oyceter: (racism)
Oyceter ([personal profile] oyceter) wrote2008-08-04 08:42 pm

IBARW 3: International racism

[livejournal.com profile] keilexandra's post reminded me of a rant I've had brewing. (On a side note, this post isn't meant to argue with hers, as I completely agree with her post. Like [livejournal.com profile] yeloson says, "Where you stand with intersectionality is really about what you're looking for—are you looking for social justice for all of us? Or are you just looking for someone to pull their foot off your neck, without worrying about whose necks you may be standing on yourself?")

I was in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Shanghai for the past two months this summer, and I cannot even count the number of times I heard anti-black comments, from "Oh, that place is so unsafe, so many black people!" to "OMG she's dating a black person and it will RUIN HER LIFE!" Before ranting about how racist Chinese society is (and oh, it is) and having people once more use that as an example of how bad Chinese people are, I would like to note: where do people think this prejudice is coming from?

Obviously, there are not cities and cities in China and Taiwan filled with black people for the media to make histrionic reports about. Most TV shows in Taiwan don't have sassy black sidekicks or Magical Negroes. But turn on the TV, and what do you see but bad HBO action flicks with the black guy getting killed, or all-white TV shows from the US (and sometimes the UK, but mostly the US), or news on the New Yorker cover of Obama. I'm also guessing that when the West began to trade with China, the ideas of the skience of race were probably brought over as well, complete with the placement of Asians above black people and Native Americans in the hierarchy (but all below white people, of course).

Six hundred years of white colonialism leaves its mark, even on areas that have suffered relatively little when compared to others.

... which is not to excuse anti-black sentiment, because choosing to side with the oppressors, no matter what the incentives? Still made of lose.

[identity profile] dichroic.livejournal.com 2008-08-05 07:29 am (UTC)(link)
Interesting. I haven't heard that yet here in Taiwan, but it may only be that it hasn't come up yet. (I don't speak Chinese much yet, so you may well have more general conversations in a short visit than I do living here.) Most of my in-depth discussions are with colleagues, so the most common topics are 1) work 2) my and their own personal experiences. Also, most of my colleagues have gone to school or worked in Europe or the US or both. I do see young Taiwanese picking up styles that are not only hiphop but specifically black, like crimped hair to make it look more like African texture, but then again the influence of styles and music that came from African-Americans in the US has never been any guarantor of lack of prejudice there.

I'll have to push the topic some and see what comes up.
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[identity profile] delux-vivens.livejournal.com 2008-08-05 08:26 pm (UTC)(link)
My post is going to involve a formal rquest for people who want to divorce things like our singing from us to just stop trying to listen to our music.