Showing posts with label Discrimination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Discrimination. Show all posts

Remembering Gail Omvedt - American Born Indian Author, Sociologist And Human Rights Activist

Gail Omvedt (2nd of August 1941 – 25th August 2021) was an Indian sociologist and human rights activist who was born in the United States. 

She was a prolific writer who authored many books about India's anti-caste movement, Dalit politics, and women's issues. 

  • Omvedt was active in anti-caste and Dalit movements, as well as environmental, farmers', and women's movements, particularly among rural women. 
  • Cultural Revolt in a Colonial Society: The Non-Brahman Movement in Western India, - was the title of Omvedt's dissertation. 

  • Numerous books and essays on class, caste, and gender problems are among Omvedt's scholarly writings. 
  • She worked as a consultant for FAO, UNDP, and NOVIB, as well as a Dr Ambedkar Chair Professor at NISWASS in Orissa, a professor of sociology at the University of Pune, and an Asian guest professor at Copenhagen's Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. 
  • She was the research director of the Krantivir Trust and a senior fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. 

Gail Omvedt was born in Minneapolis and received her bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology from Carleton College and UC Berkeley, respectively. 

  • She has been a citizen of India since 1983. 
  • She and her husband, Bharat Patankar, resided in Kasegaon, Maharashtra, with their mother-in-law, Indumati Patankar, and relatives. 
  • She worked as a consultant sociologist on gender, environment, and rural development for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Oxfam Novib (NOVIB), and other organizations in the years leading up to her death. 
  • She worked as a consultant for UN agencies and NGOs, as well as a Professor of Sociology at the University of Pune, an Asian Guest Professor at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies in Copenhagen, and a Senior Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi. 
  • She worked as a Visiting Professor and Coordinator at the University of Pune's School of Social Justice, as well as a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla. 
  • Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Chair of Social Change and Development at IGNOU has Gail Omvedt as a previous Chair Professor. 

At the age of 80, Omvedt passed away in August, 2021. She is survived by her husband Dr. Bharat Patankar, daughter Prachi, son in law Tejaswi and grand daughter Nia who are settled in the United States.

  • In India, Omvedt worked with social movements such as the Dalit and anti-caste movements, environmental movements, farmers' movements, and particularly rural women. 
  • Shramik Mukti Dal, Stri Mukti Sangarsh Chalval, which works on problems of abandoned women in the Sangli and Satara regions of southern Maharashtra, and the Shetkari Mahila Aghadi, which focuses on issues of women's land rights and political power, were both active in her community. 

Omvedt was critical of Hinduism's holy texts (or what she referred to as "brahminism") for promoting a caste-based society, according to her. 

  • Omvedt criticized the Hindu practice of venerating the Vedas as sacred, in addition to criticizing their seeming support for the caste system. 
  • She expressed her views on the Rigveda in an open letter to then-BJP President Bangaru Laxman, which was published in The Hindu: The Vedas, particularly the Rg Veda, are magnificent literature. 

  • I can only speak from translations, but I'm happy the prohibition on women and shudras reading them has been lifted, and that excellent translations by women and shudras themselves are now accessible. 

    • But to treat them as though they were holy? Check them out for yourself. 
    • The majority of the songs are aimed at achieving victory in battle, cattle rustling, and love-making, among other things. 

  • They celebrate conquest; hymns about Indra and Vrtra sound suspiciously as if the Aryans were responsible for destroying dams built by the Indus valley people; despite archeologists' claims that there is no evidence of direct destruction by "Aryan invasion," the Rg Veda reveals enmity between the Aryans and those they called dasyus, panis, and the like. 

Despite the prevalence of caste-based discrimination, Omvedt claims that Hindutva organizations promote an ethnic definition of Hinduism based on location, lineage, and history in order to build unity across different castes. 

Omvedt agreed with Dalit activists who said during the World Conference Against Racism that caste discrimination is akin to racism in that disadvantaged groups are seen as "biologically inferior and socially harmful." 

  • She has called the United States a "racist country" and advocated for affirmative action; however, she has compared American affirmative action policies favorably to those of India, saying, "It is a sad commentary on the state of Indian industrialists' social consciousness that such discussions have begun in an organized way in the United States before they have been thought of in India itself." 
  • In terms of perceptions of "group performance" in the United States and India, Omvedt wrote: "Whereas the debate in the United States assumes an overall equal distribution of capacity among social groups, in India the assumption appears to be that the unequal showing of different caste groups on examinations, in education, and so on is a result of actual different capacities." She has backed large-dam projects and GMO crops on occasion.

Omvedt's academic writing includes numerous books and articles on class, caste and gender issues, most notably:

  • Cultural Revolt in a Colonial Society: The NonBrahman Movement in Maharashtra (Scientific Socialist Education Trust, 1966)
  • We Shall Smash This Prison: Indian Women in Struggle (1979)
  • "We Will Smash This Prison!.: Indian Women in Struggle " (Zed, 1980)
  • "Violence Against Women: New Movements And New Theories In India" (Kali for Women, 1991)
  • Reinventing Revolution: New Social Movements in India (M.E. Sharpe, 1993)
  • Gender and Technology: Emerging Asian Visions (1994)
  • Dalits And The Democratic Revolution: Dr. Ambedkar And The Dalit Movement In Colonial India (Sage India, 1994)

  • Dalit Visions: the Anticaste movement and Indian Cultural Identity (Orient Longman, 1995)
  • Growing Up Untouchable: A Dalit Autobiography (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000)
  • Buddhism in India : Challenging Brahmanism and Caste (SageIndia, 2003
  • "Ambedkar: Towards an Enlightened India " (Penguin, 2005)
  • Seeking Begumpura: The Social Vision of Anticaste Intellectuals (New Delhi, Navayana, 2009)
  • "Understanding Caste: From Buddha To Ambedkar And Beyond" (New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2011)
  • Songs of Tukoba with Bharat Patankar she has published (translations) (Manohar, 2012)
  • Jotirao Phule and the Ideology of Social Revolution in India.

Awards And Recognition:

  • Matoshree Bhimabai Ambedkar Award (2012)
  • BA received Magna Cum Laude, with Distinction in Senior Comprehensive Examinations
  • PhD qualifying examinations passed with Distinction
  • Honorary Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, 1964–65
  • Fulbright Fellowship as Tutor in English in India, June 1963-March 1964
  • University of California Graduate Fellowships, 1964–65, 1965–66
  • American Institute of Indian Studies, Junior Fellowship for PhD research in India on “The NonBrahman Movement in Maharashtra,” January–December 1971
  • American Association of University Women, Fellowship for research on “Women’s Movement in India,” January–December 1975
  • Savitribai Phule Puraskar, Padmashri Kavivarya Narayan Surve Sarvajanik Vacanalay, Nashik, 2002
  • Dr. Ambedkar Chetna Award, Manavwadi Rachna Manch Punjab, August 2003
  • ABP Majha Sanman Purskar, 2012
  • Vitthal Ramji Shinde Award, April 2015

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

COVID-19 Economic Growth vs. Public Health


Many have found instances of sectarianism that occur when government actors adhere to divisive ideals or partial interests in support of or opposition to COVID-19-related public policies. However, there is another problem that we would like to consider in the light of collective justification: the relationship between various democratic ideals. That is, policies can be irrational not because they are based on sectarian ideals, but because they unreasonably balance various non-sectarian political values. 

In liberal democratic cultures, there are sometimes conflicts between broadly held political ideals. While this does not exclude democratic justification, it does necessitate that those arguing for or against specific laws and regulations have arguments that "reflect a plausible balancing of political principles." Even if it is founded on a political principle that stands alone, a statement struggles to be a legitimate public rationale if it does not plausibly resolve other political values that might be at stake.' Different interpretations of how the same shared category of political value can be better realized are one example of balancing. Consider the basic principles of democratic liberalism and civic reason, the "values of the common good." 

There has been continuing discussion within the framework of COVID-19 on the possible trade-off between public health and economic development, arguably two policy agendas that advance the common good. People have conceptualized the harms caused by COVID-19 in various ways as a result of the conflict between public health and economic development, with some prioritizing the damage to health and others prioritizing the long-term harm to the economy and livelihoods. Any countries strongly adopted a public health-oriented agenda from the start of the pandemic, including the almost inevitable economic costs. 

For instance, in March, Working from home is not easy whether you work in a hotel, drive a taxi, plan parties, or freelance to cover your bills, according to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. If you work in the oil and gas industry, or the tourism and seafood sectors, you're undoubtedly concerned about the global economy's instability and worrying not just how long it will last, but also how long your investments will last. This is a moment when you should be concerned with your own welfare as well as the health of your neighbors, regardless of who you are or what you do. Not whether or not you'll risk your career. 

Just if you'll run out of money for necessities like groceries and prescriptions. Similarly, before implementing strict lockout measures to combat Australia's second outbreak of COVID-19 pathogens, Premier Daniel Andrews of Victoria demonstrated to the public: "As Premier, I've spent every day fighting for employment and fighting for employment." I completely understand: a career provides financial support, but it also provides continuity, meaning, and a basis on which to develop the future. To be honest, I never imagined I'd be in a situation where I had to ask people not to come to work. Still, if we're serious about bringing this thing down – which we must be – we'll have to take unprecedented measures to limit people's mobilization, and therefore the spread of the virus. 

It's crucial to note that Trudeau and Andrews, like other politicians who recognized the urgency of putting public health priorities first, could not ignore the pressing economic situation they were in. In addition to recognizing the potential job cuts and economic consequences that stringent lockdown policies would entail in order to save lives, these officials took steps to assist companies and employees threatened by government responses to the pandemic. 

Other government figures, on the other hand, emphasized the importance of putting the economy ahead of public health results from the start. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, for example, downplayed the pandemic's seriousness, calling it "just a little fever" and insisting that "the economy must come first." ‘[l]ife must go on, employments [sic] should be retained, people's income should be maintained, so all Brazilians should return to normal,' Bolsonaro said in late March. Similarly, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in the same month, "My message is that let's get back to work." Let's get back to enjoying our lives. Let's do it the same way... For those of us who are overweight will look after ourselves. So don't put the nation in jeopardy... I just imagine there are a lot of grandparents out there like me—I have six grandchildren—who are concerned with the same thing... And while I want to live wisely and see it clearly, I don't want the country as a whole to be sacrificed. That's what I'm doing... No one approached me and said, "As a senior citizen, are you ready to risk your life in order to save the America that all Americans cherish for your children and grandchildren?" 

And if that's the deal, I'm on board. Even in Italy, one of the first countries to enact a near-total quarantine at the start of the pandemic, the propensity for certain segments of the population to prioritize the economy led to the delay in closing down main industries and factories, arguably aiding the virus's dissemination in its early stages. This was especially true in the Bergamo province, which is one of Italy's wealthiest and most prosperous, with a strong work ethic. Confindustria Bergamo, a trade association representing, companies hiring, workers, sent a reassuring letter in English to the region's international export partners in February and launched a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #BergamoisRunning. Stefano Scaglia, president of Confindustria Bergamo, delivered the central message that "research continues, we remain free." 

As a result of the above scenarios, there seems to be a trade-off between public health and economic development targets as two distinct means of achieving the greater good. However, a closer examination of the scientific reality reveals that there could be a synergy between public health and economic security. Contrary to the concept of a trade-off, we find that countries that saw the most extreme economic downturns – such as Peru, Spain, and the United Kingdom – are generally among the countries with the highest COVID-19 death rate. The opposite is also true: countries with a small economic influence, such as Taiwan, South Korea, and Lithuania, have managed to keep their mortality rates low. More scientific research could be required in this field, and policymakers are likely to face difficult trade-offs in the future, particularly when policies like lockout and stay-at-home orders put companies under more pressure. 

The more general argument is that politicians should partake in some kind of reflection to ensure that the policies they adopt follow the expectations of justifiable civility by considering all of the relevant democratic interests at stake, as well as various conceptions of them. And, of course, things aren't quite as they seem. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, for example, said in October when announcing new measures to combat a second wave of infections, "[w]e must act, deploying all the measures possible to prevent a new generalized lockdown." The nation cannot risk another loss that will put the whole economy in jeopardy.' Public officials will almost certainly have to change policies in response to emerging conditions, thus balancing public health and economic challenges. From the standpoint of justificatory civility, it's critical that they understand the trade-offs that come with prioritizing any target.

COVID-19 Sectarianism and Prioritization of Issues

The second dimension of civility as public-mindedness, justificatory civility, is examined in this article. Although almost all liberal political theorists believe in moral civility, justificatory civility is most closely associated with the political liberalism strand of modern liberal philosophy. People in western democracy marked by fair pluralism and dissent, according to Rawls and other democratic liberals, have a "duty of civility" to justify to one another how the political rules "they defend and vote for may be accepted by the political ideals of popular purpose." Basic rights and liberties, as well as epistemic rules of investigation and scientific proof, are among the political ideals that are universally endorsed in western democracies. 

When defending policies and legislation, being civil in the justification sense means referring to these widely held principles. This is particularly true for politicians, who have a greater direct influence on decision-making than ordinary people. Appeals to contentious causes, such as those based on moral worldviews or faulty factual facts, on the other hand, are an example of justificatory incivility. This segment focuses on one way that certain political leaders abused justificatory civility during COVID-19: the promotion of sectarian goals and political ideologies. Sectarianism is diametrically opposed to open-mindedness and rationality. 

Rather than advancing the greater good, it means promoting the desires, beliefs, and aspirations of particular persons and communities within society. To be certain, not all liberals are concerned with the promotion of political ideologies based on divisive views and sectarian ambitions. For example, some opponents of political liberalism argue that imposing public purpose limits on political discourse and decision-making is antidemocratic. Others justify political perfectionism by saying that states should foster valuable concepts of the good life; they believe that public purpose obstructs this aim. For these opponents, the fact that a political party may promote a sectarian political ideology that only serves the needs of a certain social community, or that a politician may use theological reasoning to defend policies they support, does not constitute an issue for liberal democracy. 

We agree that sectarianism is a challenge for liberal democratic states and we believe in public reason liberalism. The remainder of this segment demonstrates how COVID-19 has placed new constraints on public-spirited conduct, allowing individuals and organizations to follow sectarian goals with greater ease. Horizontal and vertical sectarian political agendas The COVID-19 crisis has given some actors fresh chances to follow openly sectarian goals. Despite the fact that we are all facing the same public health issue, actors with different priorities and ambitions have tried to direct policy in ways that favor their own agendas over ones that will benefit the public good. It's important to differentiate between two types of sectarianism that have arisen as a result of the pandemic. 

The first, which we refer to as horizontal sectarianism, includes government leaders who have advanced legislative proposals based on their party's or voters' needs. In many cases, party politics has played a significant role in policy formulation and implementation. Many lawmakers have taken advantage of the current health crisis to further their own and their party's goals, as well as the interests of their supporters, rather than the greater welfare of the political nation. The US Senate, for example, failed to pass an emergency relief package because Democrats and Republicans couldn't compromise on those clauses, such as corporate stock buybacks and executive compensation, unemployment benefits, and job security. Furthermore, in the run-up to the November US presidential elections, political considerations tended to affect pandemic policies. 

The formulation and execution of successful and politically justified policy solutions to the pandemic have been hampered by sectarian interests and a lack of unity across partisan lines. The decision to have Trump's name on stimulus checks sent to millions of US people to help them cope with the economic consequences of the pandemic is another sign of horizontal sectarianism. Although the economic stimulus is a fair and socially supported reaction to COVID-19, aimed at fostering economic prosperity and saving employment, Trump's politicization of the stimulus seems to be difficult to explain based on good justification, and appears to be mostly motivated by his personal and ideological political interests. Photo. President Donald J. Trump's name was on a US economic stimulus check. Another example of lateral sectarianism is using contentious theological reasoning to explain opposition to mask-wearing laws. 

According to a new survey, in the United States, resistance to wearing a mask and other careful behaviors is often linked to a conservative Christian heritage. Consider the following quote from Ohio state senator Nino Vitale, who made the following remark in May: This is the largest nation on the face of the planet, built on Judeo-Christian values. All of these beliefs is that we are all made of God's likeness and portrait. Our eyes are drawn to the picture the most. I'm not going to wear a mask... That is God's picture in action, and I want to see that in my brothers and sisters as well. Vitale's comment includes a strong reference to a divisive theological argument that will be rejected by atheists and, potentially, other religious believers who do not share his interpretation of Judeo-Christian beliefs. It is simply an example of justifiable incivility founded on a sectarian and contentious religious ideology in this context. 

During the current pandemic, we have seen vertical sectarianism in addition to horizontal sectarianism. Vertical sectarianism entails a particular decision-making level within a multi-level political framework, rather than the use of controversial theories or the promotion of the interests of a specific faction or segment of society. For example, when Italy demanded medical assistance and supplies from other EU member states at the start of the pandemic, those countries did not respond. This "shameful lack of unity" demonstrated a blatant disregard for their own national interests, obstructing the achievement of a public-spirited target at the EU level. 

If the EU is considered the appropriate constituency of public reason in this case, it is difficult to see how such a response might be publicly justified. The same point may be made in other situations where national interests are prioritized above those of the international community, including where coordinated intervention and cooperation seem to be the public-spirited responses required to address a crisis like the current pandemic. Of necessity, we recognize that the question of whether public cause and public rationale can extend beyond the conventional nation-state is already being debated. However, we believe that, at least in the sense of a political and economic union like the EU, notions of justifying civility, sectarian claims, and public-mindedness are becoming more relevant. The vertical component of sectarianism, however, is perhaps most evident within the nation-state, which is the conventional place of popular purpose. 

The advancement of policy agendas based on the needs of particular provincial or state subunits in relation to the national or federal level is what this dimension entails. In the United States, for example, partisan interests seem to have motivated the distribution of economic relief services to various states, often favoring Republican states less threatened by the pandemic over Democratic states facing urgent difficulties. This example also shows how sectarianism's horizontal and vertical axes are often intertwined. Horizontal partisan preferences propelled conflict at the vertical level of government in this situation. In April, several US states developed alliances such as the West Coast Pact and the East Coast Consortium to address President Trump's downplayed COVID-19 vulnerability appraisal and insistence on reopening for industry, reigniting the country's perennial controversy about states' rights.

Regardless of the substance of the disagreement, this indicates a legislative approach that prioritizes the interests of individual states or groups of states over the overall national political culture, as justificatory civility and collective cause would require. However, in other situations, the interests of individual states or sub-units have been presented as being linked to (rather than competing with) the national interest. In July, the Australian Government's Acting Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, voiced his concern about a recent COVID-19 outbreak in the state of Victoria, saying, "This latest outbreak is not a Victorian problem." It's a national problem. It is an epidemic that affects everybody. The Commonwealth and several states and territories are assisting in monitoring, contact tracking, and public engagement. Several hundred health and other personnel are assisting with testing, contact tracing, and public engagement. This national response to combat the virus gives me much hope – yet, to be honest, it doesn't surprise me in the least. 

To summarize, we have seen in this section that when political leaders use controversial principles or partial (e.g., personal, partisan, or local) preferences to justify or criticize laws and policies relevant to COVID-19, they threaten democratic rationale and violate justificatory civility. It is important to note that the justifications for sectarian policies are not necessarily clear. However, it is frequently possible to conclude whether a policy may be justified by pointing to societal motives from the policy itself and/or the wider behavior of the related political actor. In certain cases, implementing a strategy that explicitly serves the interests of a certain political party or individual is unlikely to be deemed justifiable civility. Confronting sectarianism can take two ways, both during COVID-19 and in general. 

The first step entails developing and improving structural structures to avoid the erosion of justifiable civility. For example, judicial entities such as the United States Supreme Court, which Rawls regards as the "exemplar of public justification," will act as a check on laws that promote sectarian religious beliefs. Similarly, structural responses to resolve conflicts at various levels of government would necessitate opposing partisan players acknowledging the extent of their rights and responsibilities at each level. There should be consistent lines of contact between the parties engaged in a conflict and effective procedures for its settlement where there are uncertainties or conflicts at various levels of government. 

The second type of approach to sectarianism entails encouraging leaders and people to follow the religious obligation of justificatory civility. Remember, the responsibility requires people to protect the democratic principles they defend by referring to common political ideals of collective reason. Schools and other educational institutions may play an important role in instilling the virtue of justificatory civility in adolescents, for example, by familiarizing them with core constitutional concepts that embody common societal values. People should use such concepts as the shared language of collective argument when engaging in the process of democratic justification in the political arena. Another option is to create or improve platforms for people to participate in decision-making, such as dialogue systems or deliberative forums. 

In the spirit of justificatory civility, it will inspire politicians and people to develop reasoned and other-regarding views on political issues, motivated by the value of reciprocity.

COVID-19 Hate and Discrimination in the Public Sphere

In the public domain more generally, the pandemic has intensified religiously uncivil acts of prejudice and hate. We also seen an increase in blatant anti-Chinese bigotry and racist cases in many parts of the world as a result of the virus's geographic roots. Stop AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Hate has gathered data on incidents in the United States to demonstrate the scope of the issue, who it impacts, and where these types of incidents occur. According to descriptive figures in a recent US survey, the most prevalent forms of abuse are verbal harassment in workplaces and on the street, which overwhelmingly affect women. 

The report's qualitative data contains illustrative instances. 'I'm a hospital professional,' one New York City plaintiff recalled. On the metro, I saw a man without a mask sitting across from me. He led me on the other side of the train compartment. On the subway, he spit and coughed while shouting racist slurs. There was no one who stood up for me.' ‘I was in line at the pharmacy when a lady hit me and poured Lysol all over me,' said another survivor in Georgia. “[y]ou're the infection,” she screamed. Return to your house. “You are not welcome here!” As I walked out of the house, I was in shock and sobbed. Nobody comes to my aid.' Some of the terminology used by political figures in the media to characterize COVID-19, such as "kung flu" and "China virus," can embolden those who might engage in more blatant acts of bigotry and racism in the public domain. 

Hate and prejudice cases also represent pre-existing social divisions based on race, gender, and other factors. When we met with Erin Wen Ai Chew, the Founder and National Convener of the Asian Australian Alliance, she said, "COVID-19 is not the source of anti-Asian rhetoric; it's just a sign of a larger crisis." The pandemic, on the other hand, has both escalated and normalized those events. 

This tense atmosphere has been fueled by leaders from various political parties across the political spectrum. Public views against people with Chinese ancestry and other Asian backgrounds have been exacerbated by media messaging and wider geopolitical conflicts. This social and political environment, as Erin Wen Ai Chew points out, "has normalized the notion that it's cool to wander around, that if you see an Asian person walking down the street, it's okay to name them "the Chinese flu," and it's okay to warn them not to eat dogs, bats, or some sort of wild species." As a result, the concept has become much more mainstream, especially during COVID. Individuals and organizations may have additional ways to promote agendas inspired by religious and ethnic animosity as a result of the pandemic. Some, for example, have used increased media ‘strain' to promote Islamophobic messaging. Key "trigger" incidents, such as the current COVID-19 crisis, will cause surges in both offline and online anti-Muslim sentiment. 

Many ethnic organizations fall under the same category. According to Tel Aviv University researchers, the pandemic "unleashed a unique worldwide surge of antisemitism." Conspiracy theories and disinformation fuel prejudices and may contribute to erroneous guilt attributions aimed against religious communities. According to a survey of the English population conducted by Oxford University, almost a quarter of respondents agree to some degree with the assertions that "Jews developed the virus to crash the economy for financial benefit" and "Muslims are spreading the virus as an assault on Western principles." 

The wider far-right has been particularly interested in using COVID-19 to further a variety of goals. Far-right parties have blended populist and anti-egalitarian rhetoric into their media commentary on the global pandemic in Australia, where the far-right mainly pursues a complex and changing anti-Islam, cultural, and ethnic hegemony platform. 

Anti-Chinese bigotry is common, as is anti-globalist propaganda directed at organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO). Public myths of self-sufficiency and alienation that surface as a result of the global pandemic can now resonate with more Australians, whose views on globalization are nearly doubled from percent in to percent in. Countries facing parallel changes in public opinion must be proactive in addressing and counteracting socially uncivil expression and actions associated with populist and anti-globalization views and policies. As a result of the COVID-19 virus's disruption of social and political life, ideologies promoting xenophobia, bigotry, and religious intolerance could find a more welcoming audience. 

Outside of the public health crisis, leaders may learn from tactics to tackle hate speech and behavior. A plan of action, for example, would enable officials and partner organizations to track and analyze data, recognize and resolve root causes, collaborate with a variety of civil society groups to create cross-sector coalitions, and integrate media and emerging technology into the development of program delivery tools. States must collect data in order to analyze and comprehend the problem. This campaigns will help raise concerns of bigotry and hate crimes while also offering a more solid factual basis for policy recommendations. Solutions will range from voluntary programs to more concrete policies aimed at better protecting victims and prosecuting offenders through the rule of law (e.g., updated anti-racism legislation). 

Governments should also be aware of some of the limitations imposed by structural responses. While a government may pass laws, make rules, and set procedures to combat bigotry and hatred in general, it might not be prepared to respond to micro-incidents. The Australian Human Rights Commission, for example, uses a conciliatory or reconciliation mechanism to handle those cases. Because of the limits of mobility and face-to-face contact, it is impossible that a suspect and survivor will consent to participate in this sort of process during normal times, and much less likely in a case like a pandemic.

COVID-19 Workplace Discrimination

Moral incivility in the workplace may be a "veiled expression of discrimination and bigotry" in normal times, putting certain workers at a disadvantage. This type of workplace incivility is distinct from the impoliteness factor. It is about different types of bigotry, sexism, and injustice faced by certain individuals in the workplace, rather than politeness standards of conversation that act as a social lubricant.

COVID-19 has the potential to increase organizational moral incivility by unequal behavior and results. The virus's roots, for example, have resulted in unfair treatment of workers with HIV.

Backgrounds of Asia. One employee in Monterey, California, characterized his or her experience as follows:

I was the only Asian American at a job party, and I had an allergic reaction that day. When she saw me sneeze, she told me I couldn't be there, that I wanted to go, and that I shouldn't eat any of the convention's coffee or cookies. When other participants in the conference were sneezing, sniffling, and coughing, she singled me out.

The pandemic could also put a burden on hard-won progress on gender equality. Changes in working conditions and procedures, in certain ways, overwhelmingly impact certain classes.

The gender factor illustrates disparities in workplace stability, access to economic assistance programming, increased safety threats in some occupations with a greater proportion of woman employees (e.g., nursing, aged care, social work), and improvements to meet new parenting obligations.

Companies in a variety of industries have had to deal with the pressures to respond to the "new standard." In this new environment, large corporations have had to make health and safety decisions, and others have implemented controversial measures that could be unfair. For example, one mining firm was accused of ageism and bigotry after employees of a certain age or indigenous origin were ordered to stay at home. While the company justified its actions as a way to reduce risk to populations seen as more vulnerable to transmission and to the negative health effects of COVID-19, not everyone found this explanation persuasive. In the United States, the American Bar Association anticipates a "flood" of age abuse cases in the near future.

The pandemic has created new decision-making scenarios, such as occupational COVID-19 testing, choices for leave-of-absence demands, and rehiring procedures, where companies must be particularly vigilant to prevent discriminatory behavior. Employers will be required to make extra accommodations for vulnerable workers who continue to see dangers of returning to work after the pandemic has passed.

Steps must be taken to monitor and mitigate the pandemic's impacts on racist policies in the short term, as well as their implications for wider disparities. Employers must stand firm in the face of what may be a potentially disastrous situation.

COVID-19 Discrimination fueled by Governments

During COVID-19, elected figures may take advantage of pandemics like COVID-19 to push political agendas that promote higher levels of bigotry and inequality against some classes in society, or that undermine liberal democratic institutions.

 When it comes to allocating limited health services or economic assistance, governments can favor some citizens over others. Some politicians and public figures, such as Italy's former interior minister Matteo Salvini, who has been particularly outspoken about border security, have used the pandemic politically. The pandemic offered cover for him to criticize his political rivals and push an uncivil and racist anti-migrant campaign, which targeted African migrants in particular. Messages and initiatives like this may have devastating effects for historically oppressed people, which are much more vulnerable in the light of COVID-19.

Politicians may also use the global health issue as a pretext to continue attacking western democratic institutions and liberties. 

The pandemic has the potential to escalate authoritarian overreach and populist politicians' opportunistic accumulation of control. In the name of public health, defense, and general national security, leaders can further muzzle minority groups and take unilateral action against certain segments of society. Hungary's Viktor Orbán, for example, has imposed stringent restrictions on free expression, granting himself full authority to enact new legislation calling for up to five years in jail for dealing with quarantine efforts or releasing what he considers to be "false news."

This initiatives have the potential to successfully censor political opponents and healthcare professionals who can oppose government health policies. 

The virus, according to Orbán, is a challenge related to unwelcome migrants. '[w]e are fighting a two-front battle,' he says, emphasizing the connection between the virus and migrants. The migration front is one, and the coronavirus front is the other. It appears that Orbán will use his emergency powers to promote nativist policies that threaten communities he perceives as threats, such as global business interests, cosmopolitan leaders, international students, and refugees.

COVID-19 provides opportunities for inequality and blatant coercion for a wide variety of governments around the world. 

Expanded repression, systematic censorship, bans on freedom of movement, and harsh sentences have given hundreds of regimes the power to tighten liberal democratic standards and discriminate against some of their people. With systematic suppression of fundamental civil liberties, potential challenges to political and social freedoms, as well as other human rights, are particularly pronounced. Many of the threats COVID-19 presents to western democratic values and systems have been identified by prominent international organizations such as the United Nations, which have formulated guidelines for governments to implement in order to prevent bigotry and sexism during the pandemic. 

In certain nations, selective lockdowns highlight some of the difficulties policymakers face in juggling public health issues with protecting the rights and safety of the general population.

Protesters in Madrid, for example, accused the regional government of discriminating against the poor by ordering targeted lockdowns in low-income areas. The government insisted that the interventions be enforced in regions where infection rates were the greatest. However, one official indicated that the higher infection rates were partly attributed to immigrants' "way of life," complicating claims that policies were made purely on the basis of pragmatism. A planned lockout was also imposed on residential towers in Melbourne, Australia, in order to contain an epidemic among residents. Those who saw the reforms as punitive and felt they put a particularly heavy burden on people from already vulnerable communities criticized the ‘heavy-handed' hard lockout of, public housing tenants. A former UN special rapporteur went so far as to call the government's reaction "shocking and highly biased," also suggesting that it was a "attack on human dignity." 

The pandemic has posed several threats to moral civility values. Overt hatred and religious bigotry, in some of the worse situations, will exacerbate tensions in already segregated communities.

Islamophobia and a hospital's failure to treat two Muslim women in India, for example, resulted in the death of their newborns in an especially horrible incident.

Political and social officials must work quickly to resolve overt discrimination and help represent the demands of vulnerable people. The public must be aware of the pandemic's unfair impact on certain populations and assist in protecting the most disadvantaged whilst still helping to combat injustice and risks to liberal democratic norms. Domestic policymakers and foreign organizations all have a role to play in better recognizing and combating these challenges, which includes improving justice, oversight, and the rule of law. 

Policies aimed at preserving and enhancing moral civility do not only target acts that expressly violate liberal democratic values; they should also provide measures to improve government in general. 

As a consequence of deliberate segregation, the virus will overwhelmingly impact the most culturally and linguistically diverse segments of several major cities. 

However, segregation may often be unintended or secondary, as a result of linguistic differences or a lack of government involvement with some ethnic groups. Multi-pronged methods that incorporate meaningful communication, clear content through cultures, and purposeful interaction with a target audience will help governments and public health authorities effectively disseminate messages. In multilingual cultures, for example, English-language messaging could approach younger family members with the goal of a corresponding "re-narration process" among other family members in their native tongue. 

In addition to engaging multicultural groups in the implementation of appropriate policies, it is critical to adapt communications to their beliefs, distribute knowledge through trustworthy messengers (e.g. religious leaders), use open contact networks (e.g. social media), and establish multicultural organizations that can educate national policymakers on health issues.

Understanding the unique demands and concerns that diverse populations face, as well as having the input needed to ensure the adoption of successful public health strategies, requires consultation. Efforts to provide for and strengthen the concerns of vulnerable people may serve to mitigate some of the pandemic's disproportionate impacts on populations, which can be seen as (un)intentional prejudice. Consultation will also help people make better decisions regardless of their identity symbols, such as age. 

For example, we saw surges in cases of viral transmission among young people at different times during the pandemic, including major outbreaks at US universities.

To find innovative ways to limit the transmission of the virus, come up with targeted solutions to alleviate burden on mental wellbeing, and enlist them in a movement to fight disinformation on social media, there is an immediate need for dialogue and co-design with young people.