Quick repost of a twitter thread I put on twitter the other day concerning the ongoing discrimination against Taiwan by the World Health Organization and subsequent attempts by the WHO to re-frame the issue as a racist attack by Taiwan against WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
I’m an American travel writer who has lived in both China and #Taiwan. While I’m obviously not black (and thus cannot speak directly about the experience of people of color in either place), here is what I have witnessed in both places:
First off, I’ve heard from many people of color (Africans, African Americans, other folks whose full origins I didn’t know) who have had wonderful experiences in both China and Taiwan. As travelers, as students, as people doing business. So…Good people are everywhere.
Second, I’ve spoken to to people of color who’ve felt that they’ve been discriminated against in both places due to the color of their skin. So…Racists are everywhere. China, Taiwan, America…you name it.
That said, in all the years I’ve lived and worked in #Taiwan (over 15), I’ve never heard of or witnessed police in any #Taiwanese city specifically targeting people of color as part of anti-crime / anti-drug sweeps.
In the years I lived and traveled around #China (about 6, give or take), there were times when it was common knowledge that police in various cities were specifically targeting people of color, and that as a POC to enter certain areas was to risk arrest.
This is a Guardian article from 2007 about one such sweep in China targeting people of color. Nobody I knew in the expatriate scene in China was at all surprised that this was going on. In the late 90s and early 00’s (when I lived in Beijing), this sort of thing happened sporadically as well.
Nobody who has lived in China is surprised that harassment of people of color is happening there (with the #CoronavirusPandemic as ‘excuse du jour’). Nobody who knows America is surprised that the virus is bringing out the worst anti-Asian sentiment among American racists.
To quote the great @chrisrock (also talking about racism), “That Train is Never Late”
To bring this thread to a close, the idea that Taiwan (at the forefront of the battle against the global #CoronavirusOutbreak) refuses to accept banishment and disrespect by the #WHO because of WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ race (or indeed, that @DrTedros’ race is even relevant to anyone in #Taiwan) is a ridiculous smokescreen thrown up to cover up the #WHO’s politically motivated decision to continue ignoring, shunning and marginalizing #Taiwan.
As they say down south, That dog won’t hunt. #TaiwanCanHelp, #TaiwanIsHelping, and #Taiwan is absolutely needed in the battle against this #pandemic. That @DrTedros has resorted to playing the race card against Taiwan at the behest of China is only further proof that his argument – indeed, any argument that marginalizes Taiwan’s accomplishments anywhere (let alone IN THE FIELD OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, in which Taiwan is a global leader) is a cynical ploy, doomed to failure.
I’m @josambro, and I approve of this message.