West should be more realistic about own racial issue

By Liu Zhun Source:Global Times Published: 2016-6-1 0:13:01

Having been bashed for days by media all over the world, Qiaobi, a barely known Chinese detergent producer, apologized for its inappropriate commercial. Showing a Chinese woman using the detergent to "whitewash" a black man, the ad has been described by Western media as "the most racist advert ever."

Since racism is not a common social problem in China, it is a surprise to witness such an enthusiastic uproar over this individual case. Heated discussions about whether China tolerates racism went viral, with foreigners sharing their upsetting experiences of being discriminated against in China.

There is no doubt that from a Western perspective, Qiaobi's ad is a blatant display of racism. However, unlike many developed countries that were brutal colonizers and engaged in the slave trade, racism is not an innate problem in Chinese society. From ancient times to nowadays, the country has barely been troubled by race problems. It has only emerged in recent years as China opens up to more people from overseas, and more Western worldviews start to make an impact on Chinese social consciousness, which have caused some misunderstandings.

The racist ad is not based on intentional prejudice, but out of a collective unconsciousness of racism. Nevertheless, the controversial commercial indicates a sad fact: Racism is still a flashpoint problem across the globe, and the Western media's fierce response to this careless ad shows their concern over their own problems with racism, which simmer under the guise of political correctness.

A recent poll by CNN shows that racism is still deeply embedded in US society. Two out of 10 blacks and Hispanics felt unfairly treated by the police over the past 30 days and eight in 10 blacks and two in three Hispanics agree the US criminal justice system favors whites.

Although posing as the most developed country, the US, after decades of promoting political correctness, is still bogged down in racism. The noticeable change compared to the old days is the abolishment of derogatory words such as the N-word, but deep-rooted bias, prejudice and discrimination are far from being eliminated.

More examples of the malfunction of Western society can be seen with the return of ultra-Right forces. Pressured by economic slowdowns and migrant crises, ultra-Right parties are gaining momentum in Western politics.

Donald Trump, notorious for his discrimination and protectionism, is getting more popular. Robert Kagan, a US historian, raised his concern in a recent essay titled "This is how fascism comes to America" in the Washington Post.

The world should realize racism is a global issue. The Western hemisphere should be more realistic in addressing their own problems over race rather than seeking relief by exaggerating other people's careless mistake.

Posted in: Observer

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