04 August 2011


Dear Chinese guy

Why do Chinese people have no political power in the UK?


Dear Chinese guy

How come casual racism seems almost accepted in British society? Why has it become acceptable? My work colleagues talk about Chinese food as Chinky food.


Dear Kayce/Brian

Its a simple question of numbers and unity. The Chinese population in the UK is somewhere around 600,000 people, which out of about 62 million is absolutely nothing. The fact that we are spread out all over the place unlike Muslims who are concentrated in Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford and London. Politicians are focusing their efforts on the bigger shares of the votes. I.e. the natives then the majority groups in their areas. Chinese people are not a majority group anywhere in the UK.

I mean when living in the South West people looked at me as if I were an alien or something.

Therefore since we represent so few votes politicians completely ignore us.

Secondly the lack of unity. I've written before that China is not one country. It is more like the USA - United States. China is similar in structure (if not in politics) in that it is a union of provinces under a sort of federalised centralised government. Its a bit like when I see Americans on their travels, a lot of them don't seem to call themselves Americans. They'll say I'm from Texas or I'm from California or Ohio or something (though this may well just be the lack of interaction than any Representative view).

Therefore while an outsider sees a group of Chinese people as 'Chinese people' They aren't Back in the 70s it was Hakka people Vs Cantonese people. Today its Fujian, Hakka, Hong Kong, Cantonese, Malaysians etc. Although they have commonish roots they are different.

The lack of unity is exacerbated by the fact there is less unity than other communities in other ways and less intermingling. Muslims and Indians have religion and worship to get them to join together and discuss problems they have. They are obliged to attend such forced gatherings while Chinese are not.

The Wai Yin Society in Manchester for instance the attendance is low, very low. You go sit in the waiting area at any Chinese restaurant for tea and only people who know each other talk to each other.

All of the above means there is no unity and no political power and thus we're ignored completely.

Which leads onto Brian's point, because there is no unity there is no pressure to change things. I.e. Chinese communities in general tend not to fight back.

Consider the Islamic community about 20 years ago. When Salmand Rushdie wrote the Satanic verses he had to go in hiding for decades due to the unified death threats against him.

A few years ago there was a play which was considered inflamitory to the Sikh community, they held a massive protest and applied political pressure to get it closed down after a few.


Oriental themed parade.... yellowed up people, coolie hats, fu-manchu costumes, stereotypical BS which doesn't actually exist. Even people pulling their eyes for news paper photos. Even bowing and the stupid Thai hands together praying sort of greeting. TCG does none of those things.

The Chinese community response? Nada nowt nothing, well one strongly worded letter to a shopper newspaper. No outcry, no violence to stop it......... hey nobody complained which means its OK....

For starters the PRC doesn't care about us. (The UK foreign office does semi look after British tourists trapped overseas). Thus there is nobody to challenge such casual racist attitudes. With a less confrontational society we're raised in few people challenge these sorts of things. I don't always challenge such things 100% Sunday for instance on board a small light aircraft somebody made a nasty comment to me. He should have known better as he's an old man. I was so very tempted to start a fist fight on board. He was most surprised when we got to the ground and I told him it wasn't funny and quite offensive.

And thus casual racism is to the natives seen as completely acceptable as apparently 'nobody complains about it'

Still blacking up these days after decades is no longer considered acceptable, maybe by 2030 it will be unacceptable to 'yellow up'

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