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China's awkward 'banana' slip--Gary Locke(Chinese American)

For Asian Americans to discuss Asian American issues and topics.

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China's awkward 'banana' slip--Gary Locke(Chinese American)

Postby zboy1 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:59 am

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/05/opini ... 1272285380

A few days ago in Beijing, as Gary Locke wrapped up his tenure as United States ambassador to China, he was lambasted in a Chinese state media editorial. The piece called Locke a "guide dog." It said he had stirred an "evil wind." Worst of all, it called him a "banana."
As in yellow on the outside and white on the inside. It's a slur, akin to "Oreo" for African-Americans or "coconut" for Hispanics, used by people of a given ethnic group to judge another member of that group for being insufficiently, well, ethnic. The point of saying a person of color is "white inside" is to accuse him of being a race traitor, ashamed or in denial of his true heritage.


It's a good read for those interested in how the Chinese view Gary Locke--and other Chinese Americans.

Like I mentioned in my previous thread: http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/view ... hp?t=22232 (The advantages and disadvantages of being an Asian in China), you get the good with the bad.

I think in this case, it was more about Gary Locke being viewed as an 'American government mouthpiece,' than bashing him for being Chinese American and not being able to speak the language.

There's still some benefit to being an Asian American in China, unlike what the article tries to imply; I thought the editorial was too negative and full of anti-China rhetoric; on the other hand, Eric Liu (the writer of the story) is correct when he asserts that the Chinese still expect strong loyalty from overseas Chinese in the diaspora; it's similar to what the Koreans living in Korea expect of overseas Koreans coming back to the country...
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Postby momopi » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:24 pm

Gary Locke got too involved with folks like Chen Guangcheng and ticked off the CCP. To be successful at his job, he needed to know how to walk a tightrope between competing ethnic and political expectations from China and the US. In the end, he was not a good acrobat.

Image


If anyone feels that such expectations are unrealistic, I say that we can only appoint people with exceptional skills to such post.
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Postby terminator » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:08 pm

Just appoint a clone of Obama and save paying wages to a person.
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Postby momopi » Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:03 am

In the above image, Gary Locke's mistake was to hold hands with Chen Guangcheng in a photo op that suggested "I stand with you". Chen Guangchecn is both a political dissident and a troublemaker to the CCP. By posing in that photo, he stepped over the line (from CCP perspective). Had he simply visited Chen in the hospital and brought some flowers, the message would've been watered down and far less provocative.

Here's another example, David Stari from National Geographic's Doomsday Preppers:

Image

To the general public that aren't savvy with firearms, his ammunition vest resembled a suicide bomber vest loaded with explosive bricks. Shortly after his television appearance, his doctor declared him mentally defective and had his guns taken from him for his own protection. We could debate over his gun rights until the cows come home, but the point is that his public image was a disaster.
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Postby sea_dragon » Fri May 09, 2014 5:38 am

Most of the disdain and hate towards American-born Chinese usually comes from Northern Chinese and Inland Chinese the most. Since they don't usually have that much of a population in the US. But they do have a point. ABCs have American, Western body language while Chinese-born/raised Chinese do not.
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