Feb 11

While the Chinese government prefers development over human rights (like freedom of religion and speech), the Indian government, while guaranteeing these rights, neglects development.

Both India and China face the problems of separatism. Indian Naxalite movements and the recent riots and uprisings in Xinjiang and Tibet further highlights the need for respective governments to tackle the issue seriously.
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Oct 21

Lou Jing: Racism Gone Wild?

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, education, General, media, music, News, Opinion, video | Tags:, , , ,
391 Comments » newest 2013-07-05 18:34:48

Lou Lou Jing (娄婧) entered a competition reality show called “Let’s Go! Oriental Angels” (加油!东方天使) on Dragon TV. Though born and raised in Shanghai and a Chinese citizen all her life, her story is quite complicated. Her mother was married to a Chinese man but had an affair with an African American man and gave birth to Lou Jing. The African American man went back to the States before Lou Jing was born, the Chinese husband divorced his wife when he discovered she had an affair, so Lou Jing was raised by a single mother. She is considered a talented singer, speaks fluent Mandarin and Shanghainese and is Chinese in every way except for her looks and skin color.

However, upon entering this competition, she was shocked to find rude racial epithets hurled against her on the Chinese blogosphere. Was she really Chinese? Quite a few people felt she was not. They condemned her for her skin color and her mother’s infidelity. Many comments were blatantly racist.

I first became aware of this story when James Fallows mentioned it in his Atlantic blog. He wrote, “To be clear about the context: this is not a “blame China” episode but rather one of many illustrations of the differences in day by day social realities and perceived versus ignored sources of tension in particular societies. That’s all to say about it for now.” I want to explore those tensions further.

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Apr 15

I’m on an extended visit back to my hometown, Vancouver, a Canadian city full of Chinese. Chinese is the second-most commonly used language after English. My wife and I were running around a Chinese mall for fun to practice Mandarin and buy some Chinese DVDs when we overheard Chinese people talking about us in Mandarin saying, “Those foreigners are speaking Chinese!” I thought it was funny that even in Canada, Chinese people would call white people “foreigner” (in this case: “外国人”).
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Apr 14

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?
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Jan 20

By BI Yantao, China

An international conference on Struggle Against Sexism and Racism is to be held in London January 31 to February 8, 2009. More than 150 participants from 21 countries will attend it.

The 10-day conference consists of 5 five seminars to discuss respectively:

1. Grassroots Struggle Against Sexism and Racism: an International Comparison;
2. Our Debt to Haitians – the First to Abolish Slavery;
3. Rape and Prostitution – A Question of Consent;
4. Invest In Caring, Not Killing: Valuing the Work of Caring for People and the Planet;
5. Rediscovering Tanzania’s Ujamaa –Tribute to the Great Ntimbanjayo Millinga and the Ruvuma Development Association.

This conference is organized by Global Women Strike and International Women Count Network, two grassroots organizations which are headquartered in London.

The organizers say, Mothers who produce all the workers of the world are not considered contributors to the economy and must fight for every penny to feed families. Some are fighting to survive floods, droughts or other climate catastrophes. Others are separated from their children. Domestic workers who produce time for others are marginalized and exploited. Rural workers who grow the food we eat are the most neglected.

Invited by International Women Count Network, Miss Wang Shumei, a rural woman from mainland China, will attend this international gathering. She will introduce the effect of China’s reform and opening-up on its political, economic and social ecology in the countryside. Wang Shu Mei will exchange experiences with grassroots women from other countries. On her return, she will be reporting back on these common concerns.

It is noticeable that this international event will be staged at the Venezuelan Embassy in London.

Oct 14

It’s common knowledge that when it comes to racial remarks, Chinese people (and perhaps Asians in general) are not the most politically correct people in the world.  We’ve had extended discussions about “racism” in China (see, e.g., Chocolate City post by Buxi).  Recently, I came across an interesting article in Times Magazine (in relation to the U.S. Presidential politics) regarding racism in Asia.  Unfortunately, I believe the author falls into many pitfalls that many Westerners make when it comes to Asian racism. Continue reading »

Sep 09

Here’s a bit from a famous poem by a famous colonial-era British author. I’ll put the original and then an updated version, since his English is old and a little hard to understand. It’s from “The Ballad of East and West,” by Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936). Continue reading »

Aug 20

This belongs to the “random musing” category. What’s your take?

In some quarters, the Beijing Olympics were compared to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. During the debates of that IMHO ill-conceived moniker “Genocide Olympics”, Jesse Owens’ name was often used. A dominant narrative was that in 1936 the more progressive United States, sent in some black athletes such as Jesse Owens to the Nazi Germany. The fantastic performance of Jesse Owens gave a black eye to Hitler.

Was it the history as it really happened? Hardly. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Owens

Owens recounted:

“When I passed the Chancellor [Hitler] he arose, waved his hand at me, and I waved back at him. I think the writers showed bad taste in criticizing the man of the hour in Germany.”

He also stated: “Hitler didn’t snub me — it was FDR who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send me a telegram.” Jesse Owens was never invited to the White House nor bestowed any honors by Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) or Harry S. Truman during their terms. In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower acknowledged Owens’ accomplishments, naming him an “Ambassador of Sports.”

Owens was cheered enthusiastically by 110,000 people in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium and later ordinary Germans sought his autograph when they saw him in the streets. Owens was allowed to travel with and stay in the same hotels as whites, an irony at the time given that blacks in the United States were denied equal rights. After a New York ticker-tape parade in his honor, Owens had to ride the freight elevator to attend his own reception at the Waldorf-Astoria.

Aug 12

minipost-(Letter) Are you offended by this picture?

Written by: guest | Filed under:-mini-posts, culture | Tags:,
40 Comments » newest 2008-08-18 11:10:49

It’s apparently an advertisement in Spain’s best-selling newspaper. The Spanish Olympic basketball players, donned Li-Ning Spanish uniforms, are seen in this ad making slit-eyes gesture. Continue reading »

Jul 18

Tom Miller of the South China Morning Post has generated somewhat doubtful outrages with an article alleging Beijing ordered bars not to serve blacks. For now, however, Beijing Boyce seems to have seriously deflated the credibility of Tom Miller’s work. (H/T Danwei) Continue reading »