Recently, a series of photographs showing a white American man in China giving an old woman some of his fries have caused a stir in China. Being opportunists, the western press could not contain themselves so as to use this incident in order to show the merciful beneficence of western culture to Chinese. This gloating huffington post article for example could not help but compare this act of McFry magnanimity with the callous behavior of Chinese public in leaving a child to die in the street (also see here for similar self-satisfied, supercilious reporting of this incident).
California native Jason Loose was only buying a poor Chinese woman some French fries, but his altruism has managed to spark a a national debate about the moral corruptness of Chinese society.
Loose, a 23-year-old intern at a sports brand company in Nanjing, told the Los Angeles Times that he bought the woman some food because “there wasn’t much money in her collection bowl and it was really hot out.” A passersby caught the random act of kindness on camera and the story went viral on Chinese microblogging sites. He’s now known as the “French Fry Brother,” Xinhua News Agency reports.
The photos show Loose chatting with the homeless woman, giving her food, and pouring water into her glass. He told Xinhua he was surprised to be called a hero — but has been told by friends the images resonated with a growing social apathy in China.
“It was such a heartwarming scene, but brought by a foreign young man,who offers his love, care and trust to a stranger in need,” username Hunlizhuchiquhui wrote on China’s Twitter-like micro-blogging site, Sina Weibo, according Xinhua. “It makes me reflect on whether I could do what he does.”
Loose told the the L.A. Times he only stayed with her for a few minutes — but before he left, asked an important question should he see her again:
“I asked what’s her favorite food to eat?” he said. “Her answer was ‘not French fries.’”
A recent slew of incidents have highlighted the breakdown of social concern in China: In October last year, a two-year-old was repeatedly run over by cars and ignored by passersby on a busy market street.
The message is loud and clear. Whites are the type of people that share their fries with poor and old people while the Chinese like to watch children die in the street. No mention of more relevant and recent comparisons such as this incident involving what appears to be the attempted rape of a girl on the street by a British man (since that would put westerner in a poor light). The media could have taken the high road, made this story more noble, and looked at this as an act that shows that this is an example that not all foreigners are like the British man or the Russian train rider but it instead goes on the attack.
Why is this even a story that the west is focusing on? Aren’t there comparable acts of kindness that take place everyday involving people of all ethnicities and nationalities in all countries? But none of those likely involve the symbolism that the western media loves. McDonald’s is a symbol of American culture. The beneficence of a white man sharing some wholesome good ol’ American McFries with a homeless Chinese woman makes western audiences feel good when that image is contrasted with the mainstream media images of heartless, subhuman Chinese.
The bottom line is that such comparisons just makes white people feel good. But what it shows me is a sign that the Chinese public who have took to this simple act of kindness as something deeper is far more magnanimous with regard to their according humanity to foreigners than those foreigners are willing to accord to the Chinese.
Last month I gave $350 to a single mum who can’t pay her gas bill. Too bad she is not Chinese or I would be considered a hero too. LOL.
First of all, hats off to this Nanjing University student.
This is news because you don’t see such kindness from Western expats in China all that often. I think it says more about the other expats than this guy.
Man, if the nationalities had been reversed there is no doubt in my mind that this story would be used to demonstrate just how “morally degenerate” the Chinese supposedly are, and how they’ll eat just about anything.
This is responding to the idiot who blogs here.
Hey, Sherlock, the Xinhua report has in fact been referred to numerous times in the quoted article in the OP!
Looks like it’s another expat ‘China’ blog. I was hoping that blog would shed some interesting perspectives. Nope, the same shit as in NYT, BBC, or whatever.
I don’t understand. Why waste time spouting the same things as the mainstream Western press?
i honestly believe it’s about time the Chinese gov. started taking a look at expat bloggers on tourist visas who’re reaping ad money from their sites. Is it being taxed? They’re making money off China and they’re not paying a fricking cent to the Chinese people-the very people, these expats claim to champion!
zack – they obviously have to follow local laws if they are in China. Them expressing their views are their right.
What is amazing is them continuing to willfully ignore the on-going lies and propaganda against ‘China’ and the ‘Chinese’ in the Western press.
Xinhua’s report is sincere about fixing the social problems within China. Western press is about taking problems China or the Chinese have to defame.
i wonder, exactly what sort of China are they hoping for with their propaganda efforts? a castrated vassal of the West, like South Korea and Japan?
On the note about Melissa Chan and Al Jazeera, i’m glad they got kicked out; better that those douchebags get locked out of the biggest media market of the world, than propagate the same old BS. i am really disappointed with AJE; they had the chance to be great, truly objective in a world filled with propaganda and agenda, but sadly they appear to have succumbed to ignorance, sinophobia and lies, than actual journalistic reporting.
Another White Man’s Burden Story here. It takes more than french fries to show some compassion.
It’s interesting the Western Corporate Media narrative completely forgot about Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax, who was stabbed while trying to help a woman in New York. Twenty people passed by him as he lay on the ground bleeding to death—one guy even took a picture before leaving.
They also forgot about Angel Arce Torres a 78 year old man who was hit while trying to cross a street in Connecticut. Nine cars passed him without even stopping to help and none of the sidewalk pedestrians did anything either.
Or the incident where three security guards just stood by and watched a 15 year old girl being beaten at a bus stop in Seattle.
That being said, I do think that China needs more organizations like Tzu Chi ( 慈濟 ) to help build strong community times and social outreach programs. What they have achieved in Taiwan is really amazing and now that they have a presence in the Mainland I’m eager to see what will happen.
Well, to put all of this into perspective, the Western media did a pretty good job at not disclosing the major reasons for the recent anti-expat sentiments in China. First of all there is the rape of some Beijing woman by a UK guy which was caught on tape, then there is the Russian musician who was putting his feet on someone else’s seat on the bus and refused to lift them up to allow a Chinese woman to sit down. Before screaming about Chinese xenophobia why not examine the reasons behind such sentiments? Afterall I think the sense of entitlement from the Western expats over rest of the Chinese is part of the reason why they are hated by the locals.
Actually there are plenty of Chinese and Hong Kong based NGO’s that directly helps people in China. Tzu Chi doesn’t operate or funded only from Taiwan, but based on Taiwan. On the other hand, Westerners don’t have any of these humanitarian NGO’s in China, rather they have these fake NED funded NGO’s like ‘Chinaaid’ that are political, religious or socially against China.
It’s only a matter of emphasis to the western media.
*Since being praised by Hillary Clinton as the only media outlet telling the truth to their audience about the revolution in Egypt, al Jazeera has gone on to become one of the most obvious propaganda mills operating today.*
melissa chan is employed by al jazeera, clinton’s favorite media, enuff said
custer’s paymaster is soro, the dark hand behind all color revolutions since tam
these are not coincidence, lurking behind every major media spat, political scandal [ala boxilai], social unrest, bloodbath, uprising. in china is the dark hand of soro/cia/mi6/mossad.
liu xiao bao, wi wei wei, chen guanchen etc are just the latest savos in a concerted demonisation campaign
not to mention the destabilisations in tibet, xinjiang, labor unrests in foxconn etc., provocations in the east china sea, korean peninsula, south china sea , *terrarists* attacks on chinese in afpak, south east asia, africa etc etc
fukus has never ceased screwing the chinese nation ever since the days of opium war
You got that right. Some time back a Chinese Canadian suffering from depression and mental illness killed another man on a bus. Read the comment to gauge how free, fair or bias most people are.
Further information about the heroic coach driver, Wu Bin.
Although everyone knows Bin was hit by a metal plate, few people know the exact damage.
According to a research from Guoke http://www.guokr.com/question/208519/, the result is tremendous:
That 2.5kg metal plate hit Bin with a genetic power of 1400 J, which means Bin was actually hit by an objective that was equal to 1.4 t! It’s amazing that Bin could still bear such a terrible hit on his liver and struggle to control and stop the coach safely before passing out……It reminds me of martyrs who gave their lives in battlefield.
Yes, those rectal bloggers are pretty pointless. I learned about them through another blog I follow that described them with much fanfare. Put it on my feed reader but pretty quickly realized they are exactly the type of misguided, biased, agenda pursuing “trash-type”of expat that should be thrown out (hey western media PR censors, I’m referring to just the trash, not all the expats in China 🙂 That blog probably has my personal record for shortest time on my feed reader before getting unsubscribed.
And the bloggers themselves, what more can you really say about them. Expats in China with real direction and honest goals are probably too busy pursuing their goals, whether they be commercial, education, cultural, whatever. It really speaks to the character and situation of these china bashing expats that they have so much time and so much hateful energy to focus on china-bashing. My guess, they are a) either trying to make a name for themselves in the china bashing circles so they can get a real job at western journals, state dept./NGO, etc., b) are funded or just got some funding by anti-china organizations (soros, NED spawn), 3) are just crazy or plain malicious. I mean, if you really had honest goals and aspirations to achieve in living in China, are you really going to have so much time to obsessively focus on bashing china, and are so superhumanly able to not let that bias and negative outlook affect your goals.
Oh yeah, I don’t mean to discount the native charities, I only mention Tzu Chi because I’m more familiar with it.
Also, Tzu Chi does operate in China. In fact, it’s been there since 1991 and about 2 years ago it received permission from the government to officially setup a nationwide foundation—the first for a non-Mainland charity.
What I like about Tzu Chi is that it’s more than just about helping those in need. It also teaches a life philosophy based on existing Chinese/Asian beliefs which aim to not only improve society, but also your own individual well being.
For example, Tzu Chi’s Silent Mentor program is something that completely amazed me. As you know, many Asians treat the body as sacred, even after death. So the idea of donating your body for science is something that’s a bit shocking to a traditional Asian family and yet the Silent Mentor program has a long waiting list.
They did this by first allowing the medical students to completely know the entire life history of the person they will study. In fact, many times they will even meet with the families!
This is something completely different from Western schools, where the cadaver is completely anonymous. And because of this callousness, there are incidents where the students will “play around” with the body, treating it just like a piece of meat.
Whereas in Tzu Chi’s Silent Mentor program, the person is given the utmost respect. After the lessons are over, every part is put back and the body is intricately sewn up before they cremate it. Then they’ll perform a graduation ceremony with the families of those who participated and actually write “thank you” letters to the person they studied. In this way, it humanizes the future doctors, rather than have them look at people as merely walking symptoms 🙂
Anyway, sorry for writing so much! It’s just something that really inspires me.
Talking about ‘western moral superiority,’ these racists in this sinica podcast, Kaiser Kuo Jeremy Goldkorn with guests David Moser and Didi Kirsten Tatlow do their podcast of why Chinese people have no morals. Normally this is a good place for interesting things about China, but this weeks is totally out of control.
If Chinese people have no morals, Europeans are down right demonic. It’s not the Chinese that have invaded and occupied Iraq causing 1.5 million dead Iraqis and the destruction of that country. Never mind the western imposed sanctions lasting ten years before that causing an additional 1 million deaths (including half of which were children). It’s not China that keeps invading, bombing, assassinating and occupying other countries. It’s not China that is supporting an apartheid regime in the Middle East. It’s not China that is imposing neo-liberal economic policies on the developing countries that have essentially destroyed their economies. It’s not China that is contributing to 80% of greenhouse gases in the world.
Charles Liu says
As if acts of kindness do not exist in China. They simply don’t get aired in the west, since they will detract from the “evil China” official narrative. ‘
Here’s an example, does Huffpost know in China there’s a good samaritan award for helping old folks? Baidu “敬老之星” you’ll find local and national awards:
Charles Liu says
BTW, what’s really impressive is Jason Loose speaks Chinese and volunteers:
“He is also an active volunteer with public welfare groups, helping children with math courses in the U.S. and teaching English to the children of migrant workers in China.
After studying Chinese for five years in both the United States and China, he speaks Mandarin fluently, making it possible for Xinhua reporters to conduct an interview in his second language.”
you’ll find the same western media twisting that sort of story into ‘look at the Chinese; they’re so morally debauched, they actually need a reward system just to get them to do good’, cuz it’s gotten to the point where western journalists actually crawl over themselves to find anything negative about China, even if it’s made up!
Talking about taking the ‘moral high ground,’ I thought this translation of posting from weibo is funny of how this guy talks about how to become a ‘Public Intellectual.’