Once more unto the breach ...

| | Comments (4) | TrackBacks (0)
racismRegular reviews resume tomorrow as i'm 99% over my recent bout with tonsillitis. But first I'm going to throw in another 'other' post on the Chinese blogosphere. Considering this is 99% a music blog, let's not have any more laughable claims that I post these to draw attention to my blog. If anything I'm alienating readers.

There's a debate going down over the picture that is displayed here. The debate was kicked off by a blogger pointing out the racism in this China net meme.

Original post:

Follow up by the same blogger:

C. Custer pointed out that this blatantly racist picture was on some major and respected China blogs without them passing comment on the racism. He then framed it as a discussion about racial awareness in China which touched the nerve, so to speak.

I would like to just go back to basics without making it China specific. The following applies to everyone.

The Africa line stops at the gorilla. The American one shows a dark monkey in clothes. This picture is disgusting in it's outright racism which goes beyond words and jokes and draws on the weight of our fucked up history. But what does it mean if anyone reposts it without framing it as racist? 

Yes, if you don't notice that racism or don't think it's a big deal then you basically agree with the sentiment, you don't see anything wrong with it. 

I think Custer made a mistake in framing it as 'about China' as these issues are global but at the same time was brave and exposed, for me, the fact that a lot of this stuff just gets explained away or ignored here by people who know better under the excuse of realpotik or being apolitical. Read the comments there.

This is most clearly shown by the initial replies by famed and oft quoted blogger Hecaitou, "but, black people do look like monkeys," whose various responses have shown him to be just plain racist. Non-racists with professional and personal relationships with Hecaitou need to be challenging him on this or at the very least registering their own feelings with him. Just like we all should to each other generally on clear cut cases like this meme.

And, no, it doesn't ingratiate you to anyone to refer to yourself as 'Laowai' either. Snap!

0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Once more unto the breach ....

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.kungfuology.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/285


I'm curious what sort of commentary this post will attract. Certainly the original triggered a lot of discussion, not all of it productive.

The "oversensitive" accusation is common, and frustrating. I do agree to an extent that one can be too PC and cautious, but this certainly is not a case of that. It's a case of people not having the background or understanding to recognize why an image or behavior et al is offensive and wrong, and waxing defensive when it is pointed out to them. And then there's the usual "I'm not racist, YOU'RE racist for pointing it out" silliness.

I believe that most, maybe 80%, of racism in China is innocent rather than malicious. Not unlike my grandmother, who has had little interaction with people outside of her race/class/religion, and frequently says things that are very inappropriate but without any venom of intent. However in China it seems like the innocent ignorance is increasingly edged out by the semi-informed hostility: stereotypes and attitudes based on some very basic interaction with the "other".

Like the term "laowai" - it has gone from a neutral descriptive to something condescending and mocking (in some usages).

And let's not forget how intense intra-Chinese racism is, like the equivalent of blackface at the "Xizang Culture Festival" show last night, or even the intra-Han provincial prejudices.

http://ascph.freehostia.de/jede.html visiting nurse association of monroe county

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Andy Best published on March 27, 2009 12:57 PM.

Midi rumours: if you can't beat 'em ... was the previous entry in this blog.

Rock never dies @ Yuyintang is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.