron Covid-19 variant.
This is racism in 2021! pic.twitter.com/69cFZrfkW8
Both newspapers, which wanted to pressure their countries to impose a travel ban on South Africa since the first case was detected there, were virally slammed and accused of triggering racism towards African countries.
The Spanish newspaper “La Tribuna de Albacete” has released a statement a bout last Sunday’s cartoon by artist Javi Salado; apologizing to people who got offended by the unintended mistake. It added: “This newspaper wishes to clarify that there has been no intention on the part of the cartoonist to link the transmission of the new variant with positions that deviate from the principles of equality and non discrimination.”
The racism around the world stinks https://t.co/M7CdPW4sdG— A-sh-ego (@coco_gatsby) December 6, 2021
Thousands of reactions flooded on social media, with people being shocked how this kind of racist content is being shared in 2021. Another denounced both newspapers saying it should be “humans against a viral pandemic” and not “humans against humans.”
On the other hand, this is not the first time the pandemic caused racism, the US former president Donald Trump used to refer to the coronavirus as “the China Virus.”
…what’s the real difference between Biden calling Omicron “the South African Variant” and Trump calling COVID “the China virus”?— AME Youngboy (@MelechThomas) November 30, 2021
The first Omicron variant of the Coronavirus was first detected in South Africa in mid-November while now it has spread to multiple countries including Germany, Austria, the US, Israel and India.
According to scientists who are still examining the new strains, vaccines are likely to be effective against the Omicron Variant.
About Die Rheinpfalz:
Die Rheinpfalz is a German language regional newspaper based in Ludwigshafen, Germany. It was first published in September 1945 by three co-founders Arthur Lenk, Hans Wipprecht and Xaver Resch.
About Tribuna de Albacete:
La Tribuna de Albacete is a regional Spanish newspaper based in Albacete.
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