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China still hostile to people of color
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jg



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 1244
Location: Ralph Lauren Pueblo

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:58 am    Post subject: China still hostile to people of color Reply with quote

Back in China.

After having taught here from 2003-2006, I went back to the states and continued my teaching there. At home I reflected on my experiences in China and tried, mightily, to come to grips with the negative experiences I had while job searching in China. Sometimes this meant being positive where being practical would have done me better. During my first time here I was able to find work, including once at an international school, but it took some very disspiriting experiences. I'd assumed that the attitudes and racism I encountered might change with time and China's "progress".

I tend to be optimistic. I am certified to teach in the US and have done so for several years. My Chinese is very good, and I am familiar with the culture/history. At home I saw and read about the progress, both social and economic, and thought it might be a good time to return for a bit.

Things haven't changed though, and in fact it seems worse. No less than 8 of the schools/Chinese recruiters I've dealt with have told me flat out that the school won't take me because I don't have white skin and other schools see my credentials and express great interest, but once they see my photo, I never hear from them again. I am not talking about schools in major urban areas, I mean schools in second and third tier cities where they used to be willing to take anyone.

I used to bs myself about the disconnect between the friendly treatment I get from friends, acquaintances, and some locals, or the open-mindedness of certain schools, but really it's quite crushing, and unlike in the past, I can no longer fall back on the old "you need to be thick skinned", "just keep plugging away" sort of chestnuts. If you are dark skinned and want to teach abroad, unless coming to China is of the utmost necessity, I'd say don't support such policies by being flexible and accomodating of them, or looking the other way until your break comes. It's something that stays with you, and will stay with me, unfortunately.

Wish I'd stayed home, not given in to what seemed the "can do" spirit. Of course everyone will feel differently and have somewhat varied experiences, but in this day and age, this sort of thing just disgusts me.

2 cents
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Banner41



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 581
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:35 am    Post subject: Re: China still hostile to people of color Reply with quote

jg wrote:




I am not talking about schools in major urban areas, I mean schools in second and third tier cities where they used to be willing to take anyone.



Perhaps you should be looking to the major urban areas. Seems if attitudes about race are going to change it is in the big cities first then trickle down. China has a long way to go dispelling the notion that anyone outside of the Han are inferior. Where I live there are many of Africans (real Africans), Middle Eastern, and others not white skinned teaching here. Perhaps it is because they will take less pay but many have very loyal private students. The low paying job was for the visa, then they load up on privates. There is going to be racism everywhere. Difference here is they are more open about it. In the West you can't say you didn't hire someone because they are X,Y,Z because you will get sued. Here they can.
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SH_Panda



Joined: 31 May 2011
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a tip for the OP.

If you think China is racist, don't ever go looking for work in that country just to the east of China, which must never be named.

It's something else over there... believe me.
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 3135

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jg,

Many thanks for posting. Your post is an invaluable one. Keep keepin' on with things, man.

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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doogsville



Joined: 17 Nov 2011
Posts: 698
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The city I'm in Zhuhai, has several African Americans teaching quite happily. PM me if you want a couple of links to current vacancies here.
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hilena_westb



Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As much as nobody likes to hear it; this is not your country. If you cannot accept the culture, then you do not belong here.
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Ariadne



Joined: 16 Jul 2004
Posts: 960

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hilena... There's a heck of a lot I don't accept about Chinese culture, and I'd be willing to bet that you have not accepted everything either. We all make, or don't make, various adjustments when we work here. We do the same at home. Dave's is the perfect place for the OP to air his unhappiness with the sorry state of racial equality in China.

OP, I know it's a huge issue, one that can take the heart right out of you. I've been lucky enough to work for universities in China that do employ people with a variety of skin colors, but not all do and that will not change anytime soon.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do.

.
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 3135

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hilena_westb wrote:
As much as nobody likes to hear it; this is not your country. If you cannot accept the culture, then you do not belong here.


-1

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hilena_westb wrote:
As much as nobody likes to hear it; this is not your country. If you cannot accept the culture, then you do not belong here.


It's not my country, but it's my planet. Smile
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JamesD



Joined: 17 Mar 2003
Posts: 725
Location: "As far as I'm concerned bacon comes from a magical happy place."

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeminiTiger wrote:

It's not my country, but it's my planet. Smile


And just how can we be sure this is your home planet? Shocked
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3325
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JamesD wrote:
GeminiTiger wrote:

It's not my country, but it's my planet. Smile


And just how can we be sure this is your home planet? Shocked


c'mon jim, don't tell me you're one of those claiming illegal aliens are driving down wages!!!!
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rogerwilco



Joined: 10 Jun 2010
Posts: 1183

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hilena_westb wrote:
As much as nobody likes to hear it; this is not your country. If you cannot accept the culture, then you do not belong here.



An overused and childish sentiment.
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basbas



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i take every chance I get to ridicule chinese people for their views on race, i suggest everyone else do the same. Never ever underestimate the effect of 'frown power' (the notion that if we never accept racism that eventually through attrition it will diminish). It's hard to always do this, ie voice your displeasure at open racism, but it is termendously important because silence is tantamount to agreeing with it...
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Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1187
Location: The West

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

basbas wrote:
i take every chance I get to ridicule chinese people for their views on race, i suggest everyone else do the same.

Which handbook of failed diplomacy did you pull this bad idea from?

Your sentiment is correct, try to get people to change their ideas but having a dialogue and explaining a different viewpoint is the way to get people to change, not belittling them and making them look like idiots. I hope you're not using similar techniques in your classroom.
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twilothunder



Joined: 09 Dec 2011
Posts: 442

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The racism here is shocking and disgusting.

It is actually only since I came to China that I have had a few genuinely close black friends (I grew up in a very white area of the UK) and I am astonished and appalled on a weekly basis by comments I see/hear directed at them and stories they tell. I don't know how they put up with and there have been times when they have had to tell me to not start something on their behalf.

It is only since I came to China that I realise how prevalent and offensive racism is, and it absolutely should be challenged in all its forms.
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