Author’s Note: In the UK, people of my generation have grandparents who fought against Nazi Germany during WWII. My maternal grandfather fought in the North Atlantic, whilst my paternal grandfather was a ‘glider-landed’ Commando who landed near Caen a few hours before the D-Day beach-landings. Obviously, my Anglo-Chinese family are very proud of them! At that time, Canada joined the UK, US and USSR in the fight against world fascism and the Canadian troops fought very bravely. The UK was up against it – and we appreciated all the help we could get! I will not forget the Canadian sacrifice at Dieppe in 1942… The following article is about the Chinese diaspora – in this case a branch of the ‘Lam’ (林) – written as ‘two trees’ and denoting a ‘forest – who originate from Hong Kong. Elisa Lam was born in Canada more or less by accident, as that is the place that was taking Hong Kong migrants at the time of her parents leaving what was then a British Colony. Elisa Lam died in early 2013 (at the age of 21-years-old) in the US and her body was returned for burial in Canada. Since then, her parents have returned to Hong Kong – with only her sister remaining in Canada. This article is not about Canada – but about the Chinese diaspora and its experiences in the West. What many do not know (or choose to ignore) is that in 2014 the Canadian government voted AGAINST a UN Resolution designed to make illegal the ‘glorification of neo-Nazism’! Canada joined the US and fascist Western Ukraine in opposing this measure on the grounds that it compromised ‘freedom of speech’! In other words, ‘White’ Canadians had the ‘right’ to glorify neo-Nazism as an exercise of freedom of speech! If you are a non-White person living in a country that openly supports the glorification of ‘White Supremacy’ and mass murder – you end-up seriously examining your choices! This is why Mr and Mrs Lam sold their business and got out of Canada. ACW (15.2.2021)
I do not subscribe to any of the sentimentalist nonsense surrounding the case of Elisa Lam – which is a peculiarly ‘White’ reaction. I am saddened by her strange, bizarre and unusual demise. I would have liked to have met her if only to have prevented the manner of her death – but this is so illogical and pointless and could have no basis in material reality. I detest US capitalist culture, and am probably on some US ‘banned’ list for my political views! There is no way I would ever be in LA – at least on a voluntary basis! These observations are merely distractions to the main point of this article. What is it about the Elisa Lam case that bothers me so much?
Part of my activist work evolves around the fighting for civil rights of ethnic Chinese people living in the West. This is an adjunct to my academic specialisation of the forensic translation of Chinese-language texts into reliable English. This covers the subjects of history, culture, philosophy, politics and sociology, etc. I carry-out just as much work within Mainland China (via the internet) as I do in the West. Needless to say, whilst being partly Chinese myself, married to an ethnic Chinese woman amongst living amongst the Chinese community throughout South London. My experience with ethnic Chinese culture as ‘my culture’ – has given me a natural advantage in my chosen academic field. I use this understanding and ability to try and bring the Chinese and non-Chinese communities together through removing the barriers of racism, discrimination and prejudice, etc.
Having contemplated the Elisa Lam situation, I see now the pattern that has unfolded. Considering how rampant anti-Chinese racism is in the West, why has ‘Elisa Lam’ become so much of an ‘anti-hero’? How is it that the media-driven racist attacks upon the individual members of the Chinese community in the West are at an all-time high, that a young ethnic Chinese woman (with a typical broad-smile), is so popular amongst a predominantly White population that is primed by its own (capitalist) governments to routinely and habitually ‘hate’ and ‘reject’ everything ‘Chinese’? The US, UK and the EU ‘lie’ all the time about Mainland China. The lies are so prolific that most reading this article believe these stories are ‘real’ when they are pure fiction. Tibet was not ‘invaded’ and has been part of China for over a thousand years. The Pro-Tibetan Movement exists only in the US – where it was invented – it is not supported by ethnic Tibetans living in Tibet. The Falun Gong is a dangerous cult fabricated in the US through the racist misunderstanding of Chinese culture. Taiwan is currently a US colony but is – and always has been – a part of Mainland China. The US is attempting to ‘destabilise’ Mainland China through civil unrest in Hong Kong and by encouraging Islamic terrorism in Xinjiang. Despite this US interference in China, there are not – and never has been – any so-called ‘concentration camps’ in Xinjiang, as most Uyghur people are good and loyal citizens of Mainland China!
To understand the pseudo-popularity of Elisa Lam it is important to understand the anatomy of anti-China racism. Chinese people are a priori presented to be racially, culturally and political ‘inferior’ Anti-China racism presents the Chinese people as being ‘sub-human’ – that is ‘not quite human’. The Chinese people – not quite being ‘human’ – do not understand their own minds and that their obsession with Socialism cannot be trusted. The racist answer to this perceived problem is to help the Chinese people ‘destroy’ their own culture and convert it a copy of the West. It makes no difference to the average racist what suffering this policy causes – or is likely to cause – the people of China! In the West, for example, the racists make it clear that Chinese people are not ‘welcome’ in the West! The racists in the West want all Chinese people ‘removed’ so that their ‘sub-human’ presence is removed from influencing the rest of the population.
In many of the old cowboy films in the US, there is a famous racist saying which states ‘the only good Indian is a dead Indian!’ Well, the ‘only good Chinese person is an absent Chinese person’. This means that ironically, Chinese people only become cognitively ‘acceptable’ when they are ‘no longer physically present’. Elisa Lam, as far as I know, was not a rampaging Communist who openly supported the Mainland Chinese government, so her example is at least more acceptable to the average uninformed Westerner. Although racially ‘inferior’, Elisa Lam is more like ‘half’ a Westerner – as she was born in Canada. Indeed, much of the psychological and emotional issues suffered by ethnic Chinese people living in the West, are the direct consequences of the continuous experience of anti-Chinese racism. Mental illness is a direct reflection in the mind of the average Chinese person of the Eurocentric racism that exists in the physical environment. Elisa Lam was no different to many so affected ethnic Chinese people living in the West. As Elisa Lam is now ‘dead’ and physically ‘out of the picture’ so-to-speak, she is now suitably ‘accepted’ within White popular culture. The adulation that Elisa Lam is now experiencing in the West, is a product of the operation of Eurocentric racism within society presented in a sentimentalist fashion!
Elisa Lam is suddenly so popular because she is conveniently ‘dead’. For the implicit values that underlie Western racism, this is the ideal situation. As very few Westerners comprehend or understand the racism their own culture produces or inflicts on others – Elisa Lam is now ‘acceptable’ whilst the general racism against Chinese people continues as normal. Although Elisa Lam has now been moved into the ‘acceptable’ category – the Chinese people certainly have not been. Elisa Lam suffered mental illness because she had to live in a Western culture that routinely inflicted the most vicious psychological, emotional and physical racism upon her! Although this is undoubtedly ‘true’ – many will not understand what is happening or comprehend the unjust social system they are trapped within. If you really ‘love’ Elisa Lam – then please join me in fighting to end ALL racist discrimination against Western-generated, anti-Chinese racism! This is a fitting tribute to Elisa Lam.