Sunday, November 18, 2007

so Taiwan is like this too?

Dinner last night, with our family friends who live in Taiwan. The last time I saw them was when I was seven years old.

Mrs. FF: "Do your parents insist that you only date within your race? Only Chinese?"

Mr. FF: "Only from Anhui?" (Anhui is the Chinese province of my ancestry. My grandparents moved from there to Beijing before my mother was born.)

Me: [laughing] "Heavens, no."

Mrs. FF: "They're okay with you dating non-Chinese?"

Me: "Yeah."

Mrs. FF: "As long as it's not a black person, right?"

As soon as the words left her mouth, I thought, "God damn it, not this again." Modern-day Chinese people will say such things without batting an eyelash. The anti-racism social pressure is not as high as in America.

Me: "My parents have no racial restrictions on who I date."

Mrs. FF: "My friend emigrated her family to America, and her big fear was that her daughter would marry a black man. Because then you know, they'd have mixed children."

Me: [in horror, grasping for the fastest way to shut her up] "My mother says it's fine even if I'm gay."

Mr. and Mrs. FF: "What???"


Anonymous said...

I've found that a lot of American, people think like this too. That the subject is taboo is more a sign of hypocrisy than progression, in my opinion.

Piaw Na said...

I'm not sure why you are surprised. Racism is still a dominant factor in American politics, even today. People in more racially homogeneous countries would be even more subject to it. You have to remember that even Thomas Jefferson thought owning slaves was OK.

Read my review of Accacia for an analysis of how subtle racism features in our thinking, even amongst a supposedly open-minded people (SF&Fantasy readers and writers).

Anonymous said...

Hey Niniane,
As a black person with an Asian girl friend.I get this alot!...At first,we use to think because of my educational background(Phd in ECE@UC) would help clear the non-sense stereotypical statements,it did keep it short...its not about manner,social status,e.t.c...its about color!...
But since not all Asians are like your friends,life still goes on...

Anonymous said...

My wife was born in China to Korean parents. She grew up with racism (Chinese look down on the Koreans and vice versa). She is careful what she says around other people, but is quite racist in her comments around me.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure all Chinese people are racist.

John K. Lin said...

Yes, Taiwanese people can be racist. But I mostly chalk it up to ignorance. There aren't exactly a lot of black (or Hispanic) people in Taiwan, and their only exposure is usually through Hollywood/American television. So the impression of blacks in Taiwan isn't exactly positive. Taiwan is fairly homogeneous (but probably not as much as Japan, which is definitely xenophobic). I'd say also from my relatives that I think most Taiwanese are homophobic too. Then again, I think most of America outside the major cities are as well.

Anonymous said...

The biggest fear for most white American parents is that their blonde daughter will come home with a black man.

They just don't say it.

I'd rather live in a country where people are honest about their fears and thoughts on all races, than hide it and try to be PC.

I think the Chinese overall area a dirty and money grubbing culture. Of the Asians I would prefer to date Korean or Japanese. I would not date Black.

Bas said...

I'm from The Netherlands, and we seem to be quite 'progressive' here regarding interracial and intersexual (is that a word?) relationships. But then again, my country is a good example of a real multicultural society. Or at least in my near surroundings it is. Although I'm sure even I have my preconceptions, I try not to pay attention to any of them. If one would do it otherwise, I think it would be impossible to function here. That being said, I still have to admit that even in The Netherlands we've never seen prime-ministers that weren't kaukasian males.

Anonymous said...

Even when you emphasized on Taiwanese, you are a racist. No surprise, you are.

William said...

Ahhhhhahaha... so true.. so true..

I'm a senior in high school now, but I do remember having this conversation with my mom years ago... I think it was some time before I started high school. But then, up until now, I still haven't dated anyone. =\ So my ultimate goal (besides getting those college apps done) is finding a date for prom.

On the other note, my friend's from Anhui as well! And needless to say, he's a freaking genius.
Damn, I wish I was born there too.. =\

Water Tiger said...

About the "Dirty Chinese" comment. When my wife was growing up in China, her parents and older sisters called her "Chinese" when she was dirty or bad. She still thinks Chinese people are dirty - even though she lived in China most of her life! She was born there, has a Chinese passport, but calls herself Korean because her parents were born in Korea.

Question for you Asians...aren't you all from "Han" stock originally? They tell us that Native Americans came over the Bering Strait from China approximately 40,000 years ago. One would assume that Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese and other Asian races had a similar migration in their pasts.

Anonymous said...

why not ask your uncle who lives in Taipei ???

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that many people seem to only think of mixing with black as "mixing". I have encountered the same attitude from Mexicans in Mexico, who I'd say for the most part think of themselves as caucasian. I suppose the delimitations of race are arbitrary in any case, but I wonder how much of this is driven by the choice of words black/white which are antonyms and whether it would be different if people had used "pink" and "brown" instead, for example.

Go plug a dike dutch boy said...

The guy from the Netherlands if full of shit.

My sister married a black man..

Oy Vey What a fucking mess he is...

metal said...

I'm surprised no one has brought this up yet.

I mean, are you really that surprised that people say these things in a country where they unabashedly market a product called 'hei ren ya gao' or literally 'black peoples tooth paste' ?

I'm going to have to agree with the people who say that in America we havent really progressed in terms of racism, its just not brought up because of its political correctness.

Adam Lasnik said...

Hey Niniane,

If you were gay
that'd be okay.
I mean, 'cause, hey,
I'd like you anyway!
Because, you see,
If it were me,
I would feel free
to say that I was gay
(but I'm not gay).v

sammie said...

IT'S HOT TO LIVE IN TAIWAN AS A BLACK I am African ,definitely a black, living in Taiwan for 15 yrs now.
My fisrt Taiwanese girlfriend's parents came to my house to warn me about their daughter and the next day ,my landlord asked me to park out,that was 13 yrs ago.

Later, we still kept in contact and her parents restricted her to what i termed as a 'house arrest'for 2 yrs.
She's is still unmarried now b'cos her parents scared her out love,in the pretence of protecting her from marrying ;a black man'
Actually, it is considered a big disgrace for Taiwanese to marry blacks. Blacks are looked down on in Taiwan as dirty and useless creatures.
Now many are married to blacks in Taiwan now and hope taiwanese could get their OBAMA one day,
Finally, it's not easy for the blacks living in Taiwan.
Taiwanese needed to be educated
about racial discrimination issue especially, to BLACKS.

Anonymous said...

i really haven't spoken to anyone in Taiwan, but this is an issue in every country you will go to. even so it is hard to bring education to other countries about black because not many blacks are opened minded as others.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand ! If your being discriminated against, why don't you just leave.

Anonymous said...

Well i lived in china for a year and yes black people are not looked up to like white's. Chinese people have this goal to be white and see white as the best thing ever !!

I dated a Chinese girl for three years and it ended as she could not take it to the next step due to the colour of my skin !!

I have seen that in 2010 Chinese people in London uk or China are just backwards in thinking when it comes to race! and other things too you can meet one or two that are open minded and can be very warm and nice.( ONE OR TWO)

but on the whole Chinese people are very closed and I have seen this thinking from living in china and it will not help then go forward !!

the last guy is right if your not happy just leave !!