Upset that a Chinese diplomat said that white people never visit the southeastern part of Washington, D.C., Susan Rice tweeted a rebuke, calling him, “a racist disgrace.”
You are a racist disgrace. And shockingly ignorant too. In normal times, you would be PNGed for this.
Ambassador Cui, I expect better of you and your team. Please do the right thing and send him home. https://t.co/KIKanBjQ2L
— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) July 15, 2019
Chinese diplomat Lijian Zhao (in a now-deleted tweet), had written that if “‘you’re in Washington, D.C., you know the white never go to the southeastern part of the U.S. capital.”
Zhao responded to Rice’s takedown in another tweet that he has also deleted. Doubling down, he retorted, “You are such a disgrace, too. And shockingly ignorant, too. I am based in Islamabad. Truth hurts. I am simply telling the truth. To label someone who speak the truth that you don’t want to hear a racist, is disgraceful & disgusting.”
Okay. Wow. There are a few “fun” things to unpack in the back-and-forth between Rice and Zhao. For starters, and in case you’re unfamiliar with “PNG,” Rice means “persona non grata.” By saying that “in normal times,” Zhao would be a persona non grata, I can only assume that President Obama’s former national security advisor was taking a shot at President Trump. As in, she believes that with Trump in office, racists are free to be racist without any repercussions. Except, Susan Rice can’t be that naive, can she?
As the former national security advisor, her tweets have a certain gravitas that mine, for example, do not. No one is paying attention to what I tweet (nor should they). By slamming Zhao on Twitter, Rice has ensured that he will most definitely not get away with it. Donald Trump being president does not prevent Zhao from suffering any backlash to his racism. I bet he’s now PNG in a whole host of diplomatic circles.
And speaking of racism, as a white person who has recently lived in the D.C. area, I’m offended by Zhao’s idiotic tweet too. I went into southeastern D.C. and didn’t think twice about it. As a general rule, if you mind your own business and don’t act the fool, people leave you alone – no matter the ethnicities of those involved.
As far as what should happen to Zhao, I have no real say in the matter nor a strong opinion. I will point out, though, that someone living in 2019 who is stupid enough to tweet what he did probably shouldn’t be representing his country in an official capacity. If not for what he said, for the level of ineptitude his tweet reveals about him. Whether he’s a racist or not may be up for debate. However, him being an idiot has been settled.