Insults to Chinese shouldn’t be condoned

By Shan Renping Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/25 20:23:39

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Ahead of Chelsea's pre-season win over Arsenal in Saturday's London derby at the Bird's Nest in Beijing, Chelsea footballer Robert Kenedy posted a video with foul language directed against Chinese people on his Instagram account.

The video was entitled "Porra China" in Portuguese and "Porra" was interpreted as a rude word in English. This immediately invoked a tide of uproar and denunciation among Chinese netizens, including Chelsea football fans. Both Chelsea and Kenedy have made apologies. Chelsea said on its website that Kenedy has been "strongly reprimanded and disciplined."

While Chinese people were still feeling angry over Kenedy's actions, another incident has attracted their attention. A Chinese student who studies in the US said on his Facebook page that when he and his girlfriend ate at a McDonald's in Lower Manhattan, New York, a local old lady refused to share the table with them. She shouted at the camera, "Hi! I'm an American. I have a right to eat a meal; his ass shouldn't be here ... Who would be likely to sit on the table, me - an American, or them - foreign dogs?"

The two incidents have made many Chinese people feel uncomfortable. As reflected in the two cases, some Western people harbor a sense of superiority over non-Westerners. Their discrimination is very rude and shows a lack of good social breeding.

The sense of superiority among Westerners does exist, leading to the occurrence of discriminatory events. Many of these events are caused by ungraceful personal actions. Although most Westerners don't support these actions, they often choose to ignore and not criticize them. And the perpetrators are generally not subject to severe punishment. Under such circumstances, what should our Chinese people do?

It should be noted that these people do not represent all Western people. With the Chinese people having more contact with the outside world, the possibility of meeting bad-mannered Westerners is increasing. Taking all these arrogant Westerners seriously will consume too much energy and cannot make us feel good.

However, always being generous toward bad-mannered Westerners is a kind of indulgence.

The repeated occurrence of events of insulting China and Chinese people and the shame it causes are a collective embarrassment for us. Insults of Chinese people do occur from time to time, coming from both Western elites and ordinary white people. Whether we choose to argue with them or ignore this, the uncomfortable feeling will linger.

Nowadays, China has become more powerful than many Western countries. But China's average living standard is still lower than that of these countries. Nonetheless, the revival of China has attracted worldwide attention, and China has gradually restored its momentum. The anticipation that "the future belongs to China" makes many Westerners feel depressed.

It needs to be pointed out that the occurrence of insults on Chinese people in Western countries mostly reflects a feeling of inferiority bundled within their sense of superiority.

The Western world has moved on from its contempt for China, but is still reluctant to accept China's rise. China's demands for respect are also changing with time. This kind of stalemate will continue for at least several decades.

In the beginning, Chinese people had inferior feelings when facing Western countries. Strengthening one's psychology is not only a spiritual process but also needs wealth and power to back it up. It requires the Chinese people of this and the next generation to take on the responsibility and make more efforts.

The author is a commentator of the Global Times.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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