“Xenophobia: fears about interacting with those who might be from Asia and guilt about these feelings.”
The backlash was widespread.
“Confused and honest very angry about this Instagram post from an official (UC Berkeley) Instagram account,” wrote user Adrienne Shih in her post, which garnered thousands of likes and retweets. “When is xenophobia ever a ‘normal reaction’?”
Shih continued, “This post is literally normalizing racism. It’s not okay.”
Dozens of other users on Twitter had similar reactions, questioning the school’s choice of language.
The university issued an apology shortly after Shih’s post, but the damage was already done.
“We apologize for our recent post on managing anxiety around Coronavirus,” the school wrote on Thursday. “We regret any misunderstanding it may have caused and have updated the language in our materials.” The graphic has been removed.
The spread has come with increased xenophobia around the world, with one French newspaper touting a “New Yellow Peril?” as a headline, drawing backlash for its reference to an old ideology that targeted East Asians in Western countries.
Others have reported tasteless jokes online, too.
CNN’s Jessie Yeung contributed to this report.