The Exclusion of Chinese People From Anti-Racist Narratives in the UK

This programme is indicative of two distinct problems in the UK. The first is widespread racist viewpoints (against Jewish, Black and Asian people) throughout the white population (that are ‘denied’ as being ‘racist’ by those who hold them), and the second is the exclusion of Chinese people from the narrative of those who suffer racial discrimination in Britain.  The above documentary includes Black and Asian people, and even a ‘white’ Jewish man – but at no time recognises, engages or includes members of the British Chinese community (or any other similar ethnic minority).  This is despite the fact that in 2006, the Office for National Statistic put the UK Chinese population at around 400,000 – a figure that does not include people of mixed Chinese-other relationships.  Around one-third live in London, with the other two-thirds spread throughout all parts of the UK.  Chinese families have traditionally spread around the country so that they can open Chinese Take Aways and Restaurants in areas were none previously existed.  Although this has made very good business sense, it has also meant that small populations (even single families) have moved into areas of the UK that are not multicultural, the white population of which contains a number of people who give voice to anti-Chinese racism.  Many Take Away workers have explained to me how they have been subject to more or less racial abuse from their ‘white’customers who seem to think that they are purchasing the right to racially abuse the Chinese workers when they buy Chinese food.  I know of a case in Sutton where a young Chinese woman (in her late teens) had to be escorted to work (by a white person) at a local Chinese owned Chip Shop through a rabid gang of predominantly white teenagers that shouted racial abuse and threatened violence.  Members of this gang would buy food in the same shop, and then throw it at the owners behind the counter.  Another time, members of this gang brought a German Shepherd Dog into the shop and told it to attack the owners.  The boss threw the dog a sausage and locked it in the – by then – empty shop, before ringing the police.  However, in the meantime, the owners of the dog had already rung the police stating that the Chinese people had stolen the dog to be ‘eaten’.  The point is that anti-Chinese racist stories are plentiful in the UK.  In Torquay, in Devon (a well known bastion of the far-right), Chinese members of my family are racially abused more or less routinely on the streets in broad daylight.  Most of the time, passers-by laugh in agreement with the racists!  This has included a Chinese woman breast-feeding a child being physically intimidated by white males.  Another time, after Chinese people participated in an Anti-Austerity March in Torbay, members of the Local Green Party started a race-hate campaign on Facebook against these Chinese people – a matter I have wrote about elsewhere on this blog.  All this scratches the surface of the racism aimed at Chinese people in the UK, and throughout the world.  It is indicative of this problem that on occasion, some Black and Asian people unite with racist white people to persecute and attack Chinese people (a fact that has even ended in murder, as in the case of Gao Huang Chen).  The lack of inclusion of the ‘Chinese’ experience of racism in the UK is disturbing in programmes whose entire premise is alleged to be the exposure of British white racism aimed at non-white people in the UK.

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