I´m blond blue eyed, French and American. I have never suffered from racism or discrimination. Why do I even get infuriated by racism and can´t just let it go, one could say? Well I do have a Chinese mum, a few Chinese sisters, spent two very important years of my life in China, so when someone who knows all this has a conversation like the one below with me, it is pretty much like someone swearing at my family, and I feel pretty hopeless about the power of education….
This week the little victories didn´t cut it for me:
–Y: “oh, today I saw Z. and W., they were with a horrible ugly woman, a Chinese.”
-Me, at a complete loss for words…
-Y,: “well she was really ugly, all Chinese and thin”
-Me ” but… you can t say that it´s so bad !”
-Y. : laughing out loud “but we´re racist here, you didn t notice? hahahah” (thinks it´s hilarious.)
In moments like these I seriously want to punch people in the face.
Alternatives would be:
-“You know, about 50% of the Ecuadorian cultural things that are hard to understand for Americans are exaclty similar to Chinese cultural things? Think about that -insert really bad word here that starts with b. and that makes you feel better when you say it.”
-“You know, China is pretty much buying off Ecuador right now so you better shut up and start learning Chinese….”
-“You know, how would you feel if you went to the U.S. and people assumed you were Mexican because you speak Spanish? Your equivalent in the U.S. would actually assume you´re a “lazy Mexican”, because all Mexicans are lazy, of course. How would you feel?” (insert this link -Southpark, Death camp of Tolerance- here)
And yes, I know, racism is everywhere. Even in China where most people assume that a Chinese-American is not a “real” American and therefore will assume that the Chinese-American is the translator of the white American…
It´s just that usually I can be a coward not facing it because I can walk away from people that think like that. Not stuck with them for two years.
I desperately need to find a larger community of cool non-ignorant Ecuadorians here in Cuenca…. I know they exist, I´ve met some!