Sunday, 11 September 2011

Is our Chinese nature too nonconfrontational to speak out against racism?

This is a theme that I have found echoing throughout this blog. If you read the articles on here it's pretty clear that racism is a topic that we British Chinese, British Born Chinese...I would even go as far to say as Chinese people... do nothing about.

So why are we so scared of speaking out against racism?

It's a known fact that Chinese people are by nature peaceful, almost too peaceful in our need for peace. For us British Born Chinese this blog is a good start, but it's funny that when it comes to the most common form - casual racism, we often go all po-faced.

This love for peace can be traced back, in my opinion to our confucian roots. Here is a list of his quotes that I quickly googled
looking at that extract, one of the first things that comes to mind is that the content has quite a paternalistic tone. And when we look at Chinese culture, we can see that the father figure plays an important role in the Chinese household.

The first Chinese who has emigrated to Britain, was as a quick wiki search will tell us:

first Chinese coming from the ports of Tianjin and Shanghai in the early 19th century, many thousands of whom settled in port cities such as Liverpool in 1804 and earlier.

Okay so let's meditate on that for a minute , and for two reasons: 

1. you probably didnt know that - why not?

2. you probably didnt care - why not?

It's a little known fact that many British Chinese first came to these shores as servants. What does this mean for us British Born Chinese? It means we have no history that we can be proud of. These servantile mentality, coupled with our Confucian-based need for a peaceful figure is the root of Chinese mentality downfall.

The desire for peace and lack of confrontation has made our race appear weak, when in fact we due to our ability to survive and avoid western conquering ( im refering to China which I consider myself ethnically part of ) are probably the strongest nation in the world. However, having said that there is a lot of work to do.

The average Chinese doesnt really think too much about his or Chinese identity, because of real life and work duties, but I believe this also is a problem with the Chinese nature. We are too practical and not culturally introspective enough. We don't question things enough. We always want quick solutions. Yes these are traits that can be said of our modernized humanity, but these are typically of Chinese traits.

A good example is that now the western empire is crumbling and it's doing all it can to hold onto it's illusion of imperial greatness, lots of westerners are now looking to China, learning Mandarin etc etc. But what about the people? What do these westerners find? A bunch of kowtowing Chinese who want to marry their daughters to white men? A bunch of Chinese who want your western tourist money? Why is the Chinese strength so elusive to identify? Are we a feminine culture by nature? Is the west yang and we are the yin? If that is the case, then what does that mean for speaking out against racism? Does it means we have to rely on China to put up with barbaric western political aggressiveness until one of the sides give up?

Are westerners better able to absorb Chinese culture than we are ? We are ethnically Chinese. Westerners will do anything to absorb other peoples cultures. But no matter how hard they try, they will never absorb the Chinese culture. We are the culture. We are ethnically Chinese. So why aren't we announcing it and running down the hallways screaming our Chinese pride and fighting western racism with it? Chinese, for all our faults, are the oldest living Civilisation alive and will probably continue to be til the end of time.

There are many questions that remain unanswered and i'm not here to answer or provide any quick solutions, but i do believe the first step is to see our weak spots and then do something about it, rather than living a life of ignorance. But to do that takes time, and study.

So far so good you may well ask, but what is my point?

My question is, is having a confucian mindset, necessarily the right one? And what is the alternative?

To me is outgrowing our slavish confucian mindset. Indeed, the mindset, we need to develop is an enquiring, even rebellious mindset

Shock horror! rebellion! my goodness! I can hear our Chinese brains immediately shutting down at such a suggestion. But it is this questioning nature that we will be able break free from our self-imposed slavery to find strength from our Chinese fighting ethnicity based on survivalism, endurance, wu xia mindset ,fighting aggression with aggression to win peace and better stand up against white racism.

This can be seen in the amount of foreigners who treat Chinese with their white privelige in China like these two videos here
Australian Rugby Players celebrating in Hong Kong

Guangdong: Foreigner hits a Courier for staring at his wife

Why can a white man go to any other country in the world and enjoy status because their 'superiority' breeds fear and respect in the host of that country? Maybe its because of the PR work that was already done by imperialists that allow for this 'privilege'

Here is one Confucius quote that I do agree with, but then having said that the guy probably covers everything from taking a shit to brushing your teeth. Anyway with due respect to our most well-known Chinese philosopher here it is:

"No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." 


  1. As a BBC, I would not say that I'm overly interested in British Chinese history either. As far as I'm concerned neither myself nor my parents nor my ancestors were part of the first wave, therefore my personal journey into British Chinese history doesn't begin until the commonwealth wave in the late 1960's/1970's.

    Nor am I particularly impressed with what I've read on the history of the British Chinese community, indeed the only reason I read about it is to understand why the British Chinese community today is so politically weak, achieved so little and why there are so many mixed race claiming Chinese representation.

    Re: The China issue and the notion of paternalism. The notion of paternalism is indeed one that applies to many commenters that I've come across seeing China as an altruistic father figure overlooking diaspora Chinese communities, but it is a notion that is incorrect IMO. Race and nationality are not the same, China does not recognise dual nationality, therefore non-Chinese nationals are of no interest to the PRC. Whilst you may see a intrinsic link with China as the motherland, there is no real reciprocity, unless you're willing to give up your western passport for an inferior PRC passport...I doubt anyone would be foolish enough to do so.

    "A bunch of kowtowing Chinese who want to marry their daughters to white men?"

    This is something I strongly disagree with. The inter racial marriage rate between Chinese females and white males in China is extremely low. Although there is actually very little confrontation between whites and Chinese in China, I doubt they even see whites as the enemy, rather that honour goes to the Japanese.

    On a personal note, whilst I expect whites to be racist towards Chinese, that doesn't shock me much when it happens, the worst kinds of racists are self-deprecating Chinese who are racist to their own race. BBC's and mixed race calling Chinese people chinks is about as low as it gets, the real sad thing about these individuals who do this is that they wouldn't dare say derogatory terms about whites in the English language to a white person's face, they only do it to Chinese people, it says a lot about their mindset.

    In my own experience, those who are the least likely to confront racist perpetrators are Chinese FOB's, in particular FOB Chinese women. The latter refuses to even discuss the issue, let alone confront it. Anyone noticed this?

  2. Meh, speaking out against racism has negative consequences. I spoke out against racism today and general exploitation of ME.

    The result? I was asked to leave and never to return.... the thing is in business and pretty much everything else. The yellow guy (the chinese person) is always outnumbered by the natives. Therefore it is always easier to get rid of the yellow person than the white racists.... I've had this at work, play AND other things as well.

  3. The problem you have stated here is the exact reason why Dr. Sun Yat Sen have put an end to Chinese feudalism and also why Mao Zedong started the Cultural Revolution, but it did more damage than good. Unfortunately 2000+ years old culture can't be changed overnight.

  4. You should not generalise that BBCs (or non-BBCs who DO argue against Chinese discrimination as well) have a passive unwillingness for complaining and racial justice. I have on the rare occasion spoken out against prejudicial issues that I have found inappropriate. There used to be a niche journal that used the famous Napalm-girl image as a selling-point cover, which I complained during their AGM and questioned whether they do the same if it she was naked Jewish or Muslim girl, they apologised immediately of their error and changed the cover, they were not racist they were just ignorant. Also I once attended a conference where leading academics were promoting their latest interpretation of post-colonialist writings, during the Q&A session I questioned vehemently why the exclusion and marginalisation of ethnic minorities these intellectuals were lecturing were doing the same by omitting East Asian people out of this discourse. As a consequence their books now includes an introduction to clarity its limitations, or edited in light of these criticisms. If you read the latest version of Edward Said’s Orientalism you will found a similar intro that regrets not exploring the Far East, but others are now doing so. I don’t fully subscribe the theory anyway, but that is another discussion. My point is that there needs to be more reporting when people do rightly complain and get things changed, that would encourage others to do so. I don’t think there is one item in this blog (other than this one) that has expressed that sentiment. The very passivity people complain about is often caused by the very people doing the complaining, because they are reinforcing the view that Chinese people are generally passive, that could be true, but its better to say who the ones that have rebelled. Make the goldfish notice the water (Chuang Tze a critic of Confucius).

  5. It is undoubtedly better to promote success stories of activism or confrontation, but these stories need to be written, the western press are not going to report small stories involving British Chinese, only those of the mainland citizens fighting the 'evil' PRC due to the west's anti-communist agenda, so British Chinese must report their own news, but how often do British Chinese come forward with their stories of activism?

    In the top right hand corner there a link with an email address to contact the bloggers...

    If you want to contribute a story you can be granted blogger rights to post/upload your stories/articles whenever you like without editorial restriction - happybritishchinese has taken up the offer, why has no one else taken up the offer?

    The blog's 'mission' statement is

    1. introduce radical concepts into the British Chinese community via education, information and debate of current issues concerning the British Chinese community,
    2. create a vocal community of British Chinese writers and bloggers to share their stories, experiences and opinions.

    The Asian American movement, anti-captalist movement and UK-Uncut have hundreds of bloggers writing about their activism, the British Chinese need to take a leaf out of their blogs. As happybritishchinese said, this blog should be seen as a starting point - get involved, lets hear your stories.

  6. @Ken, I believe u can and should sue your ex-boss!

  7. @ken, when you said you spoke out what are you referring to - you got fired from your workplace for speaking out against racism? What other experiences have you had.

    Please explain, sounds interesting. At least you stood up for your rights, which to me is in the right direction.

  8. Re: 12 September 2011 12:52 " Edward Said’s Orientalism you will found a similar intro that regrets not exploring the Far East, but others are now doing so".......

    Which others? Are they East Asian academics? Or do we need to rely on non-East Asian academics as usual to provide East Asian's with theories? Surely the East Asian academics should have been exploring these issues decades ago?

    Re: Confucian values. Being peaceful, hardworking law abiding, obeying and respecting parents etc are signs of a highly modern civil society, the problem however is that whereas the Chinese in the Far East rarely encounter racism as the indigenous majority in their homeland, in the west ...Chinese are a minority living under western values and can encounter a lot of racial abuse, the application of such Far east confucian values simply aren't compatible, doesn't even take into consideration such issues.

    Chinese in general for reasons that I'm still unclear about...rarely ever racially abuse a White person in English to his face, Chinese generally only abuse other Chinese.

    On this blog, there have been several anonymous comments from people who are probably Chinese or mixed race...labelling me a racist, yet I don't see them posting any comments at all calling whites racist or even fighting racism by whites against Chinese, they only fight alleged racism if its a Chinese being racist towards Blacks, Whites, South Asians etc.

    This one way rule simply propels White people into the status of white privilege, it really shows too many Chinese living in the west and mixed race Eurasians have adopted the mindset of a white person as well as the white agenda.

  9. Having passed through Chinatown area a few times recently, i have noticed an increased amount of British Born Chinese couples, of the younger gen, so this is a good thing.

    But yeah the speaking out is really the sign that Chinese are outwardly expressive. Being a minority doesnt mean you have to take shit from racists. On a different note, it could be the 'keep it in the family attitude'. For example, Chinese are pretty much 'family-unit based' so this is where the saving face thing comes in. its easier to criticize a member of your family, than a non-member.

    Having said that its funny when it comes to supporting your family, like in the Simon San incident, Chinese are too happy to mind our own business. Maybe because it was a racial incident and speaking out can affect their own security so theyd rather not.

    Its a confidence issue. But also it's a perception issue. Seriously, the power that white people had is an illusion. I may write an article on demystifying white power. Its a serious case of the wizard of oz hiding behind the curtain. there really is no threat there. its all perception.

  10. There is a train of thought from some sections of the UK Chinese community that believes they owe a debt to the British, i.e that Chinese should be grateful for the UK for giving them the opportunity to stay here or live here or study here etc, they are being given the opportunity to experience the privilege of living in western first world white country - a privilege bestowed only on a few who have white privilege, these types of Chinese will never rock the boat nor question white people. The worse kinds are FOBs, refugees, FOB females, the latter in particular falls for the white knight concept, its their dream to live in Europe etc, the white guy is the prince Charming. BBC's however, were born in the UK, we're not refugees, therefore there is no debt owed to the British, we were born british citizens, BBC's should be much more forceful in demanding equal treatment etc.

  11. ^ The British owe us a lot for the 2 Opium wars and colonisation!!!

  12. @bbc ronin - I still think theres something that can unite the Chinese consciousness by speaking out with the technology we have nowadays. i found this article on chinasmack

    basically it talks about the state of Chinese youth, and somehow i think if we were to understand Chinese youth of today, combined with our knowledge gained from this blog, we can create a more wholesome Chinese consciousness, strengthening us.

    Sounds impossible I know, but imo its not unrealistic. I really dont think we are that divided as bbcz suggests, by geography perhaps, but with technology that gap is closed. instead of waiting for others to do things for us, its a lot easier to take the initiative and...speak out/reach out.

    Also taking a trip to china and engaging with real Chinese is something we need to do more of, if we don't already, to know our culture/people better and create better awareness of the here and now. Again this is something else i will be covering in a future article, rather than just talking about it, putting into practice.

  13. @Anonymous,

    Agreed, anyone that says Chinese as a whole as " too peaceful " is either ignorant of Chinese civilisation or looking for an excuse to cover their own tepid inaction.

    This blog is a prime culprit, only making the problem worse by reporting failures and not successes.

    Fk the mainstream media , they are dead anyway.


  14. @Mingrev. what is so damn difficult to understand? This is a BBC blog. This article talks about British Born Chinese. Im not reporting failures im addressing real nature of Chinese in a western society. If there are successes, where are they?

    Be glad to hear them.

    Commenting on this blog from malaysia and acting all gangster where malays are the majority over whites has nothing to do with improving the mindset and cohesiveness of BBCS.

    If all you want to do is save face and not find solutions to problems, then go ahead.

    The whole point of exposing problems is to make us aware and come up with ways to deal/fight back with western racism, and hopefully uniting like other ethnic groups in the UK.

    you can live in your gangster paradise in your mind or you can choose to share the world with how great you are and outshine racism in the west. but its stupid pretend things dont exist when you live in a western world. because you are just fooling yourself.or just plain unaware of how chinese are perceived by the west.

  15. No sorry this is bullshit.

    BBCZ knows very little about
    " his homeland ".

    There is very little white licking going on in Tw/HK/Malaysia.

    Sorry I'm not accepting anything to the contrary cause I actually live here and go to HK/PRC once a year at least.

    It's just incorrect, and confirms my belief that BBCZ is promoting these these misfacts to make himself feel better with the lie that all Chinese are as lowly as he is.

    That's why I said a few posts ago that BBCZ and his blog are bullshit.

    In fact, on a HK blog the Europeans were complaining about how the regular Chinese were just ignoring them.

    Same in Malaysia.

    This is a guy like BBCZ who likes to promote his own women to Europeans to force them to be a low he is.


    " The working class Chinese women in Malaysia speak mainly Chinese and are not proficient in English. They, for some reason, do not generally prefer to socially interact with Caucasians or anyone outside their race who don't speak Chinese. "


    And working class Chinese form 90% of the population and NEVER hang out in places like lan kwai fong.

    Very convenient you never mentioned that LKF is about the only spot in HK where foreigners and non speaking Chinese gather en mass.

    They don't exist in any other part of HK or Taiwan or Msia.

    PRC is a case on its own and we can talk about that if you dare.


    motam kwai cien kak, pien tai, motam toifu kwailoh, taiyi leike sutpai lok yumhor.



  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. @mingrev. Are you appearing in your own cartoon show anytime soon? like the malaysian internet gangster troll. I think you would be popular with the kids.

  18. A reason why the Chinese are so non confrontational... whilst most BBCs are educated most of the older FOBs are not, they are obsessed interested in making money and have passed on these capitalist values on to their kids. Go to Chinatown or the nearby casinos any weekend, look at the takeaway families and the working class chinese people generally, do you expect these people to have any interests in their wider BBC community or in discussiing politics? The fact they would leave a beautiful county like HK or China, cutting off their family roots to spend a lifetime in a lonely isolated world behind a wok tells me everything of their world view. Try educating and debating with these people is impossible in english or in broken Chinese, I would argue the remnants of these ways of thinking are still there with SOME BBCs even unconsciously... there is a learnt helplessness going on that needs to be broken. I can have a pop at BBCZ or HappyBC but I rather have a open constructive discussion at the end of the day, not to make enemies.

  19. ^
    'learnt helplessness going on that needs to be broken'

    THANK YOU. Thats a brilliant comment. Thanks for that insight. Damn right.

    And you know what? It sounds strange, but whenever i walk through my local chinatown , i can feel our Chinese need to express our pride, but due to the whole FOBS and BBC'er language problems, we dont always mix. Or dont try to. Thats a real shame. Theres more and more Chinese in Britain and our uniting process is way overdue. Rather than the old crap from the 90s and ( as this blog has shown) our terrible much as we are good at making money, we really need a movement! A few good people to stand up - organisers, artists...there is definately that requirement there.

    I mean we have been languishing in this murky haze called British Chinese identity for so long, we are YEARNING for something better.

    I was in a coffee shop the other day and yknow, a young guy was sitting next to me. Actually, because i was so focused on my work and not looking anywhere except my work,then i realised he may have been BBC. i was really tempted to reach out and ask him to visit this blog. But you know it is...easier to talk on here than in public and we like to save face and all.

    Anyway, nothing happened. But i could tell he he looked kinda lonely and deep in thought. Without even talking to him, i could sense that he was unhappy and the superficial stuff wasnt doing it for him...and when i left it made me realise that really do need leaders, rolemodels,as right now i think younger bbcs are looking towards asian american culture, simply because we ( bbcs ) dont have any. So whats my point? well two:

    1. we need to get more culture out there. i can only do my bit by writing articles, and encouraging more people. so far, chris li has contacted us, but he's busy until next summer...

    2. we need to sign up on this blog and get more involved - sign up IDs and start submitting articles - news, thoughts, updates - what we have been up to - our opinions are free for all!

    you can see how your consciousness is forming by leaving comments and learning from this blog? its great.

    And when there IS good news/thoughts/activities out there, lets report it and contribute to creating a new culture!

  20. Know nothing about the homeland? Really? Where do you think I'm typing this reply from? I'm in Asia! You keep mentioning Lan Kwai Fong as previously on the Susan Ma thread, if you read my reply, I was in agreement with you. Whilst Hong Kongers adore, idolise white western culture lifestyle, the interior designs of the almost of all the apartments in Hong Kong are exactly western, the products are imported from the overseas, the adverts on TVB are all about selling western lifestyle products, beauty etc. There are Ikea, marks and spencers, tons of western brand stores in Hong Kong, sure, on the one hand they idolise western culture, but contradictorily dislike westerners.

    Mingrev is trying hard to be confrontational to disprove 'the said myth,' thats great...although its rather contradictory because you simply conform to the other point I keep reitering in that Chinese , especially FOB's rarely confront or attack White people verbally in the white person's language to his face, they only do to other Chinese especially to BBC's in the Chinese language for whom they consider inferior or jooksing. Physical Attacks on white people in Hong Kong by Chinese are almost unheard of. MIn Rev is another example, he frequently attacks me for no other reason than being British Born Chinese, I doubt there isn't a BBC that hasn't encountered racism from FOB's over their 'inferior' command of the Chinese language.

  21. Stupid comment.

    I have no reason to " attack a white man ", so why should I ?

    I am " attacking " you because you are denegrating Chinese despite your claims otherwise.

    You are a fraud and I am just exposing your claims as bullshit by presenting solid evidence.

    That's all.

    Ming Rev

  22. Mingrev, it Doesnt seem to be much point to explain to you what we are trying to do here when you just sees everything here as negative against chinese when all it is just reporting and challenging the bbc mindset, culture/identity. which , thankfully some members seem to care about about.

    ming rev, no offense, youre not a bbc, you just dont understand our politics and even as a chinese you seem deluded unaware or plain naive as to the agenda that western imperialism conducts against chinese/western born chinese that we must be aware of and guard against to strengthen and hopefully, develop our chinese identity.

    and not everything on here is negative, in fact half of the job of commenters here is to develop solutions and even at the end of this article im trying to promote some kind of self-awareness.

    if you see me as insulting confucius, you really dont get the article.why the hell would i insult my own chinese heritage ffs? im proud of being chinese. but not EVERYTHING we have consumed is best for us.

    no offense meant, but i think this content is beyond you. seriously. acting gangster is one thing but intellectual dissection of the problem and coming up with possible solutions that only bbcs/those who care to analyse, can produce is another.

  23. Absolutely, this blog is a challenging provocative blog, it highlights all the hidden issues that BBC's and British Chinese people face but refuse to discuss, issues that a lot of FOB's refuse to face or even accept. MIngrev, your reaction is rather typical, trying to dismiss our opinions. Again in your opinion, I'm a fraud for no other reason that being British Born Chinese, classic FOB snobbery against BBC's. You also keep mentioning qi pao and PRC, both of which have nothing directly to do with British Chinese. in fact, Mainland Chinese aren't interested in qi pao, they follow western bridal gowns now. You know China National day was yesterday, Well I watched SZTV (Shenzhen TV) this morning and guess what the Chinese exhibited for China national day? Western dance routines just like IRISH Riverdance, tap dance, cowboy line dancing in cowboy hats. IS this Chinese? No its western! China also has a carbon copy show of the UK show on the BBC Strictly Come Dancing, copying western dance genres such as ballroom etc, you're welcome to deny it and call me fraud as much as you like, but it doesn't change reality, its pretty obvious where China is the west.

  24. Read this:

    36million mainland Chinese tributes and counting....flooding in for Steve Jobs and Apple.

    I doubt even the death of wen jiabo would generate such an avalanche of sympathy, yet this tribute is for a white American and an American brand. Truly pathetic

    More pathetic Chinese supporting, fighting over and defending western football brands/clubs/teams.

  25. Was browsing through Facebook the other day, friend of a friend of a friend and all that:

    Feel free to say "HARROW" to Jonah Pritchard:

  26. haha, encouraging online trolling of an irrelevant white trash non-entity on Facebook?

    Trolling is not my style. Though, its rather amusing if they try it on here though, their comments will be removed.

    Eye pulling is extremely common, there are photos like that all over the net, the worse examples are white people in China who do this and the mainland Chinese who are a majority living in their own country don't even react to it. the Beijing Olympics eye pulling examples required condemnation by Asian American groups, mainland Chinese as typical FOBs either did not understand the abuse or didn't react to it. The most recent example was the swimmer cesar cielo

  27. What is wrong with our people, being insulted and shying away when we are outnumbered in a white country is understandable, doing the same when it's a Chinese majority country and having to rely on Asian American groups to call it up??? We always talk about our population being a plus factor, but what's the point if it's only Overseas (and mainly Western born) Chinese who actually notice???

    And what we (and other nonwhites) really need is an easy to do expression that best stereotypes whites in a derorgatory manner. If they pull off a slit eyes, what can we do in retaliation other than sulk? Suggestions?

  28. there is no equivalent to eye pulling that can be directed towards white people, maybe that is the problem, however that doesn't mean white people don't get pissed by Chinese people, there are many non-Chinese commenters on this blog that have been very pissed by my articles calling them offensive, racist etc. "how dare you say that about (insert race here) people you racist ****" Some even threatening legal action against this blog.

    The fact white people are so expressly and overtly anti-chinese throughout history and even today - shows how pissed they are! Chinese are a threat, the Chinese are coming and they don't like it! Just look at the race riots of 1919.

  29. ^ I just saw that Cesar Cielo news. Damn. July 2011 and still we get that in public. FUcker.

    THere are ways to get back at whites for calling us slitty eyed and thats basically to call them albino monkeys.

    Re: white people getting pissed off at this blog. Just shows their narrowmindedness. THey dish out the crap against us, and then when we speak out or point it out, they get annoyed like a bunch of spoilt children who cant get their overpriveleged ways.

    Its really sad. WHite people are ironically the most insecure of them all. Think about it - why the hell would you need to attempt conquer and colonise 2/3 of the world and label yourself 'Great' ? ...insecure , much?

    now look at them - stewing in their own mess and depopulation plans and printing fiat money til theres no tomorrow.

    THeyre gonna regret all this eyepulling mockery/social engineering against China...just watch and see.

  30. ^
    I respect your passion and correctly aggrieved at nasty comments about chinese people, but you need a bit more growing to do, embarrassing attitude.

  31. ^ i think you need some growing up to do 'Ali G' lol.