Racist representations

Somebody else said it:

As a Chinese-Canadian, I am writing to express my objection to your offensive editorial cartoon by Cameron Cardow about how “the western media sees China.”

The coolie hat has been a notorious symbol in racist representations of the Chinese, as anyone with some critical understanding of racism against the Chinese is aware. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual Chinese. How many Chinese do you see wearing them? What it does is to lead people to think all Chinese are the same as the caricatured Chinaman that was popularized in the 19th century. This is precisely how racism works.

This cartoon also demonstrates a serious problem with much reporting on China. It is as if only when the Chinese people criticize the communist government, are they deemed as fellow human beings who are capable of reason, who have aspirations we understand and support, and who are worth listening to. But when the same people stand with the government on certain issues, they are dismissed as duped and/or crushed subjects.

I urge you to get over this bias and try to appreciate the Chinese people’s enthusiasm for the Olympics on their terms.

Xiaobei Chen Ottawa

Assistant professor

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Carleton University


One thought on “Racist representations

  1. I’ve seen these racist comic strips more times than I can count. and it’s very sad that they appear in mainstream newspapers. I’m never surprised because well….there’s no point in having unwarranted faith in the intelligence of people.

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