Chinese Racism Just as Ugly as White

BC’s Chinese-Canadian community has to do a better job of standing up for fairness and against discrimination … not just when it is carried out against their own  … but when their own do it to others as well.

And when racism BY Asians rears its ugly head, the Asian media should stop going along with it, as if it is to be expected or even acceptable.

I’m referring to the appalling actions taken by Richmond Conservative MP Alice Wong at a specially organized restaurant event at which she sat down and ate a bowl of shark-fin soup … her way of supporting a dish that many people want banned.

But that’s not the most repulsive action associated with Wong in conjunction with the food farce photo-op.

According to several media reports, Wong’s office sent out invitations ONLY TO ASIAN MEDIA to witness the Member of Parliament’s soup slurping and record her pronouncements about how sweet it was.

A press event by a Canadian Member of Parliament, to which ONLY ASIAN MEDIA are invited?

In Canada? In 2012?

Totally repugnant and unacceptable! Outrageous!

The Chinese and Asian community in Canada know perhaps more than anyone how horrible are the realities and consequences of discrimination, racism and exclusion.

They, above anyone else, are aware of how hard the fight has been to achieve a country where the vast majority of our citizens reject discrimination of all kinds and where EVERYONE should be INCLUDED, regardless of race, colour, religion, ethnicity, sex or sexual orientation.

But that MUST apply to the Chinese community and its leaders just as much as it does to the rest of us.

Yet, apart from a brief mention in the media that Wong’s office somehow decided to inform ASIANS ONLY about the public event where the Richmond MP would be front and centre, no community or business or political leaders have said very much to CONDEMN Wong’s discriminatory media selection process.

Why not?

Can you just imagine what the outcry would be if, a white MP scheduled a press conference and invited only white reporters!

The LOCAL, NATIONAL and ETHNIC media would be all over it; the Prime Minister would be challenged on it and there would be LOUD calls for a resignation.

Why is it then so quiet when a Chinese-ethnic MP reportedly does the same, issues no explanation or even an apology?

Where is the Prime Minister on this by one of his own MPs?

And MORE INTERESTINGLY, where are the Opposition Liberals and NDP?

Shhhh!

Just picture in your mind what they would saying before the cameras … and the volume of their indignation … if it had been a Tory MP excluding Asian media.

What makes this all the worse…it is NOT the first time this kind of racist “selection” process has happened right here, in BC, at an Asian-only media event.

In April, 2011 I wrote on this blog, in a piece entitled “Ethnic Media FAILED Canadian Standard” , about a similar situation that occurred, where non-Asian reporters were BARRED from Hong-Kong-born Conservative candidate Wai Young’s media event.

Wai is now the Conservative MP for Vancouver South.

And maybe that’s the problem: being discriminatory is no longer acceptable in Canada and is to be denounced whenever and wherever it occurs … except when it’s Asians keeping others out?

Remember, these are not minor officials working on behalf of local ethnically-targeted social agencies or small businesses: they are FEDERAL politicians who are supposed to represent and be inclusive of ALL their constituents.

ALL racial, religious ethnic, sexual discrimination in this country should be denounced and condemned .. LOUDLY by all.

For a start, why don’t BC’s Asian media start acting like REAL journalists: announce they’ll refuse to attend or cover ANY events by aspiring or elected political leaders where only Asian media have been invited. And really go after those community leaders guilty of  such race-based despicable acts.

Probably a better story anyway than the one the politician wants to plant!

Harv Oberfeld

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28 Responses to Chinese Racism Just as Ugly as White

  1. Joe says:

    Agree with what you said. But isn’t this the modus operandi of politicians? Say one thing to one group in one language, and the opposite thing to another group in another language; be it English, French, or Chinese.

    (Response: Not sure if it’s language ..amybe more geography. As I’ve pointed out on this blog before, politicians say quite different things, for example, to Western Canadians and British Columbians than they say in Quebec and the Maritimes. But most of them are quite EQUAL deceivers .. inviting ALL media to hear their twisted spins …not just reporters of a particular race. h.o)

  2. Islander says:

    “Can you just imagine what the outcry would be if, a white MP scheduled a press conference and invited only white reporters!”

    Or if a male politician tried to exclude women reporters? Alice Wong would be among the women raising hell.

    Or religeous politician banning all media not a member of his/her religion? Or banning athiests?

    The poop would hit the fan in a most spectacular fashion.

    Great post, Harvey.

    (Response: Exactly. The key here is they are politicians …who should respect ALL their voters and set the example for our society. h.o)

  3. mariner says:

    It sure seems like the politicans don’t seem to care what the public think. They are in power and make the rules – regardless, as Harper was quick to point out.

    Arrogance and insulting behaviour seems to be the trademark of most of the right wing politicians these days.

    Just maybe the XL Foods, Bell Media or another major happening will have the Conservatives “interfering” as Bell would like.

    Harper seems hell bent on screwing the average Canadian and doesn’t give a hoot to boot.
    Time will tell of course, but I feel there will be some serious protests and opposition to what the current government has done/is doing. None of it will be good that is for sure.

    (Response: You say right wing …and i agree.. BUT also note the Libs and NDP have also steered away from demanding Wong be disciplined or apologize. Bet they wouldn’t be so quiet if the insult and racist selection process was reversed! h.o)

  4. G.J.W. says:

    It’s our own stupid fault, for permitting those people to live in our country. They brought their Triad with them. Gang wars and drug wars, ever since The Chinese in Vancouver want their history and culture taught in our schools because, there are so many of them. What about the people, from other country’s cultures?

    While other country’s are having to escort the Chinese out of their lands, Harper brings them right onto our Canadian soil. Harper has risked this country’s security.

    China is showing their aggression, around the globe. Hacking into other country’s secret files. Selling infected electronic components to other country’s. U.S. missiles and other weapons, had infected components purchased from China.

    CSIS warned about China’s hug inroads into Canada. BC was specifically mentioned. Campbell gave China our resources too. There are 2000 Chinese miners, coming to work BC mines. Campbell shipped BC mills to China, along with our raw logs.

    We have accepted people from other Nations. It’s important for them to keep their cultures alive. We attend their parades, celebrate China’s New Year. However, the Chinese aren’t that welcome anymore. I would like to see Canadians in China telling that country, we should have our traditions taught in China’s schools. Two chances of that, a fat one and a slim one.

    (Response: “Our” country? Are you a First Nations? If not we are ALL immigrants … and even First Nations were at some time: every one of our ancestors here came from across some ocean, and have helped build a great country where everyone should be welcomed into our communities and our lives … as long as they welcome us back as well. h.o)

  5. teririch says:

    Well done.

    I watched that news brief and was shocked at 1) her participation in consuming shark fin soup 2) her stupidity at claiming it was not ‘harvested’ illegally 3) the mention that it as an Asian only presser.

    I have to tell you, I lived in Richmond when I was a little kid, and now only travel through it to get to the airport. I feel like an outsider.

    (Response: I think people who fought so long and hard to be accepted … as they should be …as full equals should not then turn around and treat others as outsiders. h.o)

  6. e.a.f. says:

    I was some amazed when I saw Ms. Wong had excluded all media except Chinese from her news conferance. Ms. Wong is not a private citizen. She is an M.P. of the Canadian Parliament. As such she has an obligation to act in a manner consistent with the acts & regulations which are on the books. Restricting the news conferance to one ethnic group violates the Constitution.

    Had a “caucasian” politician done this I am sure there would have been complaints filed to the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The least Ms. Wong could do is issue an apology.

    Ms. Wong’s constituency has a majority of Voters who are of Asian descent. However, as the M.P. it is her obligation to represent all of her constituats. If she can’t do that she should resign.

    The Asian media has an obligation to get with the agenda. If the “phot op” is restricted to one ethnic group they might want to take a pass on it to show solidarity with all media. Many people came to Canada to avoid this type of favoritism in their countries of origin. Then they come here to do it to others? Not a good thing.

    Ms. Wong you are a disgrace to your position of M.P. & ought to resign. The Chinese media, take a course on ethics. Remember if you had been China many of you would not have been able to report what you wanted. If you aren’t comfortable with having all ethnic groups present at a news conferance you might want to find another line of work in Canada.

    (Response: Right on! Especially the part that the Asian media have a DUTY to not take part in such racist events …and I think they should … no MUST … denounce them publicly as well. Show some backbone and ethics! h.o)

  7. D. M. Johnston says:

    My wife is Asian, but not Chinese and I have a slightly different perspective on Chinese racism, in fact the Chinese are very racist, especially to non-Chinese Asians.

    There is an inbred superiority, that (I guess, after 5,000 years of Chinese civilization) a vast majority of Chinese display. Ms. Wong aptly displayed her disdain of the the other than Chinese media, which is tantamount to racism, by eating Shark fin soup.

    The quest all Chinese must ask themselves, as do we all; are you Chinese first and Canadian second, or are you a Canadian.

    Go ask the many Filipino’s who have made Canada their home, they are Canadian first.

    Ms. Wong, where do your allegiance reside?

    (Response: Seems to me all ethnic groups “back home” are rife with prejudice against others. And a lot of that bled over to Canada and the US too for far too long. Things are much better now …but racism still exists and should be repudiated wherever it happens, whether by whites, chinese or whoever. h.o)

  8. Hans Goldberg says:

    How about Ms Clark, our unelected premier holding meetings for women only, where even male servers were not allowed.
    Racism is rampant here in Canada, only it is quiet and indirect. Only once in a while it rears its ugly head above the surface.

    (Response: Sexism does exist too …but it doesn’t really bother me when someone organizes all-female or all-male groups or meetings to discuss specific issues of their concern. But if she had said only white women, that would have been an ugh! h.o)

  9. Gee, Harvey,I think it a bit rich to be calling it a racist event. I mean, how many of the rest of us would stop to give it a look? I mean we are constantly seeing Liberals, NDPers, and yes, Conservatives, taking their shoes off and with little kerchiefs on their heads, in order to get the cultural vote. It appears, mostly in the cultural press, because it is those votes they are after, in fact, too much coverage in the MSM could lead to lost votes because of all the pandering to minority votes.
    Have you ever seen any politicians attending Benediction at the local Cathedral? Or a revival meetings at the local protestant churches, or rolling with the Holy Rollers (though you may see them attempt to whirl with the Dervishes, it being a Muslim sect)?
    I don’t really relish eating shark fin soup, but I am opposed to cat and dog meat (chicken chow meow?) and many other exotic recipes, but the fact is, should we start telling people what they may or may not eat, than the vegans will soon be telling me “meat stinks”!

    (Response: I didn’t call it a racist event: I called it a food farce photo-op. The activities you mention are INCLUSIONARY … the very opposite of what occurred in this instance. What certainly seemed racist to me was the reported fact (never denied) that ONLY Asian media were invited to attend. THAT is what is totally unacceptable. Wong’s decision to slurp shark-fin soup to show her support for what many feel is delicact based on barbaric action is her own business. For her office to exclude non-Asian media from the invite list is everyone’s business. h.o.)

  10. John says:

    Harvey,

    First and foremost, you are completely correct.

    But it also speaks volumes about the level of expediency to which some politicians will rise in order to get and or keep a seat as well as the quality of a candidate or sitting MP.

    The PM is completely responsible for this regardless what his spin doctors say.

    It’s an absolute shame and an embarrassment to EVERY Canadian.

  11. harry lawson says:

    well harvey interesting post

    what we have here is proof that ignorance and racism is alive and well in all cultures.

    ethnic bloc voting and pandering is so old school.

    yet if any race group complains it is called racism yes political correctness on steroids.

    any political party that condones this behavior is wrong . show some courage refuse to sign a nomination form or two and watch it stop.

  12. Kreditanstalt says:

    “…why don’t BC’s Asian media start acting like REAL journalists: announce they’ll refuse to attend or cover ANY events by aspiring or elected political leaders where only Asian media have been invited…”

    Mellow out, Harvey…take a cruise! You’re way overreacting on this one. Equating inviting only Chinese or Chinese-language media to “inviting white reporters” is a bit thick, isn’t it?

    And, quite apart from the right of any individual in any position to invite any media entirely of his or her choosing, don’t you think this issue might be of concern almost exclusively to the Chinese community?

    (Response: I don’t get it: how is it execusable? Wong is a Member of Parliament …not some boutique owner pushing a new line of beauty products. It is her DUTY to treat Canadians equally … not segregate us into “invited” and “excluded” groups …based on ethnicity. h.o)

  13. mike says:

    Our” country? Are you a First Nations? If not we are ALL immigrants

    Oh, Harvey why do you repeat this idiotic mantra. We are not ALL immigrants. My ancestors were settlers. I am not an immigrant. I was born here so how the hell am I an immigrant?!! Yes Harv, let’s all just lay down and allow the third world to invade and take over. I mean, we wouldn’t want to offend them now would we? You spineless libtard IDIOT!!

    (Response: Your ignorance could be cured if you actually look up words in a dictionary. The definition of immigrant is “A person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.” Settlers WERE immigrants to Canada. EVERYONE in Canada or the United States comes from immigrants … including you! The only difference, your relatives and mine likely came in steerage at the bottom of some cramped, leaky, stinky boat more than a hundred years ago …where MOST today come in nice, modern, comfortable jets. But they were ALL immigrants! h.o)

  14. 13 says:

    As far as I can see this is yet another example of failed multiculturalism. The various ethnic communities all have a way of acting as racisits. The Indo Canadian truckers had a meeting last Sunday on the side of hwy 91.(covered by Global) The six oclock news had a few sound bites and film from the meeting. All the Global coverage made it seem that the entire event was in english. Not so. At the meeting the first speaker spoke for 20 minutes in their native tongue.
    Its tiresome and its so common place that I hardly even notice it anymore.
    You have to ask if the Richmond MP would stand any hope of being elected in Surrey. Not likely.
    Racism will continue because we might be labled multi cultural but the various imigrant populations think of themselves as (fill in the nationality)first and Canadian second. For that matter many dont even call themselves Canadian at all.

    (Response: I think multi-culturalism was and is a mistake…and on this one, I think the US policy of assimilation of all into one is better. Newcomers should be integrated into general Canadian society as quickly as possible, and while it may be neat to see kids keeping their parents’ old country language, I think it also prolongs the “separate” communities concept and that’s not the best way to bring everyone together. h.o)

  15. Persey says:

    Good on you, Harv, for picking up on this act of discrimination and highlighting it on your blog. Her publicity stunt was wrong on a number of levels.

    I would like to examine your comment ” if, a white MP scheduled a press conference and invited only white reporters!” a little further…

    I am just guessing, but I suspect the MP did not specify the racial origin of the reporters invited to this photo op.

    But according to reports, the invites were sent to “Asian media” only.

    What are “Asian media”?

    And, more to the point, what are the hiring policies and practices of “Asian media”?

    It would be welcome news to me to learn that the “Asian media” are inclusive in their hiring and, like most other businesses in Canada, have employees from many cultures on their payroll.

    (Response: There are actually quite a number of Asian-language news outlets in BC … several newspapers, radio stations and tv channels. There are also a number of newspapers, programs in English but that concentrate on news events/issues overseas. I have no problem with any of that: my only problem is that when any MP holds a press event, all local media should be sent the notice …not just those in a particular ethnic or racial group. h.o)

  16. Ed Seedhouse says:

    Well, I agree with you that there are “racists” all over the world, of every nationality, group and “race”.
    However and just to be pedantic, scientifically there are no “races” among human beings. “Race” is a purely cultural construction that corresponds to nothing real in our genome.

    And while people have different cultures and histories, they are also in many ways much the same everywhere. I suppose if you take a random sample of people from any group about the same percentage of every one of them will be idiots, criminals, jerks and other bad things that are also bad words so I won’t bore you with them. And of course, also about the same percentage of saints and geniuses.

    I am more worried about the public consumption of shark fin soup than the undeniably racist act of inviting only Asian journalists, because we’re only talking about one person here and sharks are in a lot more danger than journalists right now. You can’t really outlaw racism amongst individuals, though you can require your public institutions to be inclusive though of course you will never completely succeed.

    I agree that I would advise any Asian journalist not to take part in any such enterprise, but a story is a story, and journalists make their livings by selling stories. They will have to live, I hope, with some shame at taking part in this nonsense, but imagine that few will be worried about my personal disapproval of it, or yours, when it comes down to making a living.

    But we do have, as a species, to drop cultural practices that are destroying our own life support systems. So I oppose anyone being allowed to hunt whales, and likewise today, to kill sharks on mass to satisfy a particular taste for soup.

    And if that offends some particular groups who have historically done such things and want to continue on the grounds that it is part of their culture, I can only say I am sorry, but our world is dying from our activities and we have to stop killing it because killing it means killing ourselves, too.

  17. Islander says:

    # 6: Hans Goldberg

    “How about Ms Clark, our unelected premier holding meetings for women only, where even male servers were not allowed.”
    (Response: Sexism does exist too …but it doesn’t really bother me when someone organizes all-female or all-male groups or meetings to discuss specific issues of their concern. But if she had said only white women, that would have been an ugh! h.o)

    It is pretty much impossible for men to have their own organized groups for anything – social or business clubs, golf, etc. It will be invaded by women who will go to the Supreme Court of Canada if need be, to force the men to accept women members. Female sports reporters have even won the right to go into men’s pro sports locker rooms after games.

    But it is perfectly okay for women to have such groups. It is okay for Christy Clark to have special events for women only. If Mr. Campbell (or any other male Premier) had tried that, the screeches of protest would still be reverberating through the province. There wasn’t a peep when Christy had her last women’s only conference. Why? No man in his right mind would WANT to be a part of a women’s group. 🙂

    #12: Kreditanstalt

    “And, quite apart from the right of any individual in any position to invite any media entirely of his or her choosing, don’t you think this issue might be of concern almost exclusively to the Chinese community?”

    You couldn’t possibly be more wrong.

    If what environmentalists are saying is true, shark populations throughout the world’s oceans are being devastated. Not to mention the horrific method by which they are collected – throwing their still living bodies back into the ocean to die lingering deaths. This is a concern to every country, every ethnic group, and every citizen of the planet.

  18. DonGar says:

    We now have segregation being introduced into the school system by groups who fought discrimination and would be marching in the streets if it was introduced by the government or anyone else. ie) aboriginal only schools, gay – lesbian only schools. And then we have women only gyms but open a men’s only gym and they are in the courts and in the streets protesting.

    Double standards?

  19. I’m with you on your comment to 13 Harv. I am all for assimilation as opposed to the silliness of multi-culturalism. That would include the Natives that roamed the continent speaking, for all intents and purposes, different languages. I’m going to catch Hell for this, but I think that, had it not been for the residential schools, the Natives peoples would never have survived. That is not to say, that all immigrants and the Natives should not keep their culture, and languages alive with their own resources. I can curse William of Orange and Oliver Cromwell for what they did in Ireland, and the English can condemn Duke William for trying to enforce French on them.

  20. 13 says:

    Im not sure that I agree with Mr. Seedhouse. If you think that every culture has equal amounts of criminals, idiots etc. I wonder how you explain the prison populations in Canada and the USA. Or does your economic culture carry more weight than your skin colour. Or does your skin colour influence your economic situation. Or is it a race factor. Sounds like hair being split to me.

  21. Mo says:

    Has the Vancouver Sun and Province taken her to task over this “prejudice” ?

    (Response: It was mentioned in their story, done after the event occurred. But no one has really gone after her very much. And I still wonder …where are the NDP …the OFFicial Opposition … on this one, who would no doubt be leading the fray if a Tory MP had a whites-only-invite event ? h.o)

  22. Diverdarren says:

    “Totally repugnant and unacceptable! Outrageous!”

    This may be true, Harvey, but that is an opinion that is not held by the Canadian public. If Canadians thought it was unacceptable for a minority public person to only seek the media o themedia representing the minority community then why have…

    -We made Canada multicultural.
    -We codified special exemptions to the equality clause in our constitution for minorities.
    -We ok’ed the massive immigration programs, to the point that all you need is Chinese or Indian votes in certain districts to get elected.

    Why criticize the minority MP for acting inside the rules we as a society have created.
    The criticism belongs on us for our short sightedness and ignorance of how invited immigrants would reject the Canadian way. In fact we encourage immigrants to reject assimilation.

    And the sad part is we are going to keep on our same destructive path till Canada is unrecognizable.

  23. Bill P says:

    What would happen if someone of a differing heritage filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal? On face value, this appears to be blatant racial discrimination.

    (Response: Probably wouldn’t go as far as if the discirmination had been reversed. But sure would make her and the Tories stand up and pay attention!. h.o)

  24. Bob says:

    “For a start, why don’t BC’s Asian media start acting like REAL journalists: announce they’ll refuse to attend or cover ANY events by aspiring or elected political leaders where only Asian media have been invited. And really go after those community leaders guilty of such race-based despicable acts.”

    The simple reason is that they have such poor examples to follow. Even the western press here don’t act like REAL journalists and haven’t for years.

    (Response: You may have a point there! But I do still think that if a sitting MP hed a press conference for whites onny, THAT would make them stand up and shout against it quite loudly. At least I hope so! h.o)

  25. Cam Bailey says:

    Harvey, where is your thinking?? You should be aware by now that racism and discrimination are only racism and discrimination when done by white people! Any other race doing this is simply “defending their cultural heritage”

  26. kootcoot says:

    Although I agree basically with Mr. Seedhouse, especially about the disgusting act of dining on shark fin soup (or tiger testes, ground up Rhino horn and all the other silly ethnic dietary quirks that threaten to drive species extinct) however the statement:

    ” we’re only talking about one person here and sharks are in a lot more danger than journalists right now.”

    is debatable, as actually a good case could be made that actual journalists are almost extinct already. I mean, you can’t actually call the likes of BalderDash, Stephen (not so)Smart, Maggie Wente etc. journalists. One can only assume there are no, or very few journalists left, or so called media outlets would hire them to fill so called journalist positions!

    Today 90% or more of such positions are filled with useless stenographers, plagiarizers and people with the ability to read a teleprompter displaying corporate P.R. and man bites dog tales!

  27. teririch says:

    @Islander #17

    ‘It is pretty much impossible for men to have their own organized groups for anything – social or business clubs, golf, etc. It will be invaded by women who will go to the Supreme Court of Canada if need be, to force the men to accept women members. Female sports reporters have even won the right to go into men’s pro sports locker rooms after games.

    *****

    Kind of like when a male wanted to test the waters of joining a women’s only gym??

    Sorry, but I don’t see female particpation as ‘invading’ the ‘old boys club’ and I see although we have made strides in equality – there are those that wish to hold us back. Sad.

  28. judi sommer says:

    Hi Harv and welcome back,
    When this story broke in The Sun, I felt the need to see a cardiologist! What an arrogant and ecologically stupid thing for her to do. Days after this incident, I watched-hopefully- for this to be an issue during QP. Nothing.. To be fair to the opposition, there was so much else happening in Ottawa that I don’t think this was even on the radar. There were , however, comments in the Richmond papers but as I don’t speak Chinese, I have no idea how this was covered on Fairchild despite my constant googling. I think there is an economic arrogance at work here too, just as there was the fear of the dying in the UBC hospice issue.To add to this, there was an ad for a rather toney apartment to rent in Richmond-only Chinese speaking people were allowed to apply. After a backlash, the :solution” was to remove the ad so the owner could post the ad in a CHINESE PUBLICATION.White guilt did not chase this further.

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