Friday, July 19, 2019

Anti-Chinese prejudice has a long history in the West 

Jun 10. 2019
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Re: “China was hell for decades – but it’s a living paradise now!”, Have Your Say, yesterday.

My brother and I were in Shanghai as students in 1936-1937, when we witnessed signs reading “No dogs or Chinese” posted at public parks. We also witnessed the Japanese atrocities in the areas outside the International Settlements, where there were no foreign expats as witnesses. The atrocity known as the Rape of Nanking in 1937 was preceded by the Rape of Shanghai, where we were staying. The Shanghai atrocities were committed under the “extra-territoriality” laws so that China could not arrest or prosecute foreigners for these crimes.

Those crimes led to “anti-Japanese” sentiments at the time, both in China and in the wider world. Things have changed, and nowadays there is much “anti-Chinese” feeling among countries and international media, with some governments giving a one-sided view of events in China. 

My siblings and I were born in the US and, according to the US Constitution, we are Americans. Yet when we enlisted in the US military in the 1940s, we were not called Americans. Instead we had to check the nationality box marked “Mongoloids” – a pejorative term meaning stupid, brainless, etc. Anti-Chinese feeling in the US and elsewhere has a long history. 

Sukhumvit Bill

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