Chinese State TV broadcasts a New Year’s celebration every year that the communist government says is watched by 800 million people.
This year, they honored doctors, nurses, and health care workers for their heroic efforts to combat the pandemic. There were music and comedy sketches.
And there were dancers. The “African Song and Dance” performance Thursday featured performers in blackface, leaping around the stage. It wasn’t the first time the celebration had featured dancers in blackface. Two years ago, a similar dance included a monkey.
We could be kind and just say the Chinese are tone-deaf about race. But China has made a concerted effort to paint America as a racist country where blacks are oppressed and the police deliberately murder black males.
Blackface performance during China’s New Year Gala draws outcry https://t.co/weEMAZfO2a
— UPI.com (@UPI) February 12, 2021
Early Thanksgiving morning, Zhao launched into a six-part tweet thread listing accusations and data about racial disparities in the U.S., with a shot at President Trump for added measure.
Zhao’s personal reflections stand out strongly in the midst of his usual heavy flow of retweets of official Chinese government statements. But what really stands out is the timing, coming just a few hours after President Trump’s signing of the Hong Kong bill. It couldn’t be much clearer that Beijing is hoping to dilute the impact of a rare bipartisan effort by Congress and the Trump administration to highlight China’s human rights abuses.
But “Those who live in glass houses…” as the old proverb says “should not throw stones.” The Chinese government earlier this year was embarrassed when a McDonald’s restaurant in Guangzhou posted a sign saying “black people are not allowed to enter.”
And this latest example of racism by China is drawing sharp criticism not only from America but Africa as well.
On Twitter, Black Livity China, a group for people of African descent who work in or with China, called the broadcast “extremely disappointing.” It noted CCTV’s 2018 Spring Festival Gala featured performers in blackface with a monkey.
“We cannot stress enough the impact scenes such as these have on African and Afro-diasporic communities living in China,” the group said.
Chinese racism is expressed openly and is a matter of state policy. And it’s racism not only against blacks but foreigners of all races.
China’s problem with racism is not limited to those with dark skin.
One European woman said she and her family were split apart at a restaurant in China, with her Chinese husband allowed inside while she had to remain outside.
“My husband is inside, eating lunch,” she said. “I have to stay outside, because I am a foreigner.”
We are told that modern China has given up the notion that they are the “Middle Kingdom” situated between heaven and earth and that all foreigners are barbarians and inferior. But the Chinese people are as racist as anyone else and regardless of what the government says, their attitudes toward black people are hurtful.