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UC Berkeley apologizes for Instagram post that said coronavirus causes xenophobia

The University of California at Berkeley has apologized after its health services posted on Instagram that xenophobia was among the ‘common reactions’ to coronavirus.

The post was removed Thursday after it caused an immediate uproar online from people who said the school was ‘normalizing racism’.

Several tweets were posted in protest, prompting the school to remove the reference, which was listed among what the school described as ‘common reactions’, to the flu-like illness which as killed 200 people in China.

The University of California at Berkeley’s health services posted on Instagram that xenophobia was among the ‘common reactions’ to Coronavirus (pictured)

Several protests were posted online after UC Berkeley warned in an Instagram post that coronavirus, the flu-like illness which as killed 200 people in China, could lead to 'common reactions', like xenophobia

Several protests were posted online after UC Berkeley warned in an Instagram post that coronavirus, the flu-like illness which as killed 200 people in China, could lead to ‘common reactions’, like xenophobia

UC Berkeley's health services posted on Instagram that common reactions to coronavirus include xenophobia, which it defined as 'fears about interacting with those who might be from Asia and guilt about those feelings'

UC Berkeley’s health services posted on Instagram that common reactions to coronavirus include xenophobia, which it defined as ‘fears about interacting with those who might be from Asia and guilt about those feelings’

Students walk through the campus of UC Berkeley in downtown Berkeley, California. The school's incoming freshman class is about 43 per cent of Asian descent, according to enrollment data

Students walk through the campus of UC Berkeley in downtown Berkeley, California. The school’s incoming freshman class is about 43 per cent of Asian descent, according to enrollment data

The post made by the school, which has an incoming freshman class that is 43 percent of Asian descent, according to enrollment data, defined xenophobia as, ‘fears about interacting with those who might be from Asia and guilt about those feelings’. 

One Twitter user pointed out that some of the same wording was included in a handout that was posted on the school’s official health services website.

Dustin R. Glasner, a molecular biologist and alum of UC Berkeley, tweeted he was an ‘Asian American’, and that the school’s post was ‘unacceptable.’

‘Stop normalizing racism,’ he tweeted Thursday afternoon. ‘It is not normal, and racist reactions to the current coronavirus outbreak are NOT OKAY,’ in response to comments that were posted.

Adrienne Shih, a graduate of the class of 2018, who majored in legal studies and political economy and now works as an audience engagement editor for the Los Angeles Times, tweeted she was ‘honestly confused and very angry’ about the school’s Instagram post.

Dustin R. Glasner, a molecular biologist and alum of UC Berkeley, noticed an online post form the school claiming coronavirus leads to common reactions such as xenophobia and tweeted he was an 'Asian American', and that the school's post was 'unacceptable'

Dustin R. Glasner, a molecular biologist and alum of UC Berkeley, noticed an online post form the school claiming coronavirus leads to common reactions such as xenophobia and tweeted he was an ‘Asian American’, and that the school’s post was ‘unacceptable’

Adrienne Shih, a UC Berkeley graduate of the class of 2018, who now works as an audience engagement editor for the Los Angeles Times, tweeted she was 'honestly confused and very angry' about the school's Instagram post saying Coronavirus leads to xenophobia

Adrienne Shih, a UC Berkeley graduate of the class of 2018, who now works as an audience engagement editor for the Los Angeles Times, tweeted she was ‘honestly confused and very angry’ about the school’s Instagram post saying Coronavirus leads to xenophobia

UC Berkeley alum Adrienne Shih pointed out the school's official health services website mentioned xenophobia was a 'common reaction' to Coronavirus, after noticing it also posted the same message on Instagram

UC Berkeley alum Adrienne Shih pointed out the school’s official health services website mentioned xenophobia was a ‘common reaction’ to Coronavirus, after noticing it also posted the same message on Instagram

A Twitter user known as 'cornel stressed', who tweets under @afroacademic and is a PhD student, responded to complaints of UC Berkeley's post claiming Xenopobia was among common reactions to Coronavirus by charging the school was saying 'it's ok to hate Asians'

A Twitter user known as ‘cornel stressed’, who tweets under @afroacademic and is a PhD student, responded to complaints of UC Berkeley’s post claiming Xenopobia was among common reactions to Coronavirus by charging the school was saying ‘it’s ok to hate Asians’

‘When is xenophobia ever a ‘normal reaction’, she tweeted, with an image of the school’s post before its removal.

A follow up tweet from Shih says, ‘Seriously @UCBerkeley: This post is literally normalizing racism. It’s not okay.’ 

And in another post she adds, ‘I can’t stop thinking about this. I’m a proud @UCBerkeley alum but this makes me angry and ashamed’. 

Responding to Shih’s post, a Twitter user known as cornel stressed, who tweets under @afroacademic and is a PhD student, according to her profile on the platform, by saying, ‘.@UCBerkeley really said ‘it’s ok to hate Asians, your feelings are valid, everyone copes differently’. 

A school spokesman was not immediately available when DailyMail.com reached out. 

UC Berkeley's health services, known as the Tang Center at Cal, posted an apology on Instagram after an earlier post listing common reactions to Coronavirus included xenophobia.

UC Berkeley’s health services, known as the Tang Center at Cal, posted an apology on Instagram after an earlier post listing common reactions to Coronavirus included xenophobia.

Roqua Montez, IV, executive director of communications and media relations at UC Berkeley, said a post from the school's health services claiming xenophobia was among common reactions to coronavirus was taken down and that the school regrets 'any misunderstanding'

Roqua Montez, IV, executive director of communications and media relations at UC Berkeley, said a post from the school’s health services claiming xenophobia was among common reactions to coronavirus was taken down and that the school regrets ‘any misunderstanding’

Roqua Montez, IV, executive director of communications and media relations at the school, told CBS News, ‘The post has been taken down and we regret any misunderstanding it may have caused’. 

The school health services apology was similar in expressing regret.

‘We apologize for our recent post on managing anxiety around coronavirus. We regret any misunderstanding it may have caused and have updated the language in our materials,’ tweeted the health services, known as the Tang Center at Cal.

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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