I am a fan of Bryan Adams, Donald Trump, not so much. Both men have recently said something impolitic that led to accusations of racism. In both instances, some people may have been a tad too sensitive about minor offences when there is actually real violent racism against Asians in Western countries because of the coronavirus pandemic . In the case of the Canadian rocker, I actually agree with what he said , though as a public figure, he might have made the same point with less extreme language. He has since apologised. Originally, on Instagram, he said: “[T]hanks to some (expletive) bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy b******s, the whole world is now on hold. My message to them other than “thanks a (expletive) lot” is go vegan.” Racist? Not at all. It’s actually kind of true. Trump tells Chinese-American reporter to ‘ask China’ about coronavirus However, he should know that the Chinese government has now banned the trading and consumption of wildlife animals. It remains to be seen how successful Chinese enforcement of the new law will be. Also, at least two Chinese cities – Zhuhai and Shenzhen – have banned the eating of cats and dogs. Hopefully, others will follow. While I admire vegans, who refuse to eat any animal products at all, vegetarianism may be a less radical option for most people, as it allows them to eat dairy and eggs. As for the US president, there is abundant evidence that he is a racist and a sexist. But that doesn’t mean everything he says about non-whites and women are such. When an Asian-American CBS reporter asked him about the death toll of the pandemic in the United States, he replied, “ Ask China ”. Trump has been blaming China for months now, and that was the intention of his reply. Somehow, the reporter was offended, thinking what he said had to do with her looking Asian. Quite a few others agreed with her. On the great scale of things, having your question deflected by a racially insensitive president is rather minor compared to real racism. While hard statistics are unavailable, a survey by the Asian-American Studies department at San Francisco State University found a 50 per cent increase in news stories about coronavirus-related discrimination and violent incidents from early February to early March in the US. Fussing over minor incidents distracts people from the real problems that many Asians suffer on the basis of their race because of the pandemic. Help us understand what you are interested in so that we can improve SCMP and provide a better experience for you. We would like to invite you to take this five-minute survey on how you engage with SCMP and the news.