This post is in regards to diversity, human unity, and racism. While it is not directly related to music, it is a great stimulus to talk about something I believe is important, something that I want to spread through my own music. This is some insight into my thoughts regarding how I think humanity needs to move forward and accept each other and come in unity. It is something that a lot of people perhaps will not agree with. So we can agree to disagree.
I found an article today about a White man who loves China and wants to “become Chinese”. As expected, all the comments were that of outrage. But then if you really think about it, is it that obvious who is right and who is wrong?
Here is the link. http://huffp.st/1BpjinZ
I was relieved to see one or two properly thought-out replies amidst the overwhelming flood of negative comments.
If you know me, you may know I am always outspoken and in the front of the charge fighting against whitewashing and racism, fighting for Asian-American representation and the like. However, this story is a little different.
The thought that crossed my mind while reading the article was that while the intention of the share was to be “anti-racism”, I can’t help but notice that it is an example of Asians racially discriminating against who they say belongs and does not belong. I also noticed a similarity in asian attitudes of adoption, there is this unhealthy obsession with purity of bloodline and importance of the ancestors. While yes, the man can’t become Chinese in the fullest sense, he maybe knows this (it isn’t like he is going to do plastic surgery) he is at least Chinese in culture. Therefore, if he is intending to respect the culture and not mock it, instead of focussing on all the ways he does not belong, focussing on his “otherness”, why can we not just focus on how we can accept him as a brother or son (while acknowledging on the side all the important historical and ancestoral issues that he does not share with the Chinese)
What I want to say is, yes, it is not right to “not see colour”, (e.g. the struggles of police brutality are most strongly felt by the Black community and it waters down the problem by saying it is not an issue that concerns any particular colour), but at the same time, it is so easy and common to go the opposite extreme by *focussing* on colour in situations when other factors are more important. This article may seem like it is combating appropriation, but instead, I believe is reinforcing a racially discriminatory method of judgement upon the guy. Racism happens when we reductionistically judge people by their ethnicities as if that is the sole indicator of identity. While I acknowledge that the world must not cease to see colour, I wish that the world would stop judging by colour, especially under the guise of the noble act of calling out other people’s attempts to integrate with their beloved cultures that just happen to be homogenously ethnic.
I think that homogenous countries don’t need to be forced into being multi-ethnic countries like America, Canada, etc., I think they still ought to embrace multiculturalism at least in a smaller degree. I hope they embrace people who are integrated as their own just like (some parts of) America, and Canada does. 🙂
And I hope, as a musician, that I can share this middle-way idea so that people of different cultures may focus on what is in common, that they will be accepting instead of focussing on differences. Again, this is not to stop seeing colour, but to stop judging by colour. It is recognising the unique struggles of each colour, but at the same time, not judging a person’s identity reductionistically based solely upon ethnicity. And to do that, I believe we need to focus more on culture than anything else.