Yes.. Discrimination in China


Although things seems to be progressing in the states with discrimination.. I said progressing .. not solved… in China it is another story.

In a country that is focused on “saving face” and “showing face”….It shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that too many black faces in one spot doesn’t look good.   Hey.. even in America if you put too many of any race together in one spot that isn’t White.. there can seem to be “a problem” and it needs to be broke up.

But is has been a long time for something that happened here the other day to happen in the states.  Let me tell you the juicy stuff….

There is a competing school in my town… (I will keep the name to myself but it sounds like … Tree Ref) Anyway… it was a very busy summer for all of us in the teaching field. However, this school is a bit larger than ours and has many children, therefore, even more busy than mine.

So, one of the teachers from an African country was working there and the owner of the school asked her if she had some friends that could help out and teach for the summer.   She said sure she could find some and she invited 3 of her African friends to come to teach at the school for the summer.   All together, they had 4 black African teachers, and 5 other teachers from other countries that were White.

After the summer and teaching their hearts out… the owner of the school announced.. that there were too many black faces at her school and that it made her school LOOK bad… so she fired all the black teachers.   Yep, fired all the black teachers because their faces were too black.   Now this next part.. makes me a little happy….

The other white teachers were outraged.  They could not believe what the owner has said and done this…. so all of them… yes .. All of them.. QUIT... yep.. they all walked out and left the school with no foreign teachers…. and to add insult to injury… 1/2 of the Chinese teachers walked out also…. LMAO.. yep.. they did a MLK protest…. I was so proud of them…. the
White and Chinese teachers stood up for the Africans that got fired and all went home or found other jobs… within a week they were all gone.

Not only did they leave… the American  teachers and the English teachers when to the Head office in Shanghai and filed a complaint, then filed a complaint with the government and posted negative feedback on the ESL boards.   You know .. we Americans will get in an uproar and start talking to someone… anyone that will listen. Evidently, so do the English.. they never want to be out done by us you know.

So.. currently the school is temporarily closed.  But after I went to McDonald’s yesterday for dinner.. I saw some new Foreigners.. who had just arrived.. (I could tell by their bright-eyed, dazed and confused look) they had been in town for only 2 days.. and told me they would be working for the school that was closed.   They asked me if I knew why there were no teachers there.. because they were a little lost without direction and other foreigners to help them adjust to the culture change.    Seeing they were from America and Australia… and white females.. I felt the need to inform them on why there were not teachers there…. they were shocked and amazed…. but then I told them.. you have nothing to worry about… “your white”… They just stared.  (I tend to do that to people sometimes). However, out of kindness and foreigner family rule… I gave them my number and told them if they needed help with anything to give me a call.. even though I was the competing school, we need to stick together as foreigners.  They agreed.

So.. yes people.. I know America is not perfect and we still have discrimination even with a beige president.   However, we in America have come a long, long way…. compared to here.    I realized something this week… Things are really not what they seem in China… and I realized that I really have traveled back into the time of my grandparents and great-grand parents.

As bad as it is here in that aspect… it is very educational to me… to know what they went thru and what they accomplished in America.  It makes me understand more of what they did winning the right to vote, and to be treated equally.

It is easy for us to forget when we are living with those freedoms our whole life.  But I see… the pain and suffer they went thru.. to change a nations way of thinking. I think to myself.. if I had to do that here.. it would be something I would believe impossible.

until next time…


22 thoughts on “Yes.. Discrimination in China

  1. Ami

    So sad, too bad for the overall great loss for that school! What they thought was minor turned out to be major and I hope that they learned something here! Because the country is so closed off, they may not understand the STAND that the teachers all took in taking up for the blatant injustice, but hopefully they get a clue and self educate on what it is to have hate and prejudice in the heart!

    I worry about things of this sort in China and as much as hubby and his family will dismiss it and act like I will have smooth sailing, posts like this bring it right back up to my face, so that I’m prepared to face this type of ignorance should it show up so blatantly in my presence. Even if it’s not done to me, I will be affected.

  2. I am always amazed as to why black people are the most hated. You would think we stole from something from everybody at one time during our existence. I am amazed how the colour of someone’s skin can cause such reactions. Anyways, payback is a bitch and that school felt it. I also agree with you that American’s are not able to see the progress that has been made with civil rights. There are so many places outside the US that has blatant racism without any apologies. I wish the best for those African teachers and others who supported them.

      1. Ami

        Well I have read on hate sites (yes I used to visit those to toughen my skin) that those who look down upon us see us as inferior due to skin tone, hair texture and features. They associate us closest to animals and always refer to the time that they first became aware of us as savage beasts who treated our own as animals, with slavery and so forth. So when you have blacks treating each other as worthless animals, how do you expect others to treat you. Also, even though there are all types of blacks around the world… the conditions in the mother home (Africa) always ruin it for every one of us. They feel like you can take the African out of the jungle, but can’t take the jungle out of the African.

        It’s really sad. Why do you think President Obama is having such a difficult time even though he is biracial. Because he is still part black and in the minds of the tea party baggers/racist or whatever, he embraces his black side more than white and reminds them of what they hate and distrust the most!

        Sad indeed, but reality…

  3. Bravo to those teachers of other ethnicities for standing up for what was right. I am beaming! 🙂

    I hope those African teachers were able to find some other teaching positions.

  4. Elli Mac

    Wow, that is some mess up B.S. right there, but I am not surprise after watching a lot of Asian drama online it seems to be very common for faculties and the higher uppers of school and even the parents to show this kind of behavior by making sure that the school image is far more important to them then the well being of their students and staff members. But I just happy that your place of work doesn’t have that kind of mind set.
    p.s. I can’t wait to read your book. I am going to be first in line at the book store or pre-order, which ever come first LOL(^_^)

    1. @Elli … Yeah.. they are all about “face” and looking good… evidently .. white looks good.. black looks bad… (who knew) … when you have teachers in a school. … Actually, my place of work did have that kind of mind set when i came.. however, they were short teachers and didnt have a choice but to take me… and after they did.. they realized that I was a good teacher.. and the students really liked me…. so now they would swear by Americans…. I am lucky that every american they have brought .. has been kind, intelligent and funny… just like me… so gives us a good name…

      Thanks for reading my blog.. and I will make sure and get you a copy of my book when it comes out.

  5. pearls

    Turning cartwheels, simultaneously! You managed to out do yourself again with this headliner! Hip..Hip..Hooray (throwing imaginery confetti) for all the teachers for taking a stand and sticking together! It’s the principle of this entire matter! What a waste, besides being ludicrous! So funny and so true…about the Brits for sure…can’t and won’t be outdone by us! hehehe Well, it looks like America was not the only country that did/does the paperbag or khaki test!

    Ahhhh…cheers to McDonald’s, one of the best meeting places anywhere on the globe! You’re truly a precious gem to assist the new, incoming teachers with the 411 and offer to assist with their adjustment to their new surroundings! Maybe you or someone can start a side business helping foreign teachers adjust…like a club with minimal dues to keep it going and everyone informed!

    Actually…it’s not that easy to forget about what our fore parents went through over here…at least for me! Something usually happens to remind me, by keeping me mentally aware and on my toes, and I’m not alone…believe me!

    By the way, they can’t possibly equate skin-tone with slavery…I know! There’s no civilization on this planet that was not subjected to slavery in some form or fashion, either by their own people or by someone else outside their race! It’s interesting how easily people choose to forget or suppress this known truth! Also, changing a community, province, city, state, country or nation takes courage…for sure!

    1. @Pearls… for some reason.. I have been designated as the Leader of the foreign movement….Jo A. Bai (JAB) … if anyone needs help or adjustment.. they call JAB… If you need someone to help you find food or clothes.. call JAB.. and if you need someone to help you fight for your rights…. call JAB… because she will .. JAB them in the eye with a sharp object. .. if they dont listen… LMAO

      Oh.. everyday is an adventure over here.. I have to say… It amazes me.. the things I see sometimes.

  6. E. Woo

    First things first: I’d like to tell you how much I have enjoyed your blog, particulary your humourous way of telling those stories. I guess you know that all Chinese decision-makers grew up in a homogeneous state (racially speaking). Hong Kong is decades ahead of them but only recently passed anti-discrimination legislation. The people of Hong Kong had finally come to realize that “local” doesn’t equal Chinese. There are Hong Kongers of Euro, South Asian and South East Asian descent and evreyone have to get along. This is not even on the radar for most of China. I came to the U.S. to start college, but my American English leads people to believe that I’m ABC. Yet, if I was to apply for TEFL jobs in China alongside a French or German or even Russian whose English is less than fluent, they’d get a lot more and better offers than I ever will! It’s just an image problem, not to mention that the Chinese have no concept of a multi-racial nation. This won’t change for at least 50 to 100 years. “Moses led the tribes wandering the desert for forty years until they have been cleansed.”

    1. @Woo.. thank you for your comments.. you are right.. things are much different in Hong Kong.. but i think it is because of the british rule… unfortunately… you also have to deal with this kind of discrimination when in China. I do want to thank you for reading my blog.. i hope you continue to read.. and will read my book in the future.. (when it is finished)

  7. Wow, what a sad story — and it doesn’t necessarily surprise me.

    Reminds me of this article I read at Middle Kingdom Life titled “Teaching English in China for Non-White, Non-Native Speakers”, which mentioned this:

    “Despite the well-intentioned “cheer leading” efforts of a few, the truth is China does not adhere to non-discriminatory hiring practices: height, age, attractiveness, overall appearance, and especially skin tone are typically and explicitly considered for any job that requires working with the public (and this applies just as much to the Chinese as it does to foreigners, maybe more so). ”

    I admire you for being so gracious to those new foreign girls teaching at the competing school, and for giving them the real story on what happened.

    1. @Jocelyn… It is so sad actually… I feel angry about it.. but I cant change it… every resume has to come with a photo…. and … skin color is so high on list of priorities here… I really doubt it will change in this life time..China has a really long way to go. Lucky, the younger generation are more open to the different races, and skin colors. They know Obama, Beyonce, Akon… they are learning a lot.. by studying abroad… I hope they can make a difference when they come back.

  8. So great that the other teachers quit also! I have a similar story from Guangzhou. My friend is a white Brittish girl and she was teaching Chinese kids. Before she left the school asked if she could recommend someone to take her place. She told that there is this French guy who have been studying in Great Britain for a long time and he could help. But guess what, he wasn’t hired. Because he’s black. That guy never found out about the reason because my friend didn’t know how she could tell that.

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