Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are that of the author’s and not necessarily of ExpatRights
In an earlier paper, I discussed the differences between Nationalism, Patriotism, and Racism. To briefly restate: A Racist will discriminate based on skin color or race. A Nationalist only promotes their own nation to its own detriment (i.e. they refuse to recognize flaws in its operation such that it continues to be abused and deteriorates), A Patriot sees and discusses the faults of their nation openly, hoping to change it for the better. They accept criticism and will debate the merits of ideas that are critical or even opposed to their current thinking.
Left: Racism in practice. Right: Nationalist defending China’s behavior.
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In truth, I may have represented Nationalism and Patriotism a bit inaccurately in terms of how I actually think about it. So allow me a bit of an analogy: Taking pride in your nation and history is to take honor and pride for things you had nothing to do with. It is similar to a cow bragging that it is certified Angus Beef. Yeah, whatever, you’re still a hamburger. Unless you’re from India. Then by all means. Brag.
Left: destined for McDonald’s. Right: Safe to brag in India.
There has been an onslaught of commentary about “Foreigners Go Home!” in China recently. One comment caught my attention in particular.
Comment on my article titled:
Normally, I don’t bother with such ignorance, but it was asked of me to write a response to this growing commentary by ignorant people that think they know what they’re talking about. So I will respond. Yes, GAC, I compare it to Rosa Parks, a woman acting in her own country for rights that were denied to her. The article was not a self-entitled narrative as you so angrily stated, but actually a “Legally and government-sanctioned statement by the People’s Republic of China”. I am including screenshots both in Chinese and English that refer to the relevant parts of the PRC Constitution.
Article 4 of the PRC Constitution in both English and Chinese
Article 18 of the PRC Constitution in both English and Chinese
Article 32 of the PRC Constitution in both English and Chinese
So your argument is that, despite it being a LAW of the PRC, I shouldn’t ask anyone to enforce it or call for my legal rights, as provided for in the Chinese Constitution, and reiterated by the Chinese Foreign Ministry quite clearly when they stated that “Racism is against the law in China“.
Zhao LiJian of the Chinese Foreign Ministry
About Rosa Parks, perhaps you are correct. While I used Rosa Parks as an analogy to answer a posed question about whether or not standing up for yourself would work every time, you are correct that it is an inaccurate comparison. Rosa Parks was fighting for something that was not entitled to her by law. She was working, like those before her, to change the laws.
As foreigners, it is entitled by law, as I previously showed written in the Chinese constitution. Therefore, it should work every time. I should not have to resort to using anything from history, let alone foreign history, to explain what should be apparent to those so educated in their own constitution.
Simply said: You are law-breakers and need to be arrested and dealt with according to the relevant laws of the PRC. I had hoped to be more subtle about reminding you of your own laws afforded to guests in your country.
In foreign countries we do abide by the laws and as a society react very vocally against acts of discrimination in which the Chinese have taken full advantage. It is unfortunate that your own hypocrisy at home needs us to remind you of what is written in your own Constitution. Unless, of course, you don’t think your own constitution means anything? Is your comment, actually saying then that Chinese laws are meaningless? If so, then I am indeed acting entitled and should be quiet.
If Chinese law is meaningless, then I should indeed go home, as you proposed. Silly foreigner me, believing in the Chinese Government and the rule of law.
Chinese national emblem: A proud and strong nation ruled by competent authorities
Then comes the statement: “…Go home…Why do you stay?…” Of course. The classic “go-to response” when challenged beyond your intellectual capability. I’ll see if I can explain things to you in terms you’ll understand.
The government of China wants me here and has invited me here. People of China have asked me here. I have my relevant permits, letters, and documentation to prove it. I stay here because I love China. I know that it may be difficult for some of you to understand, but in my mind love is not about always saying how wonderful things are. I love China because its people are truly diverse and amazing. I love China because they strive to improve. But I will call a spade a spade. To do otherwise would be a disservice to the great people of China. To satisfy your nationalism, let’s look at Chinese history for a moment to point out where this is a recognized and important part of Chinese culture:
Confucius: Famous Chinese Philosopher and “influencer”
There are hundreds of relevant quotes that come directly from Confucius. His wisdom spans ages and reaches us today.
“I do not want a friend who smiles when I smile, who weeps when I weep; for my shadow in the pool can do better than that.”
Let’s explore this one. In essence, it is talking about the nature of what a friend is. If you want a parrot to cry when you cry and laugh when you laugh, then indeed I should go home. If you would know your friends, then realize they aren’t telling you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. You won’t always like it, but that’s how you know they’re friends.
The Devil speaks in sweet words and walks in beautiful circles, for it always has an agenda that isn’t to your benefit. If I did not love China, I surely would go. I would not endure the abuse by those such as you, that fail to appreciate that I at least seek to help you better yourselves. You may say it’s not my place. I call you treasonous. You’d see your people die in a shower of flattery. You’d escape your own culpability and power to change, by instead redirecting hatred towards those that warned you. You will deflect with statements like “Foreigner Go Home” and “This is China!” as though it were a patriotic call. Meanwhile, you don’t even begin to understand your own history or why your government paradoxically wants us here and then acts like we’re unwanted guests. Even more so, you don’t even bother to learn the rules of your own country.
So, in response to “Foreigner Go Home”, I say that “The farm is calling you home too.”, as your battle-cry will be used against you.
In one sense this woman is right. She should be directing this to the people of China. It is not 100 years ago. Chinese people have access to education, jobs, money, and most of all progress. Come to the 21st century China. Wake up and start behaving like people that are aware that the “Middle Kingdom” doesn’t mean “Center of Humanity”. We are a global community. We are an interactive community. You are not specially privileged to demand rights in our nations and deny them to us on your own. Your government is working hard to bring the people into the 21st century and has laws that are specifically designed to ensure equal rights to all peoples.
That is not to say all Chinese people. Most Chinese people are very reasonable and decent people. It is highly unfortunate that a few people are despoiling your good name. They are not like you. They are the vocal minority and the itch in the ass of your society. Thank you for letting me scratch it a moment. I need to wash my hands now.
For reference, the PRC Constitution can be read in Chinese here:
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