Reader silentvoice recently made these remarks about racial harmony as a Singaporean. His thoughts resonated with me and I would like to highlight it here as a post. Do you think this is achievable in the West? Why would you be for or against such a policy? Do you think this is generally what China is also doing?
There’s a lot of things we Singaporeans dislike about our government but I think in the area of race relations our government did right. Over the years, policies that look drastic to Western eyes have helped us bury the racial divide and forge a common national identity. Unlike in the US, where minorities are left on their own to blend in, we actually mean it when we say we want to create a multicultural society. Through laws and incentives, different races are required to live together in the same neighborhoods, attend the same schools, and serve in the army. You cannot find race ghettos here, nor can you find affirmative action type policies that privilege one person over another based on the color of their skin. Continue reading A Singaporean view on racial harmony
Race is a hot issue anywhere on the planet and has been throughout human history. Waves of European immigrants (not to mention those from other continents) have been shunned upon in America’s past. After generations they became more accepted. But I am not trying to single out America. This phenomenon probably speaks about human nature more than anything else.
The Irish, the Italians, the French, and so on were originally known as just themselves, but over time they became ‘whites’ in America. It is with this interesting observation from blogger Adam Serwer recently (“The New White Folks“) and insightful comments (also recently) by raventhorn2000 about China that drew me into writing this post. First, this is what Serwer said: Continue reading When the ‘race’ gets strong, everybody wants in
In the last few months, there were a number of brutal attacks on Asian Americans by African Americans. 64-year-old Rongshi Chen, while on his way to a convenient store in San Francisco, was kicked by a group of young African Americans and had his collarbone broken. San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer, Nanette Asimov, went on to report:
He’s not alone. At least four high-profile attacks involving blacks and Asians have occurred since January in San Francisco and Oakland, including the beating death of Tian Sheng Yu, 59, last month. Two 18-year-old men have been charged with murder.
Continue reading Recent African Americans attacks on Asian Americans, what are your thoughts?
I’m on an extended visit back to my hometown, Vancouver, a Canadian city full of Chinese. Chinese is the second-most commonly used language after English. My wife and I were running around a Chinese mall for fun to practice Mandarin and buy some Chinese DVDs when we overheard Chinese people talking about us in Mandarin saying, “Those foreigners are speaking Chinese!” I thought it was funny that even in Canada, Chinese people would call white people “foreigner” (in this case: “外国人”).
Continue reading (Letter from Joel) How should foreigners feel about being called “鬼子,” “鬼佬,” “老外,” etc.?
This is a follow up to DJ’s post on the Official Chinese Olympic Fashion, but from a different angle. Instead of mutual respect between the host and guests, I have some introspective and soul-searching thoughts about the Chinese identity fantasy in the context of a global culture.
Continue reading Why are most of the advertising models in China Caucasian?
This is a continuation of the discussion from the June 14th 2008 blog entry “Chocolate City” – Africans seek their dreams in China“, an article originally published in The Southern Metropolis Daily Jan 2008. Because of axes and grinding the discussion morphed from a debate about race relations in China to one about religions in China. As I have been invited to turn it into a blog entry and the issue of religions in China appears topical, I am posting the extract from my comments and other posters’ responses and questions, sans editing (apart from my own extract’s typos).
Please Note: I am a newbie at blogging and nor am I a full- time blogger. Any perceived expletives occurred in the heat of passion(ate) (debate), as these things are wont to happen and I beg readers’ indulgence.
Continue reading A Discussion On Religion in China
This feature article (文章，published Jan 2008) from the Southern Metropolis Daily provides a candid, street-level view of the lives of African traders in China. I translate this article to provide some depth to the discussion of racism in China, as seen in this previous thread. In an era when China-Africa relations are making headlines in Western newspapers, it’s time to hear the story from a Chinese perspective. If the 20th century was defined by the American Dream, what can China bring to the world in the 21st century?
In Guangzhou, a 10 square kilometer area centered around Hongqiao has been given the name “Chocolate City” by taxi drivers.
Continue reading "Chocolate City" – Africans seek their dreams in China