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Chinese boy attacked by 7 in Chicago

At Chicago, a Chinese boy was brutally beaten by seven teens, including a girl who lured him into an alley where the beating took place. An article filed by NYDailyNews.com said, “Cops don’t believe the attack was racially motivated.” I will update this post as I learn more. WARNING: video is violent.


[Update 1]
I find it interesting on Youtube re-posting of this video of the Chinese boy labeled as a ‘man.’ It looks like people are more than anxious to shape the fallout or are actively trying to shape the narrative on this story.

[Update 2]
5 of the 7 attackers were Chinese, according to this article:

The worst part of the misinformation posted on the web about this case was the names of the attackers. New updates by the Chicago Police have brought on disturbing surprises about the actual attackers and the details surrounding the beating.

Although once thought that this was a racially charged attack of an Asian boy by six Caucasian boys, the actuality was that there were 7 attackers named in the case. Five of the attackers were of Chinese descent, one of the attackers was a 15-year-old girl and only one was actually Caucasian.

The 15-year-old girl, three 15-year-old boys and two 16-year-old boys were all charged as juveniles and the only Caucasian attacker, 17-year-old Raymond Palomino was charged as an adult.

[Update 3]
In all honestly, when I first saw the video, my initial reaction was perhaps this was a racially motivated attack on Chinese yet again. Just last year, there were a string of attacks targeting Chinese Americans in Silicon Valley. (See my post, “Opinion: Citizens of Chinese heritage in the West to also bear the brunt of Western media bias.”) I recall a Filipino girl attacked on a New York bus few years ago, and later the arrested assailants defended themselves in saying they thought she was Chinese! Unbelievable.

In reaction to Wayne’s initial comments – actually, more precisely on the point about whether this incident is a worthy topic for this blog – Naqshbandiyya left some very insightful comments below which I quote here in their entirety:

To those saying that this site should not cover the video, another popular English-language website which translates Chinese netizen reactions posted it, so enough influential sites are putting their spin on it. An interesting trend can be seen in those comments: “Descendent of corrupt officials, deserves to be beaten.” (贪官之后,该打。) and “If he’s the child of a civil servant [Chinese government official], then he deserves to be beaten!” (如果是 公仆的孩子,该打!) It’s also clear that many Chinese resent the victim for simply emigrating to America. Let’s appreciate for a minute the irony of this man getting no solidarity from the group in whose membership for which he is attacked.

Judging from the children’s accents, mannerisms, and names [i.e., romanized Cantonese surnames vs. pinyin], a clear cleavage can be seen between the native-born American attackers and the recent Chinese immigrant victim. To say that everybody is just “Chinese” is to elide some very important distinctions. Americanized Chinese, growing up with a strongly internalized anti-Communist, anti-Chinese, and broadly anti-Asian ideology, feel that they have to prove themselves loyal to white Americans. That’s why so many Chinatowns in the United States fly the Taiwanese flag, and why after 1949 Chinese Americans cut off ties to the mainland and repeatedly declared themselves to be“good [American-serving] Chinese”, and not “bad [independent] Chinese”. How much self-loathing must you have to say the things that the attackers do in the video, such as “Chinese nigger”, and “Am I speaking Chinese to you, nigger”?

But while we focus on the house negro aspect of the story, let’s note that the ringleader of this crime; the only person whose face was seen in the video; the only person who because of his age can be charged as an adult, was a white man. Calling this a Chinese-on-Chinese crime is as stupid as saying that because the U.S. ambassador to China’s grandparents were born in that country, that his verbal assaults on China are just intra-Chinese fighting. Some nuance, please!

Besides, the details of the specific case are less important than the trends that this crime represents. And no, Wayne, this is not about crimes committed by Asian Americans, it’s about crimes committed against Asian Americans. Especially in schools, where Asians areby far the most bullied racial group. Part of the reason for this disproportionate bullying is that Asians are stereotyped as being “obsequious and meek”, lacking in English schools, and politically impotent. Asking bloggers and writers not to talk about this issue, is, in a sense, putting Asians back in their place, which is to be seen and not heard; to trade material products but not to exchange ideas. In a case that is not black and white, where the hero is not unmistakably Chinese and the villain not unmistakably European, there is more reason to discuss and not less.

I should add, the assailants in the New York bus were African Americans. So, it is absolutely true – the day in and day out vilification of ‘China’ and ‘Chinese’ in the Western mainstream press will spill over and cause like minded imbeciles to act. The reason they defend their attacks saying because they thought the Filipino girl was Chinese is because they know that’s a ‘popular’ sentiment.

I have heard Harry Belafonte (one of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s confidants in the American Civil Rights Movement) on NPR criticizing the ‘yes’ slaves who got to sleep in their masters houses. His point is one in the same – the ‘yes’ slaves ingratiate to gain favor from their master.

This phenomenon is across the board for us humans. It is not unique to any ethnicity. It’s just human nature. The truth is when there is no equality, there is a lot of ugliness. Slavery is unequal. Constant unjust vilification of ‘China’ and ‘Chinese’ is unequal.

Obviously, in this incident in Chicago, every single one of the assailants are at fault. It is important to follow and understand the dynamics within the 7.

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  1. melektaus
    January 19th, 2012 at 16:22 | #1

    Most of the alleged attackers seem to be ethnic Chinese because they have Chinese surnames. They have all been arrested including the girl who filmed it. One of the alleged attackers (the oldest boy at 17) is charged as an adult.

  2. January 19th, 2012 at 16:41 | #2

    thx. just updated post.

    Also, the boy charged as an adult – his father said this was a ‘retaliation’ for a prior encounter.

  3. Yoru
    January 19th, 2012 at 16:44 | #3

    I guess the girl wanted two million hits. She got her wish, dumbass.

  4. Andy Lau
    January 20th, 2012 at 01:56 | #4

    Now we know the attackers are Chinese, it seems none of you have anything to say about this.
    China exporting violence to other lands…

  5. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 02:21 | #5

    No big deal. It seems it was not a racist attack, but rather some school kid scrap…rather severe though.

    So there really is not a lot to comment about —-unless of course this violence was part of an increasing trend, or Chinese as a whole were significantly overrepresented in this type of behaviour.

    But in fact, all the crime statistics show that Chinese are significanlty underrepresented in violent behaviour and crime in general…..in the US, the violent crime rate, the sexual crime rate for whites is about four times that of Asians…do your own reseach -google it if you don’t believe me.

    As for ‘Andy Lau’s comment about China ‘exporting violence’, that says more about him than this video says about Chinese people in general.

    I suggest that this entire article, together with comments, be removed. What is there to comment about which is relevant to what this website is about – unless of course it is part of a concerning trend. Which it is not.

  6. Andy Lau
    January 20th, 2012 at 06:00 | #6

    Yeah, there is nothing here to comment on relevant to what this website is about, as Wayne says. You expected/ wanted it to be a racist attack, so now you know its not, you should delete the thread.

    Well done guys!

  7. January 20th, 2012 at 07:05 | #7

    The attackers still spilled racist statement so it is a good case study.

  8. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 07:18 | #8

    @Ray

    I suggest simply delete this post. It is irrelevant now.

    No big deal.

  9. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 07:23 | #9

    Andy Lau: you need your teeth kicked in.

  10. January 20th, 2012 at 07:35 | #10

    @Wayne
    Relax. Ignore the troll.

  11. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 07:42 | #11

    @Ray

    Sorry Ray. Overreacted. By the way I’m trying to post on the thread about Africa, but the comments just won’t show up. Have tried several times. Can you help out here? thanks.

  12. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 07:43 | #12

    @Wayne

    Sorry Ray. Overreacted. By the way I’m trying to post on the thread about Africa, but the comments just won’t show up. Have tried several times. Can you check the problem out please. Thanks.

  13. Naqshbandiyya
    January 20th, 2012 at 08:14 | #13

    To those saying that this site should not cover the video, another popular English-language website which translates Chinese netizen reactions posted it, so enough influential sites are putting their spin on it. An interesting trend can be seen in those comments: “Descendent of corrupt officials, deserves to be beaten.” (贪官之后,该打。) and “If he’s the child of a civil servant [Chinese government official], then he deserves to be beaten!” (如果是 公仆的孩子,该打!) It’s also clear that many Chinese resent the victim for simply emigrating to America. Let’s appreciate for a minute the irony of this man getting no solidarity from the group in whose membership for which he is attacked.

    Judging from the children’s accents, mannerisms, and names [i.e., romanized Cantonese surnames vs. pinyin], a clear cleavage can be seen between the native-born American attackers and the recent Chinese immigrant victim. To say that everybody is just “Chinese” is to elide some very important distinctions. Americanized Chinese, growing up with a strongly internalized anti-Communist, anti-Chinese, and broadly anti-Asian ideology, feel that they have to prove themselves loyal to white Americans. That’s why so many Chinatowns in the United States fly the Taiwanese flag, and why after 1949 Chinese Americans cut off ties to the mainland and repeatedly declared themselves to be “good [American-serving] Chinese”, and not “bad [independent] Chinese”. How much self-loathing must you have to say the things that the attackers do in the video, such as “Chinese nigger”, and “Am I speaking Chinese to you, nigger”?

    But while we focus on the house negro aspect of the story, let’s note that the ringleader of this crime; the only person whose face was seen in the video; the only person who because of his age can be charged as an adult, was a white man. Calling this a Chinese-on-Chinese crime is as stupid as saying that because the U.S. ambassador to China’s grandparents were born in that country, that his verbal assaults on China are just intra-Chinese fighting. Some nuance, please!

    Besides, the details of the specific case are less important than the trends that this crime represents. And no, Wayne, this is not about crimes committed by Asian Americans, it’s about crimes committed against Asian Americans. Especially in schools, where Asians are by far the most bullied racial group. Part of the reason for this disproportionate bullying is that Asians are stereotyped as being “obsequious and meek”, lacking in English schools, and politically impotent. Asking bloggers and writers not to talk about this issue, is, in a sense, putting Asians back in their place, which is to be seen and not heard; to trade material products but not to exchange ideas. In a case that is not black and white, where the hero is not unmistakably Chinese and the villain not unmistakably European, there is more reason to discuss and not less.

  14. January 20th, 2012 at 11:15 | #14

    @Naqshbandiyya
    Not to triavilize this matter but from some of the comments on Chinese blog, “Descendent of corrupt officials, deserves to be beaten.” (贪官之后,该打。) and “If he’s the child of a civil servant [Chinese government official], then he deserves to be beaten!” (如果是 公仆的孩子,该打!) one can learn how the Cultural Revolution happened.

    When rule of law is not respected, you would have complete chaos. That’s what happen during the CR.

  15. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 12:17 | #15

    @Naqshbandiyya

    Hey Naqshbandiyy, I actually did not watch the video nor apply much analysis to it.

    But what you have said is quite brilliant.

    These kids are quite possibly the playground equivalent of the Joyce Lau’s and other China trashing American Chinese journalists such as Gordon Chang. Lau’s and Chang’s attacks on China, come out of obvious motives of trying to fit into the Western mainstream.

    And if this is the case then I am wrong and this video and the wider aspects of the uncle tomism we see here and how they relate to the overseas Chinese community is worthy of dissection.

    I think it was by Ronald Reagan, when he made some comment about apartheid South Africa. Reagan said that the killing of blacks by some South African policemen could not be considered racist, or a crime of the apartheid regime—because some of the policement were black! But of course, the crimes of sell-outs and Uncle Toms against blacks, is was in the end a crime against blacks by whites.

    Similarly the actions of Jewish Kapos who inflicted harsh suffering on their fellow Jews during WWII, was indeed a crime against Jewish people, and had everythign to do with anti-semitism – even though both victims and direct perpetrators were Jewish.

    Indeed even the way Hong Kong Chinese despise mainlanders, or wish to scorn mainland China around white expats, as if to associate themselves with white expats and white culture, shows a similar mindset to the attackers in the video. These attackers act out to show the white mainstream that “look, we are really like you……we are real Americans too!”

    As such this has everything to do with the power of the West to poison the minds of coloured people.

    Great comment Naqshbandiy.

  16. January 20th, 2012 at 13:12 | #16

    @Wayne, Naqshbandiyya
    See my Update 3 above from earlier.

    Wayne said:

    As such this has everything to do with the power of the West to poison the minds of coloured people.

    People who oppose what Wayne said here may parade the standard argument: there is no conspiracy by the West to poison the minds of the colored people.

    This is a straw-man that is easily dispelled. There is no claim of conspiracy by the above comment. Rapists all over rape people, and they need not conspire to rape. Some of them may conspire, but the crime is equally heinous with or without conspiracy.

    And, indeed, the narrative in the U.S. and U.K. press basically lying about China being a ‘colonialist’ in the African continent (Ray’s recent article, “Debunking Myth of China exploiting Africa Again!“) is precisely yet another example of Wayne is talking about.

    But obviously the West is not made up of rapists. The rapists are the minority. Those shaping the dominant narrative (the offensive kind) in the West about the colored people are also in the minority vs. the whole of West. We all need to strive to appeal to the majority.

  17. CL
    January 20th, 2012 at 14:16 | #17

    [deleted for trolling]

  18. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 20:19 | #18

    @YinYang

    Thanks yinyang. You are completely right about conspiracy or no conspiracy. It does not matter.

    What matters is Westerners in many places act out on their own inner prejudices and racism, and happen to come up consistently with the demonisation of non-white rulers of non-white countries. Really, I don’t think there is a small cabal of people necessarily driving this, like some James Bond villain. What is enough is a latent racism in the West and a mocking attitude towards coloured people which is widespread, and thus has the same effect as if there was an actual conspiracy.

    Of course, in the end the effects are the same, so it is not incorrect to use ‘conspiracy’ as a kind of metaphor to describe this sorry situation. And it is a sorry situation, because it poisons the minds of people, sows discord and hatred and suspicion between peoples, and has the potential to lead to damaging diplomatic relations, and even perhaps increase the possibility of war.

    The fact is though, racism may be widespread in the West, but this does not mean the majority of Westerners are racist, or even harbour ill-will towards China. Perhaps only 10% do. But the problem is whether they wish others well or ill, they tend to hear only one side of the story, the negative side, when it comes to China.

    So even those Westerners who are decent people, will support policies which harm China (and in the end relations between the West and China), not because they wish China ill, but because they have been wrongly led to believe that China is an aggressive, imperialistic, totalitarian polity, which must be contained.

    That is why sites such as this one, in the english language, are so important to balance out the dominant narrative in the West.

  19. p2000
    January 21st, 2012 at 00:31 | #19

    this was not a racist attack. its surprising that these youngsters weren’t able to knock him out.

    this kid must have done something to the main attacker in grey. it is pretty apparent when the grey hoodie guy kept talking to him saying “u think thats funny n*gga?!?” in a seriously angry way.

    the victim said a few different times “i know i know, take me jail, arrest me” like he knew he did something to piss that guy off

    their story to the cops and also told by the girlfriends testament that this all stemmed from an earlier dispute a few months back. the claim is the chinese kid and 20 of his fob friends beat up the grey hooded guy and his little brother. probably over some bull shit pickle during recess in HS.

    bunch kids of high on testosterone, this happens all the time all over the country, but now, apparently at higher levels than ever. lets just be glad this guy didnt even get knocked out, and that these kids are going to get in trouble. the judge is going to make an example of them, even though they probably dont deserve a full setence considering their age, the amount of actual injury they caused, and that it wasn’t done randomly AND had some prior anger causing violent reason. a good lawyer can probably get them out of this one, but we’ll see what happens.

  20. Kai
    January 21st, 2012 at 00:37 | #20

    @Naqshbandiyya

    Americanized Chinese, growing up with a strongly internalized anti-Communist, anti-Chinese, and broadly anti-Asian ideology, feel that they have to prove themselves loyal to white Americans. That’s why so many Chinatowns in the United States fly the Taiwanese flag, and why after 1949 Chinese Americans cut off ties to the mainland and repeatedly declared themselves to be “good [American-serving] Chinese”, and not “bad [independent] Chinese”. How much self-loathing must you have to say the things that the attackers do in the video, such as “Chinese nigger”, and “Am I speaking Chinese to you, nigger”?

    This part of your comment is excessively presumptive, prejudiced, and shrill.

    1. If we’re going to generalize, I wouldn’t say Americanized Chinese have internalized any “ideology” premised upon being “anti-” anything. “Ideology” is far too strong and specific a word to use here. Instead, far more accurately, they’ve internalized certain values that may only be “Anti-Communist” insofar as they’ve been socialized to value “democracy”, “Anti-Chinese” only insofar as they see mainland China being an antithesis to the values they have, and I’m not even going to bother with ANti-Asian which is some perverse broadening of the issue.

    Furthermore, it’s quite a jump from being against certain things to wanting to “prove themselves loyal” to whites. That’s just coloring the issue, poisoning the well. You’re setting up the fallacious notion that being against something has to mean being for someONE else. This is the whole “you’re either with us or against us” and “han jian” argument that really discredits whatever side that invokes it. All you’ve said is the fenqing equivalent of the “Chinese are just brainwashed by the CCP” accusation.

    2. First, perhaps you should define “Chinatown”. The older Chinatowns throughout America (in dense urban areas) were primarily populated by southern Chinese and tend to be very “Cantonese” in flavor, augmented by subsequent immigration from Hong Kong. The newer Chinese neighborhoods (not towns, but mostly suburban communities) came about mostly from waves of immigration from Taiwan.

    Second, I don’t recall seeing “so many Chinatowns” flying the Taiwanese flag at all so what the hell are you talking about? Let’s assume that you have seen such a phenomenon, how is that distinctly Anti-Chinese, broadly Anti-Asian, or an manifestation of trying to prove loyalty to white Americans?

    Third, how is it remotely surprising to you that Chinese Americans who identified with the Nationalist government, capitalism, and democracy cut ties after the Communists took over the mainland in 1949? It’s politics! They didn’t share the Communist ideology or identify with Mao’s government and the situation in the mainland became precarious to them. It’s no different from Sun Yat Sen’s revolutionaries cutting ties with the Qing imperial government. Characterizing them as “American-serving” is just poisoning the well and a willful contempt of rational discourse. Likewise, the juxtaposition of that with “independent” is a false dichotomy. This is more “han jian” bullshit.

    3. It is far more likely that the speech in the video is indicative of pop culture than of racial self-loathing. You are, in this case, giving the kids far too much credit. They think that sort of speech is “tough” or “cool”. Nigger, to them, has become a catch-all derogatory term. Would you think a white person who calls another white kid “white nigger” is self-loathing? Believe me, it happens. That kind of speech is common amongst “thuggish” inner city society, hell, even pretentious suburban twits. You’re reading too much into it, in advancement of a fallacious argument.

    let’s note that the ringleader of this crime; the only person whose face was seen in the video; the only person who because of his age can be charged as an adult, was a white man.

    When did this guy become the “ringleader”? By most accounts I’ve seen, the ringleader was accused of being the guy with the mask on, who turned out to be ethnically Chinese.

    @Wayne @YinYang

    and thus has the same effect as if there was an actual conspiracy.

    Of course, in the end the effects are the same, so it is not incorrect to use ‘conspiracy’ as a kind of metaphor to describe this sorry situation.

    No, it is definitely incorrect (it’s a false equivalence not a metaphor) and more importantly, the “conspiracy” digression is distracting from what could otherwise be a meaningful discussion about the “sorry situation”.

    Why? Because simply invoking it, accusing it, you’re distracting from getting both “sides” to acknowledge and address the effects into arguing over speculations of malicious intent.

    There’s a difference between “What you said hurt my feelings” and “You’re trying to hurt my feelings”.

    The former casts a spotlight on what was said and how it was interpreted. The latter points an accusatory finger at the other person over something you will find incredibly hard to prove regardless of how certain you are of it. Do you want to bridge understanding between Chinese and the West or not?

  21. Dave Bongaleu
    January 21st, 2012 at 02:16 | #21

    Excellent post Kai. It will either be deleted, or you will have a bunch of rabid dogs attacking you, just a matter of time….

    [yinyang – I am going to allow this comment so readers can see what a rabid dog you are. Prove me wrong – you won’t have anything intelligent to say.]

  22. Wayne
    January 21st, 2012 at 02:24 | #22

    “it’s a false equivalence not a metaphor”

    Thanks….”metaphor” did not seem quite right.

    “What you said hurt my feelings” and “You’re trying to hurt my feelings”.

    You are wrong here. It is obvious when someone says something offensive unintentionally, from the way it is being said, from the lack of a tone of self-righteousness, from the lack of simple hostility.

    But what we have in the media is far far from that. The deliberate use of innuendo, racist ‘dog whistling’, appeal to base prejudices, is far far removed from the inadvertant use of a politically incorrect term.

    There is an undercurrent of racial hostility to the fact that for the first time in modern history, we see the rise of a great non-white power. Those on the right of course are not that happy, but also liberals and so-called ‘progressives’, who like to see minorities as people to be pitied, to be used as props for white people to act out their altruism and benevolence.

    Kai: why do you think there is a general hostility and dislike of China in the West?

  23. January 21st, 2012 at 02:43 | #23

    @Kai
    Thanks for chiming in. It’s late for me, so I will respond to what you addressed to me and Wayne above.

    I don’t think by invoking the idea of ‘conspiracy’ poisons the well, and if you read Wayne’s comments above in entirety, do you still think he is accusing malicious intent? I would emphasize “effects are the same” – rather the portion about the conspiracy metaphor.

    I’ll quote him the 2nd half of his comments:

    The fact is though, racism may be widespread in the West, but this does not mean the majority of Westerners are racist, or even harbour ill-will towards China. Perhaps only 10% do. But the problem is whether they wish others well or ill, they tend to hear only one side of the story, the negative side, when it comes to China.

    So even those Westerners who are decent people, will support policies which harm China (and in the end relations between the West and China), not because they wish China ill, but because they have been wrongly led to believe that China is an aggressive, imperialistic, totalitarian polity, which must be contained.

    What you are accusing Wayne (and myself I guess) of doing is in fact the very tactic I see often deployed by those who try to argue there is no such thing as China-bashing in the Western press. They immediately pull out a strawman accusing what we are observing as we are claiming there is a conspiracy.

    The point of the exchange above was precisely to explain China-bashing is possible without the conspiracy.

    We’ve had private email exchanges and you know my position on it – which is I don’t believe it.

    Things don’t fully stack up. U.S. multinationals wouldn’t be allowed to invest in China otherwise. The U.S. wouldn’t be allowing so many Chinese students to be studying in U.S. universities. The U.S. would have done everything to block China’s entry into the WTO. There wouldn’t be expansion of IMF last year to give more voting rights to China. So on and so on.

    I would add though – for the Chinese inside China looking at the West – reading CNN, NYT, BBC, etc, they very much would view the Western narrative as a result of a conspiracy. It would be very natural for them to view the media elites in the West wanting to influence the West towards a collision course with China. They are not going to consider capitalistic media wanting to sell more ads as a significant part of it.

    For crying out loud, U.S. presidential candidates bash China to get more votes, because EVERYBODY (Chinese and Americans) knows anti-China positions in U.S. gets popular votes. You don’t find this phenomenon alarming?

    You said:

    Do you want to bridge understanding between Chinese and the West or not?

    I think this is rather harsh. Of course I want to bridge understanding between Chinese and Westerners.

    Read the exchanges above and let me know if your second read is still of “malicious intent.”

  24. Wayne
    January 21st, 2012 at 02:49 | #24

    I don’t pretend to know too much about the US, having visited the place only once for a period of five days about 20 years ago.

    However I am reasonably familiar with the behaviour of far too many American Chinese I have come across in Hong Kong. Naqshbandiyya describes them very accurately. They always flaunt how Westernized they are in front of the local Chinese, hob-knob with the expat crowd (in a very dog-like way), talk about China and Chinese (mainland and local Hong Kong) in mocking condescending tones. Most of them are extremely anti-China, with a vehemence which sometimes even exceeds that of the white expats.

    In an engineering consultancy I worked in, there was this Canadian Chinese —he was always showing off in front of the local Chinese about his ‘buddies’ in Canada (all white) and how he would love to enjoy ‘several cold ones’ with them (that is a huge thing to many Chinese —sharing a beer with a ….white man!) and how he was mad on ‘trucks -you know big trucks man!’, trying to impress the locals about what a cool Americanized fellow he was. Absolutely sickening. And they simply would not want to associate themselves with mainland China in any way, shape, or form. Particularly around white people.

    Take a look at some of Joyce Lau’s blatherings. A typical hanjian. And yes. I am going to use that word because that is what she is. A hanjian.

    Now about China and communism, I am going to go out on a limb and say that the triumph of the 1949 revolution, along with the 1917 October revolution, was one of the greatest events in world history. It was a stark choice between independence and remaining a semi-colony, between socialism and feudalism, between supporting the freedom of all oppressed peoples throughout the world, or becoming a puppet of Western imperialism. What one decides upon I am afraid, does reflect on their spiritual and emotional state. Those who support imperialism and feudalism must bear the label that their stance so demands.

    And those who talk of human rights. Of civil rights.

    How much of these rights would coloured people have in the West if it was not for the great socialist revolutions of the 20th Century?

    No October Revolution. No Civil Rights movement in the West.

  25. Kai
    January 21st, 2012 at 07:30 | #25

    @Wayne

    You should probably look up what “false equivalence” means. I was disagreeing with you saying “it is not incorrect”.

    I’m not convinced I’m wrong about there being a difference between “What you said hurt my feelings” and “You’re trying to hurt my feelings”.

    Judging by your comment, I also think you’ve either misunderstood what I said or it didn’t sink in. I was commenting on why the “conspiracy accusation” is a digression that doesn’t move the discussion forward in a meaningful way for all involved.

    I don’t think we need to characterize white people feeling threatened by the rise of China as consciously wanting to use minorities as props for acting out their altruism and benevolence. That’s needless coloring. The simple fact, and that’s all we really need, is that many people can’t help but see the world in dichotomies, in “us vs. them”, as zero-sum.

    Don’t forget either that it can be argued that many Chinese feel threatened by determined Tibetans and see the Tibetans as props for acting out their own altruism and benevolence, trying to instill socialist scientific materialism in place of spiritual backwardness. If you don’t like how that sounds, then consider how what you said isn’t helping bridge understanding either, especially with the average Westerner.

    I answered your final question. To extend it, remember that it isn’t just China and it isn’t just the West. It’s a human condition. We are, by nature, prone to seeing things in dichotomy, and we unfortunately victimize who we can. The sooner we understand that, the sooner we can stop pointing fingers speculating about malicious motivations fighting for a vague moral high ground no one is entitled to have and then have an actual discussion about the effects of our behavior and how to modify our behavior in response.

    @YinYang

    I’m not accusing Wayne of accusing malicious intent (though his above comment gives me cause to) and invoking the idea of conspiracy most certainly is poisoning the well because it is unfounded. As we’ve gone over in email many times before, you have to have basis for suggesting there is a Western conspiracy in media bias. Otherwise, don’t invoke it. The conspiracy model doesn’t fit the facts, whereas the model that there is a plurality of bias and prejudice in the West and Western media DOES. Invoking conspiracy only serves to flatter oneself and derail what could be a meaningful discussion.

    The question should be: “Would you agree that there is biased reporting amongst the media reporting on China? What do you think the reasons are? What do you think we can, if anything, do to change it?” Not: “Why is there a conspiracy in the West to contain China through biased media reports?”

    I guarantee you’ll get farther with the first line of questioning than the second.

    What you are accusing Wayne (and myself I guess) of doing is in fact the very tactic I see often deployed by those who try to argue there is no such thing as China-bashing in the Western press. They immediately pull out a strawman accusing what we are observing as we are claiming there is a conspiracy.

    So don’t do it.

    The point of the exchange above was precisely to explain China-bashing is possible without the conspiracy.

    Right, which I’ve said myself. My point was that it is unproductive invoking it against Westerners because it will never lead to you guys addressing the actual underlying issues. You’ll be too busy finger pointing and speculating about motivations.

    I would add though – for the Chinese inside China looking at the West – reading CNN, NYT, BBC, etc, they very much would view the Western narrative as a result of a conspiracy. It would be very natural for them to view the media elites in the West wanting to influence the West towards a collision course with China. They are not going to consider capitalistic media wanting to sell more ads as a significant part of it.

    Sure, but it is based upon ignorance and ego-preserving prejudice. Ignorance of the plurality of Western opinion. Ignorance of how the Western media works. Prejudice of what “outsiders” like Westerners are motivated to do. Prejudice that critical reporting must spawn from a nefarious fault of the other side, that they have ulterior motives that has to do with oneself, rather than genuine consideration of confounding and contributing factors. It’s easier to think the person who wrote something unflattering about you somehow innately has it out for you rather than thinking about how everything comes together.

    I think you know I find China-bashing alarming. The question is why you’re asking me. What have I said to suggest I don’t find it alarming? That I think those who accuse or entertain the idea that the West has a conspiracy against China aren’t helping bridge understanding?

    Come on, yinyang. I don’t have to buy into or tolerate the conspiracy notion in order to demonstrate that I believe there is China bashing and am against it. I just prefer that the critics of China-bashing not get hysterical and weaken our position.

    My question was rhetorical. My point was that “pointing an accusatory finger at the other person over something you will find incredibly hard to prove” is not going to help bridge understanding. I thought this was abundantly clear in context given that they’re in the same paragraph.

    @Wayne

    I disagree with the second half of your comment as engaging in false equivalence and false dichotomies. No one honestly knows what would’ve happened if Mao and the Communists failed to take over mainland China leading up to 1949, just as no one knows for sure that had Chiang Kai-shek prevailed that mainland China would be like Taiwan today. I think it is simple bias and wishful thinking to say that Mao was for independence and Chiang was for colonial subjugation, or that it was socialism versus feudalism, or freedom of the oppressed versus being a puppet of the West. All false dichotomies that is essentially fear-mongering. It’s like prejudiced Americans who think engagement with China is condoning authoritarian tyranny.

    And seriously, how can you say, with a straight face, that the 1949 revolution supported the freedom of “all” oppressed peoples throughout the world when it promptly led to the oppression of whomever the mob saw as their enemies?

    We can say the revolution represented a popular will to elevate the position of the underclass of peasants in China. We can’t really say they supported the freedom of all oppressed peoples in the world, maybe in theory but hardly in action.

    Remarks like “those who support imperialism and feudalism must bear the label that their stance so demands” is simple circular reasoning, one prejudiced Westerners use as well. “Those who support authoritarianism and oppression must bear the label that their stance so demands” You’ve surely heard similar from Westerners criticizing China, right?

    Come on…

  26. Wayne
    January 21st, 2012 at 08:18 | #26

    Why are you harping on about ‘conspiracy’. Most here have agreed that a conspiracy is not necessarily required to explain the bias against china in the western news media. So why beat up a straw man once again?

    Don’t forget either that it can be argued that many Chinese feel threatened by determined Tibetans and see the Tibetans as props for acting out their own altruism and benevolence, trying to instill socialist scientific materialism in place of spiritual backwardness.

    How the heck is this analogous to the anti-China bias of the Western media? The comment is completely off base.

    China feels threatened by separatism, for damn good reason, but does the Chinese media demonise Tibetans, or say Uighurs? Of course not! In fact the reporting of the Xinjiang riots a couple of years ago in the Chinese media, deliberately underplayed the role of Uighur thugs who beat and murdered Han Chinese.

    And you miss the point about ‘altruism and benevolence’. I was referring the narcissitic way self-absorbed Westerners will often adopt a cause, such as save the whales, or Tibet, not out or real concern for the cause, but as a means to elevate their own social standing. Its a unique Western trait.

    The conspiracy model doesn’t fit the facts, whereas the model that there is a plurality of bias and prejudice in the West and Western media DOES.

    Again. We agree. I have said I doubt the conspiracy explanation myself. For fucks sake, why are you continuing to harp on about it?

    But absence of conspiracy does not equate to absence of maliciousness.

    Sure, but it is based upon ignorance and ego-preserving prejudice. Ignorance of the plurality of Western opinion. Ignorance of how the Western media works. Prejudice of what “outsiders” like Westerners are motivated to do. Prejudice that critical reporting must spawn from a nefarious fault of the other side, that they have ulterior motives that has to do with oneself, rather than genuine consideration of confounding and contributing factors. It’s easier to think the person who wrote something unflattering about you somehow innately has it out for you rather than thinking about how everything comes together.

    Absolute rubbish. And in this statement you sort of hint at who your sympathies lie with.
    Overall Western reporting on China is exceedingly negative, almost approaching racism. That has nothing to do with a purported genuine ‘plurality’ of Western opiion.

    The fact is anyone whose sole source of information on China was the Western media, would come away with an exceedingly negative feeling about China, and a completely unflattering portrait of the Chinese as a people. You knows this, I knows this. Everyone here knows this. The majority of Western reporting on China is almost so uniformly hostile, that it is understanble why some chiense would feel this is part of a ‘conspiracy’ against China.

    If I described a person, I could possibly say 100 bad things about him, and 100 good things. Now if I report on only the 100 bad things, and say only five or ten good things, even if the bad things I reported have some truth, I am being biased and unfair, and will portray this hypothetical person in an unflattering light.

    So Kai. Why does the West go out of its way to portray China in an unrelenting bad light, if it is not racism or at least atavistic racial fears of yellow people? (and if you believe it has nothing to do with racism, you are either very stupid or being very disingenuous).

    “pointing an accusatory finger at the other person over something you will find incredibly hard to prove” is not going to help bridge understanding”

    You get things completely off base again. We can bridge understanding by providing a true picture of China, by placing the way China is now in its proper historical context. This appeal can be made directly to the majority of the Western public, who like most people around the world, are well-meaning.

    Pointing an accusatory finger at the manipulators or public opinion in the West, that is at the journalists and the news media outlets which demonize China is right and proper. Calling them out on their racism is right and proper. And these malicious purveyors of falsehood were never ever the targets to win over. That would be impossible anyway. We will not weaken our position by pointing out that a particular journalist is racist when he most likely is.

    Our aim is to influence Western public opinion. Not to win over the likes of Peter Hitchens.

  27. zack
    January 21st, 2012 at 09:48 | #27

    @Wayne
    i can empathise; when i was doing an intership in China, i was at the bar with a couple of my friends-one of them a pretty blonde Australian girl. A bunch of british men at the bar asked her-when i and my Asian buddies were out of earshot-why she was hanging out with ‘locals’. like wtf? this is the sort of expat post imperialistic condescencion that is unfortunately the norm in a lot of the major cities with major expat populations.

    Anyway, it’s clear that we’re wasting out time if we attempt to reason with the likes of say, CNN or AJE or the NYT or Washington Post. Better to fight fire with fire, co-ordinate a hostile takeover of those media companies to effect real change and ensure the truth about China gets out, not the propaganda. Failing that, meaning if the regulators block our investments, i say Crack those sites in the event of a mass anti China propaganda campaign, redirect the websites of the NYT LAT CNN etc to porn sites or a picture with an erect middle finger.

  28. January 22nd, 2012 at 00:44 | #28

    Dave Bongaleu is likely that porn troll who has been spamming the blog. I’ve marked the last few comments on this thread as spam.

    Just a reminder to all – commenters here are anonymous. They can be anyone claiming to be any other race.

    This particular troll’s trick is to bait you to disparage.

  29. raventhorn
    January 22nd, 2012 at 08:30 | #29

    @YinYang

    He is the same Troll.

    He’s the same scammer who did this: http://antifraudintl.org/showthread.php?t=57138

  30. raventhorn
    January 22nd, 2012 at 08:36 | #30
  31. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 08:24 | #31

    This article exposes an essential element of the fenqing psychology; the cognitive effort to force every event into their flimsy ideological narrative of Chinese victim hood/Western aggressor starightjacket. You can see as the story comes out they are chomping at the bit to frame it within the narrative of “helpless Chinese victimized by the Anglo aggressors” an analogy they make to a larger constructivist revisionist historical narrative they have internalized (largely as part of a reactionary response to China’s perceived lower status relative to a manufactured “Western” bogey man which exacerbates the perennial fenqing inferiority complex). Then when they discover the assailants are in fact themselves ethnically Chinese they are thrown off guard! What to do!?!?! Delete the article which doesn’t conform and reinforce our ideological group think??? Thats an option! No, we can simply re-caste the story so it fits nicely back into our overly constructed world view!!! Yeeeeaaaaahhhh!! Enter Naqshbandiyya with ridiculous notion that it is a Western media conspiracy to poison Chinese minds and turn Chinese against Chinese!!! Suddenly all is right in the world of fenqing again, the mental gymnastics necessary to twist reality back into their pseudo-world of Chinese victim-Western aggression narrative is compete! Lets do the fenqing happy dance !

  32. February 2nd, 2012 at 09:06 | #32

    @Haikun
    Your comment comes across as someone who hasn’t read the article or the discussion – then goes off spewing these nonsense about ‘fenqing.’ It speaks more about you than anything else.

    I’ll take one point made above – how do you explain this Filipino girl attacked by a group of Black kids, and later on the kids justifying their attack for having thought the girl a ‘Chinese?’

    For you, attacking ‘China’ and ‘Chinese’ justly or not in the mainstream Western press is completely irrelevant isn’t it?

  33. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 10:46 | #33

    If that is your response (ie confronting me over some single obscure incident between Blacks and a Filipino girl that is nothing systemic in its nature) then you failed in your parry. I pointed out how you and your group thinkers wanted so badly for this incident to fit your false narrative and when it didn’t you had to employ mental and rhetorical gymnastics in order to force it to conform to your biased and often racist Sino-centric world view. You in no way responded to this fact, instead you employed a fairly typical diversionary ploy. Cheers.

  34. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 11:37 | #34

    Wow you guys are still talking about “coloured” people?! Yea that pretty much sums up the thinking here; 19th century!

  35. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 13:05 | #35

    If you want to talk about anti-Chinese racism look no further than China itself! HK people hate mainlanders, Shanghai people hate waidiren! Heck you fenqings talk incessantly about the Chinese Exclusion Act of the 19th century in the USA but China practices EXACTLY the same thing, treating rural people as second class citizens>>> AND THIS IS TODAY IN THE 20th CENTURY!!!! I mean really have you guys ever looked in the mirror? I will acknowledge every single flaw with the USA but I sure as heck will also point out the flaws in China as well. If this get you fenqings all worked up that so be it!

    From Shanghaist

    Bad gets worse: Shanghai’s version of Hong Kong’s locust ad

    Shanghai’s own copycat version of Hong Kong’s anti-mainlander locust ad. Hot on the heels of the anti-mainlander locust ad published in Hong Kong’s Apple Daily comes Shanghai’s very own xenophobic insect-based agitprop.
    The copycat ad grabs readers with a statistic claiming that 4 billion RMB is spent each year to subsidize non-locals in Shanghai, and uses Shanghainese dialect to declare, “Shanghainese, we’ve had enough!”
    Currently making the weibo rounds, the modified ad uses the same template of a locust perched atop a mountain while overlooking the terrorized city in question’s skyline. For Shanghai, the Pudong skyline sits in the background, which means the locust would be perched atop the non-existent mountains of Puxi Huangpu district.
    Our full translation of the Shanghainese locust weibo post:
    Do you want to spend 4 billion RMB every year to subsidize the population of outsiders?
    Shanghainese, we’ve had enough!
    Because you’ve come for the gold rush, we have to receive 17,566,700 outsiders.
    Because you want to settle down, we have to receive 380,000 of the outsider laborers’ children.
    Because you want to look after your parents, we have to receive 159,500 outsiders who are elderly.
    BUT!
    We have to endure you coming and ruining our culture.
    We have to endure your fellow villagers criticizing us.
    We have to endure your fellow villagers’ uncivilized behavior.
    [We] strongly request that the government changes the law,
    Stop the endless influx of outsiders entering Shanghai!
    And for comparison’s sake, here’s our full translation of the anti-mainlander locust ad that appeared in Hong Kong’s Apple Daily:
    Do you want Hong Kong to spend $1 million HKD every 18 minutes to raise a child without a single Hongkongnese parent?
    People of Hong Kong, we’ve had enough!
    Because we know you have milk powder that’s poisonous, we understand why you grab all our milk powder,
    Because we know you have no freedom, we host you when you visit Hong Kong on your own,

    Because we know your educational system is backward, so we share our educational resources with you,
    Because you can’t read Correct Chinese (traditional Chinese), so we use Defective Chinese (simplified Chinese).
    Please respect local culture if you come to Hong Kong, otherwise it’ll be your fault when Hong Kong is finished.
    [We] strongly request that the government changes the Basic Law!
    Stop the limitless entry of mainland pregnant women from invading Hong Kong!

  36. zack
    February 2nd, 2012 at 22:51 | #36

    @Haikun
    lol waah waah waah! surely because some groups of han chinese are bitching about each other, it must mean racism and the much hoped for civil war II right?

    are we to expect the bitching that goes on between northern and southern englanders in the UK to mean “racism” as well? or the bitching that goes on between Australians in NSW and Queensland?

    yeah, cry me a river

  37. Haikun
    February 3rd, 2012 at 07:34 | #37

    @zack I’m just pointing out your own hypocritical grandstanding, don’t hate me for it. I don’t hope for any kind of Chinese civil war.

  38. Haikun
    February 3rd, 2012 at 07:37 | #38

    Haikun :
    This article exposes an essential element of the fenqing psychology; the cognitive effort to force every event into their flimsy ideological narrative of Chinese victim hood/Western aggressor starightjacket. You can see as the story comes out they are chomping at the bit to frame it within the narrative of “helpless Chinese victimized by the Anglo aggressors” an analogy they make to a larger constructivist revisionist historical narrative they have internalized (largely as part of a reactionary response to China’s perceived lower status relative to a manufactured “Western” bogey man which exacerbates the perennial fenqing inferiority complex). Then when they discover the assailants are in fact themselves ethnically Chinese they are thrown off guard! What to do!?!?! Delete the article which doesn’t conform and reinforce our ideological group think??? Thats an option! No, we can simply re-caste the story so it fits nicely back into our overly constructed world view!!! Yeeeeaaaaahhhh!! Enter Naqshbandiyya with ridiculous notion that it is a Western media conspiracy to poison Chinese minds and turn Chinese against Chinese!!! Suddenly all is right in the world of fenqing again, the mental gymnastics necessary to twist reality back into their pseudo-world of Chinese victim-Western aggression narrative is compete! Lets do the fenqing happy dance !

    This was my original post and I don’t seeing anything here refuting it. BTW Kai above also made good points calling out some racist anti-West commenters here.

  39. aeiou
    February 4th, 2012 at 21:05 | #39

    @Haikun

    It’s funny the (western) liberal media are having a field day about this hk-mainland thing. Do you think they would ever condone the same harassment and discrimination towards; for example, mexicans and their anchor babies? Would you even be able to get that kind ad in a paper without having your life threatened by every sanctified liberal, minority group, moral crusader in America? or a better example – the case of filipino maids seeking permanent HK residency, liberals all howled about xenophobic hongkongers. Yet here are liberals sympathising with the same overt prejudice; using it push their own agenda; their so-sacred moral convictions easily brushed aside all to justify their political crusade against China.

  40. aeiou
    February 4th, 2012 at 22:25 | #40

    @Dave Bongaleu

    When does “having a field day” mean the same thing as “condone”?
    I notice the Mainland media and the HK media are also having a “field day”

    Then you must have also noticed when liberals not so subtly claimed that the nanjing massacre was invented by the prc as anti-japanese propaganda or when the little girl was run over by a truck it was the product of 2000 years of chinese degeneracy and communism. Liberalism sure is love and peace.

  41. Barry Bongaleu
    February 4th, 2012 at 22:31 | #41

    A lot of Mainland Chinese media was saying the same thing aeiou….Don’t be so selective.

    And again I ask “when does “having a field day” mean the same thing as “condone” as you explicitly stated? Try sticking to the same issue this time.

  42. aeiou
    February 5th, 2012 at 01:34 | #42

    @Barry Bongaleu

    http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2012/01/24/trouble-down-south-why-hong-kong-and-mainland-chinese-arent-getting-along/#comments

    In part, Hong Kong people’s negativity toward mainland Chinese reflects discontent over the Communist government’s control over the supposedly autonomous region.

    i.e bigotry is acceptable toward yellow communists.

    Hong Kong’s colonial past is one reason why many see such a rigid delineation between “us” and “them.” Large numbers of Hong Kong Chinese retain British or other foreign travel documents and take a balanced view of the colonial era — viewing it as a time of racial or social injustices, certainly, but also as source of many of the city’s defining advantages, including common law, a global outlook and media freedom.

    Is this a liberal way of saying “our uncle-tom”?

    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/101east/2011/11/201111298154826963.html
    On this edition of 101 East we ask if Chinese migrants have a right to share in Hong Kong’s wealth.,

    Lets rephrase it to: On this edition of 101 East we ask if Mexican migrants have a right to share in America’s wealth.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/hongkong/9056268/Hong-Kong-rails-against-invasion-of-Chinese-locusts.html

    A vast cultural divide continues to separate Hong Kong, which prides itself on its legitimate entrepreneurial energy, independent legal system and freedom of speech, from the corrupt economic free-for-all and repressive rule that characterises the communist-run mainland.

    Reunification in 1997 after 155 years as a British colony was supposed to draw Hong Kong close into the embrace of the motherland. But a University of Hong Kong survey in December revealed that the number of Hong Kong residents identifying themselves as Chinese had sunk to a 12-year low.

    ..more liberal doublespeak, etc, etc.

    ps: how’s liberalism doing in Egypt? what happened to all the “twitter revolutionaries”? back in the usa no doubt; sipping star bucks, campaigning about chinese slave labour on their ipads.

  43. aeiou
    February 5th, 2012 at 01:43 | #43

    @Barry Bongaleu

    http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2012/01/24/trouble-down-south-why-hong-kong-and-mainland-chinese-arent-getting-along/

    In part, Hong Kong people’s negativity toward mainland Chinese reflects discontent over the Communist government’s control over the supposedly autonomous region.

    i.e bigotry is acceptable toward yellow communists.

    Hong Kong’s colonial past is one reason why many see such a rigid delineation between “us” and “them.” Large numbers of Hong Kong Chinese retain British or other foreign travel documents and take a balanced view of the colonial era — viewing it as a time of racial or social injustices, certainly, but also as source of many of the city’s defining advantages, including common law, a global outlook and media freedom.

    Is this a liberal way of saying “our uncle-tom”?

    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/101east/2011/11/201111298154826963.html
    On this edition of 101 East we ask if Chinese migrants have a right to share in Hong Kong’s wealth.

    Lets rephrase it to: On this edition of 101 East we ask if Mexican migrants have a right to share in America’s wealth.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/hongkong/9056268/Hong-Kong-rails-against-invasion-of-Chinese-locusts.html

    A vast cultural divide continues to separate Hong Kong, which prides itself on its legitimate entrepreneurial energy, independent legal system and freedom of speech, from the corrupt economic free-for-all and repressive rule that characterises the communist-run mainland.

    Reunification in 1997 after 155 years as a British colony was supposed to draw Hong Kong close into the embrace of the motherland. But a University of Hong Kong survey in December revealed that the number of Hong Kong residents identifying themselves as Chinese had sunk to a 12-year low.

    …more liberal doublespeak, etc, etc.

    ps: how’s liberalism doing in Egypt? what happened to all the “twitter revolutionaries”? back in the usa no doubt; sipping star bucks, campaigning about chinese slave labour on their ipads.

  44. aeiou
    February 5th, 2012 at 01:53 | #44

    seems i can’t edit.

    if mods could delete the post with the stacked quotes + this post when you see it.

  45. Alex
    February 17th, 2012 at 07:36 | #45

    I blame Dan Harris and China Law Blog and Rich Brubaker and All Roads Lead to China and Richard Burger and Peking Duck for the beating itself, for the media getting it wrong, and for his stirring up hatred of Chinese throughout America. These three are always out there fomenting racism against us and we have to try to stop that before more get hurt.

  46. February 17th, 2012 at 08:54 | #46

    @Alex
    Racism in America has been going on for a very long time against orientals, way before the advent of bloggers. Also, bloggers still have limited reach to the masses, compared to traditional media like movies, newspapers and television. So I doubt China-bashing bloggers are the main reason why anti-Chinese attitudes persist in the US; they are propagating, reaffirming and inflaming sentiments that are already entrenched in US society. Of course their discourses should be exposed as the falsehoods that they are, and it is up to critically-thinking people to speak up against them wherever they may be found.

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