So it started with me clicking and clicking until I finally reached this page. Firstly, I must insert this ~~disclaimer~~; that website linked in the previous sentence, Chinasmack is actually quite eye-opening and not in a good way. It focuses on popular Chinese BBS forums translating some discussions from selected forums into English. Obviously in forums some people just run wild and say whatever they want to. And I also know that such websites as Chinasmack are highly sensational and the entire forum discussion is also never translated into English so we do not know what most Chinese netizens really have to say. I do think the authors try to publish both positive and negative comments though. Anyway, I always take such things with a pinch of salt (and you should too), I find them very interesting indeed.
The article is about the lady pictured above, Luo Jing who is half-black, half-Chinese and appeared on a televised singing competition. Now what can I say except I have been waiting for someone like this for a few years now. You see in Japan, there are a few…okay I only know 2…celebrities who have some black in them (actually Jero makes 3!). Crystal Kay is half-African-American and Thelma Aoyama is 1/4 Trinidadian. In Korea, there is Tasha whose father is African-American. Tasha sang this song ‘Black Happiness’ (link to video with English subtitles!), which I sort of don’t like but at the same time touched me because it was about her struggles as a half-black girl in Korea where people prefer light-skin and straight hair, where her mother’s race was okay but her father’s was not. She faced a lot of prejudice for her darker-skin and curly hair was told to wear white make-up…she hated her dark-skin as a child. Though I will confess that to me she is not dark at all but what do I know?
Anyhow, knowing the Korean and Japanese examples, I have kept an eye open for the Chinese equivalent, a half-black celebrity. When I heard about Lou Jing, it was that Chinese netizens were making racist comments till she had to respond in another forum. Lou Jing’s father is African-American and she is the product of an affair. Her mother was married when she met Lou Jing’s father and he left her after she became pregnant. Maybe she thought she was pregnant for her Chinese husband but in the end, they got divorced after she gave birth to a black baby. Most of the abuse hurled at Lou Jing was supposedly due to the fact that she is the product of adultery and her mother had the ‘guts’ to appear on national television with her daughter when they should both be ashamed of the events surrounding her birth. Now it would have been okay if the had just criticised the adultery part but the featured comments were heavily laced with racism directed at Lou Jing’s father. Some called him African while others cited that most African-American men do not take care of their children and instead run away so Lou Jing’s mother deserved what she got for committing adultery. Of course how big the black man’s chi*po was mentioned (guess what chi*po is in Japanese!)
I admit I was very disappointed reading those comments but I don’t know what I expected. I guess when it is just me and my international friend base, I end up assuming that all is good in the world and everyone is friendly and though we may disagree on some stuff we can all still get along. It also seems oddly strange to me that even in China, the stereotypes of black people are basically Western stereotypes. I dunno, I guess I sort of assumed they’d have a different set of stereotypes but everything was the same old thing, very unoriginal. During my research, I read that the first stereotypes of black Africans in China was that they were good wise supernatural beings who would go on adventures. But apparently later on partly due to the black slaves owned by Arab traders, those ‘good’ stereotypes died out. I suppose I really should not have been surprised as the internet tends to bring the worst out of people and I have visited forums that have left me shivering (at the coldness in the world) and very very disturbed. I will not link to those forums here though, this blog needs to give positive energy, just remembering them is a little bit distressing. Anyway compared to those sort of stuff, the racist comments against Lou Jing and her father were just disappointing and mildly annoying.
Lou Jing’s finally responded to in another forum, I like what she had to say;
I am DragonTV Angel Lou Jing, and here I make a statement!
- My father is American, not African.
- I am a born and bred Shanghainese person.
- I should not have to bear my parents’ mistake, I am innocent!
- Sternly but strongly protest some people’s racism, my skin color should not become a target of attack!
I should add that I really have no hope for Luo Jing’s career as a musician because the girl cannot sing at all. Usually I sugarcoat my words but in all honesty, she is quite pretty and all but she cannot sing. Maybe she can model or act? I know I would definitely watch any dramas she’s in!
You can imagine my surprise when upon visiting Chinasmack yesterday, I discovered this headline ‘Chinese-Black Couple on Shanghai Metro’, accompanied by this picture (among others);
I admit that my first reaction when reading the article was laughter. In fact I still laugh when I see the picture. It is not out of mockery or anything though. Of course the netizens commented on this picture! Reading their comments I could not help but laugh even more as opposed to crying because they were almost a complete turnover from their comments on ‘Shanghai black girl’ Lou Jing and her African-American father. Apparently it is okay for Chinese men to date black women but definitely not the other way round (we have all heard that before).
The tag line for the picture was that this Chinese man has an ‘extremely heavy/strong taste’. Other interesting comments are reproduced below please keep in mind that these comments were supposedly made by Chinese netizens on a forum and translated into English for us who do not understand the language;
‘The guy cannot possibly satisfy her, must use an electric vibrator’
‘After seeing Lou Jing, I cannot determine whether or not this girl is African’
‘A TF (bandit, a nickname for members of the forum) with a sense of justice, getting revenge for Lou Jing’s dad’
‘Amongst blacks, [she] is considered not bad. Moreover, [if he] can satisfy a black, obviously has an exceptionally long…’
‘[I] commend [him/this], winning honor/glory for the nation!’
‘Her appearance and body are not bad.Two black legs holding you…oh my, this is what heaven is!’
‘[His taste is] not the least bit heavy/strong, [he is] wining honor/glory for Chinese men. Who said it isn’t possible if you’re short?’
‘This girl is probably not mixed, yet she is relatively whiter/lighter than some who are mixed.This shows that Lou Jing’s mix is absolutely a failure.’
Of course there were more negative comments, some are just too bad that I really cannot put them here. Someone also used the n-word in a supposedly positive comment which is just stupid. Anyway you can read more interesting positive and negative comments and the entire article here.
I really wonder if there is a correct reaction to this sort of thing? I also find myself wondering if it was possible that the same people who had made the racist comments on Lou Jing were the same ones praising this Chinese man for being with this black woman. In the end, I am not really bothered. I just feel that these Chinese netizens have a lot to learn about Africa, African-Americans and black people in general. I wonder what gives these people the right to make certain comments about black people as that most of them have probably never seen a black person in their life.
Oh well, I found this very interesting and it was stuff like this that helped me during the boring times of Beast taming (known to some as writing a dissertation). Do you notice how I have managed to slip that into this post too? I am done but the damage still lingers…*shivers at the memory of life in the inner circle of hell, battling former friends turned demons and keeping an eye out for the neighbourhood watch while hatching a plan to get to heaven*