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Mabuhay! I'm an Asian American writer (Back Kicks And Broken Promises, Abbott Press, 2012), martial artist and teacher who was born in The Philippines, raised in Hong Kong and ended up in New Jersey.

24 January, 2012

Anti-Racism = Anti-White?

My friend is a contributing columnist for an online football (soccer) magazine. He's also Pakistani, raised in Bristol, grew up in Hong Kong and now lives in Germany. I've known him for going on thirty years and, I am proud to say, he has not a single racist bone in his body. As a Pakistani in England, he's had his fair share of racism directed at him and his family and, as a non-Chinese Asian in Hong Kong, he - along with some of us other Asians, including Chinese, who attended the expat British school - was on the receiving end of some unfavourable comments there.

I bring this up because he just wrote a piece on the racism scandal involving Luis Suarez, Patrice Evra and Liverpool Football Club, of which he has been a lifelong fan. In a nutshell, Suarez has been accused of calling Evra, eight times, a derogatory word for a black person. As a result, Suarez has been fined and is serving a lengthy ban from playing. The article also discusses whether the club handled the situation correctly and offers some suggestions on educating imported players on the 'dos' and 'do nots' of the English Premier League. (Here is the link to the article. It's called Liverpool FC, Kenny Dalglish, Luis Suarez and Racism: What Is The Best Solution?)

What struck me, however, was a comment one of his readers made. The reader wrote, "Africa for Africans, Asia for the Asians, white countries for EVERYBODY. Mass immigration and "assimilation" forced on all white countries and ONLY white countries.......Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-white."

For me, this is a ridiculous statement. First of all, are there any 'all white countries' (anymore)? Were there ever any, really? If so, what then of the mass immigration of whites to Africa, enslaving the native Africans and exporting those slaves to other parts of the world? What of the whites coming to America and stealing land from the Native American Indians and killing many of them off? What of the whites going to Asia, colonising its countries and making the locals less than people, equal only to the standing of a dog? Second, non-whites (just to continue to use the reader's phrasing) are not the only people migrating. There are whites who migrate, not just because their companies have relocated them but because they like the lifestyle, to 'non-white' countries. How many non-whites live in places like The Philippines, South Africa, The Bahamas, Brasil, to name a few? Thirdly, the incident my friend's piece was discussing had to do with two non-white players. This clearly shows that racism is not just an issue that has to do with a white person and a person of colour. It can happen between two people of colour and not one white person has to get involved. Here, in America for example, I've seen African-Amerians getting on other African-Americans for dating non-African-Americans simply because of the other person's race.

I hate racism. It's one of the worst things human beings invented. As a mixed-race person, I've gotten from both sides. My friend's article suggests that imported players get educated on the way things should be done in the English Premier League. I agree with this. It'd be like orientation day on the first day of any other job. Sadly, however, racism is a global issue and not just something that happens in England or on the football pitches of our favourite teams. Throwing Suarez a little bit of a lifeline, perhaps there was a language barrier issue. Suarez is relatively new to England and, perhaps, his English isn't very good yet. Evra, who's French, has been playing in England for a number of years now and I've seen him interviewed. His English is rather good. Suarez's native language is Spanish and the word for black in Spanish is 'negro' (the ne not pronounced like knee). Perhaps, there was a misunderstanding and maybe Evra thought Suarez used a different N word. However, this is thin defence if Suarez is using it. To refer to a player - to anyone - by his race, other than maybe to describe the person, is a form of racism. This may even be a form of racism, too. Personally, I'm okay with someone saying something like, "Oh Juan, he's one of the male gym teachers at school. He's the Asian one." Change "Asian" to "yellow" or "brown" then we have a problem.

Unfortunately, racism exists. With increased immigration and increased mixed race marriages, I think, I hope, racism eventually will stop. These, though, should not be the only solutions; if they are, at all. Am I being too romantic about it ending? Probably. If it does, I doubt it will happen in my lifetime. Sadly, I doubt it will happen in my son's lifetime. Racism stems, largely, from simple ignorance. Eliminate that ignorance with education and exposure. It's not enough just to learn about it. Go out and meet and really get to know people who are different from you. That's the first step.

So, is anti-racism tantamount to being anti-white? No. Anti-racism is, simply, anti-racist.


  1. Denise H. Williams25 January, 2012 12:57

    From an early age we are convinced that different "races" actually exist. Give historian, Noel Ignatiev's book "How the Irish Became White" a read. It's quite eye opening by showing how race is a nothing more than a social construct rather than a scientific fact.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. I'll definitely check it out.

      I do agree that the concept of race is a social construct, however, there is still no denying that people do have different skin colours, cultural practices, native languages, etc and, for some, it is okay to discriminate and dominate solely because of these things. Call it what you will, but racism, as it is currently called, does exist and it is wrong and it does exist from white to non-white, non-white to white and non-white to non-white.

      Thanks for stopping by and posting a comment.