I'm one of those to admit that blacks can be very racist to non black individuals. This is especially true in black/Hispanic ghettos across America; where even the hushed sound of the word "nigger" can be turned into a high profile media event. Do you remember the Jenna 6? Both blacks and Jews have this culture of being so oversensitive when our race and culture come into perspective that we refuse to hear anything on the issue rationally, if it’s not casting us as the victims. In various parts of our lives we have even forced our experience on others. I remember in high school I was forced to watch Schindler's List, and I was forced to like it.
I hate the “we are the victims” mentality in America. In China, racism here has taught me tolerance. I can take so much here that in America I would never have accepted. That’s because here people don’t care. If you blatantly get rejected by an organization because you’re black, there are no Al Sharptens or Jesse James’s to run to. Lawyers here don’t know the meaning of discrimination suits. If someone calls you a “nigger” in Chinese on the Metro, no one will even bother to bat an eye. One quickly learns to use stereotypes to their advantage when the club in the advertisement specifically request for a black D.J., or a Filipino Maid, or a white “businessman”.
Today while scouring through the search words of “black”+ “Chinese” in Google, I came across a website by a Chinese American by the name of Ying Ma. She has a B.A., from Cornell University magna cum laude, and a J.D. from Stanford University. She has also been involved with many fellowships between China and America. She has also written for big news organizations, such as the Wall Street Journal. To me she seemed to be an accomplished young woman. That was until I read her articles on race relations.
On her blog http://yingma.org/2010/06/25/ghetto-racism/, and in her articles she attributes blame to the black/Hispanic race of why her childhood was so miserable. She accounts in vivid detail, her life in Oakland California, word for word of how a Mexican girl accosted her and called her racist names in the fourth grade, and getting beat up, and harassed by blacks; of how no one notices black/Hispanic racism towards Asian Americans. I can remember vaguely being called by African Americans nasty and racist names, and I’m black!
What I’m saying is, here is an educated Asian woman crying to be the victim here, and for all intents and purposes she was a victim. She was the victim of racism and ignorance. It is wrong, and I think blacks really sometimes have to look at themselves and how they view other people. But, and there is always a but, let’s get one thing clear. She was not the victim of institutional/disenfranchised racism. There is quite a difference. Let me give an example…
In the early 1960’s-1990’s in South Africa, blacks were treated as lowly beast of labor. During apartheid blacks lacked rights, voting, and often were relegated to menial duties that promised no future, even though the majority of people in South Africa were black. We had to watch as whites ruled the government and created establishments that were disadvantageous to blacks. In this time Chinese and Asians enjoyed the same treatment as whites. There was no segregation for Chinese and Asians. You didn’t hear any Chinese raising a complaint for black people. They could go to the same school as whites, they could eat in the same restaurants as whites; they were almost as equal as whites. During this time they did not want to be considered “black”. Twenty years later, now Chinese have won a settlement in court to be considered “black”, because now in South Africa blacks receive most of the advantages.
During those hard times there were no Chinese or Asians in the front lines with Nelson Mandela and Desmond TuTu fighting apartheid, but in the end they received the same benefits that blacks fought for through blood, sweat and tears. A Chinese person didn’t spend more than 30 years in prison with Mandela. See….
Let’s take a look at America in the 1960’s Medger Evers, Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King were all assassinated because they fought for rights of blacks, and minorities. There were lynch mobs, Police hoe sprays, and Church burnings. I didn’t see any Chinese American in the pictures or film marching on Washington. I didn’t see any Chinese American walking 10 miles to work during the bus boycotts of the 1960’s. And I didn’t see any Chinese taking a water hoes to the head. In the Brown vs. Board of Education Linda Brown and 200 other plaintiffs were spit on, had rocks thrown at them, and were called every name in the book so that you and their grand children could go to Cornell and Stanford in order to study together. Why don’t you write about them?
Of course though Ying Ma, I wasn’t part of this either, but it is part of my culture. I’m not saying that Chinese Americans and Asian Americans didn’t suffer in America. I have read about Iris Chang’s book Chinese in America, but there is a big difference. You came here willingly to take the suffering at an attempt at prosperity. African Americans did not. Your people came here like many others to take advantage of the American system. African Americans did not.
And there is a self hatred within our group and towards others that is difficult for you to understand. This wasn’t a personal attack on you because you were Chinese, or because they were Asian. This is frustration of the ignorant, passed down from generation to generation. It is racism, but, so does me being called a “nigger” on the metro in Shanghai. Ignorance permeates in every poor class neighborhood, and city, and every corner of the Earth. Blacks attack whites, blacks Asians, and guess what? Blacks even attack other blacks the most!
When you live in a poor neighborhood, or a ghetto what do you expect? If you lived in a red neck part of the south, and went to school there, would you expect to get treated any differently; or what about a wai di ren from Guizhou trying to find work in Shanghai? You seem to think that these African Americans/ Latin Americans had something personal against you; when in fact ignorance begets ignorance. Ignorant people like to be with ignorant people. What would make you think that you could get something positive out of these ordeals? You seem to think that these ignorant people represent all African/Latin American views towards Chinese, and other Asian populations. I am willing to bet my life that you didn’t get treated with racism by black and Hispanics at the higher educated institutions that you attended. Yet, we don’t read about this in your beautifully worded rants and raves.
The same can be said for Chinese restaurants/stores that make money solely from black and Hispanic business in poor neighborhoods. I’m willing to bet your parents made a living by selling a service to the black/Hispanic community in Oakland. My experience with Asian establishments in the ghetto is a feeling of coldness and disconnect; of not wanting to be associated with anything of our culture, but solely to make money from the black community with the hopes and dreams of some day living it up with the rich on Central Park West. Yes, some of those Compton bangers are not too ignorant. They understand your intentions.
As much as you like to crow on and on of how you were the victim of racism by ignorant minorities, it most likely was your classification as a minority that helped get you into the Stanford and Cornell programs. Not saying that your race was solely the reason, I’m just saying that being ethnically different helps a lot when it comes times for these councils to make these kinds of decisions. Just to let you know that Affirmative Action, a process that was fought with blood, sweat and tears by African Americans, benefits (I actually don’t support AA) you in this way.
Now I’m no fan of Jesse Jackson , or Al Sharpton. If you ask any educated African American, they will tell you that these people don’t represent us. You seem so eager to point your finger at the ignorant in regards to racism. Every race has racial ignorance. Your Chinese race included.
Here’s a story about a young beautiful mixed race child in Shanghai who got berated by CHINESE netizens, being called monkey, chimpanzee, nigger, and other horrible words http://www.chinasmack.com/2009/stories/shanghai-black-girl-lou-jing-racist-chinese-netizens.html
Or this article where police round up random black people in Beijing and proceed to beat them up…
But your articles I see rarely provide any distinct balance, or remedy for the situation of racism in ghettos. You seem to rejoice in the fact that a Chinese woman stood up to a black woman, beat her and won. You just provide countless articles of Chinese being victimized by blacks; when, if I look hard enough I can find situations where Chinese have even shot and killed blacks…
Ms. Ma I would think that a person so educated as yourself could understand these things. Why does it take a lowly bachelor educated, young man from a no name university to tell you these things? You should focus both equally on the positive as well as the negative exchanges between minorities in your educated atmospheres. Supply solutions, and not just ranting. If not, you are just wasting your education.
I have a question for you. What do you say to a person like me who is married to a Chinese and has a daughter by a Chinese woman? I very eagerly want to know what the Stanford lawyer has to say to my daughter.