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Apr 14

Letter: Understanding popular Chinese notions about “racism” (help me out here!)

Written by Joel on Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 at 2:41 am
Filed under:-mini-posts, Analysis, q&a | Tags:, , , , , , , ,
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I have a growing suspicion that the way many Chinese people understand the word “racism” (or “racist”) is quite different from the way I use it. This causes communication problems because I use the term “racism” like most North Americans do, but my Chinese acquaintances react in ways that don’t seem to make sense. Obviously there’s a disconnect. I want to know why my Chinese friends and acquaintances react the way they do to the term “racism”. How are they understanding this word?

When “racism” comes up in conversations with Chinese people, especially if it’s suggested that there is some racism in China, they seem strongly offended and shocked at the suggestion. Sometimes they flat out deny the possibility. This has happened a couple times now, and I’m hoping the Fool’s Mountain community can help me out. This isn’t (to me) the kind of thing someone would deny: every society has racism somewhere, somehow. Is the popular Chinese understanding of racism different from what’s commonly used in standard English discussions? If so, how is it different?

Here’s just one recent example, from someone who is usually a pretty good conversation partner (emphasis mine):

“Racism” is never in Chinese minds. It is hard for Chinese to understand racism or racial sensitivity in the West. We think Chinese is one race, non-Chinese are of other races, that’s all – no discrimination or racial superiority implied when we distinguish “Chinese” and “foreigners”. As a matter of fact, we are of different races! We don’t have racism issues, so we are not sensitive to racial differences or racial talks at all. (That talking about racial differences is sensitive can only prove that racial problems exist.)

Help me understand what’s going on here. I agree that in the West aspects of our attempts to be racially sensitive don’t make sense. But she seems to be saying “racism isn’t a Chinese problem.” But when my Tianjin friends are afraid to be near black people in public for no reason, or when my Taiwan boss explains that a lot of buxibans don’t want to hire black English teachers because it will hurt their business (parents don’t want to send their kids to a black English teacher), it’s textbook examples of racism — those feelings and behaviour are racist and racially prejudiced by definition. Any of us could quickly come up with a list of examples of common Chinese racial prejudice; it’s well known, and not just against blacks. So how can an intelligent, bilingual person actually believe what I’ve quoted above? Is she operating with a different definition of racism? I’m her response is somehow related to popular Chinese notions about racism, and that popular Chinese thinking about racism must be significantly different from popular ideas about racism in North America.

I’m not arguing about whether or not there’s racism in China (I assume there is some racism in every society) or which societies are the most racist. I want to know why my Chinese friends and acquaintances react the way they do to the idea of racism in China. Can someone describe for me popular Chinese understandings of “racism”?

Much thanks!
Joel (http://ChinaHopeLive.net)


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144 Responses to “Letter: Understanding popular Chinese notions about “racism” (help me out here!)”

  1. Shane9219 Says:

    Joel:

    You are absolutely right. Racism, first and foremost, is an USA export. There is really no equivalent concept in China that is so economically, culturally and politically sensitive as racism in US. That is because China has been a multi-ethnicity state since ancent times, and several races other than Han had ruled in China from time to time. Chinese accepts multi-ehtnicity as a matter of fact.

    The common notion in Chinese that can establish a similar sensitive boundary as racism concept in US is called “lau wai” (European foreigners). In the back of their mind, “lau wai” (European foreigners) can still hurt their cultural and historical pride (of Chinese or Asian) through means of discriminiation, prejudice and sterotypes.

    You may say it is a special form of racism on the side of Chinese against European. But that was established due to well-known historical reasons.

  2. Allen Says:

    Here is a response I recently sent to one of the readers here by email on a very similar subject:

    Have you looked through this thread?

    It contains many thoughts on all sides.

    Whether Chinese are racist or not depends on the definition of racism. If you define it simply as prejudice based in part on race, then you’d have to answer yes. Ignorance about other race, as well as xenophobia would be subcategories of racism.

    I however personally don’t think when people talk about racism that’s really what they are talking about. For if all we care about are biases – why do we not get all up in arms about the plenty of other biases that we still accept (see this comment).

    The thing that makes “racism” so emotionally charged is the particular history of suppression of people on account of race race. The justification of colonialism and subjugation of peoples based on race – the slave trade from black Africa – the subsequent social taboo against inter-racial interaction – these were all problems associated with Western racism.

    So if we define racism as political oppression based on race – no I don’t think Chinese are racist.

    Yes – many Chinese hold preconceived (untrue) biases against foreigners (who are by definition of a different race), but I don’t think the Chinese leverage or use that bias for political purposes… So I don’t think Chinese are “racist” – at least not in the emotionally charged sense of the word (what I presume is what you are really getting at).

  3. Nimrod Says:

    To Chinese people who have not interacted much with other cultures (there are fewer and fewer now), there are only categorizations like “self-race” and “some other race”. And race here could be ethnicity, too, as the Chinese word for “race” is really “race-clan”, i.e. the delineation is whether you are in the “big family” or not. People usually call this ethnocentrism, not racism.

    There may be group-level discrimination if you are perceived as “different” enough. It isn’t about the color of the skin, could be color of hair, could be language, could be other markers. Whether it’s positive or negative discrimination depends on a number of factors, like if that group is considered a “friendly” (as in friend of China) other or “malevolent” other (like WWII enemies), whether that group is rich or poor, whether that group looks sophisticated or like country bums, whether that groups is conforms with Chinese values or violates them, etc. This results in a lot of internal discrimination, too. There is also some unavoidable stuff imported from abroad, but there is no basis for institutionalized racism since Chinese have never taken slaves on the basis of group or ethnicity like Europeans since the days of Rome or Africans themselves have.

  4. Nimrod Says:

    Joel wrote:
    or when my Taiwan boss explains that a lot of buxibans don’t want to hire black English teachers because it will hurt their business (parents don’t want to send their kids to a black English teacher), it’s textbook examples of racism — those feelings and behaviour are racist and racially prejudiced by definition.

    +++++
    I suspect this has to do with an association of blacks with Africa rather than the English-native UK and US. Parents think they won’t get the “correct” education (e.g. authentic accents) from somebody that doesn’t look white. At the same time, they don’t want to hire overseas-grown Chinese English teachers for the same reason. How can that be racism then, wouldn’t it be self-discrimination?

  5. Wukailong Says:

    @Nimrod (#3): “There is also some unavoidable stuff imported from abroad, but there is no basis for institutionalized racism since Chinese have never taken slaves on the basis of group or ethnicity like Europeans since the days of Rome or Africans themselves have.”

    Not all European countries took part in the slave trade, but you could still see “institutionalized” racism in the way people referred to black people or Asians. There was a strong belief in the superiority of the white race.

    Funnily enough, this belief seems to have been widespread even among Asians, so that Sun Yat-sen wrote somewhere that the Russian defeat in the war against the Japanese finally showed that the Asian race wasn’t inferior to the white.

    On a more general note, nobody seems to have paid attention to Joel’s discussion of common perception of blacks. That’s racism in my book, and I don’t think it can be explained by saying it was established by “well-known historical reasons”, unless black people took part in the eight united armies or other colonial attacks.

  6. miaka9383 Says:

    So.. by you guys’s explanation.. it is ok for Buxiban for not hiring black people because they are black? or random chinese people is afraid of black people without having an understanding of those people?
    With or without enslavement, it is still a form of discrimination based on race. Isn’t that what racism is?

    A Technical definition of such a broad term… here is what I dugged up from Merriam Webster

    Main Entry:
    rac·ism
    Pronunciation:
    \ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm also -ˌshi-\
    Function:
    noun
    Date:
    1933

    1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race 2 : racial prejudice or discrimination
    — rac·ist Listen to the pronunciation of racist \-sist also -shist\ noun or adjective

  7. Shane9219 Says:

    @Nimrod #4

    “like if that group is considered a “friendly” (as in friend of China) other or “malevolent” other (like WWII enemies), ”

    You are absolutely correct. The racial boundary established by Chinese is really in the sense of Chinese culture.

    An external group of people is judged whether they accept Chinese culture or not. If yes, these “lau wai” (foreigners) are friends. If no, then those “lau wai” could potentially discriminate Chinese or Asian, therefore, they could got discriminated in response.

  8. Allen Says:

    @miaka9383,

    You asked:

    So.. by you guys’s explanation.. it is ok for Buxiban for not hiring black people because they are black?

    I personally think prejudice even of the ignorance type can and will lead to social disharmony. So as China develops and become more cosmopolitan, people should not only shed just “racism” – but also all types of “localism” – to which “racism” is only a part.

  9. Allen Says:

    @Wukailong #5,

    You wrote:

    Funnily enough, this belief seems to have been widespread even among Asians, so that Sun Yat-sen wrote somewhere that the Russian defeat in the war against the Japanese finally showed that the Asian race wasn’t inferior to the white.

    You are right. Asians definitely obtained an inferiority complex Asians on the short end of Western colonialism.

  10. Nimrod Says:

    miaka9383,

    Nobody said it was “okay” or not. For the most part, it’s a judgement call for the overly political sensitive people to make. However, if the parents were simply ignorant that blacks are not all Africans and some could be native English speakers of the UK/US variety, too, surely you see the difference between that and some belief that “racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race” (keyword being “inherent”) or even “racial prejudice or discrimination” (keyword being “racial”)?

  11. Shane9219 Says:

    @miaka9383 #6

    It is true that average Chinese does not have the same level of personal confidence and acceptance towards black people as their acceptance of Asian. But this is more due to cultural reasons and personal experience. It is not the same type of discrimination derived from US-style rascism.

    浙江男排中非混血儿丁慧被选中 国家队有了黑娃
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/sports/2009-04/14/content_11181330.htm

    As you also know, there are lots of NBA players now playing in CBA. They are treated by audience very well, respected and cheered as much as other Chinese players. Yet, most Chinese still called them “lau ha” 老黑. It is similar as you see on XinhuaNews’s 黑娃. Such calling is not a discrimiation in China. But it could be a politically sensitive term in US.

  12. miaka9383 Says:

    @Shane
    What cultural explanation or personal experience could a person that probably have never seen a black man in their life to be afraid of them?
    Racism/Discrimation is what it is, it should not be classified as a “western” ideal or “U.S Style” rascism. There is no difference in my book. Because this is not a political sensitivity problem, it is a societal problem.

    Personal experience…
    I am tired of being refered to as ABC in Taiwan even though, I was borned there…
    I am tired of be subjugated to a societal standard that I should marry or date a Chinese man.
    I am tired of knowing, I could probably will not be able to get a job in China/Taiwan teaching English because I look Chinese…

    Also I doubt such calling is not a discrimination in China, because if one of their children wants to marry one of those Basketball players, I bet you that someone would have problem with that. It is still discrimination whether or not it is done maliciously. Though it may not be a big deal to be called that name, but I bet some of those basketball players are thinking “Why can’t they look at me like a human being, a player, and not a lau hei or hei wua”

  13. miaka9383 Says:

    @Nimrod
    This has nothing to do with political sensitivity. It has to do with societal standards. Surely you can see that single a group of person out because of their sking color/belifs are discrimination, because people can automatcially assume who you are by your skin color. It is not ok to be scared of a black man, and think all SE Asian are good for is to be housekeepers and paid servants.

  14. Nimrod Says:

    miaka9383,

    This is the problem with your America-received ultra sensitivity. People will judge you based on how you look no matter what, whether you are a man, a woman, tall, short, fat, thin, well groomed, or dirty. Why else would people put on make up or dress up for interviews? To deny these human impulses is to be disingenuous. At least Chinese people do not hide it and in doing so they eventually overcome the stereotypes, just like they have done so over many internal regional stereotypes. Besides, how many people are irrationally afraid of “dark skins”? You wouldn’t see street vendors sitting next to Africans in Guangzhou if they were all afraid of them…

    Though it may not be a big deal to be called that name, but I bet some of those basketball players are thinking “Why can’t they look at me like a human being, a player, and not a lau hei or hei wua”

    Who says they aren’t looked at as human beings? They are that and whatever else they are recognized by (like their background). What’s wrong with that? To act blind to differences, you don’t need to be blind to differences, because you cannot!

  15. Shane9219 Says:

    @miaka9383 #12

    Discrimination is a pretty serious term and has a political sub-context and implication. I recommend you not to put everything including innocent feelings under political microscope until substance of a matter supports such endeavor.

    Because of the unique experience of people in USA and its slavery history, acts of discrimination has been evident and long lasting, produced significant political consequence.

    Racial discrimination did existed throughout China’s ancient history. But both ROC and PRC have done a good job on establishing a fair policy for all ethnicity with noble goal of achieving racial harmony.

  16. Mikhail Says:

    Can someone please answer the question? This is not about whether racism exists in China – it’s about how Chinese define racism and the mismatch with western perceptions of racism. And can commenters please try avoid referring to America all the time. Some of us non-Chinese have nothing to do with the US of A.

  17. Wukailong Says:

    @Mikhail: “And can commenters please try avoid referring to America all the time. Some of us non-Chinese have nothing to do with the US of A.”

    Haha, I’ve been trying to say this for ages… Yet a lot of people act as if there are only two countries in the world, the US and China.

  18. HongKonger Says:

    Where’re Oli, Steve & S.K. Cheung?
    I hope Oli hasn’t taken his own take on LaoZi’s “He who knows speaketh not” 知者不言,言者不知“ too literally. :-)

  19. Jed Yoong Says:

    I am not White. I am being racist when I make that factual claim?? That I am of Chinese descent? What does the non-Chinese want us to do? Claim everyone is Chinese. Or on the other hand, everyone is not Chinese?

  20. miaka9383 Says:

    @Shane
    Look, I made no reference to government so please stop telling me about what the government is doing about it. Even if they made an effort to erace Racism in China it doesn’t mean it still exists!
    Ergo, this issue does not fall under any politics but has everything to do with Social Behavior.
    So stop repeating about how I put things under “Political microscope”.

    Back to topic, Whether we all like it or not, people judge, in fact we ALL do it. However, how many SE Asian in China you personally or someone that you know think all they are good for are being hired servants?
    Or all you think about is Black guy= dangerous?
    Racism is a discrimination based on race and ethnicity. In places where white people/black people are minorities, (I have seen this done) they get put in their place. Many people are either too scared to talk to them, or they do respect them but they want these non-chinese people to act the way they expect them to act or keep at a safe distance with no deeper interaction. For example : a black man walks m the street of Taipei, many people who sees him/her and the most common phrase that I hear is ‘黑人!‘ ’你看那裏有h黑人耶‘ then ‘哪裏哪裏’ then runaway…
    They look at him/her like an endanger species. Its ridiculous to look at a person that way….

    @Nimrod
    As people being afraid of black people, I was refering to the original post where the guy talked about his friends being afraid of black people.

  21. MutantJedi Says:

    Sigh. Does racism/discrimination/prejudice exist in China. Duh. Of course.

    On a trip through 曲阜 to 开封 and back to 石家庄, a few folks in 石家庄 couldn’t help but to make some derogatory comment about the folks in 开封. Why? Because the people in 开封 are from a different province. Silly.

    Racism or tribalism is a human thing. Generally, we like the familiar and distrust the unfamiliar. The only thing that separates the ugly episodes of human history from innocent pictures oft painted is culture. The human building blocks are just the same.

    What doesn’t help, in my opinion, is when a culture blinds itself to potential of evil. Is there racism in China? Absolutely. Refusing someone a teaching job because of skin color is as racist in China as it would be in Canada.

    In a way, the typical response in these forums from Chinese apologists that the Chinese are not racist because they lack the same sort of racism they perceive as expressed in, say, the USA is racist. It would seem that such a position implies a belief that they are a better or more moral race. That’s a dangerous idea. History across the planet is replete with examples.

    Having said all this, my personal experience with racism in China isn’t too bad. For the most part, I’d say it was a non-issue. Until someone makes a post like this and people try to cover their nuts with a “noble goal of achieving racial harmony.” 🙂

  22. Oli Says:

    Oh, for crying out loud.

    Between being liberally multi-cultural and hip and being racists, there is a whole spectrum of personal attitude and oulook with regards to the “other”. It’s never just black and white and It’s not whether somebody or, God forbid, a whole population is racist or not. There is a whole spectrum in between such as misconception (错观), preconception (偏见), narrowmindedness, (短见), pettiness (小见), etc., the cause of which can be down to a whole host of socio-political and economic factors and experiences that contributed to the formation of each individual’s attitude and outlook. Are all these attitude then racist? Where does one draw the line?

    In the nineties my redhead, fair-skinned rosy cheeked Swedish aunt and I went to a very remote Chinese village where they’ve never encounter a redhead foreigner before. The children and the old people proceeded to touch her and her hair without her permission, but which she gracefully and playfully tolerated, now are the villagers being racist or just being curious? The point is that sometimes it is very easy to mistake one thing for another and personally I pity people who go through life imagining racist slights when just with a little bit of thought one can easily realize that non was ever intended. Ultimately, people need at times to stop self-projecting in order to understand where other people are coming from, whether they perceived it to be justified or not.

    Consequently, Chinese peoples CAN be narrowminded, do have preconceptions, misconcpetions or even exercise private favouritism, but are rarely hard-core racist, particularly considering its ethnic diversity, both within the Han majority (ie. Cantonese, Hakka, Teochow, Fujianese etc.) and without (ie, Uighurs, Huis, Manchus, Koreans, Russians, Mongolians etc.), and its Confucian-Buddhist-Taoist traditions with its ethos of tolerance and of live and let live.

  23. Chops Says:

    When Liu Xiang won the men’s Olympic hurdles in Athens 2004, he said “My victory has proved that athletes with yellow skin can run as fast as those with black and white skins.”

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-08/28/content_1902300.htm

  24. pug_ster Says:

    Racism is there in every country and in China is no exception. Many Westerners who come to China understand little of the Chinese language, culture and customs. So why shouldn’t they treated differently? Many Westerners have to live in China for work probably couldn’t (or wouldn’t) adopt to Chinese culture and customs because they used to live in a country where they are considered a majority and now they are a minority. Many of these Westerners in China chose to live essentially in a bubble and interact with people who are more tolerant to Westerners instead of trying to adopt a more Chinese culture.

  25. Raj Says:

    The children and the old people proceeded to touch her and her hair without her permission, but which she gracefully and playfully tolerated, now are the villagers being racist or just being curious? The point is that sometimes it is very easy to mistake one thing for another

    I remember on an occasion, less than five years ago, when for a whole bus ride in a rural area of China I was all that a baby/toddler was looking at. Clearly I was the first Caucasian she had seen (or been able to get a good look at) and she was curious (plus a bit scared).

    But that’s not what we’re talking about here – e.g. Joel’s examples of black people being avoided by Chinese or not offered jobs as a rule.

  26. miaka9383 Says:

    @Oli
    You are correct in that there is no hardcore racism.
    However, continuing softcore racism CAN turn into hardcore racism. One thing to notice that some Buxiban refused to hire black men. So what if the black man was borned in China, and can speak both Chinese and English? Do you not hire him because he is black and you the Buxiban manager loses out on a valuable employee?

    Misconception,preception and everything you talk about can turn into Racism. Where do you draw the line to people being just curious to after your aunt live there for a while and the people still distance themselves from her? What would you call that?

    The thing is, I personally have experienced Harcore Racism, especially here in New Mexico. With so many little towns that are secluded they probably have never seen a Chinese person but assumes that I am vietnamese and tells me to get out of their country. But there are a lot of softcore racism also that I recognize. It is not that being racist==evil, but why won’t people just acknowledge it that it exists?

  27. miaka9383 Says:

    @pug_ster
    So those westerners who choose not to live in their own bubble and makes an attempt to assimilate should be treated differently also?

  28. Nimrod Says:

    Obviously when this question is asked, there is the assumption that you’re asking whether Chinese are racist “in the way I know and understand of racists”. That they are not, because the cultural and historical contexts are different, and these differences have been pointed out — I don’t see any ducking here. That’s the answer. Doesn’t mean Chinese are incapable of being racist in the way that you know, once they are dropped into your cultural and historical context. Doesn’t mean that Chinese aren’t discriminatory in some other way, but if you use “racist” for every case of that the word loses what little meaning it has left.

    As I said, discrimination is human nature and you cannot eliminate it, no matter how much political-correctness training you get. Somebody suggested PC training has done a lot in European/North American countries to eliminate discrimination based on any form of discernable difference — all the -isms. I say that’s bull. All it has done is to suppress it from speech and “gentlemanly” discourse. What is curious indeed is the amount of heavy emphasis put on the particular discernable difference of skin color, and notably with regard to Africans above all else, the -ism of “racism”, in those countries. There is a reason for that. If you think about it, that is the very nature of racism “as you know it” that Chinese do not share. And therefore, the answer to the original question is No.

  29. miaka9383 Says:

    @Nimrod
    I am not PC Trained, I hate PC, but…..

    Do you think it is justified for employers not hire someone based on their skin color?

  30. Oli Says:

    @Miaka & Raj

    Is China the USA? Is it inevitable that in China softcore racism must perforce give way to hardcore racism? If a black person is not given a job is it automatically by default racism? Or could it be misguided second guessing by English language schools concerned with what parents may think of that school’s quality and/or reputation? Does it then make it right? Of course not, but crap happens, deal with it or go and start an African language school, why else do so many Overseas Chinese started their own businesses.

    @Miaka

    If you are confronted by racism in New Mexico, then maybe you should get over yourself and learn to stand up for yourself more. If they tell you to go back where you came from then you could equally tell them the same thing since everybody in the US are pretty much either immigrants or descended from immigrants anyway. Ditto Australia, Canada and many other parts of the world these days.

  31. Nimrod Says:

    miaka9383,

    I think it’s silly in most cases, offensive if the reason was derogatory (which I don’t think was the case in the language school example), but it’s life. Do you think it is justified for employers not to hire somebody based on how beautiful or ugly they are?

    Since there is no subtext of “you look like you could be my slave” or “my race is guilty of enslaving your people”, I don’t see the two as being fundamentally different in the Chinese context. I’ll bet Africans (not Afro-Americans) who come to China are not as sensitive to it either as there is no victimhood subtext of “my people have at one point been enslaved by your people”, either. It goes both ways.

  32. Nimrod Says:

    Oli wrote:

    but crap happens, deal with it or go and start an African language school, why else do so many Overseas Chinese started their own businesses.

    +++++
    That’s what I’ve been saying. If there was an African language school, the Chinese principal would refuse to hire white teachers. Chill out…

  33. miaka9383 Says:

    @Oli
    I never said I didn’t stand up for myself. All I said was I have experience it.
    I have learned to live above the stereotype which works great for me.

    But the question is…
    So crap happens.. does it make it right? No… Is it just as equally justified.. NO….
    It should not be in Chinese Culture to be narrowminded.
    From what you have described is racism. Hardcore softcore whatever.. it is what it is.
    Parents second guessing a black men, that causes Buxiban to not hire a black man. So society needs to educate these misguided parents that they are just as capable. Allow these black men to live above the stereotype. But from what you are saying is that.. “So what? these black men needs to get over themselves and stand up for themselves”
    My question for you is “How?” Buxiban continuing not hiring a black person enforces the stereotype that a black person must not be able to to speak english well that makes a parent not trust these teachers that makes the Buxiban not hire these people. It is a vicious cycle that gets reenforce over and over. Society itself needs to allow any foreigner to break out the stereotype. From what the original poster posted, they are not given the opportunity to. Even if foreigners stand up and fight for themselves, what is to guaranteed that they will not lose their permanent residency and gets kicked out of the country?

  34. miaka9383 Says:

    @Nimrod
    you fail to see past the Enslavement.
    What you guys are saying is that we should allow narrowmindedness in Society and not educate these people?
    That is should not be the case. Living above the stereotype is how I teach the society around me that I am not the stereotype.

    A lot of these foreigners are not given the chance to live above their stereotype because people are afraid of them. If they are respected, many still would not want their sons and daughters to befriend an African foreigner. African themselves may not complain or have a victim attitude, however being treated as a 2nd class citizen in China is still better than living in Africa. But they are still being treated as 2nd class citizen.
    Crap happens, but in an educated society, Crap like that shouldn’t happen. But it is absolutely ridiculous to call it not racism…
    It is racism no matter at what level……

  35. miaka9383 Says:

    Yes my examples may be silly to you guys, because you dont’ see it. I see it everyday, everytime I travel to taiwan….
    It is absolutely annoying. Why is it annoying? For a country that many highly intellectual people live in, their behavior is not so intelligent, but more ignorant….

  36. pug_ster Says:

    @miaka 27
    So those westerners who choose not to live in their own bubble and makes an attempt to assimilate should be treated differently also?

    Why not? Then again, how many foreigners living in China actually want to settle down in China for say the next 10-20 years?

    Edit: it reminds me of a documentary that I saw about a couple of American POW’s that was captured during the Korean war. Some were somehow ‘brainwashed’ thinking that China is a great country and some of them decided to stay in China. These people actually almost think and act Chinese.

  37. Oli Says:

    @Miaka

    (Groan…) How? Tell them to start their own English language school or give private group tuition and charge competitive prices. Not everybody can afford Buxiban’s prices and if the price is right, to hell with prejudices, that’s how. Is it going to be tough? Of course its going to be, that’s life. Are you really that daft or are you just being pedantic and utterly devoid of imagination?

    “Society needs to educate them”, wow, what are you fascist? Is there no room for people to discover things for themselves, in their own time, both the good and the bad in your worldview? People will learn when they are ready to learn in their own time. Today’s China is not the China of twenty or forty years ago, society dosen’t NEED to do anything, people will do it when they as INDIVIDUALS do it.

    If you’re an ABC then you are an ABC, so what? ABC, CBC, BBC etc., so what? Taiwanese insults you about it, so what? What are you, six? Sticks and stones may break my bones, but insults……

    Sheeeze…!

  38. Nimrod Says:

    miaka9383 wrote:

    you fail to see past the Enslavement. What you guys are saying is that we should allow narrowmindedness in Society and not educate these people?

    So society needs to educate these misguided parents that they are just as capable.

    It is a vicious cycle that gets reenforce over and over.

    it is absolutely ridiculous to call it not racism…It is racism no matter at what level……

    +++++
    But it is you who do not see past enslavement, since even after you came up with the perfectly legitimate description of “narrowmindedness” that you continue to revert to this obsession with calling it “racism”. As if by calling it “racism” it becomes more or less serious. I’m telling you that it is not more or less serious. It only seems more serious because of the slavery connection. Otherwise it would be like sexism, fattism, or whatever other -ism you have.

    And because it’s not more or less serious, I don’t see the priority of it over say, educating people that short people can be basketball players, too, or that ugly people can be receptionists, too, men can be nurses, so on and so forth.

  39. HongKonger Says:

    “all the -isms. I say that’s bull. All it has done is to suppress it from speech and “gentlemanly” discourse.”

    Facts:

    (1) Blackman, whiteman, yellow men and women are hired all over China as teachers, in management etc.

    (2) Blackman, whiteman, yellow men and women are fired or can’t get employment or better employment all over China as teachers, in management etc.

    (3) Blackman, whiteman, yellow men and women are happy to live and work or study in China, and they all have Chinese friends and friends of foreign nationalities all over China.

    (4) Blackman, whiteman, yellow men and women are Not so happy living and working or studying in China, and they all have Chinese friends and friends of foreign nationalities all over China.

    (5) Blackman, whiteman, yellow men and women … wait a minute, what was the question again?

    Oh , yeah racism?

    Racism with the historical background such as Broken treaties, Indian Reservations, Special Tax on American Asians, WWII segregation of American Japanese, Anti-Semitism, Black Slavery, lynching, White Supremacy, Ku Klux Klan, Racial segregation, Aparthied, housing and workplace discrimination against latinos, muslims, racial profiling, blah blah blah…and all the White Guilt and Racial Compensation, that ensue: 40acres and a mule, “Casino Indians” Affirmative Actions, Women lib, Equal Opportunities, political Correctness, human rights, animal rights, right wing left wing, winging it, Stop. The answer is again NO. Not that genre of racism.

    Are Chinese xenophobes? Yes, some are. No, some aren’t. Some want to date, sleep with or marry black, white yellow or brown foreigners, some cringe at the idea. I personally don’t care, love as said in the Bible, covers all wrong/right/ non issues….Some want to have mixed breed babies, others don’t. Again, mixed race babies tend to be very adorable, at least I think so too, but it’s non of my business… Most like me, like to live in a western style house, drive a foreign imported car, wear foreign brand clothes….others, unlike me, like to be seen with their laptops sipping overpriced beverages in foreign brand cafes, others think it ridiculous. Some prefer walking their dogs and cats to carrying bamboo cages with song birds in them….Again, what’s the complain again? Oh, is Lao Wai a derogatory term? No. Is describing someone as Yellow race or White or Hei ren (Black person) ergo makes Chinese or anyone for that matter a racist? Hell no. Pick your terms, and don’t try to think in English then translate it to Chinese or vice versa.
    Oh yeah, I have heard many ESL teachers telling their beginner students to “Think in English.” What utter nonsense. And no Chinese allowed in beginners English class. Hey, how about no English in beginners Chinese class? And Why do we have to speak English and is often told that I am being rude if I /we spoke Chinese in the company of one foreigner who has no intention of integrating in Chinese culture ? Please Don’t get me wrong, it is not a pre-requisite that foreigners must integrate. Hell no, god knows the first generations of most imigrants of whatever nationalities that moved to the European, the American or the African continents and in South East Asian countries didn’t, and couldn’t.
    But again, most of time (can’t speak for all Chinese) me and my friends are a gracious, we halt and resume using English, act as interpretors at our foreign guest’s command or polite request, and it’s ok. We give and you take. Yes, Some of us offend your western sentivities and sophisticated sensibilities – some of you learn to tolerate us, developed a sense of humor for my/our cross cultural ignorance, you give and I /we take, and I/we appreciate it.

    I enjoy Joel’s blog. I recommend it to everyone here on FM. I am not blessed/Cursed with light weight small frame body size/shape, so, I had a good laugh reading Jessica’s article (Stop paying attention to my [be….hind]) on Joel’s blog. Check it out.

  40. huaren Says:

    Allen, #2
    Oli, #22
    Nimrod, #28

    You guys basically made all the key points.

    @Joel,

    I think you should read your friend’s reply with a more open mind. Read Allen, Oli, and Nimrod’s comments. They should answer your question.

    I would say to the credit of the U.S., it is a melting pot. Since there are the latinos, blacks, and whites in the political process, racism is going to hang around for a very long time. It is kind of like a curse too. The more racist inclined portions of each group are always going to perpetuate this fight. Anyways, in general, I think the U.S. is moving in the right direction against racism within its borders – hence I think the world gets to learn from it.

    I should add – this fight will intensify when the country gets into more of a mess. When the population gets more insecure, more ugliness comes out.

  41. neutrino Says:

    I would like to point out that a lot of these so called racism is economic discrimination. If Africa is the foremost dominant economic power, their people will be absolutely looked up to in China or other chinese communities. I’d say, from this perspective, Chinese are behaving more like snobs than racists. There is of course racism undertone, but it is not justified by racial superiority which often found justification from religion.

    I would say that my Hong Kong and Taiwan friends tend to exhibit more racial prejudices against black people than their mainland counterparts do. It might be just the kind of friends I have, but it might also be a regional difference, or even maybe that these two regions somehow inherited more from their interaction with the US and the UK.

  42. miaka9383 Says:

    @Oli
    I got over it that was the point GROAN! I am using personal experience as an example.
    Whether or not I am insulted by the comment is totally besides the point

    Back to topic…
    Its annoying to see how one label can make one situation less serious!
    Yes people will discover on their own on their own will… I am not fascist.. But how do those people discover if they are afraid? What society needs is people like them speaking out and say the way we are being treated are not ok. But do you honestly think “some” of those narrowminded people will let them speak out?
    You tell me to stand up for myself and I have.. but these people will probably not get the chance to stand up for themselves because of societal standards…
    And from what I am seeing is that you and Nimrod think discrimination is ABSOLUTELY acceptable when it is not!
    It is never ok to treat someone differently based on whatever different they are.
    Racism does exist in China… that is my point… disagree all you like… it comes in different forms… w/e
    I am probably as racist as they come, and I know it is not an ok behavior. But denying the fact that it exists that is a bit far stretch…..

    @Hongkonger
    The thing is.. yeah PC is absolutely annoying… however…. you are the first person that admits that Xenophobia exists in China…. That is racism.. so the question is.. why isn’t anyone admitting to the fact that it exissts? Instead of arguing Racism does not exist in China????

  43. miaka9383 Says:

    Bah forget it… I am out of this discussion.. it is so annoying to argue with ya’ll when ya’ll think racism or discrimination or xenophobia or whatever does not exist in China….
    or discrimination is ok…….
    or whatever you guys think it is….

    Mainland Chinese should not be offended if people call them Racists…. because some of them are xenophobes.. unless you are from a big city… Racism exists..period… that fact should not be denied…..

  44. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    Refusing to hire blacks as English teachers is racism, because it is a decision based on race.

    I was listening to “the Logic of Life” by Timothy Hartford on a CD on my trip over the spring break. In one chapter he talked about two types of racism, taste-based bigotry versus statistical racism.

    A white person with taste-based bigotry just dislikes blacks, Asians or some other group, period. Refusing to hire blacks as English teachers in China seems to be a case of taste-based bigotry. However, there is one complication. The heart of the matter is about “English”, or its image, not black English native speakers. It is the perception of how “English” should taste and look like that makes the impact, not the minority teachers. Somehow in the minds of the Chinese people English is spoken by whites. Or, English sound more desirable when it is spoken by whites. Maybe they picked up this subtle point from the Western movies they watch on pirated DVDs. The Chinese English learner is seeking authenticity in their classes. Although many people buy fake Iphones and Ipods in China, people want the real deal when they can afford it. Chinese English learners not only disfavor blacks, but also disfavor American born Chinese as their English teachers NOT because they dislike these groups, but simply because these groups do not fit their stereotype of “English” speakers. It is like packaging. When you get a cake, you feel odd if it comes in a shoe box, even if the shoe box is perfectly clean and designed to hold 1000 dollar shoes. When you learn Judo, you want to learn it from a real Japanese, despite their poor show in the Olympics. Authenticity is more important than any other knowledge or skill. One’s accent tells a lot about a person’s background in China. Speaking with an accent from the city of Tangshan of Hebei province is a serious, serious personal setback. My father was from that fair city but fortunately he got rid of the accent early on. The same logic and concern applies to learning English.

    To summarize, refusing to hire black and Asian native speakers as English teachers is wrong. However, the source of the problem is in English, and its prototypical image in the world, not in those minorities who teach it, NOR the Chinese who refuse to hire them.

  45. Allen Says:

    @Wukailong #17,

    You wrote:

    Haha, I’ve been trying to say this for ages… Yet a lot of people act as if there are only two countries in the world, the US and China.

    Well – we Chinese used to think there was only one – the Middle Kingdom.

    The fact that we think there are two now – U.S. and China – I think is a big enough improvement! 😀

  46. Shane9219 Says:

    @miaka9383

    So you don’t like to be “told” about things, that is great. In order for you to discover, you have to be both fair and open minded, and willing to look deep into history. Being political while lacking of proper history background is dangerous.

    When approaching the topic of racism and discrimination, we have to give them properly context

    The idea of racial equality and racism related concepts (such as discrimination) are relatively new to human history. European did not abandon their self-indulgence of race superiity until after WWII. Civil Rights movement in US really started in the 50s. Before those landmark times, racial discrimination was a common practice and embedded in every bit of their social fabrics.

    Since the beginning of those movements, the race issue has been so political charged in both Europea and US, because of their own long-established history of colonialism and slavery. It is also because people in these two places have to deal with people of other distinctive races (often from other far remote “corners” of the world) so closely in their daily political, cultural and economical lives. The intimate mixture of distinctive races in such short period of time created enormous social, cultural and economical challenges and frictions. Such racial tension and unfair situation are still vivid today in both US and Europea.

    In China, racial inter-mix happened in a dramtically different fashion – it occured gradually over thousands of years, and mostly among different yet similar races in Asia. Therefore, race issue is a less intense and political issue than that in US and Europea.

    I personally also would prefer to see it stays that way: happening naturally and silently in the background, building trust and harmony among themselves through the smallest social cell (such as a family or a social group here or there etc), then one day, you wake up and find a big happy family of people with different background 🙂

  47. miaka9383 Says:

    @Shane
    Where did you get that I don’t like to be “TOLD” stuff… I am tired of arguing with you guys. Stop assuming things about people. You are acting ignorant for being so smart.

    Discrimination and its history can be political charged. However, it is still a society issue that has happened for many many years. All you are saying is that It is ok for someone to be denied employment based on skin color. That is ok.. Just admit that it is racist.
    Admitting to racism does not make you or I any less or more evil.. it just means you are narrowminded.
    People denied of employments do not have a big family of people with different background.
    People getting screwed out of a chance to make money do not make a big happy family. Like I said before THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE!
    It is a social issue. It is ok the issue is less intense, but why is it so hard for someone to admit that it exist?

  48. Wukailong Says:

    @Allen: “Well – we Chinese used to think there was only one – the Middle Kingdom.

    The fact that we think there are two now – U.S. and China – I think is a big enough improvement!”

    Good one! 😀 It’s also an improvement over the US where a lot of people seem to think there is only one country – or one country and evil forces outside. 😉

  49. Wukailong Says:

    @miaka9383: I think it’s hard for people belonging to the majority, which naturally is the one that gets the most from society, to admit that there are any serious problems. Racism? Forget about it. A lot of people are even going to argue that the problem is that they are too nice to immigrants or foreigners (I’ve seen this phenomenon both in Europe and China). This is the basis for populism, which is usually centered on blaming minority groups on society’s ills.

    Also, in this discussions, it’s always going to be the same thing: what exists in China is something completely different from the West, a different context that makes it right and if there are any problems they are of the West’s making anyway.

  50. Shane9219 Says:

    @miaka9383

    Only hope you can travel more to China (I mean mainland) and really know the situation there, just like Joe himself. You have to ask why he asked such a “strange” question in the first place.

    Before that, you have to take my word for it: in comparison to Europea and US, China has a much more racially cohesive population, just see how well Chinese are accepted in those African countries.

    Racism is really a headache to societies in US and Europea, it is not appropriate to import such political brand into China 🙂 Why, racial harmony is rooted in Chinese culture, religions and history as well as the public policies by ROC and PRC since each of their founding times. This is one thing that Chinese can be proud of (seriously speaking), and also a commonly recognized fact in the world.

    On an ealier thread on this blog, I mentioned a report written by a Jewish scholar. It said that when Jews were discriminated and expelled from Europea, they were welcomed by and lived freely in China.

    As much as the common anger towards Japanese imperists, many Japanese offsprings were raised by Chinese villagers after Japanese troop left China.

  51. HongKonger Says:

    ” the problem is that they are too nice to immigrants or foreigners (I’ve seen this phenomenon both in Europe and China). ”

    WKL, you are right. “blaming minority groups on society’s ills.”

    And it usually gets intense when immigrants make some noise or screw up in some PC / culturally unacceptable ways in their adopted countries, or maybe they just become more newsworthy, hence ppl talk more openly about it —
    First it’s the race, then the culture, social habits, the UN, the government. Oh, how dare they come to our country and criticize our culture or exploit our good nature/system, blah blah blah.

    “what exists in China is something completely different from the West, .”

    Sometimes they are apples & oranges, sometimes not — but all are guilty of having the same stinky thinking that are COMMON to all mankind.

    “a different context that makes it right”

    No, it doesn’t. Please read their comments:

    “I think the U.S. is moving in the right direction against racism within its borders – hence I think the world gets to learn from it.” Huaren

    “I would like to point out that a lot of these so called racism is economic discrimination.[…] I would say that my Hong Kong and Taiwan friends tend to exhibit more racial prejudices “neutrino

    “To summarize, refusing to hire black and Asian native speakers as English teachers is wrong. ” BXBQ

    WKL: “and if there are any problems they are of the West’s making anyway”

    And vice versa…

    Yes, Racism sucks in any form and context. Of course it is absolutely not okay to discriminate based on skin color, body type, size age, handicaps, and gender. Perhaps someday even academic quaifications? Would such a conversation ever take place in the future? “Oh, you have no college degree, and you are applying to be a university Englsih lecturer? Why, sure. We do not discriminate. Your salary is US$90K a year plus housing and benefits. See you on Monday.”

    Point is, as Shane so patiently and painstakingly tried to explain —it took those nations and cultures with long historical precedence in using racism as one of the very important socia-political cards for their nation buildings ( field/house slaves, coolies building railroad tracks, infrastructure, ill-treated colored soldiers on the battle fields, etc) “European did not abandon their self-indulgence of race superiority until after WWII. Civil Rights movement in US really started in the 50s.”

    China is new, it is a huge country… give it time. China is certainly giving the rest of the world time to get used to her. 🙂 Besides we all need to learn, appreciate, try to understand, maybe adopt, even just accept each others cultural quirks. And for god’s sake, lubricate your crosscultural walks with lots of humor as Joel and Jessica have learned to apply generously while in China. Laugh and the whole world laughs with ya, cry and you cry ALONE.

  52. Wukailong Says:

    @Hongkonger: I guess I should have pointed out that I liked bxbq’s and Huaren’s comments. Of course there are differences between phenomena and what their underlying causes are, though I do too often sense a willingness to explain things away (on all sides). I don’t see that in their comments, so mea culpa.

    Several years ago I read a really well-researched book about American racism, “Rasrisk” (only in Swedish, and unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any English translation of this great book). The author, who’s white, was living for a while with Louis Farrakhan (who referred to him as “my white mascot”) and also with some KKK supporters. He divided his book into a part about black racism and a part about white racism. One important point I saw in the book was that black racism, while in reality as bad as white, must be understood in a different context. It’s much more of an “underdog” kind of racism.

    In China, I think you have the curious situation with both kinds of racism existing at the same time – a sort of reverse racism towards whites, and a more typical discriminatory racism towards blacks.

    As for European racial superiority: just as it has existed in the past, there was also a long time when there was no sense of this sort of superiority, just like China (in Shane’s description).

  53. Wukailong Says:

    Btw, as for laughs: did you know there is both a liberal branch of KKK (which refuses to use the “N word”) and that there is actually cooperation between some KKK groups and black nationalists? Even though they hate each other in theory, they share the same goal: a racially segregated America.

  54. Shane9219 Says:

    @Wukailong

    Chinese do have a sense of superiority on their culture and history. It is what defines Chinese-ism as much as republic/protestant ideologies define American-ism.

    That kind of pride often get confused with race-motivated racism. A black person can feel comfortable living in China if he or she can adopt and appreciate Chinese culture well, just like President Obama’s half-brother 🙂

    http://www.thomascrampton.com/politics/obama-half-brother-plays-jazz-for-shenzhen-fundraiser/

  55. Shane9219 Says:

    Here is another link on President’s Obama’s half brother

    http://shanghaiist.com/2008/12/03/news_report_on_obamas_halfbrother_m.php

  56. Chops Says:

    The Times: Young, gifted and black: China unveils Ding Hui, its new Olympic hope

    “On the other hand, there are still plenty of Chinese who, unfortunately, think of black people as somewhat barbarous or automatically assume they are involved in crime.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6094170.ece

  57. Mikhail Says:

    To the Chinese, foreign devils are like puppies – some are born black, some white, but they are all laowai. The modern Chinese singer Hou Dejian wrote the Chinese anthem in which Chinese identify themselves as : “Black eyes, black hair, yellow skin, forever and ever an heir of the dragon …” Hou Dejian is an educated, cultured Taiwan born man, so this is proof that Chinese are not racist. They just believe they are spiritually, morally and culturally different to laowai. The white man may have invented penicillin, the symphony orchestra and the Red Cross, but he is still despised as a barbarian by the phlegm hawking celestial as he pours melamine into his compatriot’s baby milk.

  58. HongKonger Says:

    # 53…WKL, See, there is hope, for even the most rediculous can evolve, change and become more civilized. 🙂 🙂

    “he is still despised as a barbarian by the phlegm hawking celestial as he pours melamine into his compatriot’s baby milk”

    Way to go Mikhail, stir the shallow muddy bottom waters.

    LaoZi said, let muddy water sit still and it will clear.

  59. Mikhail Says:

    Well I tried reasoned, well-crafted argument and nobody responded. I want to be a fengqing too.

  60. pug_ster Says:

    @Mikhail 57 and 59.

    A well-crafted argument doesn’t include an opinion of a fengqing because not everybody thinks like him.

  61. HongKonger Says:

    “well-crafted argument and nobody responded.”

    Joel is NOT arguing here, he is trying to understand why.

    “I’m not arguing … I want to know why my Chinese friends and acquaintances react the way they do to the idea of racism in China. Can someone describe for me popular Chinese understandings of “racism”?”

    I think Oli, Shane, BXBQ, Neutrino, Huaren …basically answered the question.

    BTW, Joel, what’s your take?

  62. miaka9383 Says:

    @Shane
    “Racism is really a headache to societies in US and Europea, it is not appropriate to import such political brand into China 🙂 Why, racial harmony is rooted in Chinese culture, religions and history as well as the public policies by ROC and PRC since each of their founding times. This is one thing that Chinese can be proud of (seriously speaking), and also a commonly recognized fact in the world. ”

    The thing about it is you acted like I grown up in U.S. You act like I am not CHINESE and I have never lived in my home country. Racism such as this is very common in Taiwan and you can tell on the net it is widespread in China. Racism has existed in Chinese society. Economic racism or whatever you call it.. it is racism. If there are racial Harmony, the Ughers will not be so upset right now because Chinese employers in that area refuse to hire Ughers. They can’t find jobs.
    There is no true Racial harmony. When the Chinese immigrants from Fujian decided to settle in Taiwan, they looked down on the Aboriginals and later in the Qing Dynasty, the government advocated for their citizens not to move to Taiwan calling the place unlivable. The Manchu force all of the Han chinese to grow long hair and ask the women to bind their feets. These assimilation are forced. Yes.. everything is nice and harmonious now… but is it? There are many deep rooted problems that contributes to Racism. There is Racism in China. It is not an imported idea, it has happened in Chinese society in the past history. You said so yourself. I mean BXBQ is right, not hiring someone based on skin color is just wrong. What you are saying to me is since the situation is different, it makes it right. You are justifying their unruly, narrominded behavior. Hence that is why I said you are acting so ignorant for being so smart.

  63. Shane9219 Says:

    @miaka9383 #62

    Racial harmony is a different concept than racial equality. The later is a much newer and modern political concept, but not yet a reality in Europea and US. You have to be careful to use modern political term to discribe human migration happened thousands of years ago. That is a disrespect to history as well as our own ancestors.

    Racial harmony has a long established history in China. Through thousands years of inter-race mix, China has well-established and cohesive population. As the saying going, when approaching anything in China, people often refrain from making sweeping statement because of its size, complexity and long steady tradition.

    Furthermore, we have to distinguish individual behavior from system-wide or society-wide behaviors. The later is what make a significant impact on the benefit of minorities.

    I did not assume anything about you except what you put out already on this thread. You have to learn to be open-minded and respectful when making your points cross. Facts speak better than empty rhetoric.

  64. miaka9383 Says:

    @Shane
    I am respectful. You and others haven’t been so respectful towards me. Yes I am open minded contrary to what you believe. I just don’t agree with half of the stuff you have written. You have assume so much about me it is disrespectful towards me. I have never assume anything about you or your background. I asked question from your ideas. I have never once said to you “you have never experienced racism so you wouldn’t understand” so don’t use the same attitude towards me.

    What are the facts? The facts are majority of Chinese are Han Chinese. In rural areas there are minorities and CCP laws cuts minorities a lot of slack. It is also fact that many Chinese store owners in minority areas do not like to hire minorities. There has been many reports on that. Fact, discrimination based on race is RACISM.
    Stop justifying these narrowminded behaviors, using political jargon or any any big words. These behaviors should be condemned. Stop using “Racial Harmony” as in majority of Chinese are working and coexisting in peace to justify narrowmided behaviors. These behaviors should not be allowed period. Like I have said before, yes people judge. But when it comes to things such as employment, you should be judged by your abilities and not your skin color. That is racism. Just admit that it exists, because it does! Racial harmony of the majority still doesn’t mean racism does not exist. The facade of racial harmony merely covers it up.

  65. Shane9219 Says:

    @Chops #56

    Good idea to post that link, but no need to give that kind of argument too much thought.

    Racism is a system-wide disease rooted in European and US history of colonism and slavery. It’s just nature that westerns want to look down on China, saying “hey, we have ‘this’. It can’t be true you don’t have what we have” (sorry for the funny statement I made up :-))

    Chinese do have a strong sense of superiority from their culture and long steady hsitory and tradition.That is different from race-motivated stuff, for anyone can be a Chinese as long as they adopt and appreciate Chinese culture.

  66. miaka9383 Says:

    Here’s something written in Chinese that I found on from a Chinese blogger:

    谈中国人的种族歧视观念

    2005年02月15日05:40 作者:童冬  来源:搜狐文化论坛

    1、中国人的审美观是“一白遮百丑”

      中国人的种族歧视态度十分明显。但若你对中国人这样说,十个中国人里有九人以上坚决反对这种指责,他们还会激烈地反驳说白人才有种族歧视呢,我们中国从不存在种族歧视这种事。果真如此吗?凡在中国生活过的老外,一提起中国百姓对不同地区、不同国家、不同肤色人的势利眼态度,每个老外都能道出几则真实的段子来。一位中国姑娘对我提及种族歧视问题时,发表了如下宏论:“我们中国不存在种族歧视,虽然我们看不惯黑人,不过谢天谢地中国没有黑人民族。”

      许多次听过一些中国朋友愤愤不平地发感慨:“有些中国女孩真下贱,为了出国竟然与黑鬼睡觉。”发表这些言论的有大学教师、媒体记者甚至国家干部和公安人员,都是些受过良好教育的文化人。每每耳闻如此种族歧视的人身攻击,我都难过惊讶得瞠目结舌。并且这也太具讽刺意味了吧,新中国成立后,中国政府曾坚定不渝地支持非洲人民的民族独立解放斗争。亚、非、拉美这些发展中国家一直都是中国的老朋友,然而中国百姓竟然如此鄙视和谩骂自己的盟友。这种明目张胆的种族偏见态度如今在西方都是很罕见的,在西方这几十年来不以肤色看待人的种族平等观念已深入人心。而且我特别要指出的是,中国人动辄以黑鬼来称呼非洲人,而西方人则多会用非洲人或非洲裔美国人这种尊称。在西方个别没教养的右翼白人纳粹血统论狂,通常他只能将其种族歧视的心态暗藏于内心里,从事一些暗地里的勾当,而警察和人民随时都在严密监视着这些坏份子的一举一动,遇有种族歧视言论的苗头,社会舆论以及法律就会毫不留情地给予迎头痛击。

      然而在中国若非亲眼目睹我简直不敢相信,中国人居然能随时随地、肆无忌惮地脱口攻击非洲人及其他深肤色人种。有天晚上在北京参加一位法国人的晚会,整个晚上最惹人注目的要算是一对异国夫妻,丈夫是在北京留学的非洲黑人,妻子则是位北京姑娘。大陆目前嫁给西方白种人的姑娘已不罕见,不少中国人甚至艳羡她们一夜间即可移民到富裕的西方世界。不过若是嫁给一位黑人那可就非同小可了,这个姑娘需要有极大的勇气去面临社会世俗的偏见。这不眼下我就注意到晚会上很少有中国人与这对夫妇搭讪,他们也是最早离去的。待他们出门后我听到一个刺耳的声音:“嫁给谁不好,总不至于困难到非得找个黑鬼不可。这到了晚上黑乎乎地不见人影,光瞧见一排白牙在眼前乱舞多恐怖呀。”随即周围人一阵不怀好意地哄堂大笑。如果这话出自一个白人之口,大家一定会立即警觉到这是一个明目张胆的白人种族歧视狂,自傲生为白人优于有色人种,白人至上观念如今已普遍被世人唾弃不齿。然而说这句话的恰恰是中国人,这就不好理解甚至悲哀了,中国人自己身为有色人种,在西方白人世界里多少年来同样是种族歧视的受害者。可以说在此意义上,中国人、黑人及其他有色人种有着“同病相怜”的命运,大家理应是同一条反种族主义战线上的难友。如果中国人再看不起比自己肤色稍深一些的民族,岂不是同类人之间自己鄙视自己的悲剧吗?简直就是五十步笑百步。

      一位非洲人讲起在中国的经历时感叹:“在外国留学生圈子里,不少人都羡慕我。我认识几个没有受过高等教育的美国人、德国人,他们总跟我说:‘你多好啊,懂法、中、英三门语言,又念到了研究生,找工作也容易。哪像我们,没文化,口袋里也没几个钱。’我自己感觉也不错。可我跟他们几个一起上街时,遇到的中国人往往会对他们更殷勤。大概中国人以为白人就是比黑人有钱、有文化。街上的中国人常常手指着我喊道‘看,黑人!’据我的观察,白人走在街上,人们会说:‘ 看,老外。’不会说:‘看,白人!’前几天在北京一个地铁站附近,一个男人看到我特别兴奋,赶紧拽身边的小男孩,手指点着我说:‘看,黑人!’那个小孩子本来在看别的东西,他脑子里没有黑人、白人的区分,可悲的是大人硬把种族的观念灌输给小孩子。刚开始听到这样的话时,我会反击一下,比如用地道的汉语冲着他们说:‘看什么看?没见过啊。’对方一般会很不好意思地走开。时间长了,我就不这么说了,看我的人太多,我一个一个地教育忙不过来。”

      事实上,中国百姓的种族歧视态度比西方人公开和明目张胆。比如一个英籍印度裔学生就发誓永不再回中国去了,原因是那棕黑色的皮肤为他招惹来许多歧视烦恼。在北京乘出租车,司机竟公然对他说:“这个世界上,白人第一,黄种人第二,棕色人种第三,黑人第四。”乘公共汽车时,他刚落坐而身旁的那位中国姑娘却立即起身躲开了。同他一起去北京留学的同班英国白人们,每个人轻而易举地都交上了中国朋友,唯独他因是印度人始终没有中国人愿与他私下交朋友。最后这位棕肤印度人无可奈何地感慨道:“中国人的概念是‘一白遮百丑’,如果肤色黑一些便就不怎么讨人喜欢了”。

      2、中国人的恐黑症

      我自己身为西方发达国家的白种人在中国还是很受礼遇的,愿意主动和我交朋友的中国人比比皆是,几乎每天都有相识或仅偶然在街上见过一次面的中国人,不请自来地登门拜访。我有位来自非洲贝宁的黑人朋友,当中国人见到我和这位黑人朋友在一起时,诧异地发问:“你怎么和黑人来往呀?”。我真是大吃一惊,我在西方也不曾听过有人这般公开地责问为何与黑人交朋友。

      中国人对黑人还存在着恐惧心态。我的一位深圳朋友,她的新邻居是位黑人,每次她与黑人邻居在楼道里碰面时,她立即将脸扭到一旁不敢看那张可怕的黑脸。有时黑人主动与她打招呼,她也吓得不敢回答而仓惶跑掉。我们学校招待所里有位黑人访问学者,那些受教育程度不高的服务员,居然互相推三推四地谁都不敢进黑人的房间打扫。说是那张黑脸已经够吓人的了,哪里还敢碰黑人用过的杯子。服务员还说这个黑人特友好常送礼物给大家,但谁都不敢吃黑人买来的水果、糕点,因为黑人的手已经碰过这些食品了,而他的手黑呼呼地看着就太赃。我解释说他的手不是赃,只是因为黑肤色。我去漓江旅游时投宿一间廉价招待所,服务员们对一个星期前曾在此留宿的一位非洲客人,仍旧喋喋不休地议论着。她们形容那个非洲人长得跟大猩猩一样丑陋,一位小姐嚷嚷道:“那天晚上我在楼道里撞见黑人回来,我的妈呀,好吓人,黑影中只能瞧见他的眼珠在转,真跟遇见了鬼一样。”非洲人退房后,谁也不愿意去收拾“大猩猩”的房间,因为“说不定会得传染病。”

     一位英国人说了如下的经历。他曾就读于中国南方一所大学,该大学附近另还有一所农业大学,那里有许多来自非洲的黑人留学生。这些非洲人举办的周末舞会以其独特的土风爵士音乐,吸引着本城里五湖四海的老外们,一到周末外国留学生们便聚集到农大,享受狂欢舞会的乐趣。 这天下午,英国人就读学校的外事办公室领导召集全体留学生开会,并通知此会议内容重要不得缺席。会上学校的一位女负责人为洋人们宣布了一条新纪律,即严禁留学生周末赴农大参加非洲人的舞会。那位女士尤其指出这项规定是从大家的身体健康利益出发,因目前全世界都在警惕和预防爱滋病,而和非洲黑人接触就有感染上爱滋病的危险。众洋人哗然起来惊愕之余开始议论纷纷,有人指责这是公然歧视非洲黑人的态度。更有留学生询问她:“你知道爱滋病是通过何种途径传染的吗?”女负责人干脆利落地回答:“跳舞时身体和黑人接触就会被传染”。留学生们顿时目瞪口呆起来,接下来会议变成为有关爱滋病医学知识扫盲课。一位美国人自告奋勇耐心地向这位女干部解释:“爱滋病只可能通过性交或血液才有感染的危险。”说得那位女士难为情地脸红了起来,但她并不愿意讨论爱滋病的科学知识,仍坚持强调不与黑人接触,是预防爱滋病防患于未然的最佳策略。

      3、歧视深肤色人种,两岸三地中国人都一样

      歧视比自己肤色深的民族,此心态两岸三地的中国人都一样。一晚我去一位香港朋友家吃晚饭,他家里的印尼女佣将做好的饭菜端上台面。来此串门的一位香港女士见了后,拒绝吃黑手送上来的饭菜,抱怨那么赃的黑手指碰过的饭菜她无法咽下去。因周围朋友们不敢上门来吃饭,这位香港人只得把印尼女佣赶走,换来一位肤色稍微白晰一点的菲律宾女佣。朋友家的传真机常会收到一些广告,有次吐出来一张家佣代理公司的广告,上书:“我们公司特为阁下推荐‘白肤色’的菲佣。”并极其详细地描述如下:“保证绝对没有印尼人那般黑,我们特别精挑细选了一些令您喜出望外的‘白种菲佣’。”

      香港生活着一大批印度居民,他们抱怨起所遭遇的歧视来就满肚子委屈。一位印度先生投书媒体讲述了自己的一些亲历。他曾从报刊上查到租房广告,电话联络那家房东时,对方一听是讲英语者便热情地约其上门看房。印度先生如约而至叩开房门后,房东见是位棕色皮肤的印度人先是一愣,随即连房门都没让他进,堵在门口冷冷地表示:“这房子已经租出去了。”有天印度人去街市摊档买袋装冻鸡,他瞧见前面一位港妹拎起一只付了38元。于是他也拿起来一只奉上40元,摊主训斥他说:“60元。”他表示刚看见那位女子递上的是38元。摊主不耐烦地叫道:“你这只就是60元。”印度先生放下冻鸡气愤地走开了,香港摊主居然还冲着其背影骂骂咧咧。另一次印度先生在尖沙咀扬手打的士,车子停下来后,一对香港男女从对面马路抢先冲过来,拉开车门坐了进去,司机旋即一溜烟地开跑了。留下傻呆呆的印度先生在原地惊鄂。

      大陆和台湾街头的英文补习班成千上万,但两岸人同样热衷聘用白种人当外教。尽管有的白种老外其母语并不是英语,但他们金发碧眼的“高贵”模样,及“地道的英语”就能吸引学生。我曾分别在中国大陆和台湾教授英文,我身边的一些白人朋友也总不断有学校请他们去教英语,有几次英语补习班请我过去任教,由于我已经兼了好几处的课无法分身,便推荐了澳州华裔、印尼裔、美籍华裔、美国非洲裔朋友去应聘。意外的是,这些有色人种包括华裔在内,皆被悉数退货,而校方仍坚持来拜访我反复劝我出山。我不解地询问,为何介绍过去的朋友不能胜任呢?他们的英语也都是Native Speaker (母语者)呀?对方笑了笑回答:“你不懂中国国情,我们打出的广告是由真正的老外任教。所谓‘真正的老外’,指的就是像你这样金发碧眼的洋人。黑人、华人、印尼人当然不行,学生希望的是有机会与真正西方人交往。其他学校请的可都是白人,若我们请不到白人,那等于我们在竞争的起跑线上就输掉了。如今英语补习学校多得如五月开满大地的蘑菇花,互相间拚得你死我活。”我顿时鄂然。

    中国人对自己同胞的歧视也是不闻不知道,一闻吓一跳。一位英国先生提起一则亲历。那天下午他在一间五星酒店的咖啡座上等太太,华人太太从外面进来后径直坐到了洋先生对面。服务小姐扭头看到一位中国女人坐在洋人桌子上闷头看报纸。 便走过去不友善地训斥她说:“外国人最讨厌中国人挤到自己的桌子上,国外的规矩是,你不能坐到别人的桌子上。”在中国的饭店、商店里,若有白人、日本人、华侨、国内人以及黑人顾客凑在一堆,那么你就会见识到服务员首先去招待白人,其次是日本人和华侨。深为讽刺的是,日本人、华侨在中国的地位,虽低于白人但明显地高于国内人,这情景犹如日本人、华侨在前南非种族政权下的“名誉白人”地位等同。黑人则是最受冷遇的一族,他们不仅黑了叭唧还都是从“水深火热”落后国家来的,无论从财力上还是肤色上都令中国人懒得睬他们。

      4、中华文化在亚洲最文明

      中国人的爱国情绪有时太过分狭隘。记得有次我在英国观赏来访的中国羽毛球队与英国队打比赛,中国领队询问我身旁的华侨朋友:“中英两国比赛,你支持哪一方?”那位华人先生答:“谁打的精彩,我就支持谁。”领队女士脸色不悦地给其扣了一顶政治帽子:“你怎么没有爱国心。”

      有天我在大学里上华侨史课,老师讲东南亚国家那些热带民族都很懒惰,所以勤奋的华人在这些国家里都发家致富了,有些国家甚至一半的财富都控制在华人手中,而且渊源悠久的中华文化在亚洲也是最文明的,所以华人在东南亚的地位优越是高出当地人的头等公民。我听着刺耳,觉得如纳粹雅利安人种是优等民族一个论调。于是我忍无可忍地发言说:“我不同意这种种族歧视言论。首先不存在一种文明高于另一种文明,这就如同美国白人绝不能说自己的文明高于土著印地安文明,因为世界上所有不同民族的文明都是平等的。再者,你也不能诽谤任何一个民族是懒惰的民族,这是不公平的。最后,中国人在东南亚是头等公民这就更荒唐了,中国人一直严厉地谴责白人种族优越论,可私下里中国人却得意自己优越于其他民族,这不是文明人的态度”。我的话音刚落,顿时课堂里掀起一片声讨热浪。中国人纷纷痛斥我诬蔑、侮辱华人,他们说华人通过自己的辛勤劳动能够在异国他乡显赫起来的,这当然说明中国人比当地人勤奋、智商高。如今华人在一些国家里不仅控制着其经济命脉,而且还在积极从政。新加坡就是华人治理最有声有色的地方。于是我又问他们:“照你们的说法,若有一天西欧、北美的华侨在其侨居国财大气粗起来后,是否意味着这些国家里的唐人街文明将会凌驾于当地的西方文明之上?华侨也将成为优越于当地人的头等公民了呢?”有人回应道:“毫无疑问,中国强大起来后,海外华侨的腰杆才能硬气,其社会地位就会显著提高。”我惊呆了,中国人动不动就巴望自己民族优越于其他民族,忽略不讲全世界民族、种族平等的观念。我相信,若在西方一个教师于课堂上公然宣扬自己的种族优越论,同时贬低其他民族,那么他的这番“失言”定会为其职业生涯蒙上阴影,甚至会被解聘。但中国人经常冲口而出什么农村人素质差、非洲人丑陋、东南亚人懒惰等等,完全没有意识到自己的种族歧视态度,这才是最可悲的。

      5、内宾小便五角,外宾小便一元

      至于西方白人,在中国虽说不存在肤色上被歧视的困扰,但我们仍然抱怨另一种意义上的种族歧视。最简单的例子,有次我在深圳罗湖口岸买一听可乐,售货员开口就要40元。我愤怒地冲着他骂了句:“去你妈的。”我离开时,听见围观者声援那个敲诈鬼道:“卖老外理所当然要价高点。”这一切令西方人怨声载道。我在中国的另一则滑稽经历是,西部一个风景区的公共厕所,门前墙壁上挂着一块木牌,上面明码标着入厕价格:内宾小便五角、大便一元;外宾小便一元、大便二元。腹涨忍耐多时的我瞧见厕所便一个冲刺地奔了进去,窗

      口售票的老太太急得大叫要我先付钱而后入厕。我一边脚不离地往里奔,一边冲着老太太许诺:“出来马上付钱”。待我露面时,一直恭候于男厕门口的老太太张口就要我交出二元钱来。我瞪大眼睛审视着价目表,不服气地申辩:“为何内外宾价格不同,入厕也要厚此薄彼,这明明是对外国人搞种族歧视嘛”。于是乎,我只愿意按内宾价格交五角钱。老太太恼了反反覆覆念叨一句说辞:“外宾就得多交费,这是规定”。并一脸严肃地警告我,她的职责只管看门收钱,如果我不交足二元钱就不能放我走。

      我在中国时常听到这样一个词叫:“内外有别”,但我知道中国另外还有一句成语那就是:“一视同仁”,我希望有朝一日中国能以“一视同仁”取代“内外有别”。尽管大家都知道,种族问题在世界任何一个国家里,迄今为止都是未能根除的一个老而又老的难题。

  67. George Says:

    Hi all. First I apologize for a hit and run. I won’t follow the rest of the posts. But to the original question (which is, yes Chinese racism exists but why don’t they admit it): because most Chinese are racist 🙂

    Take the Chinese attitude towards Tibetans. If you don’t agree that you are part of the “Chinese family”, you are deviant. So there is no racism problem in China for the Chinese, because everyone here is Chinese. Or as Joel’s friend says :”We think Chinese is one race, non-Chinese are of other races, that’s all – no discrimination or racial superiority implied when we distinguish “Chinese” and “foreigners”.”

    Maybe there is no belief in racial superiority, but there is discrimination. The discrimination begins with a strong sense of who the Chinese are and then there are the others. In a way (to me) they admit their racism by their harmonious reply, like in Joel’s friend. I never accepted a more clear apology from a racist. Or in other words, it’s difficult to think you are racist if your views are deeply racist. This has no connection with lynching.

    @Shane (as an example)
    >Racism is a system-wide disease rooted in European and US history of colonism and slavery. It’s just
    >nature that westerns want to look down on China, saying “hey, we have ‘this’. It can’t be true you don’t
    >have what we have”

    Ah, I am European living in China. Not that kind of European. I am from Greece and the Greeks never had any colonies. But I find them racist, they too think Greek history and culture is great and superior and they have a heritage long and proud and.. Meanwhile I find the western Europeans very inclusive and less racist than other nations. Racism is not an invention or a cultural heritage deeply rooted in Europeans. Take for example the Chinese 🙂 Sure, racism is an English word and they have interpreted it from within their own history, using their own way of thinking, culture, language, words. But why stop there for us non-English?

    ps. my heart goes to Maika

  68. huaren Says:

    George, #67

    LOL. Are you saying the Chinese kidnapped blacks and turned them into slaves? Are you saying they dressed in all white and burned them alive? LOL. Are you nuts?

    Take this bullshit “I recognize racism in me and therefore I am superior” crap with you and don’t come back! 😛

    And why the infatuation with being European? I don’t care if Greek is European or not. Greek has an awesome history and you should be proud of that.

  69. pug_ster Says:

    @Miaka, @George

    I agree with George’s analogy hit it on the wall on how Chinese thinks of Racism. Because there was no mass migrations of foreigners to China compared to what was experienced with many Western Europe and the US, China as a homogeneous society (thanks to the cultural revolution) never really have much conflicts with race. Many Chinese probably made racists comments on Chinese newspapers but then again how many foreigners read these Chinese newspapers and would be offended by it. This kind of ‘racism’ as you described is somehow accepted part within Chinese society as accepted fact. It is basically like in the US many Americans perceive that the CCP was bad and how the news media portray them. Yet there are many overseas Chinese thinks that the CCP is good but they can’t convince the American mainstream media that. The American mainstream media have their leftover McCarthyism feelings of why communism is bad and I doubt that would change soon.

    Edit: And Miaka, I think it is useless to try to beat everybody’s head over why racism is bad because racism is somehow in Chinese society as what it is.

  70. Shane9219 Says:

    @George

    I see your point, but you are confusing racism with discrimination. To discuss racism, you have to focus on race-motivated stuff.

    Western Europea is a bleeding ground for ultra-liberalism and ultra-conservatism. Both schools of thought have been very harmful to human history. That has been proven. Unfortunately, western European keep switching from one form to another, and one trend then become dominate over another. It’s like bipolar disorder in psychology term.

    I am very respectful to Creek culture and proud of its historic achievement. Still strong effort is needed to its revival. 🙂

  71. miaka9383 Says:

    @Shane
    you mean Greek. C and G are far away from each other 😉

  72. Shane9219 Says:

    @miaka9383 #71

    Thanks for correcting my typo 🙂

  73. Shane9219 Says:

    @pug_ster

    “no mass migrations of foreigners to China compared to what was experienced with many Western Europe and the US, China as a homogeneous society ”

    China is not homogeneous in terms of ethnicities and races. Throughout China’s history, mass migration of racial groups and tribes occured time to time. However, racial inter-mix presented itself in a totally different picture than those of Europea and US.

    Futhermore, ethnicity is a different concept than race. Ethnicities in China are demarcated by sub-culture and customs not by look, skin color and languages/dialects etc. For example, Han ethnicity presents itself as a distinctive form of sub-culture and custom, but in fact, quite diverse in genetics.

    “According to recent scientific studies,[16][17] there are broad genetic differences throughout China. The mitochondrial DNA of Han Chinese increases in diversity as one looks from northern to southern China, which suggests that some male migrants from northern China married with women from local peoples after arriving in Guangdong, Fujian, and other regions of southern China. Likewise, it is likely some Han Chinese of the north intermarried with northern tribes, further contributing to the slight genetic drift. Despite this, tests comparing the genetic profiles of northern Han, southern Han and southern natives determined that haplogroups O1b-M110, O2a1-M88 and O3d-M7, which are prevalent in southern natives, were only observed in some southern Hans (4% on average), but not in northern Hans. Therefore, this proves the contribution of southern natives in southern Hans is limited.[18] In contrast, there are consistent strong genetic similarities in the Y chromosome halogroup distribution between the southern and northern Chinese population, and the result of principal component analysis indicates almost all Han populations form a tight cluster in their Y chromosome. Additionally, the estimated contribution of northern Hans to southern Hans is substantial in both paternal and maternal lineages and a geographic cline exists for mtDNA. As a result, the northern Han are the primary contributors to the gene pool of the southern Hans. However, it is noteworthy that the expansion process was dominated by males, as is shown by a greater contribution to the Y-chromosome than the mtDNA from northern Hans to southern Hans. These genetic observations are thus in line with historical records of continuous big migratory waves from northern China to southern China due to warfare and famine in the north. Aside from these major waves, other smaller southward migrations also occurred during almost all periods in the past two millennia. Ultimately, all Han populations share a clear common lineage”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Chinese

  74. Allen Says:

    @George #67,

    You wrote:

    Meanwhile I find the western Europeans very inclusive and less racist than other nations.

    Hmmm … I guess you’ve missed the surging race related tensions in Western Europe the last few decades?

    When you are ready to reconnect with the world, you may start with reading up on the following:

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1574817,00.html

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,901060403-1176955,00.html

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/certainideasofeurope/2007/05/a_provocative_report_on_immigr.cfm

    http://www.economist.com/research/backgrounders/displaybackgrounder.cfm?bg=965383

    http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=E1_TTNDQQQ

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/51230

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/04/sports/soccer/04racism.html?pagewanted=all

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/54886

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/148943

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,954150,00.html

  75. Oli Says:

    @ George #67

    “I am from Greece and the Greeks never had any colonies.”

    LOL, a “Greek” who doesn’t know Greek history. The Greeks had colonies all over the Mediterranean Sea at the height of Classical Greek history and guess what Alexander of Macedonia was doing all the way in the Indus valley? In fact until the 1920’s Greece had settlers in modern Anatolia, Turkey, when they were thrown out by the Turkish nationalist leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk after the Greco-Turkish War from 1919-1922.

    Maybe I’m being paranoid, but I always find it hilarious how some people pretend to be something they are not in order to stir up hatred between peoples.

  76. HongKonger Says:

    # 75

    Oli, you beat me to it. I wanted to say the same:

    “LOL, a “Greek” who doesn’t know Greek history.”

    “some people pretend to be something they are not in order to stir up hatred between peoples.”

    Hm,… I think you may be onto something here.

    “Failing Tao, man resorts to virtue. Failing virtue, man resorts to humanity. Failing humanity, man resorts to morality. Failing morality, man resorts to ceremony. Now, ceremony is the merest husk of faith and loyalty; It is the beginning of all confusion and disorder.” LaoZi

  77. Wukailong Says:

    Wait, wait, wait… Unless you guys know how history is taught in Greek schools, what knowledge George has and/or if he really grew up in Greece, I think you should hold it, though I too would expect a more Greek name like “Georgios”. 😀

    “some people pretend to be something they are not in order to stir up hatred between peoples.”

    Or maybe it’s just typical sock puppetry, though I’m not so sure in this case.

  78. miaka9383 Says:

    What is worse than some people pretending is when some people is trying to assume your identity, your background and tell you to go bleep yourself when they are sharing an experience that was an example, to prove their point instead of just making their points.

  79. Wukailong Says:

    @miaka9383: I agree. That’s not serious discussion in my book. Also, I’m not sure how comparable colonies during the Classical Greek period are to modern ones. Certainly, we can discuss how comparable racism in different countries is… But it’s still the same time, and we can compare contemporary accounts.

    This thing about arguing from someone’s background is getting quite close to the question discussed, btw… 😉

  80. HongKonger Says:

    # 77

    WKL, LOL, are you trying to do a Mel Brooks thing there? 🙂

    Funny:

    Jonathan Harker: Are you saying that Count Dracula is our vampire?
    Van Helsing: Yes!… and no…
    Jonathan Harker: Then what are you saying?
    Van Helsing: I’m saying no. But I’m leeeeaning towards yes.
    Dr. Steward: Then you’re saying yes.
    Van Helsing: No.
    Dr. Steward: Then you’re saying no.
    Van Helsing: Not necessarily.
    Jonathan Harker: You sound dubious.
    Van Helsing: No -I’m positive!
    Jonathan Harker: Of what?
    Van Helsing: Of my theory!
    Jonathan Harker: And that would be?
    Van Helsing: The theory of Yes- or no.

  81. miaka9383 Says:

    I don’t remember that part from Van helsing?

  82. HongKonger Says:

    Miaka, Sorry, I should have provided the title. They are from one of Mel Brooks many spoofs on classics: ‘Dracular, Dead and Loving it.’ Starring Leslie Nielsen, Mel Brooks, Steven Weber, the beautiful Amy Yasbeck & very hot Lysette Anthony,

  83. Wukailong Says:

    @Hongkonger: LOL, good one.

    Well, I think George is Greek even if he doesn’t count classical Greek colonies (which I’m not sure are comparable) or the example of Anatolian resettlers… Though I’m wondering why he calls himself George rather than something more Greek sounding. Perhaps to fit in?

    Why do I call myself Wukailong, btw? Because that’s the Chinese name given to me a long time ago, because I’m often addressed as “Kailong a” here and, well, because my original name is kind of boring… 🙂

  84. Oli Says:

    @ Wukailong

    Your original is boring as in “son of……”? Such as Petersson, Eriksson or is it Rasmussen, Ljungdahl? And is it Lars or Anders? 😉

  85. Wukailong Says:

    @Oli: 🙂 It’s Olof. My surname is what’s been translated into Wukailong, but I’ll leave that as an exercise to the reader.

    Oli, you mentioned a Swedish aunt… I guess it’s impolite to ask about someone’s background, but I’m curious.

  86. Oli Says:

    @WKL

    Ahh, Olof as in the Swedish version of Olaf. And yes I have a Swedish aunt who is around my age and she’s married to my youngest uncle, who’s about twice her age and a bit of a casanova. They are a very interesting and funny couple. 🙂

  87. blevitt Says:

    种族歧视 zhǒnɡ zú qí shì
    基本解释: 1.封建统治阶级或资产阶级敌视﹑迫害和不平等对待其他种族和民族的行为。

    From Xinhua Dictionary 新华字典

  88. Wukailong Says:

    Translation of the above:

    “Racial discrimination
    General explanation: 1. Acts of hostility, persecution and unequal treatment of other nationalities and races by the feudal ruling class or bourgeoise.”

    I think this is a bit outdated, but certainly an interesting explanation. In China, at least according to Marxist theory, that would mean there is no racism because there’s technically no bourgeoise and even less any feudal ruling class.

  89. miaka9383 Says:

    Just want to put this out there:
    Definition of Racism from Wiki
    Racism, by its simplest definition is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.[1] People with racist beliefs exhibit stereotype-based prejudices towards individuals and groups of people according to their race. In the case of institutional racism, certain racial groups may be denied rights or benefits, or get preferential treatment. Racial discrimination typically points out taxonomic differences between different groups of people, even though anybody can be racialised, independently of their somatic differences. According to the United Nations conventions, there is no distinction between the term racial discrimination and ethnic discrimination. Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another,that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristic

    I still believe that there is racism in China by many examples you guys have point out in another thread, and in this one. I mean, Chinese believe that White people are better than Black people so they refuse to hire Black people. The blog story that I posted above show an obvious case of racism. The word 黑鬼 itself is derogatory even though the word 鬼 may not be.

  90. miaka9383 Says:

    Here is another discussion about Racism in China by both Chinese and “Westerners” the most important part is the comment.
    http://www.lostlaowai.com/blog/china-expat-advice/so-some-people-in-china-are-racist-against-blacks-should-you-come-to-china/

  91. Shane9219 Says:

    @miaka9383 #90

    Many of those comments were from foreigners complaining about not so good treatment than others, when they were looking for jobs in China. When coming to the subject of racism, treatment of local population (citizens) and treatment towards non-citizens (foreigners) are two totally different things.

    Every country on this planet implements strict discriminative public policy of some kind against foreign citizens on travel, job, study and residence. There were a recent report stating even dozens of American citizens were mistakenly deported by US, while some of those families were looking for them on the streets, newspapers and Internet.

    There are lots of foreigners coming to China these days, China don’t get so many foreign visitors when it was a poor and isloated country. Not any more, now that its enconomy is booming and the country becomes modernized. In those old days, foreigner visitors were special guests and treated very well, especially when they were regarded as foreign experts (even though they may just teach foreign languages to young kids).

    When China becomes more cosmopolitan, we can expect more complaints like those. China now have its own “green-card” program (like lawful permanent residence with “green card” in US). You won’t believe how hard to get on that program. I have a relative whose son was born in China, later the family moved to US and got US citizenship. Now the son is looking for a job in China, he complains about the “walls” he has to go through just to get his work permit approved. He is thinking to date and eventually marry a local girl so that he can get his green card from China 🙂

  92. miaka9383 Says:

    @Shane
    So.. what is your point? Because they have experienced poor treatment because of their race, it is not racism? Why are you discounting their experiences as not being discriminated against? not a victim of outright racism? I found couple of blog articles that points this out, one on Peking Duck and the other one on China Geek…..
    There are very few comment about the treatments of foreigners in China that are good. There are also comments from Chinese that notices these things. Specifically these comments that are “complaints” are from Black female and male that have lived in China and worked there….. it has nothing to do with getting a visa… I found a blog article from an Americanized Indian man who’s wife is white and both of them wanted to teach in China, and the wife got the job easily but he didn’t… with the same token his brother in law is white that got a job easily but his brother in law’s wife is filipino she couldn’t get a job and Chinese parents out right said they can’t believe they paid full price for a Filipino teacher… so That is not racism?
    It is very interesting how you can classify that as NOT RACISM when it is by all of the commentators… I challenge you to refute their points.

  93. miaka9383 Says:

    Oh and one more thing.. there are services being refused to these people when they say they are either from Africa or even when people sees them as black they behave uncivilized such as throwing money. Here is another blog article that I found which saddens me a lot :
    中国人的种族歧视(2007-01-25 12:25:10)
    分类:咖啡馆聊天
    我们总是声讨西方人对中华民族的种族歧视。其实,中国人也有种族歧视。

    先讲讲北京语言大学。她座落在北京中关村以东的五道口。校园很小,但有近80或90多个国家的留学生在这所大学学中文,肤色种族之齐全,象一个小联合国。种族在这个校园是特别敏感的问题。

    外国留学生宿舍基本都是朝南座北的楼房,北京语言大学后勤处的人总是把朝南的房间分给白人留学生住,非洲黑人留学生总是分在朝北的房间。
    朝南房间前是一排排杨树,冬天叶子全落了,阳光照进来,房间很温和,就是在三九天的下午,暖气温度较低的情况下,室内也不觉得冷。夏天,树叶茂盛,遮住了射进窗户里阳光,南风微徐,房间蛮冷快。
    朝北的房间就没有这样的舒服了,特别是冬天的下午,暖气温度极低,冻得黑人留学生感冒。

    那时候,北京的出租车还不太发达,但首都汽车出租公司在中关村附近设了一两个服务点,为了中关村大学里的留学生和外籍教师活动方便。
    一天,一个黑人留学生感冒了,他的同屋打电话给首汽出租公司打电话。公司班的接到电话问,“什么事?”
    学生说,“北京语言学院(那时叫北京语言学院) 的留学生病了,去东单协和医院看病。”
    “哪国人?”
    “坦桑尼亚。”
    “没有车。” 对方说,砰地放下电话。
    过了一会儿,这位黑人留学生又打过去。。。
    “什么事?”
    。。。
    “哪国人?”
    “英国人。” 这次这个黑人留学生说。
    “一会儿到。” 对方说完放下电话。
    果真一会儿出租车停到宿舍楼门口。司机看见三个黑人走进他的车就喊,“你们不是说英国人吗,怎么是黑人。”
    “英国也有黑人,说黑人你就不来了。” 黑人留学生说。
    司机没有办法,看见又是三个高大的黑人还是去了。
    第二天,打电话的留学生见我第一句话就是这件事,说得时候脸气得发紫。通常黑人生气你只是从他们的表情上感觉到,因为他们的皮肤黑。这次,我能看到他脸上的颜色,那他已经是真得气疯了。

    随着非洲留学生中文水平提高,他们越直接了解中国,大街人称呼他们什么,背后指着他们说什么,他们都听得一清二楚。黑鬼是他们最讨厌的一句话。他们总是问,为什么我们走在大街上中国人叫我们黑鬼。鬼是地狱下不好的,我们这么就是鬼。

    非洲黑人留学生和西方白人留学生的家庭背景相当不同。西方留学生大都来自他们国家的普通人家,学习中文是他们的兴趣。非洲留学生大都来自他们国家的上层社会,学习中文意义非同小可。他们未来的前途可能会影响到中国和非洲国家的关系。那个打电话的坦桑尼亚学生的父亲就是当时的坦桑尼亚的副总统,生病的同学是坦桑尼亚工程师的儿子。大家可以想象,中国政府花了多少钱无偿援助非洲国家,但因为这类事情,足以把中国政府的援助全泡汤了。不是钱白白花了,是政治上白白花钱了。这种种族上的伤害不是几年可以愈合的,甚至不是十几年可以愈合的。

    白人留学生到中国来最先容易记住的中文就是什么我爱你呀,我喜欢呀。第二就是和吃有关系的中文。

    黑人留学生最容易记住的是什么中文呢。
    非洲,美国。这四个字。
    他们问,为什么中国人把Africa 翻译成非洲,非在中文的意思就是不是,我们不是什么呀?
    为什么把 America翻译成美国,美丽的国家?
    难道我们就什么不是,他们就是美丽。
    为什么中国人不把Africa翻译成阿州,而翻译成非洲。不把America翻译成卖国,或麦国,而翻译成美国。
    我相信早期中国翻译家翻译外来语的时候绝没有此意。只是黑人留学生到了中国感受到一种歧视后一种敏感。就象中国人受过歧视,对西方人说什么也很敏感。

    不光是歧视黑人,中国人也歧视破落的国家人。柏林墙推倒后,前苏联人在北京可是受了不少气。我亲眼看见一群中国人和起来殴打两个前苏联人,地点发生在大白天,建国门外大街,贵友商店的马路对过。大概是因为这两个前苏联人在秀水街购买水货与当地的人发生了纠纷,然后就出现了这种殴打场面。周围一大群看观者,无一人报警,无一人劝阻,无多少表情,站在那里看热闹,听那群打人的人在骂苏联人。
    如果这两个白人不是苏联人,而是瑞士人,而是美国人!我想即便有口角,也不至於挨揍吧。

    那些非洲学生,那些前苏联人,东欧人。。。他们当时在想什么?他们在想,如果我的国家是强大的国家,我们就不会有这样的遭遇。他们感受和中华民族受西方人歧视的感受一样。

    http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_48386d12010007bo.html~type=v5_one&label=rela_nextarticle

  94. Shane9219 Says:

    @miaka9383 #92

    My point is simple: don’t cry foul when you are a foreigner looking for work or try to stay in a foreign country. You may know how much Chinese went through when they first came to US. Every country has things like that.

  95. miaka9383 Says:

    Or this comment from the lostlaowai article

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    hei mei
    September 25, 2008
    2:10 pm

    I lived in Southern Spain for a year and have been living in China for the past three. I speak both languages fluently, which can sometimes hurt more than help. You suddenly become aware of what’s really going on in the minds of people, what’s going on behind the stares and the pointing fingers and the laughs. So even if you are able to verbally respond or get some satisfaction from retaliating you have still been hurt.

    Since living in China I can say the main issue I have is the Chinese reaction to my dark skin.
    When some chinese comment on how dark my skin is their voices are filled with a kind of hate, not curiuosity. I know that the chinese have had their own issues with dark skin for centuries but it still hurts. When some chinese comment on my dark skin their voices are filled with a sense of cockiness that clearly implies because of this fact they are better than me. When some chinese comment on my skin they are filled with envy and surprise because they’d once believed that any one as dark as me could not be beautiful, I still find this a little offensive but less so than the other two.

    I have had money thrown at me because they didn’t want to touch my hand, been followed around and made fun of by chinese from all walks of life including customs officers. I’ve been refused service in small shops, by taxi’s, in restaurants, and treated like a second-class citizen by certain chinese who have come to understand that blacks are often discriminated against. Chinese tend to copy the behavior of those around them, often without ever having any genuine feeling behind it. And they cab be quite skilled at understanding when they have an advantage and abusing it, which is almost never stemmed by personal hate, just personal gain. I also see that when they understand that a black person is also African they can be treated with even more contempt.

    The Chinese are also very prideful and unwilling to admit fault, especially big faults for fear losing face to foreigners and will usually come together to agrue against an outsider, though I’ve been saved a few times by other chinese.

    As a black woman with the most objective voice I can muster up at this point during my travels I have to say that travel to anywhere in the world is double the pain, and the heartache than most have to deal with. Though two things are not the only handicaps in China though, being fat, being ugly, a short-haired woman, or veering from the “normal” in any way is a means for ridicule in China. As a country it seems ridiculing people is not something considered childish that should be left in grade school but something that remains part of their daily lives; with the attrocities that happend to the chinese who were different or stood out during the communist revolution I guess I can understand why.

    When it comes to social progress, most countries are far behind the west, not that my country (U.S.A) is in the lead but I believe it has come a lot further than China at this point in time. So far in fact that I had never really felt racism or sexism until I left. (My own ignorance might have also been shielding me.)

    In observing and speaking to men of color I’ve found that there are certain boundaries that other men and women will not cross with them that they will cross with me. The one horrible disadvantage I’d say men of color have that women of color rarely face is physical violence. I have never been physically attacked. I have been verbally attacked countless times, I am stared at more, my anger is taken less seriously, my complaints are taken less seriously, my personal space is violated more and I find people more easily ignore me, often times while having my white-male partner be treated like a god.

    On the flip side I find it’s the poorest of chinese people who tend to be more verbal and surpised but less ill-willed. By taking only a few minutes to talk them I find these people are willing to devote themselves to helping me in any way possible and are almost always genuine. I find that it is the Chinese middle class that tends to be the most scornful and I feel that they believe by acting in such a way it raises their social standing. They (Chinese middle-class) also understand that it’s more important to keep their feelings hidden until they find a safe outlet.

    I say all this in hopes that I can give a clear and fair depiction of my Chinese experience. I have yet to come to the point where I regard Chinese people as “hermits” but I do look for forums like this for an occasional venting because I find there is no quick fix for dealing with the emotional tolls that such things can take on me.

    Moreover, I refue to allow these bad experiences to run me out of an entire country, and I refuse to allow myself to become so bitter that I begin to hate and entire country.

    I know that the opportunities I’ve had to live, study, learn, grow and work in countries are opportunities that many people only dream of, so I constantly remind myself how lucky I am. And with only this shield I go out into the world every day and I try to be the best person I can. On occasion when I’ve had a bad day, I fail myself and I allow the ignorance and misguided hate to provoke me, to anger, tears, and frustration. But sometimes I win and I’m able to enjoy the good things in my life without any regard for the things in the world that try and take that enjoyment away from me.

  96. Shane9219 Says:

    @miaka9383 #95

    That is really nothing new and special there for those who knew China. Chinese can do those things among themselve: local people v.s. outsiders, one tribe/clan towards another. Although it does not look pretty, it happens a lot since ancient time, pretty dark side of Chinese culture.

    Years ago, I saw my travel group got robbed and beatan in Hainan Island by local poor people under broad daylight because of a small argument over buying fruit. Similar things happen in Hawaii, USA, my friends had their honeymoon trip there, but the locals robbed their bags when they were shooting photos at a public beach during early hours. I have to wire them fund and pick them up from airport becasue keys to their car and house were in those bags.

    Hainan Island is now becoming a tourist place like Hawaii. Still, two local clans/villages fought each other to death just recently with hundreds of people.

    You can see a simliar case last yea,r when local Tibetans beat up people from other parts of China in Lhash …

  97. HongKonger Says:

    People want what they want to see & hear.

    It is natural, basic survival instinct, though deemed to be childish behavior to get all huffed up and puffed up, judging & calling those different from ya stupid, uneducated, uncivilized etc. Putting things in writing, on blogs and newspaper column, hiding behind academia or mass consensus or cultural justifications – writing others off with great fan fare and pomposity only show that formal education or crosscultural excursions have failed to bring about maturity to a lot of us.

    “If a child can be taught to reason, there is no need for education.” Rousseau.
    “You’ve all been brainwashed into unquestioning whores of the United Strokes of America.” The late great George Carlin.

    “We all have our own beliefs and perceptions and preconceptions and in order for our minds to work, we must fit everything into that framework of our cerebral model of reality in some readily comprehensible way. If we don’t reality becomes an untenable place and our psyche crumbles. Either that or we get reprogrammed.” http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/140398

    “There is nothing right or wrong but thinking makes it so,” it’s all about taking cultural, political and social group sides a lot of the time, not “truth.” Besides, what is that?

    Bob Dylan is the master in letting his fans and enemies stumble all over the place with that. He is always an enigma. Try pigeon-hole the guy and you will soon be a laughing stock, though not without like-minded support.

    I tend to agree with Oli’s, Steve’s and WKL’s more holistic POVs – there, you see, I might’ve just pigeon holed them, and at the same time painted myself into a corner.

    The tao that can be told
    is not the eternal Tao
    The name that can be named
    is not the eternal Name.
    The unnameable is the eternally real.
    Naming is the origin
    of all particular things.
    Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
    Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.
    Yet mystery and manifestations
    arise from the same source.
    This source is called darkness.
    Darkness within darkness.
    The gateway to all understanding.

  98. miaka9383 Says:

    @Hongkonger
    what is your point? That I only found evidence that supports my claim? Well I googled racism in China.. there is only 1 foreigner (black woman) that said she felt safer in China than in any where in the U.S. and 1 over seas Chinese that says she felt more discrimination and her black friends never seemed to complained. So I am not suppose to believe the majority opinions??

    @Shane
    Things that you see all the time does not make it right or justified.

  99. HongKonger Says:

    Miaka,

    It’s ok that you missed my point. Can’t blame ya because I wasn’t addressing you with the above post.

    Seeing that many Chinese POVs have been presented, hence assuming that Joel’s good and fair question might have been answered, I thought I’d share my feeling, well, more like a lament: People will see and hear what they want to see & hear, and that includes me, I’m sure.

    Everyone can see, it is plain and simple, that people are judged by a lot of things, not just skin color, anywhere.

    The reason I am spending so much time on the internet these past few weeks is simply because I have been unable to find what I want, and the jobs that I would like to get are specifically looking for white candidates. Meanwhile my black friend never lost a day of employment in China in the past six to seven years, and his Mainland girlfriend has been with him for almost as long. At the same time, my white friend with a Master’s degree can’t wait to return after leaving China with his Chinese wife after a few months because life is currently tough in America.

    I try to be fair, whatever our race, color or disagreements may be. As a matter of fact, I have never been cheated by a Chinese boss in the six years I’ve been in China. Others I know haven’t been so lucky. Unfortunately, I’ve also had my share of bad luck. I have been betrayed by Americans in China, even fell for a street scam which involved 4 Chinese girls who claimed to be out of town students who were robbed of everything at the train station.

    To be fair, I must also add that I have been shown more kindness and given help by Chinese and expats alike in China.

    So, really, I have no problem with colors, only those who insist on putting others, and occassionally me, down in order to get some relieve from their deep sense of insecurity, or to satisfy their lust for money, obsessed with whatever wierd & selfish reasons.

    Finally, I feel I have learned a lot from Oli, Shane, Allen, WKL etc. from this post. So, it’s been time well spent.

  100. Wukailong Says:

    @Hongkonger: Sorry to hear about the scam… I’m not sure what the girls asked for, but most scams people have tried on me have been of the type where they need money for some specific service. In these cases the best thing to do is usually to offer the service or tell them how to get it. I remember a couple of years ago how two girls said they needed a telephone card to call up their parents in some faraway province. I didn’t do anything particular at the time, but I could just have offered them to use my cell phone to see what the response would have been.

    Also, there is this incredibly funny guy who walks around in the Jianguomen area in Beijing, dressed in a suit, and tells people in Oxford English that “I’m trying to survive here, could you please buy me a bowl of rice” or “I need to go back to Lhasa to see my relatives, can you please help me”. The best advice to him, I think, is to offer his English skills at some school – but perhaps he makes more money this way. 😉

  101. HongKonger Says:

    LOL, It was the same “need a telephone card to call up their parents in some faraway province, ” scam.

    I must add this happened to me in 2001, if I remember correctly. What happened was I gave them 5 kuai to make the phone call. One of the girls managed to get get a hold of her father on the phone (In restrospect, I thought that it was pretty good acting) then when she hung up the phone she thanked me and gave me back the change. Then it was another girl’s turn to put on her Oscar winning act. Said they hadn’t eaten since that morning. It was around 6pm then. So, I said ok, I’d buy them dinner since I was actually on the way for dinner by myself. Now, before you let your imaginations run away, let me tell you these were no hot babes, just ordinary looking girls. Anyway,during dinner, each took turn telling me their stories, about their families and how they were so fortunate to be in Universities, and had so much expectations of their planned week long holiday in Shenzhen, so on and so forth. Then they decided one after another wanting to give me their phone numbers and home addresses, promising they would pay me back for the meal. When I told them it was on me, they said they couldn’t just accept my help for free. Then before I realized what was happening, they asked if they could sleep on the floor at my apartment because the girl’s father she’d called would not be able to get someone to bring them money until later the next day. So, being an idiot that I was, I gave them money for the night’s accomodation and meal money for the next day. The end.

  102. miaka9383 Says:

    I just wish the mentality would change. It is like people scam you because they think you “look” like you have money. It is ridiculous! Of course innocent people becomes the prey. GOD! so annoying….

    I am sorry that you got scammed… it is just isn’t right!

  103. HongKonger Says:

    Thanks miaka.

    “I just wish the mentality would change.”

    Yes, I’d say starting from the top: From the CEOs (Chief Embezzelment Officers) of big corporations.

    I remember hearing something Jesus or Buddha or Prophet Mohummud said that even though the poor steal to feed their family and deserves punishment, it is the rich who steal from the people, who are FAR more sinful in God’s eyes, or something like that..(Sorry, I don’t have the relevant quote).

  104. Mike Says:

    To suggest racism is an American export is utterly ridiculous. America’s very open and public exploration of racism, it’s causes and consequences, is the exception in a world of race prejudice denial and continued racial discrimination. America has worked to right it’s wrongs and has admitted and dealt with many of if not most of its mistakes. A few other places have as well, but most places in the world, including China, still have major racial prejudices, especially against “blacks”, and won’t admit to it.

  105. Mike Says:

    Good friend of mine is extremely handsome, well groomed, educated, charming, polite, professional, punctual, speaks with a standard American accent, and is even a MENSA member. He is a successful businessman in the states and does some teaching in China while he travels for a couple years. I know a school that won’t hire him because he’s black; the admitted it to me. That same school will hire non-native English speakers with thick accents, little or no education, bad personal grooming, no reporte with students, and little knowledge of anything as long as they are white. I can give you a list of schools that are the same.

    If people can’t admit that there is racism in China… can we at least admit there is bigotry… targeted against people of different ethnicity and or skin color and or origin? Wait, that’s racism.

    @Wukailong… George is as Greek a name as you can get.
    http://www.behindthename.com/name/george

  106. Nimrod Says:

    Mike, you and others have a penchant for misusing words and conflating concepts. Yes, of course there are bigots in China, but yours isn’t an example of that. Bigotry is an obstinate intolerance of differences. Yet all indications are these schools would not hire even Chinese Americans because of parents’ view, out of ignorance or convenience or both, of who the speakers of a proper foreign language are supposed to be. Parents may well hire people they believe to be subpar speakers at a different price, or they may well demand a black teacher to teach an African language just like they will demand a Chinese teacher to teach the Chinese language. That’s not intolerance. That’s not even obstinance. It’s just ignorant parents and schools that don’t want to lose business in a competitive market. Maybe the difference is subtle to the PC-trained, but it isn’t subtle to me.

    Everybody can describe what is and is not going on, but just don’t agree on the word “racism”. That’s not refusing to admit there are certain behaviors, or that they should be different for that matter, it’s just not agreeing on the use of the word. That says to me that there is some other connotation expressed by the word that simply isn’t true, whether it’s intention, historical context, degree of taboo, attitude of the user, or whatever else.

    If you cannot figure out why we are still stuck on semantics, I suggest you think about why you associated bigotry with racism on the one hand, then on the other hand associated racism with any form of positive or negative discrimination. That kind of conveniently “flexible” usage is a sign of somebody riding in to browbeat on a high horse.

  107. Shane9219 Says:

    @Mike #104

    No one said there is no discrimination in China, no one said there is no bigotry or derogatory term in Chinese language.

    Racism is a broad political term with very specific meanings. You should remember it is European who invented race class: white, yellow, red and black, and institutionalized such political notion.

  108. Shane9219 Says:

    “Sociologists Noël A. Cazenave and Darlene Alvarez Maddern define racism as “…a highly organized system of ‘race’-based group privilege that operates at every level of society and is held together by a sophisticated ideology of color/’race’ supremacy. Racist systems include, but cannot be reduced to, racial bigotry,” (Cazenave and Maddern 1999: 42). Sociologist and former American Sociological Association president Joe Feagin argues that the United States can be characterized as a “total racist society” because racism is used to organize every social institution (Feagin 2000, p. 16).”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism

  109. Mike Says:

    China is a great place and most Chinese people treat everyone of every color civilly. That aside…

    @Shane9219… is this a conversation about the symantics of the word “racism” or what it means to people in China? Or is it just a chance to blame someone for coming up with the term?

    @Nimrod… what did I say that could be construed as “browbeating on a high horse”? None of my comments were condescending to any single poster on this board. How about yours? I’ve worked in education as both a teacher and administrator for many years. I’ve been the academic coordinator and vice-principal for several major schools. I know the politics of schools and understand where the bias comes from. That doesn’t make it acceptable. It doesn’t mean I can’t complain about and try to change it, right? My wife is a Chinese-American who has faced constant discrimination. I have quit jobs, refused posts, yelled at and argued with deans of major Chinese universities because of their clearly institutionalized bias; China’s unis often have a specific paygrade for East Asian faced foreigners. She has an MA in TESOL from an excellent American school and her English is flawless yet she’s passed over for teaching jobs or other positions so they can hire some other foreigner with no command of the English language, no education, and zero exprience. She’s actually in the midst of some cooperative research on discrimination and bias within the TESOL community so combined with my own experiences, I’m familiar with the issues, definaitions, and situation in general. So, just because a Chinese-American faces a form of bias, bigotry or discrimination I can’t comment on how other people with black skin are treated?

    Maybe I should have said that many people in countries around the world, including China, won’t admit to their bigotry rather than using the generalization of “China” as a whole. Certainly my mistake. My second comment was an example of discrimination or bigotry based on race. Nothing else. I didn’t realize that with some criticism of China I should include all the postives. From now on all start all conversations with this disclaimer… I’ve lived in China for 13 years, in four major cities, studied in two major Chinese universities, worked in several different industries in small Chinese and foreign private companies as well as a major state owned enterprise. I have rarely experienced any serious negative bias and have certainly profitted from my foreign-ness. Most foreigners, whether from Japan, Africa, or wherever, have been treated well, and certainly better than in most places in the world. That’s why I live here. China is a great place and most of the people here are great as well. Though I will have enough experience in China to ever be an expert on anything. I hope my many years here and my way of living have given me deeper understanding of this place that most people and the right to comment on my experiences.

    I don’t think I suggested there is broad institutional racism. If I did that by explaining one person’s story, in one industry, then I’m shocked by the mind warping power of my words. I meant to show that more and more people are discriminating against “black” skinned people. Visit Guangzhou for anytime and that will be apparant. That’s not to say it’s everywhere. It’s just to say it’s there. Yes, most people likely don’t hate black people but that doesn’t negate the few that seem to and treat black skinned people with contempt. So, there is no racism in China now, but not nipping intolerance in the bud could let bias lead to an institutionalized bigotry based on race, or something like it.

  110. Nimrod Says:

    I think we are on the same page, finally.

  111. Mike Says:

    Finally? It was only like 1 reply. You fixed my way of thinking so quickly. Thanks Nimrod.

  112. admin Says:

    U.S., Netherlands to Boycott U.N. Racism Conference

  113. pug_ster Says:

    @Admin 112,

    Lol, maybe US wants to boycott the UN Racism conference because US government believes the problem of Racism is solved in the US:)

  114. Raj Says:

    #113

    Did you read the article?

    The Obama administration will boycott “with regret” a U.N. conference on racism next week over objectionable language in the meeting’s final document that could single out Israel for criticism and restrict free speech, the State Department said Saturday.

    The Dutch foreign minister announced Sunday he is also boycotting the conference because some nations are using it as a platform to attack the West….

    But he said the text retains troubling elements that suggest support for restrictions on free speech and an affirmation of the findings of the first World Conference Against Racism, held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001 that the U.S. cannot endorse….

    In recent weeks, Dutch diplomats had worked feverishly behind the scenes to try to salvage a final statement that would be acceptable to all nations, proposing a number of alternative texts. But Mr. Verhagen described negotiations over the declaration as “grim” and said Western nations were subjected to political attacks…..

    Why should America or the Netherlands agree to a document that attacks them? China wouldn’t participate if it were singled out.

  115. Raj Says:

    Boycott blow for UN racism forum

    If you looked, pugster, you would see it’s not just the US that is concerned about the forum being a farce.

  116. Nimrod Says:

    …. as opposed to any other forum on human rights, where China or any number of other countries on some arbitrary “rogue list” is singled out?

    Also it’s pretty weak to argue against inciting religious hatred on free speech grounds.

  117. Raj Says:

    …. as opposed to any other forum on human rights, where China or any number of other countries on some arbitrary “rogue list” is singled out?

    The forum is supposed to be on racism, not human rights. Why are you confusing the two?

    Also it’s pretty weak to argue against inciting religious hatred on free speech grounds.

    Why is it weak to argue against inciting religious hatred? You think it’s good?

  118. Nimrod Says:

    Raj,

    The forum is supposed to be on racism, not human rights. Why are you confusing the two?

    I’m not confusing the two. Plenty of farcical forums out there, most of them created by the countries boycotting this one. Would you like to tell why is this one is taboo? Does it hurt the feelings of Americans and Dutch?

    Why is it weak to argue against inciting religious hatred? You think it’s good?

    Oops, I lost some words in there. I meant to write “it’s pretty weak to argue against the discouragement of inciting religious hatred on free speech grounds.” Arguing against is the American and Dutch position. It’s good to know you don’t appreciate inciting religious hatred like drawing cartoons of Mohammed as a bomb-laden towelhead. Are you sure you want to take this position, Raj? You’ve accidently ended up on an unusual side. I give you a chance to recant, lol. There sure is a lot of farce in this forum — from the boycotters, lol.

  119. pug_ster Says:

    @Raj 113

    You mean Western nations can’t face criticism about racism and Israel can’t be critiqued about free speech? Maybe these western Nations are truly oblivious about racism or they can do no wrong so they don’t want to attend the meeting.

  120. Raj Says:

    I’m not confusing the two. Plenty of farcical forums out there, most of them created by the countries boycotting this one.

    This is a forum on racism where nations are accusing others of hijacking it to bash particular countries on human rights “abuses”. If it was about human rights they wouldn’t mind as much.

    Arguing against is the American and Dutch position.

    It’s the position of a growing list of countries, not just America and the Netherlands.

    It’s good to know you don’t appreciate inciting religious hatred like drawing cartoons of Mohammed as a bomb-laden towelhead.

    Nimrod, I wouldn’t want to accuse you of putting words in my mouth, but I didn’t make a statement about whether I thought drawing cartoons of Mohammed with bombs was good or not – I was trying to clarify what you thought.

    The issue is a complex one that you’ve inappropriately glossed over. The original pictures that appeared in Jyllands-Posten were themselves only produced because of concern over a lack of tolerance from many Islamists not just over criticism of Islam but any deviance from what they regard as the correct way the religion should be administered. The publication of the pictures was proceeded by an article indicating how it was difficult for an author, Kåre Bluitgen, to get an illustrator for a children’s book for an image of Mohammed. The reasons the illustrators gave referred to the murder of Theo van Gogh and the incident where a Danish lecturer was attacked in 2004 for reading the Koran in a lecture to non-Muslims.

    Requests for cartoons went out and several were chosen. Some were very nice, others were insensitive. But that’s what the paper wanted, to show that Islam was a religion like other, open to praise and criticism, respect and ridicule.

    In the context that they were created I do seem them as free speech, though I would not support production of the nasty ones merely to attack Islam. That contrasts with how pictures of non-Muslims, especially Jews, are made in some Islamic countries, being purely negative so as to attack “unbelievers”. You should note that the most unpleasant Muslim critics of the cartoons were not objecting just to the ones that you referred to, but ANY picture of Mohammed. If that’s inciting religious hatred, then you do the same when you drink alcohol. Are you willing to give up beer so as not to offend extremist Muslims?

    +++

    pugster, see my comments above. A forum on racism should be about racism, not hijacked to pursue another agenda. If they want to complain about Israel’s human rights record do so at a human rights event. The same can be said about singling out the publishing of cartoons, which at worst offend people’s feelings.

  121. Nimrod Says:

    Raj wrote:

    In the context that they were created I do seem them as free speech, though I would not support production of the nasty ones merely to attack Islam. That contrasts with how pictures of non-Muslims, especially Jews, are made in some Islamic countries, being purely negative so as to attack “unbelievers”. You should note that the most unpleasant Muslim critics of the cartoons were not objecting just to the ones that you referred to, but ANY picture of Mohammed. If that’s inciting religious hatred, then you do the same when you drink alcohol. Are you willing to give up beer so as not to offend extremist Muslims?

    +++++
    The slippery slope argument is not convincing. It is pretty clear that even though there are certainly people complaining about any image of Mohammed and other non-conformance to Muslim social strictures, a whole lot more generally more moderate people were angered by the especially derogatory ones, and that’s why it turned into such a big issue. I’d say use your common sense, but the appeal seems futile since nobody is willing to use any when their own ideas about their own social norms seem to be threatened. Your argument can be equally turned around to say that the most unpleasant Danish critics were not just insisting on a reasonable right to speak freely, but the right to publish what even (theoretically) 100% of the people would find objectionable and demeaning. Are you willing to give up decency in society so as not to offend extremist libertarians? So again, example by extremism is not convincing.

    In any case, the forum language just said basically “do not incite religious hatred”. It is about as universally (and vaguely) stated as “people should have human rights”. You can, and people do, pick bones with each, but it sure looks hilarious that some countries can’t bring themselves to attend the conference to make even the counter-arguments that you have made, including bringing up the depiction of Jews.

    In fact, nobody believes Arab countries will be so extreme as insisting on prohibiting beer drinking at this racism conference, so it appears the boycotters simply find it uncomfortable that they’d be subjected to criticism on their more extreme behaviors of “inciting religious hatred” (and rightly so) at this racism forum, and know that their weak appeal to “free speech” in such a case will be exceedingly unconvincing to the vast majority of the world. Boo hoo!

  122. Nimrod Says:

    Requests for cartoons went out and several were chosen. Some were very nice, others were insensitive. But that’s what the paper wanted, to show that Islam was a religion like other, open to praise and criticism, respect and ridicule.

    None of the cartoons were “very nice”. All but one or two seemed to be openly ridiculing in nature, the others, who knows when put in that context. Also the rationale given was that by allowing Mohammed to be ridiculed, they were integrating Muslims into Danish (I suppose, secular) society. That’s full of shit. When in the Cultural Revolution, red guards made Hui raise pigs, was it also integrating Muslims into Chinese (secular) society? I have no love for Muslim extremism, but I do think the Western countries bring this kind of stuff onto themselves with their attitude of standing on the moral high ground.

  123. Raj Says:

    It is pretty clear that even though there are certainly people complaining about any image of Mohammed and other non-conformance to Muslim social strictures, a whole lot more generally more moderate people were angered by the especially derogatory ones, and that’s why it turned into such a big issue.

    How do you know that most people who were protesting were moderate? I’m not suggesting that they were all extreme, but I can easily counter by suggesting that tolerant Muslims were more outraged by the illiberal reaction from other members of their faith such that if they had to choose between having the cartoons published and supporting the reactionary response they would go with the former.

    Are you willing to give up decency in society so as not to offend extremist libertarians? So again, example by extremism is not convincing.

    Thank you, you’ve made my point for me. I won’t change my way of life because other people are offended. If people want to make cartoons of religious figures, they can.

    it sure looks hilarious that some countries can’t bring themselves to attend the conference to make even the counter-arguments that you have made, including bringing up the depiction of Jews

    It’s far from hilarious because they’ve already been through this song-and-dance. The last forum went much the same way this one would appear to be going. Last time various countries tried to make it work, but this time they’re not going to lend credance to an event they think is already off the rails. By boycotting it they can show it’s been hijacked from the very start.

    None of the cartoons were “very nice”.

    What the hell was wrong with the one with him in white clothes, a red turban and a staff? Or the one with him with a halo? Or the stick-figure? Or the one showing the cartoonist doing his drawing?! Seriously, I’d like to hear.

    When in the Cultural Revolution, red guards made Hui raise pigs, was it also integrating Muslims into Chinese (secular) society?

    Muslims weren’t being forced to draw the cartoons or even look at them. Your example was not relevant in any way.

  124. Nimrod Says:

    Raj, I’d rather like to hear from you what were the “very nice” messages in those cartoons you mentioned, that being your characterziation. I would have thought “very nice” was a pretty high threshold, just like “very not nice”. Indeed, it would have changed the meaning of the page of cartoons if there were indeed “very nice” messages of the degree comparable to the “very not nice” messages. I don’t see them, but you seem to?

    Muslims weren’t being forced to draw the cartoons or even look at them. Your example was not relevant in any way.

    Yeah, exactly. Hui weren’t being forced to eat the pigs, they weren’t even forced to smell them. I think my example was highly relevant.

  125. pug_ster Says:

    @Raj 121,

    The problem with racism is that when a government has some kind of acceptance toward racism, it would produce laws like segregation, legal discrimination, and even human rights issues as a result. This is what Israel did, laws created from legalized racism. While it is harder to tell its citizens to stop being racists, it is certainly more feasible for a country to try to stem the tide toward racism.

  126. James Says:

    Joel asked – “I want to know why my Chinese friends and acquaintances react the way they do to the idea of racism in China. Can someone describe for me popular Chinese understandings of “racism”?”

    I think the question needs to be: “what are people in China taught about racism?”

    Humans are not born knowing the definition of ‘racism’ – they learn the word and the attitudes from their teachers, parents, and friends.

    What I want to know is what people are TAUGHT about racism in China.

    Are people taught ‘that only happens in other countries – it NEVER happens here’? Is the word ‘racism’ only used to describe incidents other countries?

    With 56 ethnic groups in China, surely there is some racism in China.

  127. wei Says:

    Talking about racism to Chinese now is like talking about capitalism to Chinese in the 1980s. The meaning in their mind is very different. The term “Racism” is too strong for average Chinese. I believe when you talk about “Racism”, in their mind would come up stories like, Jews killed by Nazi Germany, black people discriminated in US in the 1960s, or South Africa’s Apartheid against black people. Those are all very serious picture that average Chinese never think they can be compared to.

    On the other hand, by the common understanding about “Racism” in North America, China does have this problem. It’s on the civil society level, not the institutional/system level. You don’t see any official policy or law discriminate one particular racial group, but from time to time you do see people verbally dislike people from other race. I sense this phenomena rooted in lack of connection or understanding to other people. More culture interchange will help, but to reduce the public verbal abuse to other racial group, laws and government policies need to be involved.

  128. HJG Says:

    Racism doesn’t “exist” because it falls under other forms of stereotyping and discrimination.

    For example when in China, people would tell you to definitive avoid Uighur peddlers from Xinjiang and proceed to offer some derogatory remarks. But they won’t see it as “racism”; it’s more like “regionalism” and the typical snob of middle class. People rile of morally decrepit Shanghai slums with the rhetoric of anti-Semites; they call northwestern farmers “backward” and “lazy” like your normal red necks. But it’s hard to say it’s “racism”. In China race is so fluid—- you never know whether you are 100% Han or not (and even “Han” is not so definitely a race idea), and you won’t look any different being Yi, Zhuang, Manchurian, or even Japanese and Korean (whites and blacks are still such a minority minority they don’t really come into the picture), so it’s really hard to be racist— you can’t tell.

    And oh, Chinese people will tell you, Koreans “deserve it”, and Japanese… Well, that certainly isn’t racism, it’s hatred. This year, with the new movies out and everything, it will be especially bad. :S

  129. pug_ster Says:

    @HJG

    I think you missed the point of the whole conversation. The problem is that in Western Media, books and magazines, racism has been a red hot button issue, so people are often are sensitive to it. While, in China, people are not sensitive to the idea, so when they are asked Racism, they would probably say, ‘so what?’

  130. Tim Says:

    I am sick and tired of playing handball and then Chinese people come and exclude me because I am hispanic and not chinsese.

  131. Henry Says:

    I am half Chinese and half white and I look white to most Chinese people. I can say unequivocally that although looking white leads many Chinese to stereotype me, which is annoying, I generally feel respected when I’m in Mainland China or Taiwan. My experience would be completely different if I was black. When I was teaching English in Sichuan a student directly told me that she looks down on black people and would not respect a black English teacher. I’ve observed Chinese people pointing at black people in the street and shouting “Black Devil!” I’ve heard Chinese friends say “好恐怖” (so terrifying) when seeing a picture of a black person who they thought had exceptionally dark skin.

    When I first arrived in Taiwan I noticed that even strangers were extremely helpful and friendly to me. When I asked a Taiwanese friend if I would be treated with so much hospitality if I was black, he answered “Don’t even think about it.” Many Taiwanese women have told me that they are scared of black men and that while most Taiwanese girls think it’s a status symbol to have a white boyfriend, they would not want to be with a black man. Sure, the reasons for this bigotry might partially lie in Western colonialism, images of black people propagated by Western movies, etc. And yes, since there are few black people in China, relatively few people are affected. But that doesn’t excuse this racism, nor does it make life any easier for my black friends who live or travel in Asia. It is amazing to me how many of the commenters on here will jump through semantic hoops to avoid facing up to the fact that yes, white people have privilege in China compared to black people, and yes, many Chinese people have strong prejudices about black people, which is racist. The stereotypes Chinese people have about white people are not nearly as negative as the ones they have about black people.

    Why is it so hard for white people to admit that they have this privilege? And why is it so hard for Chinese to admit that many Chinese will indeed discriminate against people based on their race, which is, by definition, racist? And if you decide to use a different definition of racism to make yourself feel better, you still can’t avoid the fact that this bigotry is ignorant and wrong.

  132. No99 Says:

    Henry,

    This world isn’t perfect. If not by race or skin color, there will be other forms of prejudice simply because of the natural instinct of all humans to differentiate ourselves from one another, or for the sake of survival. We are still animals, or biological organisms, but with the ability for improvement. I too have a fair share with people who have racist attitudes. I can’t force them to be nice or think good of me. At the very least, do not hurt me or stop me from pursuing my goals.

    Many white individuals may not know about this privilege they have because it is possible many have never been in an situation before where people would give preference over them because of their background. That’s a little bit of why some are overtly frustrated when some situations such as affirmative action in the US happens even though it is miniscule compared with the preferences many societies have given to white individuals. This white preference is a product of many generations already, spanning back possibly 3-4 centuries. When you deal with a certain ideal for many generations, people don’t have to think much about it, it becomes very natural. Now, of course white individuals can see the issues with this, but you can’t expect the same from everyone.

    Chinese racism is another matter. Some of these individuals haven’t been exposed to people who don’t look like them. Sometimes, the only references comes from media or other people, overseas Chinese and foreign expats, who may also harbor prejudices as well. The bigotry against black people has been profound throughout the entire world. Even among places that have such a long history with Black people, they still maintain strong negative feelings. One of the biggest reasons is because human beings are shallow to begin with when it comes to seeing different people. The first thing is the physical features, if they stand out then it will get more attention. It doesn’t have to turn into negative feelings, but it does a lot of times. Some Chinese individuals though can see the problems with such racism as well.

    This is not a justification, but a very short explanation on my part.

  133. Tanmay Says:

    One thing that should be considered that this could be problem of exposure to a certain topic than anything else:

    I am not sure how educated about the world the chinese guys saying that were so I cannot talk about them in particular but I’ll give an example to illustrate my point.

    The african-americans have suffered in america a lot because of the skin of their color and hence in that part of the world (and among everyone who is aware of this) referring to them as Black is very rude or racist as the topic puts it.
    To someone from the interior of China who isn’t aware of the American history this would not be the case.

    In the interior of the Indian State of Maharashtra there is a group of nomadic people living in the Jungles who pierce their nose and wear a hoop through it. Legend has it that they were defeated by another tribe and made to wear this hoop as a sign of subjugation. They consider any mention of this hoop as very disrespectful or shall we say racist.
    Now would a person who is not familiar with them know this?
    No!
    Infact looking at the hoop in their nose (it’s pretty big) they would probably comment on it.
    Does this make that person racist?

    Note: This is not a true case but just an imaginary illustration.

  134. Henry Says:

    Tanmay, most African-American people today prefer to be called Black as opposed to African-American, especially anyone born after 1970. I grew up in the U.S., I have Black friends, I visit Black websites, I watch Black movies and television programs, and I can say this with certainty. Some immigrants from Africa will even face discrimination from Black American classmates, who say “Go back to Africa, you’re not Black.” Most Black Americans today do not closely identify with Africa, so the term African-American feels awkward to them. For examples of Black people referring to themselves as Black, hmm, just do a google search of “Do African-Americans prefer being called Black?,” “Why do White people call us African-American?,” or look up “Black History Month,” “Black Entertainment Television,” “My President is Black” (a song by Black hip hop artists celebrating Obama), etc. There are even some Black people who feel the term African American is racist. Nowadays, the safest and most acceptable way to refer to Black people in America is as “Black.”

  135. foobar Says:

    My Caucasian American friends disagree.

    j/k

  136. jxie Says:

    One step even further. A black colleague of mine who is the sensitive type. He calls himself “black” among people he knows well. In front of strangers who are of different ethnic backgrounds, he calls himself “African American”, which seems to be as a way to avoid potential awkwardness. Come on, even “black” is a derogatory term, which it is not, you are entitled to call yourself that…

  137. Henry Says:

    I’ll withhold the inevitable Big Lebowski quote . . .

    But anyway, Tanmay, I think your analogy about the people with hoop nose-rings illustrates your point well, that sometimes what seems “racist” is more like shock at seeing something totally new and different.

    That being said, I still think that many Chinese, like many White people and even some Black people, have ingrained prejudices towards certain races, particularly towards Black people. Many Chinese who I have talked to seem to take for granted that different races are genetically predisposed towards certain personality characteristics. Furthermore, I have noticed that there are far more racist comments on Chinese BBSs about Black male/Chinese female couples than there are about White male/Chinese female couples. Of course, these racist comments aren’t representative of the entire Chinese population, but then again, I am half Chinese and I have a lot of Chinese American friends and I know of very few Chinese American parents who would easily accept their child marrying a Black person. I can understand that the images they have of Black people are from the media and are generally negative, but that doesn’t change the fact that there’s a clear prejudice there, even among people who have been living in the U.S. for a long time and should be rather used to seeing Black people.

    There is also the clear preference for light skin in Asia. I understand that there’s a class aspect to this, but where do Black people fit into this? Will Black people always be considered to be worse-looking simply because they have dark skin? And if so, how does this affect how Asians see Black people on the whole?

    But I don’t want to just bash Chinese people for racism, because I recognize that most Black people will never visit China, so perhaps whatever Chinese people think about Black people doesn’t have the same effect as what White people think about Black people. And recent studies have shown that Black people face severe discrimination in employment in the US, even controlling for non-racial factors such as experience and interview skills.

    But to take the other side once again, from what I’ve read, including respected academic work, Uyghurs and Tibetans, even those who are fluent in Mandarin, face job-discrimination in the private sector, which is increasingly more important than civil service jobs in China (where they might benefit from affirmative action). I’ve also heard people in Sichuan talk in very racist ways about Tibetans, saying “Look at how dirty they are. Why can’t they just stay in Tibet?” and I’ve heard some Chinese say that Uyghur people are all thieves. I know these examples don’t represent all Chinese, but does racial prejudice (which fits into most definitions of racism) exist in China? Of course it does, just as it exists virtually everywhere else. We’d do best to accept this problem and find ways to remedy it.

  138. No99 Says:

    Ask you all honestly, how bad can racism get in China or Hong Kong?
    Beyond un-P.C. comments and insults, like legal issues or major fights. I read a lot of news, but of course its better getting info from people on the ground.

    I was watching this Youtube clip today of a Chinese man in Hong Kong getting into a scuffle with a white person. I have no idea what’s the scuffle is about, but it did appear that the Chinese man was drunk. It could have been just a simple fight but people make it a race issue. The white man overpowered the Chinese guy but it died down quickly with some intervention. Then of course, all these comments come about like ashamed to be Chinese or this is what Chinese get for treating foreigners ,etc. It’s really hard to grasp the comments in my mind, because it can sound normal vent of steam or really disturbing depending on which mental framework to look at, like as the average Hong Konger, average foreigner or average person who just identifies being Chinese.

    Sometimes, I have to remind myself again that issues between minorities and the majority exists in all levels, no matter where they are. I grew up as a minority too with some of those issues, though not as bad as some places. That’s kind of why I’m not extremely moved by notions of racism or arrogance by Chinese. Even though it is wrong, these things exists everywhere and its not extremely exceptional, to the point of saying all Chinese or all Westerners are so and so. All groups treat their own people bad as well, not just Chinese. So, this feeling of us vs them, gets blurred even more. One side getting most of the blame or duty to fix their problems doesn’t work for me anymore, because often it isn’t always the case. There’s so many different problems regarding prejudices that I’m really sorry to say this but racial/ethnic conflicts within China isn’t that much of a concern for the average person in the world. Like they can’t be moved when something similar is within their homes. It’s really a lot harder than it looks trying to win sympathy from others on the international stage. There isn’t going to be any simple answers or short term solutions to bigotry.

    I think a greater question to ask is not just for foreigners, but what about those people of non-Chinese heritage born there, whether they be black, white, brown or multi-ethnic?
    I remember the Luo Jing Story but the more I read into it, she did have close friends and people who are there for her. Race is kind of a side issue for her, or at least that’s what I’ve been able to read about. Her story isn’t that unusual, but I guess in foreign media its more sensational since a lot of people can’t think of Chinese as anyone having non-East Asian features. Don’t worry, a lot of Chinese nationals have that same issue. I know some overseas ethnic Chinese who have Latin heritage. Even though their Asian features ,surnames and command of the language/dialects are kind of obvious, some of the Chinese nationals that met them didn’t know and seem perplexed after knowing.

    Sigh, it’s kind of confusing for me as well. Inside of China, people are in their own world, everyone is out for him/herself…which is normal for any country. Outside of China, both Chinese nationals and ethnic Chinese maintain their identity and connections to various degrees, the closer to the continent, the better. Outside of Asia in general, Chinese people are like any other diaspora group facing issues, some unique to them.

  139. Hker Says:

    # 137
    # 138

    Very very well said Henry and No.99

    For Hong Kong geezers like me and the generations before me, we just knew never to provoke the Triads, the ICAC, the Whites and those who are at the upper achelons of Her Majesty’s Government because they could so easily make life very unpleasant for the commoners. One either kept their enemies closer or maintained the very well designed wide social gap.

    Has anyone watched a lovely movie about Old HK: Echoes of the Rainbow 歲月神偷 (2010) ?

    In any case, as No.99 put it so well, the degree of any of our inter-racial feelings here in the East certainly significantly pales in comparison with these PC idiocy as Comedy Central as always are so brilliant in presenting throough their daily Show program with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert – of the political double-speak, the outdated Race card charges, gay union feuds, and the much ado about nothing sentiments against Islam – even after the Bush-Blair’s lies has killed over 1,000,000 muslims … That’s over a million !

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/thu-august-5-2010-akbar-ahmed

  140. No99 Says:

    Hi HKer,

    It’s just something on my mind I wanted to express. I have a very hard time believing all these articles and comments saying China or Asia is the most racist, bigoted place in the whole world. Of course it exists, but is it truly more than what’s out there?

    All these terms that get thrown out too, like nazi, apartheid, genocide (cultural and physical meaning), segregation, etc. Is it really exceptionally more “evil” than what’s out there? It’s kind of an insult for those who actually went through those atrocities for those terms to be thrown around like that. For the record, I”m not justifying any of the bad being committed, just saying if it’s truly more wicked than the evil out there?

    Sometimes, it does take people outside those societies to speak out against these issues, but then the real lasting substantial change will always be determined by those within. Talking about them from a distance seems kind of cold.

  141. HKer Says:

    No. 99

    “I have a very hard time believing all these articles and comments saying China or Asia is the most racist, bigoted place in the whole world.”

    I know what you mean. Well, you know the saying, It takes one to know one. And it’s always the “guilty” ones who make the greatest fuss . Here, take a look this precious very rare video of Old Hong Kong in 1937:

    Entitled, “Hub Of The Orient in 1937” It’s a film remade in Technicolor….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=RJ1b-2YHFbo

    Notice or Ignore the very sexist commentary. From historical perspective, the commentary is a whitewash and sheer British propaganda suggesting that the Brits came and got rid of pirates inhabiting HK, but most insulting remark is that the Brits took HK as a payment for TRADE debt from CHINA without mentioning OPIUM TRADE which resulted in the infamous Opium War!

    To quote my American friend:

    “WOW!! DAMN sexist and racist…but so very, very cool!

    BUT…so damn sexist and racist!

    ‘Occidental’ my ass…”

    ————————————————–

    Actually, that’s nothing compared to the diatribe in this video. I can’t believe what this Brit is saying:

    (2) “Has America Gone Insane?”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=vjS0Novt3X4

    Finally, this here is a much better albeit superficial look at HK:

    (3) The greatest cities in the world.

    http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTgwMjc4OTUy.html

  142. Raj Says:

    jixie (136)

    Nigger is not a word we should use to describe “black” people. However, they do sometimes use it to refer to each other. Some people of different ethnic groups can use the term if they’re very close to that person. It’s not surprising that people who are the target of certain terms when we’re talking about race seek to decide how they’re used.

    Henry (137)

    Interesting post. I agree with much of what you say.

Trackbacks

  1. Chinese Racism: Yes, It Exists, But Why Won’t They Admit It? | CN Reviews
  2. Heads-up to foreigners: “racism in China” is a cross-cultural conversation landmine | China Hope Live

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