As officials scrambled to close down school systems and ban large gatherings in light of the spread of the deadly coronavirus — dubbed COVID-19 — white nationalist Jared Taylor offered some advice on how to avoid getting sick: make sure you fear and distrust people who don’t look like you.
As Taylor, whose American Renaissance website presidential adviser Stephen Miller reads, said in a March 12, 2020 video, humans “have sound, instinctive reasons to be xenophobes.” Taylor brought up the “behavioral immune system” by which we “instinctively avoid” things like “piles of feces, rotting flesh, [and] people with running sores.”
“Part of this behavioral immune system is an instinctive fear that people who act or look strange may be carrying diseases,” he explained.
This means that, to Jared Taylor, avoiding people from foreign countries — or anyone who appears to be from a foreign country — is rational because they might make you sick. “Strangers may be carrying bugs that don’t do much to them but could kill you,” Taylor said, citing interactions between Europeans and Native Americans.
He also read from an Atlantic piece, titled “Why Pregnancy Makes Women Xenophobic,” which explains the behavioral immune system and a possible link to xenophobic attitudes in the past. The author, Olga Khazan, was discussing a review paper published in Advances in Experimental Social Psychology.
As Khazan wrote, “it may have been healthy to tread carefully around foreigners” in “centuries past” because they “might outsiders carry dangerous germs” and “might not be familiar with the kinds of local customs—food-preparation laws or sexual practices—that conferred some measure of protection against communicable diseases.”
Still, Khazan was careful to add that “with modern medicine most people no longer have to worry when they come into casual contact with someone from a different country.”
Taylor, on the other hand, apparently still believes it is good advice to avoid people who look and act differently from you in order to stay healthy. And, after mentioning various quarantines, travel bans, and social distancing, he admonished viewers to “trust [their] instincts.” “Xenophobia can save your life,” he claimed.
Or, if you really want to stay healthy and avoid transmitting the virus to other, more vulnerable people, you can always take advice of health experts — like the CDC and WHO — instead of race-science-obsessed quacks. Avoiding large gatherings, staying at home whenever possible, and thoroughly washing your hands would be a good start.
Irrational fears of foreigners and anti-Asian racism? Not so much.