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Students upset at professors’s Facebook profile photo

A professor at the University of New Mexico is under fire for a Facebook profile picture many consider racist, reports KRQE.

The photo which has since been removed shows Winnie the Pooh using chopsticks to eat a bat with the words “Wuhan plague” underneath it.

The station says students are demanding both an apology and an explanation.

Physics professor Doug Fields has replaced the photo with one of Winnie The Pooh wearing a red shirt with symbols from the Chinese flag while riding a tank with the words “free Hong Kong” underneath.

According to the College Fix, the original photo was intended to be a statement against censorship.

“So my profile picture has stirred some controversy,” he wrote on Facebook.

“Winnie represents Xi Jinping, the dictator (ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained control by force. autocrat, monocrat, absolute ruler) of China. The association of Winnie-the-Pooh with Xi is from Chinese citizens who were poking fun at his looks, and who were subsequently sanctioned. The image of Pooh is now banned from the internet in China. I post an image of Pooh in solidarity with those who cannot.

“Wuhan is the location of the wet market where most epidemiologists believe that the disease first became communicable between human hosts, as it most likely came from some species of bat. Which brings us to the image of the bat and the chopsticks,” he said.

The bat theory, although it has not been confirmed, has been widely used by many on social media, including those who use it to ridicule the Chinese people.

Via LinkedIn

“The image, that profile image is a vilification of the people in China and a byproduct of the vilification of those people has been racism and xenophobic incidents on campus that are directed to the Asian community,” UNM student Jacob Olaguir said to KRQE.

“Any type of anti-Asian bias or discrimination is both wrong and extremely dangerous right now,” said UNM student Helen Zhao. “Words, actions and images like these unfairly target the Asian community and make people feel unwelcome or unsafe in a place they’re supposed to feel a sense of community and belonging.”

Students are demanding an Asian Resource Center on campus.

No action has been taken against Fields.

We must be vigilant in rejecting bias in our community – physical or virtual. Valuing inclusivity means treating everyone with respect, both in their presence and in their absence,” said UNM President  Garnett Stokes said in a statement.

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