Beyond the pale: China’s cheerful racists

Ideas about racial hierarchies are not outdated ­anathema here but unquestioned belief

Setting off to spend a year teaching English in Zhejiang province in south-eastern China, I expected plenty of surprises. But what struck me most was something they tend not to tell you about in the guidebooks: the racism.

It started when I went around the classroom, asking pupils which city they were from. When I got to a slightly darker-skinned boy, his classmates thought it was hilarious to shout ‘Africa!’ It’s a theme. A girl with a similar complexion was taunted with monkey sounds; her peers refused to sit next to her, saying she smelt bad. I apparently erred when, teaching the word for wife, I showed my students a picture of Michelle Obama. The image of the then First Lady was greeted with exaggerated sounds of repulsion: ‘So ugly!’ they said. ‘So black!’

  • ontario john

    Trudeau’s favorite country. Well, that and Cuba.

  • Drunk by Noon ✓

    From the mouths of babes…
    In-group selection is a survival instinct and it’s biologically hardwired. All the non-genetically non-racists were killed off 40,000-years ago, and ironically by people who had a different skin color than them.

    • Bless his heart

      Many whites are not racists. They have survived so far, but are marked for extinction by others. It will happen unless they wake up and respond to the racist genocidaly employed against them.

  • simus1

    But xenophobia, racism, religion, tribalism, class division, and extended family connections are how Chicoms and almost all the non euro world keep score.

    People from “socially advanced cultures” like ours, leaving out our hopeless commie dullards, are not aware of this ?

  • Hard Little Machine

    “It aint’ braggin if it’s true” – – – Muhamed Ali

  • pettifog

    on my visits to China, I’m also struck by the virulent anti-Japanese propaganda…it’s everywhere, from the tv, bars, plus at least one statue I saw depicting buck-toothed Japanese soldiers bayonetting civilians. But, only white people can be racists.

    • laja kurc

      Anyone who knows the history of the kinds of atrocities that the Japanese committed against the Chinese people, before and during WWII understands why they are so despised. It has nothing to do with their race, it’s all about their barbaric behaviour.

      • pettifog

        I don’t agree that it’s not racist Your theory doesn’t explain things like buck tooth portrayals of Japanese nor other stereotypes portrayed. Also, the Chinese Communists were hardly benevolent and magnanimous to the Chinese Nationalists, and I would argue were just as ruthless and brutal as the Japanese. Finally, I’ve never seen any such anti-Japanese racism in Hong Kong, where the Japanese were nearly as cruel, nor in Taiwan.

  • Drunk by Noon ✓

    I’m beginning to suspect that “The Spectator” is now a side project of Salon.

  • The Deplorable Rosenmops

    The Air China Magazine is giving some sound advice.

  • vwVwwVwv

    No, Raceism in a Socialist country, noooooo

  • Alain

    That is sound advice and nothing to do with racism. When it comes to the so-called racism it is yet another big lie used as a weapon against the West, and the West only. It is normal for any people to prefer the company of their own kind which again exists throughout the world without being attacked except when it pertains to white people.

  • felis gracilis

    I’ll bet the Chinese so-called “racists” don’t get hounded by Chinese SJW’s and the media. Or fascist “human rights” commissions.

    • Alain

      You are right, because China is not a Western country and the Chinese are not white which means even Western SJWs won’t bother.

  • deplorabledave