Home > Analysis, Opinion, Philosophy, politics > Case Study on Bigotry: Is Dan Harris of the China Law Blog a Bigot? A Response to Dan Harris’s Post “Chinese Students In America. It’s Bad Out There”

Case Study on Bigotry: Is Dan Harris of the China Law Blog a Bigot? A Response to Dan Harris’s Post “Chinese Students In America. It’s Bad Out There”

After reading DeWang’s recent post on Dan Harris’ post titled “Chinese Students In America. It’s Bad Out There”, I couldn’t but help to saunter over to China LawBlog to have a look – and boy, was I in for a shock! Here is what appears to be an intelligent person – a practicing lawyer (ok, I may biased, maybe most lawyers aren’t that intelligent, after all) – spouting what looks to me to be hate epithets towards a specific group of people.

Dan started out the post by quoting from a MSNBC story on the skyrocketing number of Chinese students applying to study in American schools. But then without analyzing any aspect of the story, he turned around to say – hey, that got me thinking: I’ve heard many bad things about students from China, such as:

  • “They don’t come here to learn. They just come here for the grades.” I have heard this one at least a half dozen times.
  • “I am convinced that if our teacher asked the class what 2+2 equals, and nobody spoke up who is not from China, not a single student from China would answer.” I have heard some form of this one at least a dozen times.
  • “They are killing class discussion. They never contribute.” One student told me of how all the students not from China agreed not to speak one day to see what would happen. There was no class discussion and the teacher asked them not to do it again.
  • “I cannot even stand having to listen to them give presentations. Their English is terrible and they don’t even try. Somebody else must have taken the tests for them.”
  • “The school is going to regret having admitted them. They will never donate money to the school as alumni. It will be like they were never here at all.”
  • “You will never see any of them at any school function. Never ever ever. Unless it can help them with a grade.” I am constantly hearing this one.
  • “They never make any effort to talk with anyone other than those who are also from China.”
  • “They cheat all the time. It is pretty unbelievable how often I have seen them cheating. I am always complaining to my professors about this, but they usually just act like they are too important to deign to deal with something like this. Just come watch a test being adminstered and it will be obvious. They are allowed to get away with it because they pay the foreign tuition rate. It isn’t fair.” I hear this one constantly as well and, needless to say, it is the one that causes the most anger.
  • “My friend with a 3.8 GPA and 650 SATs didn’t get in and had to go to ______. I know he/she would have contributed far more to the school than these students from China.”
  • “I’ve heard that most of them cheated to get in.”
  • “The school claims they contribute to diversity. That’s a complete lie. How can someone who never says anything contribute to anything? Everyone knows they are here only because they pay the foreign tuition rate.
  • “I tried to speak with some of them, but they clearly had no interest.”
  • “This is a great way to ruin relations between China and us.”
  • “Why do they even bother? They come here to study, but since they never interact with anyone who is not from China, I don’t even see why they come.”

What amazes me is the level comfort at which Dan seems to in launching broad-stroke generalized attacks at a large of people – a myriad of “bad” things – ALL BAD – that applies generally to all Chinese students  studying in the U.S. – some 157,000 students according to the Washington Post.  But what really ticks me off is the guiltless, arrogant way by which Dan then goes about justifying those attacks.  No – I Dan Harris did not have any firsthand evidence of any of these damning accusations, but I have certainly “heard” about them or “heard” from people who have “heard” about them. I don’t think these are just rumors: I hear these things “often” and “constantly” – maybe even “half a dozen times”! Importantly, the people I hear these things from are not bigoted “red-necks,” but people who are “sophisticated, intelligent, and well-traveled.”

I wonder what people would think if I were to write a racist post like this:

I read today a report on how more and more African Americans are enrolling in college. Oh yes – that got me thinking (unrelated really, but so what), I’ve heard many bad things about African Americans attending college. I warn you: it’s bad out there. For example, many students and their parents believe the following:

  • “A large majority of black students cheat to get in to my school. I mean once they get on campus, they get private tutors, and many still fail! I don’t see how any of these people can get in without cheating.” I’ve heard this at least half a dozen times.
  • “Most black students don’t care about learning. They only want to get the grades needed for athletic or some other affirmative action scholarships. They do the minimum in class to get the grades they need.”
  • “I have heard that black students cheat all the time at school. I am not talking about a few sporadic cases, but everyone I know say it. It’s really bad out there.” I also have heard this many times.
  • “Black students are different from us. They don’t mingle with us.  What the f__k? Why should we make space for you if you don’t make any effort. What’s the point if you are going to enforce segregation yourself?”
  • “Black students kill class discussions. They don’t seem as inquisitive as us about Shakespeare, European history, and Western civilization. They only care about studying about race and slavery. I don’t see why they should take up space that my friend – who was recently rejected – could have put to better use.”
  • ” I don’t understand why my school keep admitting black students. Most black students won’t be that successful. They will never donate money back to the school once they graduate. It’s all a waste of resources to teach them anything.”

I have heard the above often, consistently and constantly from many people. Everyone seems to have heard something or know people who have heard something. These things about black students are all consistent. Before you accuse my sources of being racist, note that the people I hear from are not “red-necks” by any means. They are sophisticated, intelligent, and well-traveled.

Any thoughts people on what can be done to fix the problem –  to bridge the disconnect between white and black?

Do people see the problem with my hypothetical rant above?

Dan might want to think he can insulate himself from being called a racist by couching his remarks in third-party narrative. But when you offer no defense on what are clearly over generalization – generalization that all lean one way – you reveal your true colors. That color further shines through when you try to augment, justify or otherwise  rationalize these generalizations by noting how consistent they are and how rational the holders of these prejudice are.

Now I have never been one for political correctness. Humans are wired up to live by stereotypes. Thus I had written in a comment some time ago:

[W]e make generalizations all the time. People form first impressions based on people’s height, the firmness of their handshakes, how they walk, whether people slouch or not, the style (or quantity, as the case may be) of their hair, smell of cosmetic, sense of humor, how much money they make, etc., etc.

A friend once noted that since I was from Taiwan, a tropical island, I must have really enjoyed the sweltering 100 degree heat we had been getting. I explained to my friend that was an incorrect misconception, that many people I know from Taiwan hated heat. He was at first surprised but readily accepted that information and corrected his misconception.

But what Dan exhibited appears to be a different beast altogether. It’s not just some sort of random insensitive rant touching upon race (see UCLA girl rant). It’s what I called political racism in this earlier post.

Whenever people selectively choose – even make up – what they want to see, promote what are clearly gross generalizations to make one specific group of people look bad, and advocate stereotypes that are politically motivated or that has the effect of disenfranchising whole groups of people – I have a problem.  That is pure political hate speech of which racism is but a type.

Dan may think intelligence is a shield against being accused of making political hate speech, but history clearly refutes that to be the case. Throughout history, the intelligentsia have been mired with some of the worst types of racist bigotry. For example, the  U.S. Constitution – with its emphasis on the individual – for all intents and purposes outlawed slavery from the very beginning, yet with many founders supporting and owning slaves, slavery managed to persist for almost a century further.  Hitler’s most notorious and racist ideologies involving Aryan superiority grew not out of the mind of a madman, but out of the works of Mainstream German intellectuals.

But Allen – what if Dan’s student and parent informants are actually right? What if Chinese students are uniquely bad? There is a saying that where there is smoke, there is probably fire. Just because some evils happen fall upon a specific nationality – along nationality lines – should not make render such evils ok and out-of-bounds as topics of discussion, should it? Besides, are you Allen so confident – without conducting scientific and thorough surveys yourself – that Chinese students are saints beyond scrutiny?

Obviously not. Students are students. Some will cheat. The problem with Dan’s approach is that by framing the issues in terms of race and nationality, the discussion is biased to start out with. If you view the world with prejudice, you obtain facts that suit your prejudice.

According to recent statics, some 75-98% of all students in American colleges cheat. I am sure Chinese students studying in America also cheat. But if you focus only on Chinese students, you’d think it’s only a Chinese issue. You could easily conclude (falsely) that cheating is a uniquely Chinese problem – or that Chinese students are disproportionately cheating.

As to the stereotype that Chinese students do not participate in class as much as typical American students – to Dan’s credit, he did add a disclaimer later at the bottom of his post that in his experience, Chinese students are just as proactive in class. But Dan still mouth-offed in broad strokes this stereotype and backed it up by his trademarked qualification that he has heard this often and from smart, well-traveled people.

My perspective is that Chinese students probably do not express themselves as elegantly or forcefully as American students. Chinese students are after all foreign students. In addition to language barriers (learning sufficient English to pass the TOFEL or GRE is one thing; mastering English to articulate controversial, complex ideas on the spur of the comment is quite another), Chinese students also have to overcome cultural, social, and perhaps ideological barriers as well.

That does not mean that the burdens of furthering class discussions lie entirely with Chinese students however. The American classroom can also be a very politically divisive and intensely ideological place. An article titled “Conservatives say it’s hard to speak up in class*Life Among Liberals*,” noted that “[m]any students feel that conservative students’ ideas are accorded little respect in academic discussions….” If American students of different political persuasions can feel that type of pressure in voicing their perspectives in class, imagine how a Chinese student – with additional linguistic, cultural, social and ideological barriers – might feel!

American universities must work to make classrooms a more conducive place for discussion. In the mean time, if any reader is truly interested in what Chinese students think, invite them to coffee or tea sometimes. If you are patient and open-minded, I think you will find your efforts amply awarded.

As for the stereotype that Chinese students don’t mingle too much with non-Chinese students, some context is also in order. While diversity in institutions of higher learning is a noble pursuit, getting people of diverse grounds to truly come together is easier said than done in general, colleges and universities included.  A student in a recent study on the state of diversity across several college campuses summarizes the typical experience this way: “The campus is a diverse campus. There are all types of people, but they don’t mingle. Whatever type of person you are you associate with those type of people.”

The problem of students of diverse backgrounds not reaching out to each other  would thus appear to be a general problem, not a problem that is unique to Chinese students. True multiculturalism is hard. It is the responsibility of all to reach out to each other.

If you see a Chinese student (or any foreign student) that appears aloof, rather than just walk away and sulk, take that initiative to reach out yourself. These students have traveled long distances to study and learn and experience the world. They may be a little out of their comfort zone. You are on your home turf: do some reaching out yourself…  and help to break the ice….

Now to some political issues underlying Dan’s post. Underneath Dan’s complaints and hearsay is what I sense to be a political insecurity. China is rising. The West may be in decline. Chinese students are studying en mass in the West. They are fast learners, and many do plan to return to China after graduation (although many also plan to stay in the West). What should the West demand in return for educating China’s next generation?

I don’t think the Western universities should demand as a prerequisite to attending American colleges an ability or propensity to acquire “Western values.”  Western universities and colleges should not be made into some sort of Ayatollah U. or narcissistic institutions that worship Western culture. Americans go to school to learn to think, not to be expected to follow specific ideologies or schools of thoughts. Foreign students should not be treated differently. If the West is so confident of its “values,” it is sufficient for its Universities to train students to think freely and allow them to freely decide for themselves what path they wish to follow.

I also don’t think that universities should admit students based on their ability to contribute to the school’s endowment. It’s not that Chinese nationals don’t gift to their alma maters in America (see, e.g., Zhang Lei’s recent controversial gift to Yale). It’s just that the purpose of universities should be to educate and create next generation of leaders to make an impact.  Endowments should be a secondary result that flows from a school’s success, not the primary goal or metric by which schools should be judged.

Now back to the million dollar question: is Dan Harris a bigot or racist? I prefer not to make a judgement here, if only because those terms are so politically and emotionally charged. The point is not to put Dan Harris on trial, but to learn from his post. His writing certainly causes concerns. But I hope with many voicing their concerns, people will learn to spot bigotry, narrow-mindedness, and hate speech more readily.

Finally, to put a context to the phenomenon of Chinese seeking Western education abroad: I believe that the trend is important and will in the long-term promote better understanding between the peoples of China and the West. But we must not lose sight of the fact, however heated the discussions of the political, social and economic implications of this phenomenon may get, that each student that travels abroad to study brings with him or her an individual story. The typical Chinese student come from families with meager means. Each has surmounted many challenges and made untold sacrifices to be where they are; each carries individual hopes and dreams.

To fellow American students I suggest that you welcome each as individual colleagues to your school in the best tradition of openness and free thinking. Mutual appreciation and understanding will surely follow. I have that much faith in the liberal education system…

  1. Kai
    January 18th, 2012 at 00:17 | #1

    Allen, you’ve grossly misconstrued and misrepresented Dan’s post and Dan’s character.

    Dan is sharing comments he’s been hearing that he explicitly says is “troubling” to him. He’s sharing them for discussion. Contrary to what you assail by assertion, he’s not advocating those attitudes or stereotypes, but rather wants to discuss why those attitudes seem to be growing amongst Americans he doesn’t feel are the stereotypical rednecks that we might pre-emptively dismiss as simply racist.

    In other words, he’s suggesting that if people who we would normally think of being less prone to simple racism and are usually more open-minded are making these complaints about the overseas Chinese students they’re encountering in their schools, maybe there is a trend that is worth looking into and discussing.

    It’s no different from posting for discussion the possible issue of “Western media bias” if we’re hearing growing complaints and discontent with “Western news reports about China”.

    Replace “Western media bias” with “overseas Chinese student insularity” and replace “news reports about China” with “how overseas Chinese students seem to behave at American universities”.

    We can certainly accuse those students he’s quoting and paraphrasing as actually just being racist, but I really think you’re being overzealous in trying to project some sort of nefarious and intellectually dishonest plot onto Dan, as if he’s really trying to express his own racism but doing so under the guise of it being things he’s heard from others. Not only does his actual post not support this interpretation, he doesn’t have a history of such racist attitudes or underhanded methods of expression either. If Dan regularly posted anti-Chinese racist comments and thus had a reputation for it, then maybe we’d have cause for suspicion…but you’re pulling this out of thin air.

    It’s a travesty that the lengthy defenses and considerations you make for overseas Chinese students are marred and upstaged by your eagerness to paint Dan a bigot.

  2. LOLZ
    January 18th, 2012 at 00:19 | #2

    I still think Dan is just a messenger. However, posts like his give ammunition to bigots to stereotype and attack Chinese students. The situation reminds me of the book Bell Curve. For those who do not know, the book details Harvard academic research on IQ and used by racists to attack blacks. Of course, the book is actually a lot more scientific, but like those who support the book you can argue that what Dan (and some other authors on this topic) had done was merely to bring a long overdue discussion on the table. At the same time, what has been brought on the table is extremely one sided and prejudiced.

    I think political correctness is a waste of time, so I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to read about what some people REALLY think of Chinese students in the US. After all, there are plenty areas where Chinese students can improve in terms of the behavior. However, if the purpose of this whole exercise is to allow people to vent then why not extend the soapbox to Chinese students as well? Why not dedicate an entire article just to hear what the Chinese students have to say about their American peers’ accusations?

    BTW, the most bigoted articles I read on this subject are actually by Jiang Xueqin.

  3. Charles Liu
    January 18th, 2012 at 00:33 | #3

    Kai, I agree Dan very well could be simply relaying what he’s heard, but come on, any reasonable person would conclude the sentiments relayed are gross generalization and stereotypes, targeting a group of minorities, specifically students from China.

    Fore example, do you seriousely believe the allegation all the universities around US are faciliating all the Chinese students to cheat, collectively abandoning established adademic standards over the tuition paid?

    Why do you think he even feels the need to add some escape clause to exclude “good Chinese” from Hong Kong and Taiwan (wait, we’re suddenly Chinese again)? IMHO it’s a waste of his legal acumen, as these bigoted sentiments still escapegoat and tareget a minority.

    And he needs to make it clear what his position is. Given the “why bother” embedded in the URL I’m not sure what he meant by “troubling”. Is he taking the side of bigotry or inclusiveness? Many include myself have asked him to weight in but so far nothing. Let’s hope this creates some impetus.

    IMHO today’s racism is the overt kind of the past, but this harmless, semmingly rational, easily justfiable kind.

    BTW Kai, what is your opinion of the sentiments expressed, I’m not talking about Dan.

  4. Charles Liu
    January 18th, 2012 at 00:51 | #4

    @Allen, “Endowments should be a secondary result that flows from a school’s success, not the primary goal or metric by which schools should be judged.”

    More germaine to the discussion, not the metric by which student should be judged, international or otherwise.

  5. Kai
    January 18th, 2012 at 00:59 | #5

    @LOLZ

    Are you suggesting that Dan make a post dedicated to hearing what Chinese students have to say about their American peers’ accusations?

    Would we ask Allen to make a post dedicated to hearing what other people have to say about his accusations about this topic or any other topic?

    I think that’s a bit impractical.

    Look, I don’t think its hard for bigots to find anecdotes to support their racist attitudes. A characteristic of irrational attitudes like racism is that the conclusion and belief takes precedence over evidence and rationale. The latter serves to argue–not premise–the former.

    If we attack all posts about possibly racist comments we’ve heard from others as inherently providing ammunition to bigots and thus automatically fueling racism, we’d never be able to have a discussion about racism or anything that has to do with race or stereotypes. If we’re going to label anyone as a racist, we ought to have more evidence and rationale than them simply caring enough about and being troubled enough with anti-Chinese comments to open a discussion about them.

  6. Kai
    January 18th, 2012 at 01:24 | #6

    @Charles Liu

    I think it was abundantly obvious that Dan recognizes them as generalizations and stereotypes, or at the very least, there is no evidence that he doesn’t. The motivation for him posting was precisely that he’s hearing such generalizations and stereotypes more often, and from people he personally didn’t expect to hear such sentiments from. Surely Dan isn’t the only person in the world who has ever been surprised by another person holding a position or opinion they didn’t expect that person to have.

    I also think it is abundantly obvious that Dan accurately represented them as targeting a minority group of overseas mainland Chinese students. No one needs to “conclude” that. It’s spelled out.

    Whether I believe the allegations–paraphrased by Dan in his post opening such allegations to discussion–are irrelevant to why I think Allen’s post bashing Dan is uncalled for and unjustified. I don’t know what basis you have for asking if I “seriously” believe them or not. I didn’t express or indicate an opinion about those comments at all.

    What you characterize an “escape clause” is nothing more than a clarification of the sentiments held by those who are complaining. Those people apparently went out of their way to indicate that their sentiments are directed specifically at mainland Chinese overseas students, not those from “Hong Kong or Taiwan or Singapore or Malaysia or the Philipines or the United States”. Dan relays that. It’s like clarifying that your allegation of Western media bias is directed at the NYT and not the WSJ. This is not difficult to understand.

    I think he made his position quite clear: He finds the comments and complaints “troubling” and he wonders “what, if anything, needs to change”. There is such a position as “noticing something and wanting to discuss it”.

    If you’re demanding that he reiterate that he knows stereotypes and generalizations don’t apply absolutely, that not all mainland Chinese overseas students fit the complaints he’s heard, then you’re insulting his intelligence, and your own. That’s not a victory we should be seeking. You at least need some persuasive evidence of him arguing that such stereotypes apply absolutely. There isn’t any. He never says or suggests all mainland Chinese overseas students are like this or that stereotype, unlike many commenters on say chinaSMACK or China Hush.

    I’m not interested in discussing my opinion about those allegations and complaints. That’s not what Allen made the primary subject of his post (Is Dan a bigot or racist?) nor is it relevant to my disagreement with Allen’s post.

  7. raventhorn
    January 18th, 2012 at 06:13 | #7

    @Kai

    I am inclined to give Dan some benefit of doubt, and I have. And I also see that Dan understands and knows that these were generalizations and stereotypes that he relayed.

    But let me cut to his BS:

    He wrote, “I know we are going to get comments from people criticizing the students who made the above comments (and me for publishing them), but I think the more fruitful comments will address what can be done to help bridge this massive fissure. I would also love to see people address what this university-level tension portens for future China-US relations. I will note that I have heard Australia and the UK are dealing with the same sorts of issues. What, if anything, needs to change?

    Forgive my following bluntness to Dan, but that’s a LOAD of political correct bullshit, and almost ambivalent and neutral attitude in the face of His OBVIOUS knowledge that those were “stereotypes”.

    “Bridge this massive fissure”??! “What needs to change”??!!

    These were “stereotypes”, NOT some 2 way miscommunication/misunderstanding!!

    If someone on HH (such as Wayne), writes a bunch of stereotypes about White people, I tell them (and I have) that they are over the top, they are doing generalizations and stereotypes.

    I don’t say, “Oh, what can we do to bridge the Fissure with Wayne/etc.??”

    *There are another kind of Racist/Bigot, the kind that sees 1 directional racism and treat it like a misunderstanding.

    There is NO misunderstanding. Dan knows that these were generalizations and stereotypes, but he wants to treat it like it is caused by both sides. (And many of his supporters in his comment section echoed that logic).

    Dan can couch his article in all the disclaimers he wants, but he’s already contradicting himself.

    If these are “stereotypes” as he understands, then they are NOT “fissures” to be bridged. The Students are the ones who are racists who need to be condemned for their stereotypical comments.

    The Chinese students are the victims of the student’s comments. They should be apologized TO.

    The very fact that Dan seems to be confounded by “what should be done”, is in itself a question for his own moral character!

  8. pug_ster
    January 18th, 2012 at 06:51 | #8

    @Kai

    As I said in the original post, I thought that Dan posted this kind of substantiated, flamebait, rumor-mill, and racist garbage. Garbage backed up by rumors and not by facts. If Dan even bothered to post some facts backed up by the stuff he said, then maybe we would have some credibility.

    What if HH decided to allow someone like Wayne to post something about what he thinks about ‘Anglo Saxons’ and everyone of us decided oogle and agree on what he said? Of course, we are sharing comments on what we’ve been hearing that we explicitly believe that is “troubling” to us. Wouldn’t people like Dan and others would be offended about why we decided to allow him to post in the first place?

    There’s certain boundaries that we think that is not right to discuss about and this is one of them. Kai, you’re simply wrong about this one. Defending about what Dan said or what you think he is thinking is simply stretching it.

  9. Wayne
    January 18th, 2012 at 07:12 | #9

    “As for the stereotype that Chinese students don’t mingle too much with non-Chinese students, some context is also in order. While diversity in institutions of higher learning is a noble pursuit, getting people of diverse grounds to truly come together is easier said than done in general, colleges and universities included.”

    Yeah. Chinese getting blamed for what everyone else does anyway.

    Church services in the US on Sunday’s are overwhelmingly divided along racial lines.

    The armed forces —whites hang out with whites, blacks hang round with blacks.

    Same with almost every aspect of everyday life in the US, and around the world.

    People prefer the company of people who look like them, talk like them, see the world as they do, and are more or less of the same socio-economic status.

    Look at even the prisons. Blacks band together with blacks, whites with whites, mexicans with mexicans.

    Chinese in fact are quite good mixers. Go on to any campus in the Western world and you will see plenty of Chinese female dogs mixing it with the most useless, pieces of shit white males.

  10. Wayne
    January 18th, 2012 at 07:16 | #10

    “They don’t come here to learn. They just come here for the grades.” I have heard this one at least a half dozen times.

    Yeah. Obviously said by jealous dumb white students who get poor grades.

  11. Wayne
    January 18th, 2012 at 07:25 | #11

    If someone on HH (such as Wayne), writes a bunch of stereotypes about White people, I tell them (and I have) that they are over the top, they are doing generalizations and stereotypes.

    I write the truth.

    I believe in group differences exist and are real. So does everyone else here.

    If we did not believe in group differences then it would be a waste of time speaking of Chinese culture, or French culture etc.

    French differ from Italians who differ from Kenyans who differ from Chinese who differ from Americans, precisely because there are differences among them as groups.

    So yes. In the correct context there is nothing wrong at all when speaking in terms of generalities.

    But stereotypes are different. Stereotypes attempt to describe the characteristics of a group of people. But they are inaccurate descriptions.

    So if one said Chinese people use chopsticks, that would be a fact (even though a rare few do not).

    But if one said Chinese people are cruel to animals (a common stereotype), then that is a stereotype and it is simply untrue – at least compared to other peoples.

    Also if a group of people are condemned for something that other groups do anyway, then that is also racist stereotyping. Saying that Chinese people tend to stick to themselves (true), is racist because everyone else does the same fucking thing anyway.

  12. raventhorn
    January 18th, 2012 at 07:55 | #12

    @Wayne

    “I write the truth.

    I believe in group differences exist and are real. So does everyone else here.”

    You are entitled to your opinion, and others are entitled to call you out on what they would consider as “stereotypes”.

    And you can rebutt their opinions.

    “But stereotypes are different. Stereotypes attempt to describe the characteristics of a group of people. But they are inaccurate descriptions.”

    That’s another generalization. When you attempt to pigeon-hole an entire GROUP of people into a narrow set of “characteristics”, you are inherently going to be inaccurate. People don’t fit into neatly compacted generalized characteristics.

  13. raffiaflower
    January 18th, 2012 at 11:13 | #13

    Is this the same Dan Harris who once began a mildly-critical post about Hillary Clinton, by first declaring his red/white/blue credentials?

    Obviously he has to play to the feelings of his constituency, lol! Seriously I don’t believe Mr Harris is a fully paid-up bigot. But in this latest post, he is at least guilty of being patronizing (Merriam definition: to treat with an apparent kindness that betrays a feeling of superiority). A superiority that is usually linked to racism (my words).

    Gee whiz, this cheating by mainland Chinese is a massive problem, people, what are we gonna do about it to help the situation, ie, them? *Wrings hands,chews pencil*. Nothing much, despite the cascades of opinion, much quite vitriolic, that has poured through the thread at his blog. Charles Liu is right to ask Dan Harris to weigh with his POV, and suggest solutions to the unique `problems’ – which should be the point?
    Otherwise, it is another China-bashing thread, along with currency manipulation, Tibet, etc.

    At a former workplace, we had an American intern who spent a few months without looking or interacting with anyone. (What the heck was he doing in a 3rd World country?) He’d come in a few hours daily, went off, and one day disappeared completely. His only interest was getting his grades or maybe he’d been warned about slumming with the natives, especially when they spoke/wrote ABC like him well. Intern later went on to join the NYT, that raging example of open-minded and unbiased journalism, so go figure.

    The lack of social interaction outside the group isn’t uniquely a mainland problem. Neither is cheating.

    One of my best friends, who received a Chinese-language education, struggled with his written presentation for his degree from one of London’s most prestigious design schools during the early 1990s. The essay was decent but rambling because he couldn’t articulate himself well.
    The Japanese students – according to him, anyway – all paid to have their essays written by someone else.
    From this case, are we to impute that the Japanese cheated, like the mainlanders (and not the Taiwanese or Hongkies) because it is OK by their values system?
    I am curious about Dan Harris’s `sophisticated, well-travelled students’, some of whom apparently are worldly enough to tell those Tais and the Honks from the mainlanders. Have they done that 10000 Places to See Before You Die thing?
    Well-travelled and sophisticated can be an oxymoron. With white expats – just in HK, for example – they zip between Central, Disco Bay/Midlevels, LKFong and SoHo (maybe City Super for groceries) and that’s mostly about it. They will leave with their prejudices intact, when tour of duty ends, at least.
    And still unable to tell a Hong Konger from mainlander, let alone a Korean or Japanese.
    Dan Harris is not a dyed-in-the-wool bigot,imo. But he has shown a patronizing side with his post that sets forth a checklist of prejudices/stereotypes by whiny, we-are-No-1 American brats, dressed lightly with some faux-gravitas as `worldly’ opinions.

  14. jxie
    January 18th, 2012 at 12:31 | #14

    Just about everything needs to be said has been said. A couple of not so direct points:

    One of the things about being a small minority member (Asian) in America is that you can be invisible, easily blend in among whites or blacks — blending in among Latinos requires Spanish skill. If you happen to date a member of the group, it’s a huge plus, and pretty soon you will be implicitly accepted as a group member. Anyway, once the group is open to you, you will get to know so much about their gripes about the other groups (white on black & hispanic, or black on white and hispanic). Due to the PC environment, you don’t get to hear most of those gripes openly. What Harris quoted, is very mild in comparison.

    A question to ask is, would you rather they talk behind your back, or talk directly in front of you?

    Mencius said, “天将降大任于是人也,必先苦其心志,劳其筋骨,饿其体肤,” which roughly means if the heaven (god) has a grand plan for you, it’ll beat you up, and make you endure all sort of hardship first. Most Chinese brought up in China, compared to their Western counterpart, never seem to get freaked out, or get panic attacks — whatever life throws at you, it is only a sign that you are going somewhere.

    Personally I’d rather whatever negative and mean things to say about us, they all can say them directly — because we’re big enough to take them.

  15. Charles Liu
    January 18th, 2012 at 12:33 | #15

    @Kai

    “abundantly obvious that Dan recognizes them as generalizations and stereotypes, or at the very least, there is no evidence that he doesn’t.”

    Beg to differ, here are some very unclear sentiments: 1) he stated these sentiments came from intelligent, well meaning, well travled “good” people, suggesting it’s not be bigotry; 2) he stated it’s widespread in western nations, suggesting it’s not the hosts but the guests at fault; 3) he repeated the point that qualified it as “not racism” because “good” people were nice enough to bestow “good Chinese” on some of us.

    That’s how I read it, far from abundantly clear, and I’d like to think that, as one of the “good Chinese”, I too am intelligent, well meaning, and well traveled.

    IMHO the fact these people even had the gall to say who’s “good Chinese” pretty much demonstrates this is racism, don’t you think so Kai? Again I’m not talking about Dan so please don’t dodge the question.

  16. January 18th, 2012 at 12:55 | #16

    I was really shocked too by how Dan’s article paying credence to the complaints. Only he knows what his intentions were. We won’t know from the article. It is really interesting to see the comments over at the CLB.

    1. There is a group basically accepting the complaints and then goes to try to explain why. These same people don’t seem to get why some of the complaints are outright racist.

    2. There is a group defending the Chinese students against the complaints.

    I would be impressed if Dan Harris come forth and say, some of the students clearly need to be taught how not to be racist, some of the Chinese students need to be culturally acclimated better, and the school ought to do this and that.

    Until then, Dan’s article is best summed by one of the recent comments there:

    Duminda Roshan – January 18, 2012 4:03 AM
    Some very uncool and dubious statements and comments here both in the original article and the ongoing debate. This is definately not good. Provacative yes but at the price of decency and any well intentioned motives imho.

    jxie said:

    Personally I’d rather whatever negative and mean things to say about us, they all can say them directly — because we’re big enough to take them.

    I’ve always said, racist don’t need to conspire to be a racist, but their public display emboldens one another. Public displays of racism perpetuates racism. We have a duty to condemn whenever we see it in public.

  17. colin
    January 18th, 2012 at 13:14 | #17

    I used to follow that blog, but noticed that it had it’s share of biases and stereotypes. Not as bad as many other blogs, but biases none the less – which is why I stopped following it. It could be part of their marketing though. Scare potential clients into thinking how bad things and people are over there to sign up new clients.

  18. January 18th, 2012 at 13:28 | #18

    That a few US students have negative opinions about their Chinese classmates should not be extrapolated to conclude that all American students have such opinions, in just the same way that a few Chinese students cheating should not be extrapolated to conclude that all (or most) Chinese students cheat. In the end, it all boils down to this: Dan was just sharing what he had heard. The question is: Why was he sharing it? . One hears lots of opinions in life. One doesn’t feel the need or the point to share all of them. Did he think that it would provoke a meaningful discussion? If yes, then he utterly failed. And here’s why: If it is abundantly clear that the students he was quoting have such stupid over-generalization tendencies, then why include them in a meaningful discussion about the topic at all? Why give them any importance whatsoever? If one is really interested in having a civilized debate about a topic, quoting extremists and emotionally-motivated people AT SUCH LENGTH is the last thing one would do. Just a quote or two would suffice to make a point.

    On the other hand, there is the possibility that Dan didn’t want a discussion (or wanted (the rather pointless) discussion of such people’s opinions), but was simply relaying his own experiences on his blog – just stuff he had heard here and there. Well, if that is the case, this makes the post a personal one, and there is no need to discuss it further. This is quite similar to someone writing an article quoting certain people who think that the Holocaust is a myth, and then adding a disclaimer at the end saying that he/she does not support their views. And that is indeed true – having an opinion about a topic is not necessary to quote others’ opinions on it; the latter does not imply the former. However, such a post will not enter into any MEANINGFUL discussion about whether the Holocaust did actually occur, eg. using historical evidence, but will focus only on a few extremists’ views. This just reflects intellectual laziness – that the author of such an article didn’t want to THINK, but was content just to jot down what he had heard. A form of bullshit, in the philosophical sense of the term. Hence, Dan’s article does not further the discussion in any way, and just serves to be one of those things that one should just read once and move on.

    In a nutshell – there is nothing to be gained (except attention) by popularizing such attitudes and quoting opinions that Dan does. If he really wanted to help “bridge this massive fissure”, he should, and easily could have gone beyond mere reproduction of others’ selective opinions.

    And the irony is – Chinese students have been quite successful in America in many industries, thus calling into question many of the students that Dan quotes.

    **************************************************

    And on a separate note: I wonder why these type of attitudes are being seen about Chinese students only recently. Chinese students have been going to the US since ages. The reason might be the same as the reason for the stupid tiger mom phenomenon (Seth Meyers’ hilarious take on “wolf dad” on SNL is not to be missed) – China’s rise and media bias.

    The original NYT article (which I believe kick-started the whole thing) appeared after Chinese students increased in number than Indian students (India is the only comparable country, Brazil and others are way behind) in the US and reached no.1 position. However, lots of Chinese students have been going to the US since ages, and they have been quite successful. Why the resentment and backlash only now?

    Some people give the answer as – “princelings”, who, brought about by China’s economic rise, have entered the fray only recently, and who get into colleges they don’t deserve. And that answer is not entirely true. Here’s why:

    Even though many of the stereotypes that exist about the Chinese education system – that it encourages rote learning and discourages creative thinking – apply to a much larger extent to India too (India’s education is much much more screwed than China’s; Indian students ranked 2nd to last in PISA rankings), Indian students are hardly talked about in that light in the American media. India has its share of princelings too. Why not a backlash against Indian students in the US (many of whom cheat)?

    The main reason is unequivocally this – India is seen in a favorable light than China among the average American. Hence, it follows that Indian students cheat less then Chinese ones! 😉 Thus Indian students will be seen favorably in America (among the American students as well as the media) compared to Chinese students. For example, google for “chinese students cheat” and then for “indian students cheat”. It is sexier for the NYT to publish a story about Chinese students cheating than one about Indian students.

    Might the same reasoning apply to American students too, and not only the American media, in their opinions about Chinese students?
    And this in fact can be extrapolated to any news story. Many in the west know about Ai Weiwei, but how many know about M. F. Husian? Cases about what the west considers negative are printed and reproduced faithfully when they emanate from China, but when the same thing happens in India, you’ll just find a mild reference or two buried deep inside somewhere. If the Indian economy would have been projected to overtake the American economy by 2027, I’d bet we’d be hearing lots of stories about Indian students cheating too.

  19. January 18th, 2012 at 13:43 | #19

    Dean Minnow of Harvard Law School just sent out a letter earlier today to alums updating us on the school. I’m glad to see this section on Students:

    STUDENTS

    Current students are taking the Law School by storm. This year’s incoming 1L class is an exceptionally accomplished and diverse group. For the first time, over 10% of the J.D. students come from countries other than the United States. The class includes three Rhodes, two Marshall, one Truman, and 11 Fulbright Scholars, as well as 27 Teach for America alumni and four former Peace Corps volunteers. It is also our most experienced student body in recent history with over 75% taking some time off before law school and over half the class being two or more years out of college.

    Our LL.M. and S.J.D. programs include students from 64 countries. Among them are judges, prosecutors, law teachers, Supreme Court or Constitutional Court clerks, students who clerked at the appellate level, and a Rhodes scholar. They bring terrific work experiences from diverse places including the African Human Rights Consortium, Chile’s Ministry of Energy, China’s Securities Regulatory Commission, the European Court of Human Rights, the Public Health Foundation of India, the Israel Democracy Institute, Japan’s G8 and G20 Summit Office, Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan’s Competition Commission, Poland’s Chancellery of the President, The World Bank, and the U.S. Marine Corps.

    Our new students also include 10 veterans who served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. We are proud to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, through which the U.S. Veteran’s Administration matches what a school offers to pay for a veteran’s tuition and expenses. HLS is one of a small number of law schools making the maximum match—50%—so that our participating veterans attend HLS without tuition or expense debt.

    Reflecting our growing curricular emphasis on international and comparative law, more than 300 HLS students this year are studying, working, or conducting research in countries outside the United States through our clinical, research, and study-abroad programs.

    An international outlook is important. I’m glad to see that’s alive and well at Harvard.

  20. melektaus
    January 18th, 2012 at 14:49 | #20

    I agree with Allen that the major factor in some Chinese students not participating in class is because the class environment is not conducive or hospitable to Chinese students or students with alternative viewpoints in the US. Opinions that goes against the mainstream narrative are summarily dismissed and students expressing them often seen with disdain by the other students and by the teachers. Since many viewpoints Chinese have are very foreign to US students and may be contrary to both the dominant liberal AND conservative US ideologies, expressions of these viewpoints are shot down with a dismissiveness, intolerance and prejudice that is rarely seen with other viewpoints. This tends to isolate the Chinese students psychologically and sometimes even physically from others. You can see some of this arrogant dismissive, prejudiced attitude at work in many of the western commentors here in the forum. They don’t even bother carefully reading the blog to understand what the viewpoint actually is. They respond reflexively with disdain and ridicule despite the fact that the viewpoints they are against are often supported with evidence and expressed clearly.

    I also agree that the claim that Chinese students are insular and only talk to/hang out with their “own kind” is racist and inaccurate. White students are by far the most insular and do not bother to talk to or hang out with those from a different background.

    http://modelminority.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=241:study-counters-notion-that-minority-students-segregate-themselves&catid=34:academia&Itemid=56

    So it looks like this accusation and the one about cheating is really a case of psychological “projection.”

    I remember I have had many such experiences in college discussions. An example, I once took a critical thinking class in my freshmen year. This was during the late 90s when the rightwing US media and government were accusing the Chinese government and the ethnic Chinese diaspora of all sorts of nefarious acts (such as spying, illegal campaign contributions, etc). I knew that these were clearly lies because the evidence suggested it and the accusers never gave any evidence but the narrative that these claims were true was so widely accepted by the general public that it was simply assumed they were true. I tried to argue against these accusations and was met with incredulity, hostility, blatant racism. Also there was not enough time and energy to answer all the accusations in class with the detail they deserved and much of the discourse refuting the racist allegations is left unsaid due to time constraints. This can be very discouraging. The teacher often are complicit in further isolating alternative viewpoints because they often share some of the bigotry and narrow-mindedness of the public.

    Careful and respectful discussions are the exception in talking about China in US classrooms, not the norm. Both leftwingers (such as the freetibeters e.g.) and the rightwingers often hate China and are often bigoted against Chinese people. It is difficult to offer any opinion that is well expressed in that kind of environment and thus many Chinese students get frustrated and don’t even bother. The attitudes expressed in Dan’s blog is further evidence that this hostile, racist environment exists.

  21. LOLZ
    January 18th, 2012 at 16:28 | #21

    Kai :
    @LOLZ
    Are you suggesting that Dan make a post dedicated to hearing what Chinese students have to say about their American peers’ accusations?
    Would we ask Allen to make a post dedicated to hearing what other people have to say about his accusations about this topic or any other topic?
    I think that’s a bit impractical.

    All I am asking for is a forum to broadcast Chinese students and hear from their point of view. I agree that there are definite problems with some Chinese students in the US. This certainly needs to be explored. However I have rarely seen any good resolution to controversies where you only give opinions to one side while completely ignoring the other.

    Let’s take another example. Crime is an issue in the US and a high percentage are committed by blacks. However if you were only to gather a bunch of white folks and have them to complain about black crime, you will definitely be accused of being a racist. In fact that is what organizations like stormfront does. The effective way to address the issue of crime thus is NOT to further perpetrate the myth that blacks are all criminals, but to work with blacks and understand why things are the way they are. In other words, you talk to the black community and not the racists who claim that all blacks are criminals. Now honestly, is it THAT DIFFICULT to have Dan to simply speak with some mainland Chinese students at UW or elsewhere? As a major China blogger, don’t tell me he is incapable of speaking with Chinese students to get their point of view on this.

  22. Jared T. Nelson
    January 18th, 2012 at 16:54 | #22

    Completely uncalled for. Unsubscribed from this blog and I urge others to do the same.

    Dan was trying to start a conversation. This post is trolling for attention.

    Don’t waste your time supporting and reinforcing this silly nonsense with your attention.

  23. January 18th, 2012 at 18:09 | #23

    It seems to me, Mr Nelson, that in ‘starting a conversation’ one does not automatically exempt oneself or one’s own position from any possible criticism. Though I do not believe that Dan himself was behaving in a racist way, I too was quite miffed by his rattling off of a dozen or so blatant stereotypes and believing that such stereotypes are the basis for any kind of rational conversation. I don’t think that saying as much is in any way ‘uncalled for’.

    Quite frankly, when I was in Beijing over this past summer, I heard any number of derogatory and stereotypical remarks aimed by Beijing natives at Henanese people: how they’re a bunch of lazy, wily cheats and criminals. To be blunt, I didn’t stand for it – some of the most sincere and intellectually-driven Chinese people I know come from Henan (even if they might not have the richest parents or the most connexions). I felt the same kind of outrage from reading Dan’s post, both at the students who were perpetuating the stereotypes, and at Dan himself for taking more effort in his own exculpation than in making his own position clear regarding these stereotypes.

  24. raventhorn
    January 18th, 2012 at 18:16 | #24

    @Jared T. Nelson

    “Dan was trying to start a conversation.”

    And I’m sure the Taliban was just trying to start a conversation between US and Bin Laden after 9/11.

    In comparison, our reaction to Dan’s post is far more sensible than a regime change, ie. Allen is STILL “conversing” about it.

    You would think Dan got his wish from Allen.

    Here is the “CONVERSATION”. What’s the matter? Don’t like what we are talking about??

  25. Rhan
    January 18th, 2012 at 18:47 | #25

    rv, well said.

  26. Jared T. Nelson
    January 18th, 2012 at 19:51 | #26

    @Bushdoctrine

    “And I’m sure the Taliban was just trying to start a conversation between US and Bin Laden after 9/11.”

    Here’s what you said:

    Taliban= Dan Harris
    Bin Laden= Racist anti-Chinese assholes
    U.S.= Readers of Dan’s blog? The public? You? You seems to fit the best… Instead of going after the real assholes, YOU mire yourself in a bullshit (flame)war with people who had little to do with the original transgressions, instead bringing the fighting to the collateral damage of people who were peripherally involved.

    Maybe 9 years later you’ll finally succeed in a REAL flamewar against REAL bigots. And get’em.

    Also- if any of you want to have a real sense of real bigotry, my student org (I’m president of the [removed for privacy concerns by Allen]) at [removed for privacy concerns by Allen] hosted a viewing of the “Vincent Who?” movie today ([removed for privacy concerns by Allen]), and we encourage you all to find out about a real fight against bigotry and for civil rights for Asians and Asian-Americans in America by going to http://www.vincentwhofilm.com/

    “Don’t like what you are talking about?” You are right. I don’t. It’s not conversation, its flaming a respectable messenger for attention. You’ve got mine. What’s your real name?

  27. January 18th, 2012 at 21:07 | #27

    @Kai #1

    Thanks for weighing in…

    To be honest, I will welcome Dan’s effort to prove that I have “grossly misconstrued and misrepresented Dan’s post and Dan’s character.” In my mind, one less bigot in the world is a better world for everyone… But Dan will have to do that with the readers out there. I am but a blogger – and it’s unimportant what I personally think.

    But please note that in the post I explicitly refrained from calling Dan a bigot or racist, as you seem to intone.

    You wrote:

    he doesn’t have a history of such racist attitudes or underhanded methods of expression either. If Dan regularly posted anti-Chinese racist comments and thus had a reputation for it, then maybe we’d have cause for suspicion…but you’re pulling this out of thin air.

    I purposefully did not want to get into Dan’s history because I specifically don’t care about proving whether Dan as a person is a racist or not. As I made clear in the post: this is not a trial. I only care about what came across the article – what a reasonable person reading his writing will take way.

    I simply thought it important to use his writing as a case study for others to think about bigotry, racism and hate speech. I strongly believe that his writing will perpetuate hate and prejudice. The conclusion about Dan’s character per se is unimportant to me (i.e. I don’t know Dan; I don’t associate with Dan; ergo, for now, I don’t care personally whether he is deep inside a racist or not).

  28. January 18th, 2012 at 21:19 | #28

    @LOLZ #21

    @Kai

    @LOLZ
    Are you suggesting that Dan make a post dedicated to hearing what Chinese students have to say about their American peers’ accusations?

    Would we ask Allen to make a post dedicated to hearing what other people have to say about his accusations about this topic or any other topic?

    I think that’s a bit impractical.

    Why would it be impractical?

    I could create a thread asking for people to leave inputs and go to the U.S. ranking and get top 30 schools and email csa of each to ask their members to comment.

    I could try to find top destinations for foreign students (this one has a list, but it’s a little dated) and do the same.

    Maybe we will do it…. I am already way behind on what I need to blog, it’s a matter of prioritization going forward…

  29. January 19th, 2012 at 01:54 | #29

    @Jared T. Nelson #22

    Dan certainly has an interesting way of wanting to start a conversation.

    I have been censored twice on his blog (that’s 100% rate for me). Just yesterday, I left a brief comment – with a link to my post here. He removed the link from the comment.

    Kind of a superficial way to start a conversation, wouldn’t you say so?

  30. Dick
    January 19th, 2012 at 02:49 | #30

    You’re so full of shit Allen. Amazing you have the audacity to complain about people censoring their blogs when you do exactly the same yourself. He removed your link, which is nothing more than spam, and this is somehow wrong.

    You clowns are pitiful, and that you think he might want to have a dialogue with you. Now that makes me laugh…

  31. raventhorn
    January 19th, 2012 at 05:40 | #31

    @Jared T. Nelson

    “Here’s what you said:

    Taliban= Dan Harris
    Bin Laden= Racist anti-Chinese assholes
    U.S.= Readers of Dan’s blog? The public? You? You seems to fit the best…”

    Actually, that’s NOT what I said. That’s what you took away from my words.

    But hey, why so angry, and “uncalled for” comments about my words? I’m just trying to start a conversation.

    And I don’t know what you meant by “Unsubscribe from this blog”.

    “Instead of going after the real assholes, YOU mire yourself in a bullshit (flame)war with people who had little to do with the original transgressions, instead bringing the fighting to the collateral damage of people who were peripherally involved. ”

    I wouldn’t call Dan “peripherally involved”. He wanted to “start a conversation”, didn’t he, according to you?

    “Maybe 9 years later you’ll finally succeed in a REAL flamewar against REAL bigots. And get’em.

    Also- if any of you want to have a real sense of real bigotry, my student org (I’m president of the [removed for privacy concerns by Allen]) at [removed for privacy concerns by Allen] hosted a viewing of the “Vincent Who?” movie today ([removed for privacy concerns by Allen]), and we encourage you all to find out about a real fight against bigotry and for civil rights for Asians and Asian-Americans in America by going to http://www.vincentwhofilm.com/

    “Don’t like what you are talking about?” You are right. I don’t. It’s not conversation, its flaming a respectable messenger for attention. You’ve got mine. What’s your real name?”

    I think you are bit late to HH. most of us here have already discussed Vincent Chin numerous times. (Some of us even lived through Vincent’s time in US).

    And it’s a “conversation” to us, maybe not to you.

    “Respectability” of the messenger is based upon his MESSAGE, especially for a man (Dan), who passed a post describing his coining of the “Feces Factor”.

    And so for the record, we don’t “flame” Dan for his “message”. We question what his “message” even is. (based upon his own commenters’ views on his blog).

    Aren’t you getting away from the “message” and the “conversation” here? By going toward “Respectability” generalization?

    Seriously, stick with the subject, which is NOT DAN’s “respectability”, NOT your personal efforts.

    It’s the question of Dan’s MESSAGE. What is it? I recall his own words, “bridge this massive fissure”. And I checked, Dan didn’t even use the words, “racism”, “stereotype”, or “bigot”.

    So what’s the “fissure” he’s talking about? I like to know. Doesn’t seem to be what you are talking about.

    *Well, if there is ever a bad time to be unclear on one’s point, Dan picked it, while relaying 20 stereotypical comments.

    So, yeah, I question his message, because Dan was unclear, and I can’t read words that are just not there.

  32. raventhorn
    January 19th, 2012 at 05:46 | #32

    @Jared T. Nelson

    “You’ve got mine. What’s your real name?”

    My real name is Vincent Chin, in solidarity with a victim of racism.

    I can honestly say, most of us on HH are all “Vincent Chin” in our REAL name.

    You can watch a movie on the story of racism, We have all lived it.

  33. Vincent Chin
    January 19th, 2012 at 05:59 | #33

    @raventhorn

    Great idea. We are all Vincent Chin.

  34. Vincent Chin
    January 19th, 2012 at 06:46 | #34

    Speaking of Vincent Chin, some basic Wiki-data:

    State criminal chargesRonald Ebens was arrested and taken into custody at the scene of the murder by two off-duty police officers who had witnessed the beating. Ebens and Nitz were convicted in a county court for manslaughter by Wayne County Circuit Judge Charles Kaufman, after a plea bargain brought the charges down from second-degree murder. They served no jail time, were given three years probation, fined $3,000 and ordered to pay $780 in court costs. In a response letter to protests from American Citizens for Justice, Kaufman said, “These weren’t the kind of men you send to jail… You don’t make the punishment fit the crime; you make the punishment fit the criminal.”

    [edit] Federal civil rights chargesThe verdict angered the Asian American community in the Detroit area and around the country. Journalist Helen Zia and lawyer Liza Cheuk May Chan (陳綽薇) led the fight for federal charges, which resulted in the men being accused of two counts of violating Chin’s civil rights, under Section 245 of Title 18 of the United States Code. For these charges, it was not enough that Ebens had injured Chin, but that “a substantial motivating factor for the defendant’s actions was Mr. Chin’s race, color, or national origin, and because Mr. Chin had been enjoying a place of entertainment which serves the public.” Because of possible mitigating factors that could lead to reasonable doubt, such as intoxication leading to the defendant’s inability to form the specific intent, the prosecution’s proving the evidence of uttered racial slurs were not self-sufficient for conviction. In addition, the defense found Racine Colwell, the witness who overheard the “It’s because of you motherfuckers we’re out of work” remark, to have received some clemency on a jail sentence for a prostitution charge, which suggested that the government may have tried to cut a deal for her testimony.

    The 1984 federal civil rights case against the men found Ebens guilty of the second count and sentenced him to 25 years in prison; Nitz was acquitted of both counts. After an appeal, Ebens’ conviction was overturned in 1986—a federal appeals court found an attorney improperly coached prosecution witnesses.

    After a retrial that was moved to Cincinnati, Ohio due to the publicity the case had received in Detroit, a jury cleared Ebens of all charges in 1987.

    -Now, obviously the 2 men were racists. But what do we say about Judge Kaufman who refused to send the 2 men to prison, and the 12 Jurors who later cleared 1 of the 2 men of all Federal charges??

    Were Judge Kaufman and the 12 Jurors merely “messengers”?? Obviously, they did nothing directly racist. No, they were merely given the opportunity and the obligation to decide/judge whether something was racist and illegal, and they declared “nothing that bad here.”

    I have no problem with flaming Kaufman and the 12 Jurors as racists, because they were by their own action/inaction, even though they were not responsible for Vincent’s death.

    If Dan Harris was the Judge in Vincent’s case, what would Dan have done? Called for “bridging the massive fissure”, while avoiding use of the words “stereotype”, “bigot”, “racist” in his court opinion???

    -Vincent’s case should be more than a reminder, it should be a QUESTION, every man should ask himself, if I was the JUDGE or a Juror for Vincent’s case, what would I have done or said??!!

  35. jxie
    January 19th, 2012 at 11:17 | #35

    Chin’s estate won the civil case against Ebens, with a monthly minimum obligatory payment of $200 — even that he quickly defaulted at. Vincent’s mom was so disgusted by the whole thing, she left the US permanently and moved to Guangzhou, and became one of the earliest “sea turtles”. A couple of lessons of mine:

    * Get a gun.
    * Don’t get into a bar fight. Walk away.

    The line of making the punishment fit the criminal not the crime, is just sublime justice. About a decade later, another court in LA doped out the same type of justice, and acquitted the officers who were caught on tape Ebens’ing a black fellow. The black community, which is far larger than the Asian community, had no part of it and went on riots that eventually caused about 1/4 of the civilian deaths in Beijing of 6/89. Given the population density and the duration of the antagonism, you would think the former was a more serious case, and should be more important to remember for the American media at least.

  36. jxie
    January 19th, 2012 at 11:38 | #36

    In case anyone who couldn’t quite follow the last point I raised, here is a sample:

    Searching keyword ‘riots’ reported by WSJ on 4-29-2011

    Searching keyword ‘tiananmen’ reported by WSJ on 6-4-2011

    Many web sites automatically update their pages sometimes days after they are published for various reasons — mostly not the contents per se but something like mega tags, links, etc., so this type of Google search only works for a handful of media sites, such as WSJ.

  37. Charles Liu
    January 19th, 2012 at 13:52 | #37

    Well, lets say Kai and Nelson are right, lets leave the question for now and go with it.

    If Dan posted obviously bigoted sentiment, for whatever reason, his neutrality certainly baited out these echos of prejudices still exist in our supposed enlightened post-racial society.

    Dan asked what to do, I guess for those who agreeed with the bigoted sentiment yet insist they are not racist, have some soul searching to do.

  38. melektaus
    January 19th, 2012 at 15:02 | #38

    Again, the attitudes of some of Dan Harris’s defenders prove the point that discussion is not the goal of many westerners when it comes to China issues. They summarily dismiss any point not in accord with their narrow viewpoints and huff and puff then leave in a cloud of dust. They cannot handle a discussion with those whom they disagree so they simply disparage, duck the issue and leave.

    Why would Chinese students participate from the start with that kind of attitude?

  39. scl
    January 19th, 2012 at 17:21 | #39

    “Conversations” like the post by Dan Harris should be translated into Chinese and posted on Weibo, then there will be a real discussion, and the Chinese students will know better when they come to the U.S. China bashing is becoming part of the pop culture here, and even American students have learned to bash Chinese students. This really does not bode well for the China-US relationship in the future.

  40. raventhorn
    January 19th, 2012 at 17:28 | #40

    In any case, Dan Harris is NOT having his “conversation” about this any more.

    We still are.

    Looks to me Harris was the one “trolling for attention”/sensationalism/traffic.

  41. Eric Wong
    January 19th, 2012 at 21:22 | #41

    Harris is an attention seeker. He has to be – his “China” expertise is based from, er, Seattle. His practice is not actually in China – there are NO Harris & Moure licensing China offices and he subcontracts much of his work.

    He also grossly inflates his capabilities. In todays article about an international school in Shanghai : http://www.chinalawblog.com/2012/01/shanghai_rego_school_one-off_or_sign_of_things_to_come.html he claims the following:
    “My law firm represents a good number of existing international schools in China and we are right now working on at least double the number of legal issues as usual for them”.

    Thats total b/s as I know several of those schools – and the lawyers (in China) who helped set them up – and Dan Harris is NOT among them.

    Dan Harris is a China wannabe – needs attention to build up credibility that actually he doesn’t have because neither he nor his firm are based in China, permitted to practice in China or have invested any money in getting a China license, setting up law offices or anything else. That means he is NOT authorized by the Chinese authorities whatsoever and has no China regulatory authority looking over him – he can say what he wants.

    DAN HARRIS. WHERE IS THE HARRIS & MOURE CHINA LAW LICENCE? (Because Seattle doesn’t count)

    I think we should be told how he manages to evade the licensing procedures and investments required to comment on Chinese legal issues.

  42. Eric Wong
    January 19th, 2012 at 23:13 | #42

    More on the REAL Dan Harris – he’s ACTUALLY a small town Seattle based litigation lawyer specialising in weird cases. Like this one, representing some bozo who tried to steal a NASA placard: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-resident-sues-alaska-moon.html

    “China Expert” my ass he’s just jumping on a bandwagon because his tiny Seattle practice has to scrape the barrel for work. You can’t do China from Seattle Mr. Harris.

    So where are your CHINA credentials/ You haven’t got any have you? A Fake China wannabe, singingt from the sidelines in Seattle.

  43. Eric Wong
    January 19th, 2012 at 23:58 | #43

    And the so-called “expertise” Dan Harris and China Law Blog pretend to have is all from other sources. Clever, but 100% taken from other people. For example, another article today on Joint Ventures: http://www.chinalawblog.com/2012/01/china_joint_ventures_tips_you_have_been_warned.html
    Its not by Harris at all, he didn’t write any of the content, it all came from the Foreign Entrepreneurs in China blog here: http://www.foreignentrepreneursinchina.com/2012/01/a-china-joint-venture-survival-guide-22-facts-and-22-practical-tips-ii/

    China Law Blog is full of other peoples work and most of its content was NOT written by Dan Harris at all. Its all just “expertise by association”. Repeat: HARRIS AND HARRIS & MOURE ARE NOT LICENSED CHINA LAWYERS.

    Just checking out his blog you can see 90% of it comes from other sources and is not his original work.

  44. Eric Wong
    January 20th, 2012 at 00:23 | #44

    AND his behavior gets worse. Just as Shaun Rein’s new book “The End Of Cheap China” comes out, China Law Blog releases an article titled: “The End Of Cheap China. With A Giant Caveat” http://www.chinalawblog.com/2012/01/the_end_of_cheap_china_with_a_giant_caveat.html.

    But it doesn’t mention Shaun or his book at all. That’s pure Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by piggybacking China Law Blog onto someone else’s work and title.
    Check Google: “The End Of Cheap China” – Rein’s book is the top 3 results, then Dan Harris at China Law Blog at number 4.

    DAN HARRIS. HARDLY ANY OF YOUR WORK IS ORIGINAL, YOU PLAGARIZE OTHER PEOPLES TITLES AND YOU ARE NOT A CHINA LAWYER. HARRIS & MOURE AND CHINA LAW BLOG ARE A FRAUD

  45. January 20th, 2012 at 01:13 | #45

    @Eric Wong

    This is actually very clever of Harris. Not only does he piggy ride (on someone he apparently does not like) – he also dilutes attention of Shaun’s work by re-directing attention of people searching with those keywords to some consulting report unrelated to Shaun’s work. And Dan does all this with minimal work, too – by “copying” and “pasting” core parts of his post – which is not really “plagiarism” though as you accuse since he does do it with attribution.

    The more I learn of his tactic, the less I am taken back how nasty the world can be. But be that as it may, I have to say hats off to this guy for being clever. Google is king. And Harris (and/or his marketing guy) knows how to manipulate it – with minimal work.

    Anyways – whatever the case, let’s just keep it at that. Good to bring to our attention (I’m learning something everyday), but this thread is not about trashing Dan.

  46. Eric Wong
    January 20th, 2012 at 02:53 | #46

    @Allen – its not about trashing him – it’s about exposing some of his tactics.
    1) Neither he or his firm are actually licensed by or have an office in China;
    2) China Law Blog is 90% made up of other peoples work and blog material and is not original;
    3) He uses dubious SEO techniques to piggyback exposure via plagarizing other peoples titles .
    As you wisely say – he’s been getting maximum attention for his China work through minimal effort.
    The hard proof is all above. A China guy? No way, and now we know. Cheers.

  47. zack
    January 20th, 2012 at 10:16 | #47

    i’m with eric wong here; here we were led to believe that China Law Blog was some sort of authority on China’s legal system but it’s not really the case is it? It’s called false advertising and abuse of trust, and this guy Harris profits from people assuming he’s something he’s not.

  48. January 20th, 2012 at 13:34 | #48

    I just read the CLB’s about page. Apparently, they do have a guy operating in China – Steve Dickinson. But, as Eric Wong said, the firm has no license. So, I am guessing Steve Dickinson is in China playing the middleman for U.S. firms requiring legal work done there.

    Personally, I think that’s not a very sustainable long term strategy. U.S. firms wanting the best for themselves would in the long run hire credentialed law firms in China directly.

    But I have to give credit to Steve Dickinson for at least being on the ground – albeit (if Eric Wong’s claim is true) without the real credentials. In due time (with enough experience), Steve Dickinson could become qualified and licensed.

  49. January 20th, 2012 at 13:40 | #49

    I should also add – if Steve Dickinson gives more nuance to understanding of China – all should welcome it. That goes to the CLB. But when they do something that can pander to racist views about the ‘Chinese’ as what this article is about, we absolutely need to call them out.

  50. January 20th, 2012 at 14:50 | #50

    @YinYang

    We’ll let CLB’s clients figure out the efficiency and quality of service CLB provides. There are plenty of very high quality law firms with real licensed offices in China…

    Getting licensed to practice is not easy for foreign nationals. This is the best “English” source I can find on the topic.

    Part I: Information for the American looking at legal work in China

    As in the United States, a foreign law degree does not license one to practice law in China; in both countries, only people who have passed that country’s bar exam may practice law. China is unlike the US, however, in that it does not allow non-citizens to sit the Chinese bar. This means that, without gaining Chinese citizenship (and the fluency required to pass the bar exam), an American lawyer will never practice Chinese law.

    However, s/he can use his/her American legal training to work for an American firm’s office in China. Foreign law firms are prohibited from practicing Chinese law, which means they cannot engage in legal practice that might involve the interpretation of Chinese law. Foreign firms may, however, perform legal services that do not involve Chinese law. For instance, an American firm office could handle a Chinese company’s legal affairs in America, provide consulting services regarding American or international law, and entrust matters of Chinese law to Chinese law firms on behalf of foreign clients.

    There is also a regulation that foreign lawyers must have practiced in another jurisdiction for two years before working in China. However, for the law student who is interested in working in China immediately after graduation, it is worth noting that practicing for a year in another jurisdiction actually just means practicing for the majority of a year. So, once you have graduated from law school, if you worked for seven months in America, then five months in China, then another seven months in America, and then another five months in China, you would have satisfied the two-year practice requirement and would then be allowed to work year-round in China.

    Because of the restrictions on what foreign firms can do in China, the most valuable thing an American attorney brings to a China office is knowledge of US law. For this reason, legal experience in America is likely to be more useful than an L.L.M. program in China. Because the work will revolve around US law, Chinese language skills may not be required; however, a useable knowledge of Mandarin might make a candidate more attractive to a firm for the purpose of client relations.

    As you can figure from above, CLB’s “China Practice” must be a very limited practice. It’s more a marketing term than a substantively descriptive term. CLB cannot practice any Chinese law per se, it is practicing U.S. law in China. That is a viable practice for now because many trade transactions between U.S. and China are signed under U.S. legal regime. But even so, if you ever get to enforcing anything in China, or if you get into more complex relations in China, well you need to Chinese lawyers who practice Chinese law… that is, a real China Practice.

  51. January 20th, 2012 at 15:37 | #51

    Below is a comment left by a Westerner who studied in China I thought worth sharing:

    Martin says:
    January 15th, 2012 at 5:08 pm
    Reading this, I think I am glad to have missed Dan’s post. Some of the list is just a misplaced blame game. Let me explain why.

    Last year, I studied at a prominent Chinese university and went to class with Chinese students.

    – I can assure you there was a LOT of discussion to which most of the Chinese students contributed actively, some even passionately. For me, on the other hand, contributing was next to impossible due to the speed at which my Chinese fellow students spoke, and to the use of expressions I did not know. I’d say the alledged non participation of Chinese students in the U.S. may be a language problem rather than ill will. I discovered it makes a HUGE difference if you talk one on one in a completely different language than your own, or participate in a high level debate in a university. (I also participated in a class that was taught in English, and saw that most Chinese are too shy to speak English even when the whole class is Chinese plus 1 foreigner, imagine what this means if you place a single one among 100 American students.)

    – I hardly understood the classes and they let me pass anyway on high marks. The grades were implemented in my European University’s program, so they really counted. Who was the one again that was ‘only here to pickup the grades’??

    – The Chinese students had to listen to some presentations my me, and I could see they were struggling to keep showing on their faces that they thought it was interesting. My Chinese must have been as bad as their English, and my subject perhaps something that they already learned in grammar school. Yet, they had the decency to listen to me and let me finish, and even applaud for me. If American students only look down upon someone like me, then they are a bunch of arrogant asses, sorry to say so.

    – I know a few foreign students too who don’t seem to have learned anything about China and the Chinese when they studied in China. Here too, it’s just a matter of blaming whereas you should take a look at yourself before you blame another.

    I don’t want to see Dan’s list, I am afraid I would have to spend all day trying to point out how stupid many points of the lists are – even though they may partly be true.

    Please give the Chinese students a break – they did give me one!

  52. Andy Lau
    January 20th, 2012 at 18:40 | #52

    But when you “call” them on it, people just ridicule you and this blog, so in the end it achieves nothing. That you expect Steve to respond to you directly is just vain in the extreme, and makes you look petulant and demanding.
    That you entertain those who encourage physical violence based on race says all we need to know about the kind of people who find a home here…

  53. January 20th, 2012 at 19:57 | #53

    @Andy Lau
    Sorry, we do not encourage violence. We all tell the person to tone down. Some comments from both side were blocked. Of course some come back posting under another name, just like you!

  54. Andy Lau
    January 20th, 2012 at 20:16 | #54

    So you block comments of people who disagree with you, but you keep posts up which encourage violence? You tell them to “tone down”, but you do not block them? Would you apply the same rule of someone came on here encouraging violence against PRC Han folks, you know, so as not to have a double- standard?

  55. January 20th, 2012 at 20:28 | #55

    @Andy Lau

    You last comment was blocked because you talked about fellow blogger’s “poor breeding” among other trash.

  56. January 20th, 2012 at 20:31 | #56

    @Andy Lau
    We give them a warning. Yes, sometimes we let slip some posts if there are worthwhile facts in their post, and if they apologize and tone it down (see for yourself). Tell me which post advocate senseless violence? We don’t block post we disagree with, for example, Kai and Jared Nelson on this page. However, if subsequent posting consists of personal attack or trolling with no presentation of argument whatsoever, he would be banned.

    We also know you are using a fake name and has been trolling but you are still allowed here. So yes, sometimes we allow some leeway but this is not double standard.

  57. Andy Lau
    January 20th, 2012 at 20:33 | #57

    Again, can you please explain why you block comments such as those relating to someones breeding, but not those which directly encourage violence??? Would you allow comments which encouraged violence against Han or other ethnic groups?

  58. Andy Lau
    January 20th, 2012 at 20:36 | #58

    You are also using a fake name Ray, stop pointing fingers.

  59. January 20th, 2012 at 20:47 | #59

    @Andy Lau
    Frankly, we are simply a different class of people. Like YinYang and Allen, I am using the name that I have always been using since I entered politics awhile back.

    You are the fake here.

    PS: The reason all your previous posts are allowed are to show people how much a troll you are.

    [Allen: Thanks Ray. Yes, historically, we do occasionally keep poor comments. But that does not obligate us to show ALL poor comments.

    And Andy, we will start deleting your comments if you continue to post brainless, off the point attacks / spams.]

  60. pug_ster
    January 20th, 2012 at 21:02 | #60

    @YinYang

    Agreed. Yes, there’s always complaints here about blog owners like Richard and C Custer, but there are many other bloggers who have more nuanced view on China like Steve Dickinson that not many people here complain about. A few blogs that I like to read are Steve from PacificRimshots, Stan from Chinahearsay, Adam from Shanghaiscrap and Roland from ESWN.

    @Andy Lau

    From a person wants to “tone down” by calling others “pathetic boys.” Very constructive message, troll.

  61. Eric Wong
    January 21st, 2012 at 00:11 | #61

    Steve Dickensen at China Law Blog (Harris & Moure) is Ok, he knows his stuff. BUT – he’s working out of the offices of a Chinese law firm in Qingdao, not from Harris & Moure as they don’t have a China license. That’d be interesting in any case of misrepresentation or client indemnity. One day you can expect a huge lawsuit if a client thought they had a China license to practice and found out they don’t. But that’s Harris & Moure’s risk to take I guess.

    Dan however is a loser, an online bully who knows very little, and pretends through other peoples work
    (referenced on his blog) that he’s China knowledgable. He isn’t, and the amount of other peoples work he references on China Law Blog is unbelievable. None of it is his, and his ego gets in the way.

    This is a man driven by the possibility US TV networks could pick him up and promote his agenda. But in reality he’s the equivalant of an LA based porn star – she’s in movies but can’t really act. Dan is the China law equivalant of that – wants to be a China lawyer but isn’t because he’s (a) in Seattle and (b) can’t actually practice. But hey, it’s all about fame huh? Shame about the China pretence and the racism.

  62. LOLZ
    January 21st, 2012 at 02:14 | #62

    I think there are quite a bit of misunderstanding here.

    There appears to be two group of people attacking Dan Harris. The first is calling Dan a racist for regurgitating some prejudiced views from students who he knows. Then there are people (myself included) who find Dan’s method of starting a “conversation” on this highly controversial subject to be lacking because he completely ignored the other side’s point of view.

    I don’t think there is any evidence that Dan himself is bigoted in anyway, nor do I think it’s helpful to dig up his history and attack him personally as some have done here. However I also find it silly for people to praise Dan for “starting a conversation” as if giving examples of China-bashing on US college campus is somehow ground breaking (NYT did a piece on this months ago). I also think giving a soapbox to prejudiced voices (not Dan but some of his interviewees, though Dan did try to clarify this interviewees as open minded, non-prejudiced people which clearly isn’t the case) will not help to resolve anything.

  63. LOLZ
    January 21st, 2012 at 02:21 | #63

    scl :
    “Conversations” like the post by Dan Harris should be translated into Chinese and posted on Weibo, then there will be a real discussion, and the Chinese students will know better when they come to the U.S. China bashing is becoming part of the pop culture here, and even American students have learned to bash Chinese students. This really does not bode well for the China-US relationship in the future.

    Someone should do this and translate the Chinese responses 🙂

    My guess is that you would get a lot of views actually supporting the US students because most Chinese posters would admit that many Chinese students do cheat and are anti-social. If the US economy doesn’t pick up and China’s remain strong, the Sino-US relationship is screwed anyway.

  64. LOLZ
    January 21st, 2012 at 02:29 | #64

    Ray :
    PS: The reason all your previous posts are allowed are to show people how much a troll you are.
    [Allen: Thanks Ray. Yes, historically, we do occasionally keep poor comments. But that does not obligate us to show ALL poor comments.

    Another day, another troll 🙂

  65. Dave Bongaleu
    January 21st, 2012 at 02:31 | #65

    Sadly I think you are right LOLZ. Despite problems the US may have most Chinese students I have meet have a pretty low opinion, both of the education of which they are part of, and the other students in general.
    And if people think it’s bad in the States they should go to New Zealand. To paraphrase a friend who is the principal of a foreign language school in Auckland says “The best go to the States, and if they can’t get in there, then choose Canada, Europe, or Australia. If the parents can’t then buy their childrens way into a top Mainland university, they end up in New Zealand.”
    Sounds pretty grim

  66. Kai
    January 21st, 2012 at 06:03 | #66

    @raventhorn

    The reason Dan wrote a post about those stereotypes and generalizations is not because they are, but because of the increasing frequency of him hearing them. The crux is the frequency.

    To him, it signals a growing trend that he finds “troubling” and considers a “massive fissure” between American students and overseas mainland Chinese students.

    He is not saying the stereotypes are “fissures”, nor is he saying there is a misunderstanding/miscommunication between the sides. He’s talking about the differences in norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors that are proving to be divisive.

    He then opens a discussion about what could be done about it. He even makes an allowance for nothing to be done about it.

    You see those comments as evidencing those American students to be racists and to be condemned. But Dan’s seeking to discuss the underlying factors for those stereotypes and generalizations becoming more vocal and frequent. We can dismiss those American students as racist and call it a day, but Dan correctly sees that there is a larger and more significant sociological issue involved.

    Both the complaining American students and the overseas mainland Chinese students are part of the issue. They have different expectations or simply make different decisions on how to participate in American education. Just as the Chinese may complain about foreigners not observing or being respectful of Chinese customs when in China, the American students are likewise complaining about overseas mainland Chinese students not observing or being respectful of the expectations and norms of the American educational system and environment.

    You want to call them racist for how they worded their complaints, by all means, go for it. But the issue remains. The fissure between the students remains. Bridging the massive fissure will likely require change from the parties involved. Bridging involves finding common ground and compromise. It may mean accommodation, adoption, adaptation, integration, or even “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”.

    The most rational and reasonable response to Dan’s question of what needs to be done, if anything, is something along the lines of asking both sides to be considerate of the other. For example, ask the Chinese students to try harder to participate and interact (the majority of the comments Dan cites were about this), to respect that the American institution of learning expects discussion, so much that a class/course is explicitly a combination of lectures and discussion sections. They signed up for an American education so the onus is on them to be part of it. On the flip side, ask the American students to be considerate of what can discourage overseas mainland Chinese students from being just like them or Chinese students from other countries. People can be socialized differently so what may come as easy for some may not for others. Ask them to understand that language is a huge barrier and incredibly intimidating, just as it would be for them elsewhere, and to extend understanding and patience.

    The key is that this fissure will require both sides to close. You have American students who are running out of patience and expressing themselves with stereotypes and generalizations that we find offensive and hurtful. The blame of indulging in such can certainly be laid at their feet, but the responsibility of this fissure, of the growing friction, is definitely partly in the overseas mainland Chinese students’ hands too.

    Dan knows the comments can be called stereotypes and generalizations, but Dan isn’t asking for a discussion about the stereotypes, he’s asking for a discussion about what can be done to bridge the fissure between American student expectations and overseas mainland Chinese student behavior that gives rise to those increasingly frequent stereotypes and generalizations.

    I think you’ve missed the forest for the trees.

    @pug_ster

    The facts pertinent to Dan’s post is that there are people making these comments. People either voiced those opinions or not. Dan is testifying that he’s hearing such complaints with increasing frequency.

    Dan is not asking for judgments of the comments in writing his post. He’s asking for discussion about what could be done to lessen those comments, to “bridge the fissure”.

    Imagine if you will that Dan posted in similar fashion complaints by Chinese in America about biased American media. Dan says he’s hearing these complaints with increasing frequency, from Chinese people he wouldn’t normally consider hypernationalists or overly sensitive. He says he finds those comments troubling and then asks what can be done to bridge the fissure, what, if anything, needs to change.

    As with his actual post, the main point of the post is seeking discussion about a phenomenon that is giving rise to increasing complaints, stereotypes, generalizations from one group over another. As I wrote above to raventhorne, the phenomenon involves both sides, involving their expectations and behavior. You can call the comments racism but you’re missing the point of Dan’s post. Just as you would not dismiss a bunch of Chinese people complaining about Western media bias without examining the reasons for their complaints, you likewise shouldn’t dismiss American students complaining about overseas mainland Chinese students for the latter’s behavior in American universities.

    Discussing what could be done to bridge the fissure is not condoning racism. Don’t mix the two up as you have done in how you interpret Dan’s post and then his person.

    Your second paragraph doesn’t make sense to me. You’re trying to establish an equivalence but it isn’t supported. Dan didn’t post the comments just to post the comments, he posted the comments to open discussion on how to react to the sociological phenomenon that gives rise to them.

    I disagree with your belief that we can’t discuss sociological interactions that give rise to stereotypes and generalizations and I’m not persuaded whatsoever that I’m wrong about “this one”.

    @Charles Liu

    1) Completely in line with what I previously said. Part of why the comments are troubling to Dan is because they come from people he didn’t EXPECT to be simple bigots. For example, raventhorn probably expects racism from Wayne but not Allen, so if Allen says something raventhorn considers racist, he’ll probably take closer note or react more strongly to it, because it didn’t match what he expected. As a result, raventhorn will be predisposed to giving Allen’s comments greater weight and consideration. Likewise, Dan probably wouldn’t think twice if a stereotypical redneck made a stereotype or generalization about Chinese students because he’d ascribe it as their existing bigotry, but when the person uttering it doesn’t otherwise seem like someone who would, he’s wondering why. When a lot of those types of people are making those observations and complaints, then it becomes a sociological phenomenon, and one he wants to open for discussion.

    2) First, Dan didn’t say it was widespread in Western nations, he said he’s heard that Australia and the UK are “dealing with the same sort of issues”. Second, stating that such sentiments are widespread in Western nations doesn’t judge who is at fault, it just suggests that the sociological phenomenon is, well, widespread. In context, it suggests that there is a difference, a gap, a fissure between the expectations of Westerners and the behavior of the mainland Chinese students going there.

    3) This is a gross misrepresentation of what Dan said that its effectively the set up of a straw man argument. Dan relayed that the complainers distinguished between mainland Chinese and Chinese from
    other places. He didn’t say the comments weren’t stereotypes or generalizations nor does him relaying the distinction made by the complainers evidence him not believing they were stereotypes and generalizations. The complaining American students wanted to communicate that they weren’t complaining about an entire ethnicity, but about a certain nationality or place of origin. We can still call that stereotype and generalization.

    As should be clear, I don’t agree with how you read it. I’m not dodging questions that are pertinent to how people are interpreting and representing Dan’s post or person. I just don’t agree with you sidetracking discussions into arguments over issues irrelevant to the original topic. My position on whether people can accuse the complaints as racist is already made clear above.

    @YinYang

    I agree that we should condemn racism when we encounter it. I feel however that people are insulting Dan’s intelligence by arguing that he somehow condones or promotes the sentiments of the comments he quoted and paraphrased simply by quoting or paraphrasing them alone, despite him explicitly saying the comments are “troubling” to him and characterizing them as “anger”. I get that some people want Dan to explicitly denounce the American students as racists, but I still don’t think that’s a victory we should be spending our time seeking. Dan’s trying to discuss what leads to the Creationism vs. Evolution divide and some people want him to denounce the hurtful things people say in that divide. Missing the trees for the forest, guys.

    @Maitreya

    If it is abundantly clear that the students he was quoting have such stupid over-generalization tendencies, then why include them in a meaningful discussion about the topic at all? Why give them any importance whatsoever? If one is really interested in having a civilized debate about a topic, quoting extremists and emotionally-motivated people AT SUCH LENGTH is the last thing one would do. Just a quote or two would suffice to make a point.

    It is abundantly clear that Dan didn’t judge those students as having “stupid overgeneralization tendencies”, that he didn’t see them as “extremists and emotionally-motivated people”. That’s why he explicitly wrote that he thought of them as sophisticated, intelligent, and well-traveled. While such characteristics generally correlates with less proclivity to prejudice, we all know that’s not absolutely true. There are plenty of sophisticated, intelligent, and well-traveled people who are capable of uttering stereotypes and generalizations. But the point is clear that Dan doesn’t see these people as being prone to simple bigotry and feels there must be something substantial for them and what he feels is a growing number of them to have such strong complaints and hold such strong opinions that, again, he finds troubling.

    This is quite similar to someone writing an article quoting certain people who think that the Holocaust is a myth, and then adding a disclaimer at the end saying that he/she does not support their views.

    Except that’s not what Dan did. Dan includes the complaints because they give light to what the fissure is (differences in expectations of participation in class, for example) and he explicitly frames the post as opening up discussion for what, if anything, needs to be done to bridge that fissure.

    If he really wanted to help “bridge this massive fissure”, he should, and easily could have gone beyond mere reproduction of others’ selective opinions.

    Disagree. Prompting discussion and debate can definitely help bridge the fissure. Parody and satire does likewise, because they prompt discussion and debate. Casting a spotlight on something and bringing it to the attention of more people is too. HH does both in its quest against Western media bias.

    Again, Dan didn’t merely reproduce others’ selective opinions, he used them as testimony to what he argues is a growing phenomenon that he’d like his commenters’ opinions on how to deal address. This is just like YinYang quoting articles he thinks evidence Western media bias and opening it up for discussion.

    And the irony is – Chinese students have been quite successful in America in many industries, thus calling into question many of the students that Dan quotes.

    Sort of. We’d point out that there are many mainland Chinese students who aren’t like what they say and that’d help us in begging them to clarify what we already ought to know: that they’re generalizing. It won’t help us prove that there is no basis for their sentiments. It isn’t hard to prove stereotype and generalization, and that’s not what Dan’s after. He’s after discussion of the basis for their sentiments. Some people may be content to just dismiss those sentiments as unfounded, but wiser people will recognize that those sentiments may be based upon something that is worthwhile to investigate. If I have to repeat myself, investigating and discussing doesn’t mean agreement with the expression of those sentiments. It doesn’t mean agreement or promotion of stereotypes and racism. Don’t conflate the two.

    Re: Past Chinese students and Indian students

    Yes, we can argue disproportionate attention paid to mainland Chinese students because American society feels threatened by China’s rise. No different from how China pays disproportionate attention to the US or India to Pakistan or whatever. We all have our favored “bogeymen”.

    However, I would say the sentiments aren’t unique to only the current crop of mainland Chinese students at all. Past immigrant students from Hong Kong and Taiwan and Korea have faced the same sentiments as well. They were and still are called “FOBs”, criticized for cheating, for not participating, for not integrating, for not speaking in English, etc. etc. etc. The issue isn’t race, but rather the differences in attitude and behavior that comes from where you are socialized clashing with the attitudes and behavioral norms of where you are now. Mexican kids too.

    Are mainland Chinese students getting disproportionate attention because China is getting disproportionate attention these days? Sure. But the backlash wasn’t uncommon in the past against similar demographics. This was particularly evident throughout the years in places where Chinese immigrants flocked to, like California, where the UC system has long been mired in how Asian its student population has become.

    And Indian students aren’t exempt. There is plenty of contempt for Indian princelings (and especially Middle Eastern) just as there are for wealthy mainland Chinese, or wealthy Taiwan and Hong Kong Chinese kids, with their fancy cars, expensive handbags, and insular attitudes. Indians fare better in the sense that they have less of a language barrier compared to the Chinese for reasons you already know, but there’s always contempt by the natives for outsiders they regard as insular. The same is true in China, as it is in America. The natives invariably expect the guest to adjust to their norms in their land.

    @melektaus

    Disagree and so much is unhelpful exaggeration. Are there hostile teachers and environments in American classrooms and college discussions? Abso-fucking-lutely. Do Chinese students find themselves sometimes believing something that is unpopular or not shared by their American classmates and teachers? Definitely.

    But please, stop making it sound like overseas mainland Chinese students are all raring to participate, interact, and engage in fruitful mutually respectful discourse. There are certainly some students, but the vast majority of them are just like the vast majority of American students: They don’t really care and can’t wait for class to be over.

    The distribution is that the majority don’t care or know enough to articulate meaningful opinions and arguments. A minority hold opinions they feel strongly about but are hindered by their inability to articulate them well enough. The tiniest minority are the students who hold strong opinions and genuinely want to discuss them but are unfairly being shouted down and ostracized.

    There are far more overseas Chinese students (not just mainland either) who simply can’t be bothered to learn the language or how to articulate their perspectives than there are those who have been frustrated by a hostile environment. Both certainly exist, but let’s not make inaccurate representations. It doesn’t help.

    @LOLZ

    Dan opened up his post to comments. There’s your forum. Sound off, as many have. If you want Chinese students’ opinions about the generalized accusations of their American counterparts to be the original post and not a comment, start a blog as Allen and YinYang have, or as Fauna has with chinaSMACK which literally quotes Chinese opinions and perspectives.

    I don’t see Dan’s person, post, or website as gathering a bunch of white folks and having them complain about black crime. There’s no evidence that Dan gathered anyone or prompted them for opinions about any specific race or group. That analogy is thus faulty.

    What he did is share what he has heard and come to feel as frequent enough to warrant consideration that there is a growing phenomenon worth discussing.

    Likening what Dan did to Stormfront is pretty ridiculous.

    I think you’re mistaking Dan’s post as trying to trying to “address the issue of crime”. He’s not. He’s prompting discussion of what is underlying the complaints and sentiments he is increasingly hearing and is doing so precisely because he’s increasingly hearing them. If he weren’t, he wouldn’t think it notable enough to bring up and seek other people’s thoughts on. Therefore, a more accurate analogy is that Dan is someone who has heard a lot of complaints about black people committing crime, which he finds “troubling”, sharing what he’s heard, and then opening for discussion “what, if anything, needs to change”.

    We can argue that those sentiments may contain simple prejudice and racism but we would be fools to not consider if there is some basis for them that black people could influence.

    @Allen

    I think you’re being dishonest.

    “Case Study on Bigoty: Is Dan Harris of the China Law Blog a Bigot?”

    You said you were “shocked” and “amazed” at “the level of comfort” someone that “appears to be an intelligent person” (suggesting he isn’t) has with “spouting” what looks to you like “hate epithets”. You called his post “racist”, mind you, and who writes racist post except racists?

    You even added his firm’s name to the post and URL in what I can only conclude is an SEO ploy to discredit him and his firm by association. That’s what I would do if I wanted to make sure anyone searching for Dan Harris professionally in connection with his law firm sees my post slamming him as a bigot.

    “Case Study on Chinese Apologetics: Is Allen of Hidden Harmonies a Chinese Apologist?”

    See what I mean? 99 out of 100 times, you’re merely asking a rhetorical question, a leading question. The 1 time is when you explicitly say “So no, I don’t think we can say Dan Harris is a bigot” later in a body text examining and arguing why Dan isn’t what the title asks.

    How can you say you don’t care to prove whether Dan is a racist or not when that’s the TITLE and CONTENT of your post, and what you characterize as “the million dollar question”? Sorry, I find that incredibly disingenuous. There has to be some basis for you interpreting Dan’s post as racist and absent explicit proof in the post, there has to be some historical basis. But you don’t provide it, so your arguments assailing Dan are therefore no persuasive to me, hence my disagreement with you.

    My disagreement also shows that I clearly don’t think a “reasonable person” reading his writing will come to the same conclusions you have. What now?

    As I said in my original comment, your attacks upon Dan ultimately weakened whatever else you were hoping to address:

    It’s a travesty that the lengthy defenses and considerations you make for overseas Chinese students are marred and upstaged by your eagerness to paint Dan a bigot.

    @Allen

    You prove that it is impractical by pre-emptively excusing yourself as being behind on what else you want to blog about and having to prioritize. If you don’t want to be a hypocrite, please by all means make sure every single post you write comes with a companion “counterpoint” post. Then you would have the moral high ground for demanding that Dan “make a post dedicated to hearing what Chinese students have to say about their American peers’ accusations”.

    @Allen

    Yeah, I imagine Dan wouldn’t want his blog to link to a post that attacks him as a bigot, not totally dissimilar to Shaun Rein blocking people on Twitter who directly criticized his articles.

    @scl

    It’s incredibly hard to have the moral high ground about China bashing becoming pop culture in America when America bashing is also part of pop culture in China, as websites like chinaSMACK have already demonstrated because they actually do translate and make one side’s discussion accessible to another. Should we be making reckless comments suggesting Americans by way of chinaSMACK should therefore know better when they come to China?

    Come on, this is more ugly and hypocritical “us vs. them” mentality.

    @Allen

    This is ridiculous. It’s called BLOGGING. You piggy backed on someone you don’t like as well with this post, Allen. When people blog, they share and recommend or comment on what they read or hear elsewhere. YinYang posted a YouTube video with long excerpted updates. Are we to criticize him for that?

    If this thread wasn’t about trashing Dan, ignoring the title and content of the original post, you’re at least tolerating it despite the fact that just about every comment Eric Wong posted is irrelevant to the post you’re taking Dan to task for. In debate, we call that poisoning the well, if not outright smear campaigning and character assassination.

    Whether his firm is based in China or if his blog posts are often (attributed, mind you) quotes of other people’s work is entirely irrelevant to this “case study of bigotry”. Appreciating Eric Wong’s comments is therefore equivalent to appreciating ad hominem attacks in place of relevant argument. We’re supposed to judge if Dan’s post evidences his bigotry, right? What does “well, he puts in minimal effort into his blogging” have anything to do with possible bigotry?

    Come on, guys.

    Okay, I’ve responded to this discussion as requested and spent an ungodly amount of time and energy doing so. I’m done.

  67. Kai
    January 21st, 2012 at 06:20 | #67

    @LOLZ

    One more…

    However I also find it silly for people to praise Dan for “starting a conversation” as if giving examples of China-bashing on US college campus is somehow ground breaking (NYT did a piece on this months ago). I also think giving a soapbox to prejudiced voices (not Dan but some of his interviewees, though Dan did try to clarify this interviewees as open minded, non-prejudiced people which clearly isn’t the case) will not help to resolve anything.

    Who is “praising” Dan for starting a conversation? Jared T. Nelson didn’t. I sure didn’t. I explained that he posted those comments to open something up for discussion (the fissure or divide between American students and overseas mainland Chinese students that is giving increasing rise to those complaints and stereotypes/generalizations). Jared seems to understand that as I do.

    Is giving examples of China-bashing in Western media somehow ground breaking either? Come on. This is blatant double-standards. How do you broach the issue of a fissure between American students and overseas mainland Chinese students if you don’t cite and give examples of the complaints involved? The complaints aren’t even general racist insults like “Chinese students are dumb” or “Chinese students are ugly” or “Chinese students are evil”. They are specific in complaining about insularity in participation or prevalence of academic misconduct.

    Again, we can condemn them insofar as they accuse or suggest all Chinese students are like this or that, but rejecting the quotation of their sentiments to broach a larger issue for discussion is unreasonable. It is likewise troubling that some of you see him quoting their sentiments as giving a soapbox to those sentiments. Are documentaries about German and Japanese aggression giving a soapbox to racist sentiments by quoting things German and Japanese people said about Jews and Chinese at the time? Come on, it’s presented for illustration. You guys are dangerously unable to differentiate between legitimate quotation for discourse and quotation as communication of approval.

    If we want to solve the fissure between American students and overseas mainland Chinese students, if we want to find ways to integrate them into each other better, then what some American students think and what they are complaining ABOUT is most certainly relevant.

    Alright, I’m outta here.

  68. pug_ster
    January 21st, 2012 at 08:03 | #68

    @Kai

    Wrong again.

    Imagine if you will that Dan posted in similar fashion complaints by Chinese in America about biased American media. Dan says he’s hearing these complaints with increasing frequency, from Chinese people he wouldn’t normally consider hypernationalists or overly sensitive. He says he finds those comments troubling and then asks what can be done to bridge the fissure, what, if anything, needs to change.

    You’re talking about apples and oranges here. The thing that many people here pissed off about is the way the post generalizations about Chinese people, not Chinese media, nor government. A better analogy is if Dan posted a similar complaint by Chinese about why Americans in general intellectually inept compared to Chinese. Of course, what was said above is simply not true nor do I have any facts to prove it. IE, it is not racist to talk about generalizations of Chinese government or the media or American government or media. But it is racist to make false generalizations about Chinese or American people.

  69. Karl
    January 21st, 2012 at 09:44 | #69

    I am new here so the first thing I did was read all the comments and I was surprised that nobody mentioned how this whole thing is based on class and wealth. What is happening is that the very wealthy Chinese are the ones who can pay for people to take the tests for them and to write the essays for them. Similarly, it is the very wealthy who merely need a U.S. college degree to bring back to daddy so daddy can tell his friends to hire his son (and sometimes daughter) because of the U.S. college degree. In the meantime, the poor students in China either have to test well enough to get into a good Chinese school or they are screwed because they cannot afford to pay to cheat or pay to go elsewhere. It is very clear to me that everyone of those who have come on here to defend the current system (and this is especially true of all of you on here who got so angry about this article and its comments that you cannot even seem to see straight) are simply defending the current classist system because it is what enables them to stay on top and to help their friends who are also on top. U.S. universities are being told by the US Government to look the other way and to let in these rich but unprepared students and to ignore their cheating while here and let them pass through because then they will go back to China as elites and that will help cement our friendship. Those who see what is really going on (and this is on both sides) are causing a problem for this plan, which is why we must continue to speak up.

  70. January 21st, 2012 at 09:54 | #70

    @Karl
    Another stereotyping. If this is your understanding of the issues. You might as well shut up.

    Please show us how you know those are very wealthy Chinese. Most mainland Chinese students I’ve met are from middle class family.

    According to your argument, you are also a “classist” who want to put those students down. Well, I don’t have to provide any evidence like you, my accusation stand. That’s the whole grip we have with the articles. Those mainland students are all guilty as charge because of hearsay.

  71. January 21st, 2012 at 10:03 | #71

    @Kai
    I appreciate your genuine efforts to try to ‘bridge.’ Personally, I constantly think about whether your way of looking at things is the more effective way to bridge Chinese and Westerners. I really wish you would continue to blog.

    On technicality I agree with you . Dan’s post could be viewed as neutral. Please read our original response to Dan’s article:
    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2012/01/responding-to-china-law-blog-chinese-students-in-america-its-bad-out-there/

    You said:

    He says he finds those comments troubling and then asks what can be done to bridge the fissure, what, if anything, needs to change.

    Has Dan taken an interest in what “needs to change?” If you look at the discussion (by the way actively approving the comments he want through), it is a HUGE divide:

    1. One side you have those justifying the complaints, and many quite racist.
    2. The other side speaking on behalf of the Chinese students.

    His article has in fact created a nasty “us vs. them.” He has done NOTHING towards what needs to change. We have offered an easy 3 step solution.

    Kai – you cannot call Allen’s article ‘dishonest.’ Don’t you see – for example – I am quoting Matt Cooper from up top:

    Though I do not believe that Dan himself was behaving in a racist way, I too was quite miffed by his rattling off of a dozen or so blatant stereotypes and believing that such stereotypes are the basis for any kind of rational conversation. I don’t think that saying as much is in any way ‘uncalled for’.

    Dan’s article in how he treats the issue is bad.

  72. January 21st, 2012 at 10:03 | #72

    @Kai
    I am not going to waste my time with you. Let’s just say Dan’s article with the title “Kai as a Student In America. It’s Bad Out There.”

    Replaced all the mainland Chinese students with yourself. Enjoy!

    “Kai doen’t come here to learn. He just come here for the grades.” I have heard this one at least a half dozen times.
    “I am convinced that if our teacher asked the class what 2+2 equals, and nobody spoke up, Kai would not answer.” I have heard some form of this one at least a dozen times.
    “Kai is killing class discussion. He never contribute.” One student told me of how all the students not from x agreed not to speak one day to see what would happen. There was no class discussion and the teacher asked them not to do it again.
    “I cannot even stand having to listen to Kai give presentations. His English is terrible and he doesn’t even try. Somebody else must have taken the tests for Kai.”
    “The school is going to regret having admitted Kai. Kai will never donate money to the school as alumni. It will be like Kai were never here at all.”
    “You will never see Kai at any school function. Never ever ever. Unless it can help him with a grade.” I am constantly hearing this one.
    “Kai never make any effort to talk with anyone other than those who are also from x.”
    “Kai cheat all the time. It is pretty unbelievable how often I have seen him cheating. I am always complaining to my professors about this, but they usually just act like they are too important to deign to deal with something like this. Just come watch a test being adminstered and it will be obvious. Kai are allowed to get away with it because they pay the foreign tuition rate. It isn’t fair.” I hear this one constantly as well and, needless to say, it is the one that causes the most anger.
    “My friend with a 3.8 GPA and 650 SATs didn’t get in and had to go to ______. I know he/she would have contributed far more to the school than Kai.”
    “I’ve heard that Kai cheated to get in.”
    “The school claims Kai contribute to diversity. That’s a complete lie. How can someone who never says anything contribute to anything? Everyone knows Kai are here only because he pay the foreign tuition rate.
    “I tried to speak with Kai, but they clearly had no interest.”
    “This is a great way to ruin relations between x and us.”
    “Why do Kai even bothered? Kai come here to study, but since he never interact with anyone who is not from x, I don’t even see why he come.”

  73. January 21st, 2012 at 10:06 | #73

    lol. okay, I am on the floor laughing.

  74. pug_ster
    January 21st, 2012 at 11:17 | #74

    @Karl

    I’m sure that several of Rich Chinese does that kind of crap. Many American Elitists managed to go to top Universities because either one of their parents went there. You can go to classsucks.com and purchase a finely written essay without without paying off someone to write it for you. So what is your point?

  75. jxie
    January 21st, 2012 at 12:08 | #75

    @Kai

    I really like your enthusiasm and that idealistic sense of fairness — I really do, just that it’s too old for me to be your cheerleader.

    The most rational and reasonable response to Dan’s question of what needs to be done, if anything, is something along the lines of asking both sides to be considerate of the other. For example, ask the Chinese students to try harder to participate and interact (the majority of the comments Dan cites were about this), to respect that the American institution of learning expects discussion, so much that a class/course is explicitly a combination of lectures and discussion sections.

    The respected “American institution of learning” accepts close to 150k students on athletic scholarships. Number-wise they’re roughly comparable to the mainland Chinese students. At the risk of generalizing or stereotyping, unlike a lot of those jocks, Chinese students at least are not known to play hooky.

    There are all sorts of conflicts and clashes in the society, and this in the grand scheme of things is rather minor. I am afraid commenting/blogging in a couple sites, is all that iss for the discussions of this topic. There is just no place and no time for anybody to ask the Chinese students, or their mostly white peers to “try harder” on anything. The world is a fast changing place. Barring any fundamental reforms, the American higher-ed will always as a whole be strapped for funding, which means it’ll always admit foreign students to subsidize the complaining students (mostly if not all white). Now it’s Chinese students, pretty soon it’ll be Indian or African students. Well, get used to it.

    Some complaints are minor annoyances, such as how you could on one hand complain these students not into discussion yet on the other couldn’t stand their accent. The main problem to me is the accusation of cheating. Quite honestly Kai, if the meme gets hold and it’s not vehemently refuted, directly or indirectly it’s your own well being that will suffer. There is a wide spectrum of behaviors that can be construed as cheating, so it’s virtually impossible to compare one group to the other. For instance, sometimes there is a highly successful project in a company, and the project team consists of 50 team members, yet 500 claim to be instrumental of the project success on their resumes – that’s cheating. At the other end of the spectrum, you have the likes of Bernie Madoff a Bernard Ebbers. 0.1% of Madoff and Ebbers in general public can do a whole more damage than 90% of resume exaggeration.

  76. January 21st, 2012 at 20:42 | #76

    @Kai , Thanks for responding, and one must admit that one hardly gets to hear from you nowadays. 🙂

    I can see that we are actually, broadly speaking, in fundamental agreement, except for a couple of minor details, which are of course incidental to the main point. Neither you nor I accuse Dan of racism, and in my view, all Dan is guilty of is a lack of holism, and intellectual laziness, as I will explain again below.

    1. Regarding the first excerpt of mine that you quoted about the stupid over-generalizing students that Dan quotes – First of all, being sophisticated, intelligent and well-traveled have hardly anything to do with over-generalizing something. Second, I never used the word “bigot” anywhere to describe anyone. And finally third, are you actually saying with a straight face that, just to take this one example, this opinion is NOT made by “stupid” person?:

    “The school claims they contribute to diversity. That’s a complete lie. How can someone who never says anything contribute to anything? Everyone knows they are here only because they pay the foreign tuition rate.”

    In my opinion, this is stupid. You might have a different opinion though, and so might Dan. Its all subjective in the end.

    And here is your over-generalization:

    “This is a great way to ruin relations between China and us”.

    Nothing like a couple of quiet students to ruin relations between two countries. 😉

    If these sorts of comments are not emotionally motivated, I don’t know what are.

    “They cheat all the time. It is pretty unbelievable how often I have seen them cheating. I am always complaining to my professors about this, but they usually just act like they are too important to deign to deal with something like this. Just come watch a test being adminstered and it will be obvious. They are allowed to get away with it because they pay the foreign tuition rate. It isn’t fair.”

    So racism is the official policy of the University of Washington. Perhaps these students should sue it then! After all, American students should have as much right to cheat as Chinese ones!

    2. And then about my holocaust comparison:

    Except that’s not what Dan did.

    I don’t see how you can say that. He explicitly quotes people and says that he is “not going to editorialize” at all. He doesn’t give his own opinion, he just quotes others’ opinions. I’m not really interested in reading a couple of stupid anecdotes and an sample of gonzo journalism on Dan’s blog. That’s what the New York Times is for.

    3.

    Dan includes the complaints because they give light to what the fissure is…..

    Of course he does, and I’ve never said otherwise. But that light is a very faint one, so faint that it actually doesn’t cast any light at all. Everyone knows that there are lots of people out there with different opinions, and we don’t need Dan to tell us that. Hence my comment that this is just one of those articles that one just reads and moves on. There is no need for even a second glance at it, because it reveals nothing new. It adds nothing to the debate, and just asks others to do so. Dan’s ORIGINAL contribution to the article is zero.

    The word “include” is misleading. Dan doesn’t “include” those complaints along with his own opinions/complaints. Those complaints are the ONLY thing in his post. He doesn’t “include” anything else, including his own opinion. 😉 That’s kind of saying that a gift includes a book, when in fact the gift is the book itself (and nothing else) and not part of the gift. Those complaints are not part of the article, they are the article (almost).

    This is just like YinYang quoting articles he thinks evidence Western media bias and opening it up for discussion.

    Now that’s just appalling. YinYang doesn’t just quote an article from the western media in its entirety and leave it at that. He gives his opinions as to why he thinks that the article is biased (point by point, if I may say so) and then invites the readers for their views. Hence, YinYang’s approach is fundamentally different from Dan’s approach in the post in question. If YinYang would have been like Dan as you claim, he would have just copy-pasted an AP article and made it into a post at HH without saying a word about his own opinions, and then invited the readers to comment on it. Now such a post is fine as it stands, and the entire post gets reduced to a readers open forum, where the author himself/herself does absolutely nothing. But that is not what YinYang does.

    Hence my earlier comment that for such personal posts (that do nothing beyond stating the obvious, something that everyone already knows), nothing more needs to be said except just reading it once and moving on. The author need not be explicitly blamed for writing such an article. Perhaps he just wanted to hear what what his readers think, perhaps he was just intellectually lazy, perhaps he didn’t have an opinion, or had one and didn’t want to state it, or perhaps he just didn’t have time and left it for later.

    4. You say that you think Dan didn’t judge those students as having “stupid overgeneralization tendencies”, and then you go on to say:

    We’d point out that there are many mainland Chinese students who aren’t like what they say and that’d help us in begging them to clarify what we already ought to know: that they’re generalizing.

    Well, either they’re generalizing or they’re not.

    Personally, I think that one of the main reasons for such opinions is jealousy and using Chinese students’ non-participation in class as a smokescreen to hide one’s own relative lack of academic achievement. Yes – there is some basis for these opinions and I’ve never said otherwise, my point is that Dan shies away from giving HIS opinion about what those reasons are, and instead leaves us with a bunch of stupid and foolish opinions where, as I said earlier, just one or two would suffice to make the point. So a couple of American students are jealous of their Chinese counterparts. Big Deal.

    5.

    If I have to repeat myself, investigating and discussing doesn’t mean agreement with the expression of those sentiments. It doesn’t mean agreement or promotion of stereotypes and racism. Don’t conflate the two.

    This is exactly what I said earlier:

    having an opinion about a topic is not necessary to quote others’ opinions on it; the latter does not imply the former.

    I have never conflated the two. Moreover, I have never ever accused Dan of racism.

    ….but wiser people will recognize that those sentiments may be based upon something that is worthwhile to investigate.

    My dear Kai, I have said this earlier, and I will say this again: It is indeed important and worthwhile to investigate the issue, but Dan is not one of those wise people, because he doesn’t investigate the issue, save to a very superficial extent. Now your response to this might be that quoting others’ opinions and complaints is Dan’s way of shedding some light on it, and I have discussed that in point 3 above.

    6.

    The natives invariably expect the guest to adjust to their norms in their land.

    True. And that’s their problem, not the guests’. These guests pay the full fee, land the best jobs and the best guides and professors for their research, and contribute to the natives’ own economy. So if the natives have a problem with the guests performing better at their own norms (or at their own game; thus giving rise to jealousy), then, as the British would say – Tough. 😉 They’ll just have to deal with it.

    Obama himself made the case for US engineers to become more competitive and for their students to study science and math better. “These are the jobs that China and India are cranking out”, he said once.

    The basic point is this – either you invite foreign students to study and get jobs in your country, or you don’t. If you do, then jobs will invariably end up with the best students. Indians and Chinese will start eating away at “your” job market.

  77. Wayne
    January 21st, 2012 at 22:19 | #77

    @Maitreya
    “Personally, I think that one of the main reasons for such opinions is jealousy and using Chinese students’ non-participation in class as a smokescreen to hide one’s own relative lack of academic achievement”

    You are right, in my opinion.

    Do you really think that white students are all that bothered, all that bitter, over the fact that they apparently find it difficult being friends with these mainland Chinese students? In my experience, those Westerners who whine the most about Chinese (and other coloured folk) not assimilating or mixing, are those who would be the least likely to want to have non-white friends themselves!

    This comment is revealing:
    “I cannot even stand having to listen to them give presentations. Their English is terrible and they don’t even try. ”

    So these same white students ‘cannot even stand’ hearing mainland Chinese students speak English, yet are pissed that the Chinese students are not mixing?

    Really?

    If the Chinese students are not mixing surely it could possibly relate to the hostility of white students who ‘cannot even stand’ to hear them speaking english, and think that their english is ‘terrible’?

    As for whether or not Dan is really a racist bigot, I really don’t know. But his actions in posting his article are certainly the actions one would expect from a racist bigot. You know the saying, if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck……..

    Let’s publicly post a whole lot of anonymous innuendo and whisperings about Dan Harris (something along the lines of Ray’s post #69), and see how Mr Harris likes it. I hardly think he would accept an explanation of ‘we are simply inviting debate’.

  78. Boris
    January 21st, 2012 at 22:49 | #78

    The problem with Mr. Harris is that he is trying too hard to be relevant.

    A review of his law blog and some common sense reveal 2 issues:

    1) He makes up most of his stories – very few have even a ring of reality – if there were truth in his assertions about his clients, files, experinces, etc.etc. he would need one hundred clerks just to keep up with the e-mail.

    2) He ventures too often out of his league – He writes about topics that have nothing to do with law and that he obviously has no knowledge about. A good example was a recent blog about the Chinese real estate market. He hears a rumour and writes a blog. Most recently he read somewhere about the problems of an international school in Shanghai. He turned is into another bullshit story that a) was totally meaningless – even most commenters saw through that and b) another effort in self-aggrandizing: “we have many internatonal schools as clients” If you have to believe Mr. Harris, everyboody is his clients.

    My advise is to leave him alone. He is clearly is a very under-employed lawyer otherwise he never would have the time to do what he claims to be doing.

    This is a problem with most active bloggers: They have too much time.

  79. raventhorn
    January 22nd, 2012 at 07:59 | #79

    @Kai

    “The reason Dan wrote a post about those stereotypes and generalizations is not because they are, but because of the increasing frequency of him hearing them. The crux is the frequency.
    To him, it signals a growing trend that he finds “troubling” and considers a “massive fissure” between American students and overseas mainland Chinese students.
    He is not saying the stereotypes are “fissures”, nor is he saying there is a misunderstanding/miscommunication between the sides. He’s talking about the differences in norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors that are proving to be divisive.”

    I call BS. the “crux” is the frequency?

    Oh please, Dan gave no indication that this is his “fissure”, and I think you are spinning.

    “the differences in norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors that are proving to be divisive.”

    Well, yes, the difference being the students Dan “heard” from are Racists talking stereotypes. If it was 1 student, it was racist comment. If it were 20 students, they were racist comments.

    1 second you are talking “frequency”, the next second you are talking “the differences in norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors”??

    Which is it?

  80. January 23rd, 2012 at 16:57 | #80

    @Kai

    Ah – lots of replies back and forth. I will answer what I think are the most critical points.

    Why the title of my post if I do not care if Dan is himself a racist?

    Because I care about the impact of his post. Does Dan come across as a racist in this post? That is the million dollar question. I don’t care if Dan is personally a racist, thus I don’t care about his history. That is not the question.

    Why do I put Dan’s blog and firm on it – because he puts his firm’s name prominently on his blog. I imagine Dan does spend non-trivial amounts of time on his blog. May be an integral part of his firm. Of the times I saw Dan quoted in other blogs a few times, his firm is associated with him. If he does use that platform to smear others and make hate speech, I will call that platform out – which is Dan Harris of China Law Blog, Harris and Moure PLLC. (I took off the Harris and Moure part from the title though. It made my title too long…)

    Now that is out of the way, I do appreciate your time and effort on this blog. Whether we agree or not is not important.

    I do want to spend just a little more effort to close the topic though. Let’s assume I had completely misread Dan’s post and that all he is saying is this: there are a bunch of stereotypes about Chinese and they are held by too many people. What is going on here? Are people in the U.S. – reflecting the political trends of the times – Chinese bigots and China bashers? Or is there something more? Is there something unique about the current wave of Chinese students studying abroad at this time that need to change?

    My response would contain part of my post above. I would start by saying: watch for prejudicial biases. If you start with a racial bias, you will end up seeing racial patterns even if none exist.

    But beyond that, let’s talk about the cheating stereotype. I would ask whether if this is part of a general trend or something unique to Chinese students. If unique to Chinese students, I would ask if this is really a problem with the enrollment process.

    I’d avoid attributing to Mainland culture until all other explanations have been exhausted. Against a population of 1.3 billion, I just don’t see 1.3 billion cheaters. I can’t prove it here, but if that’s where we must go, I give up…

    But what’s this about enrollment process?

    As I wrote in China Hacking, Poison and Piracy there is a tendency for West to generalize and attribute specific problem areas of China to China as a whole – where the problem becomes a cultural, government, or societal one – when the problem is a local one, related to brand, process control, supply chain control, quality control, etc.

    Can the same be true here? If certain American Universities are admitting a group of cheaters, are they doing so because they are effectively looking for money rather than students? Have they a reduced admission standards such that invite and allow certain tiger parents in China to buy their children an education abroad? Can the problem here be a problem with quality control – of the enrollment process – not the student pool – much less a clutsy blunt racist grouping of student of a certain ethnicity or nationality- per se?

    As for all the other things (bad English, class participation, socializing), I believe I already answered them – at least given a place to start – in my post.

    I also wonder, what are the Chinese perspective. I can make a list of stereotypes of what foreign students see of America. How much of that is real? Do they tell us more about the Chinese students or the foreign students?

    The issues surrounding international student exchange are complex and potentially very interesting – but starting the conversation with a mouthful of stereotypical epithets (and all one-sided to hoot) – to me anyways – is offensive.

  81. Black Adder
    January 23rd, 2012 at 23:18 | #81

    The fact is that Dan Harris does use China Law Blog – and the comments posted on it – to be nasty about other people and their businesses, especially when it comes to China. He’ll make a controversial statement, often ended with ‘what do you think?’ and encourages folk to say what they want, without stepping in to moderate if comments become unpleasant or libelous.
    He also self praises his own articles by commenting under alias.
    He is a charlatan, is rude and very disrespectful – in particular towards those with an equally high online profile such Shaun Rein and others. Dan Harris and China Law Blog have become a nasty piece of work – and one without a license to practice in China – hence the aggression by them towards those who do.

  82. Black Adder
    January 23rd, 2012 at 23:26 | #82

    Also as mentioned above there is very little original content from him, he takes other peoples work and comments about those, effectively making them “his”. Many times I’ve seen many many comments on China Law Blog but not on the original website he lifted the idea from.
    Very little of Dan Harris or China Law Blog is original work except for when that Steve Dickenson guy posts about once a month. Otherwise China Law Blog is all content lifted from other people – neither he nor his firm Harris & Moure are in China so they know bugger all. Now its starting to show.

  83. Captain Pugwash
    January 24th, 2012 at 22:46 | #83

    I’m based in China and work for a US law firm in Beijing. Professionals I know treat China Law Blog as something of a joke – he’s only ever right 50% of the time. And he’s never around, isn’t a member of any China based law groups – I guess because he’s based in Seattle. He’s small time and noisy, and has far less influence than his increasingly angry blog suggests it does. Basically considered a non-entity. I’ve never heard of anyone who has hired him despite his assertions of hundreds of clients. He’s just full of hot air b/s, that’s all – like many small town lawyers Dan Harris’s ego is larger than his true capabilities.

  84. January 24th, 2012 at 22:50 | #84

    Allen and I will have to close off comments on this thread.

    Kai and others genuinely have more relevant things to say here – please email us (our emails are in the ‘About’ page).

  85. James
    February 6th, 2012 at 20:41 | #85

    I taught writing at Nankai U. for several years.

    We used critical thinking to write convincingly. We discussed our ideas in class. In a few weeks they were beginning to write more logical, convincing arguments, using their own brains to come up with their own logical arguments – but one of the classes was torture.

    It came down to one student. He was placed in English, because he hadn’t tested high enough to get another major, and he wasn’t interested in working hard enough to be allowed a second major.

    His future was fixed. He wouldn’t be kicked out of school unless he did something really wrong, and he knew that once he graduated, he would be working for his father, in his father’s company. (That has to be crushing, to know that nothing you want matters, you will do what you are told. Don’t bother to think for yourself.)

    He had no need to achieve, no need to participate, and no interest in learning English or writing. And he was the class monitor.

    Because he wouldn’t discuss in class, nobody else in that class wanted to discuss opinions on any topic, no matter how non-political it was. Those students would discuss their ideas one-on-one, in my office hours, and I would give them feedback on how to write better, but that one student killed the class discussion – dead.

    I would not be surprised if those student groups in US universities also have such a student as part of them – somone whose future is fixed, and nothing they want matters – they were sent to get that diploma.

  86. March 14th, 2012 at 01:55 | #86

    Following up on comment 80 above on whether American universities might be seeking easy profits in China, admitting subpar students, here is in an interesting story.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-03/14/c_131466863.htm

    The total population of Chinese overseas students was about 340,000 in 2011, more than 310,000 of who were at their own expense, according to the Ministry of Education. From 1978 to the end of 2011, the population of all kinds of Chinese overseas students totaled nearly 2.25 million. On a conservative estimate, these 300,000 students in 2011 would prize an international student market of about 60 billion yuan.

    It is noteworthy that a “chain of academic fraud” is hidden in the huge oversea study market. It was reported that 400 out of 410 foreign students who were awarded diploma by the Dickinson State University since 2003 in fact did not complete all required courses and 95 percent of them were Chinese students, according to an audit report on Dickinson State University in North Dakota, United States.

    Qi Lixin, honorary president of the Beijing Entry and Exit Service Association, said during an interviewed that the Dickinson State University Event is definitely not the first and neither will be the last.

    “Profit trap” behind oversea study bubble

    Reporter: What should we think over the incident mentioned above considering that the Dickinson State University has cooperated with 19 Chinese universities.

    Qi Lixin: On this matter, one thing we focus on is that the Dickinson State University uses its school funds to make a promotional tour in many universities of China. Many North American and European countries have long turned their eyes on China. Chinese students are a huge profit point of contention. Therefore, this university would come to China at the risk of fiscal deficits. And the result brought by this is that a state university can establish cooperative relationships with 19 universities in China. The profit they get from Chinese students is far greater than the cost.

    Today, almost every university in China has at least three or four foreign cooperative education programs and the number of such programs is growing constantly. Under such circumstances, the incident like what has happed in the Dickinson University is likely to occur. This is definitely not the first and neither will be the last.

    Reporter: Cooperation hot in running schools has appeared in recent years between Chinese and foreign countries. What lessons should our universities learn from this?

    Qi Lixin: Universities should think about that whether it is a little bit blind hot when carrying out foreign exchanges and cooperation. Many universities take the number of international cooperative universities as their achievements instead of their discipline research activities. In fact, many universities have neglected the cooperation and exchange in the field of basic research when cooperating with foreign schools, but just focus on simple inter-school cooperation and program union. The major purpose of cooperation between universities is profit. Chinese and foreign universities must set correct goal for cooperation, or they may fall into the “profit trap”.

    Reporter: What leads the oversea study programs into the “profit trap”?

    Qi Lixin: We have an international education information supervision network and all the universities recognized in this network are approved by the Ministry of Education. The United States alone has more than 2,600 colleges and universities as well as 2,800 community colleges, involving in a population of 300 million. It’s a serious and time-consuming work to verify so many colleges and universities around the whole world. Now, much work hasn’t been done yet.

    Reporter: The oversea study market grows at a speed of 20 percent per year. What are the main problems?

    Qi Lixin: Firstly, oversea study agencies cannot shirk their responsibilities for the prevailing blind studying abroad phenomenon. Many intermediaries ignore investigation because of the purpose of profit; secondly, the service teams of oversea study agencies need to be trained and rectified; and thirdly, parents’ knowledge of oversea education is limited. Parents must firstly think over clearly what they want their children to gain at foreign school, for an inflated reputation or knowledge? Secondly, the living expenses and tuition for studying abroad will be no less than 150,000 yuan per year, then studying abroad for four years will cost at least 600,000 yuan, so parents must make decision after careful consideration on the family’s payment ability; and finally, both parents and students are vulnerable groups. They should consider about the legal risks. When selecting an organization or a program, they should not just take cost into account.

    Reporter: Tens of thousands of netizens debate after the Dickinson State University incident: “Is the purpose of overseas education to muddle along and get a diploma or to learn knowledge?” and people cannot help asking whether the emergence of such debates means muddling along abroad for a diploma has become a common phenomenon?

    Qi Lixin: Yes. A considerable number of people studying abroad every year are just for a diploma rather than knowledge. The preference for high and foreign education background exits in our country now. With a foreign diploma, one may be considered more competitive and more opportunities than others, and even can get higher salaries in a same workplace.

    This may lead to lots of people directly buy fake diplomas. However, with the widespread use of foreign diploma, the situation of determining hiring and career promotion relying on diploma has changed at least in some private businesses. I believe it will not take too long that the glitter of foreign diploma will fade way someday.

  87. September 27th, 2012 at 10:02 | #87

    On the notion that students just cheat, not just Chinese – so here is just another annecdotal evidence that all student cheat – Americans, too. In fact, many students cheat pervasively.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/26/education/stuyvesant-high-school-students-describe-rationale-for-cheating.html

    If you want to focus just on Chinese and ignore everyone else, sure you may come to the conclusion that only Chinese student cheat.

    Here is something on cheating at Harvard.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/14/harvard-cheating-scandal-not-just-sports_n_1885597.html

    Wonder if Dan will write about cheating being limited to Harvard now? Maybe not, but perhaps a post on how Chinese students at Harvard cheat. Let’s catch a few Chinese students cheating, ratchet things up, and turn a blind eye on the context of the problem. Hmmm… sounds good already.

    Here is something on why cheating is an epidemic in societies where success is valued above all else, societies such as America.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ben-michaelis-phd/cheaters_b_1909114.html

  88. Black Pheonix
    September 27th, 2012 at 16:19 | #88

    With the evident rampant cheating going on in US schools, even in Harvard, I wonder if Chinese students who come to US LEARN to cheat, or are compelled to cheat, from the examples of the US student cheaters.

    Obviously, if they didn’t cheat, they would be at a disadvantage in US schools.

  89. perspectivehere
    October 2nd, 2012 at 17:37 | #89

    This moving account of her experience as a foreign student in the US comes from the introduction to a 2009 phd thesis written by an American woman born and raised in Taiwan, Fang Chi (Tiffany) Lin. I think her description of her experience at being misunderstood, stereotyped, ignored and excluded by her European American classmates probably typifies the experience of many foreign students from Asia in US universities, especially those whose English is not fluent.

    “Pursuing a first degree in America had been a dream for me dating back to my first linguistic exposure to American English. At the age of thirteen, I started tuning in to a radio programme of English teaching, Studio Classroom, produced by a group of American Christian missionaries. Their vivid and interesting English language lessons drew my attention to the contrast between learning English in school and on the radio. In middle school, pupils were often required by their English teacher to memorise vocabulary and grammar, with the primary aim of learning English being to prepare for the high school entrance exam. By contrast, on the radio English was a communicative language and served as a microcosm of American culture and pedagogy. Because of that programme, I set my mind to pursue my higher education in America when I grew up.

    In 1992, at the age of 20, I went to the United States for higher education at the University of Utah. In Utah, the first state I settled in, I experienced discrimination and cultural differences both in life generally and at university. At school, I was always left out of class discussions because of my foreigner identity and my far-from-native English. I often sat in the class alone and quiet, and learned my English by watching television in my flat. At the time, Utah was a white-dominated, closed society with a significant Mormon religious influence. There were very few foreign students in Business School, and hardly anyone in my class wanted me to join their group, for fear that I might affect their group performance. I often felt embarrassed when I was the only one left with no group. Similarly, my instructors, with little experience in interacting with foreign students, perceived my silence as passivity. To many American people, the connotations of Asian students’ silence are, as Pon et al (2003, p.115) indicate, that they are ‘timid, docile, submissive and obedient….’ My student life in Salt Lake City, Utah, was overshadowed by this commonly-held negative view. This view showed not only how egocentric my American associates were, but also how my orientalism was defined through the eyes of the people in the Occident (Said, 1978). Underlying my silence was shyness, low English proficiency and a ‘foreign’ classroom culture that I had never experienced. My American classmates’ active participation, I argued, reflected not their more sophisticated cognitive development, but their familiarity with the classroom practices, social exchange and school culture with which they had grown up.”

    ***************************

  90. Panthera Tigris Amoyensis
    April 2nd, 2015 at 02:49 | #90

    Fast forward to 2015. Is Dan Harris a racist, part 512,657. Yes. And an anti-Semite. In his China Law Blog article today he says Jews like Beijing because it has “no-go” areas and suggests they have “no problem” with that. See: http://www.chinalawblog.com/2015/04/beijing-wins-worlds-most-livable-city-honor-fongs-pizza-proves-the-point.html
    The man is a racist, anti-Chinese, anti-Semitic bigot who writes anti-China and anti-Jewish material to attract readers and to earn money for his law firm by scaring the shit out of people. He is a nasty piece of work and an online bully. I think HH would do well to ask why a small US firm based in Seattle with no China law licenses is competing with bona Fide Chinese lawyers who did bother to get licensed, do live in China and do pay tax there. Because Dan Harris just shits on them all and that can’t be right. Dan Harris – Where are your China Business Tax contributions would be a good place to start. His greed is making it hard for Chinese lawyers in their own country.

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