Stop the Spread of Racism: The Coronavirus Stigma

Amid uncertainty and fear are times when characters are tested. These last several weeks have made many fearful, anxious and angry, among a slew of other emotions. No matter how you might feel during this time, spreading racism is not the answer.

The virus that causes COVID-19 has no identity, no home and no boundaries. It travels rapidly and passes to anyone the symptoms of cough, fever and shortness of breath. It takes all of us to get through this. Please show civility and empathy to all members of our community.

President Sullivan in a recent communication stated, “WE MUST NEVER allow our fears to cause us to assign blame to any person or people based on their skin color, ethnicity, or home country.” We take this statement seriously; racism is not tolerated.

Because St. Thomas is transitioning to off-campus living by March 29 for the rest of spring semester (with accommodations to some to remain on campus), please find below internal and external resources to report bias incidents.

If you are a victim of racism or a hate crime because of fear around COVID-19, please report it to the following:

On-Campus Resources:

  • Online Bias Reporting Site (reports may be made anonymously)
  • Public Safety (651-962-5555)
  • Dean of Students Office (651-962-6050)
  • Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (651-962-5219)

Off-Campus Resources:

  • Call the police if you fear for your safety or are a victim of a hate crime.
  • Report discrimination to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) by calling 651-539-1133 or filing a report online.

Note: MDHR is the State agency that enforces the Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based upon someone’s race, ethnicity, or other protected classes.  Covered areas include housing (e.g. rental apartments), education, employment, public accommodations (e.g. grocery stores), and public service (e.g. healthcare services).  Click here for more information on who and what is protected.

Please stay safe, practice social distancing, and show solidarity to fight this disease. We have the best chance to get through this if we are in this together.

Watch this 2-minute video in response to the coronavirus stigma, a partnership project by the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice and The Hive.