Civic groups in Lilongwe, Malawi, marched in protest of the actions of Chinese citizen Lu Ke, who was arrested by Zambian authorities after filming a racist video involving local children, and called for his trial in the country instead of being sent back to China. The Nyasa Times reported on Wednesday.
Protesters from the University of Malawi Child Rights Legal Clinic and other civil society organizations also called for compensation and psychological support for the children who were exploited by Lu and made to say racist things about themselves in Chinese, the newspaper said.
The Maravi Post quoted clinic supervisor Garton Kamchedzera as saying that Lu’s treatment of the children was contrary to the Malawian constitution.
The group said it would also deliver a petition to the Chinese embassy.
The newspaper said Lu had “used violence to force the children to say the sentences he wanted.”
Lu fled the country after being outed by BBC journalist Runako Celina as the creator of a video in which children from Lilongwe’s Njerwa village said “I am a black ghost. I have a low IQ” to the camera. The term “black ghost” is considered the Chinese equivalent of the N-word.
Lice video was far from a stand-alone one. Celina’s documentary also revealed a lucrative industry in short videos featuring Africans.
“There’s something inherently creepy about swaning into a village somewhere in Africa, tossing a few coins at people who are less privileged than you and being able to instruct them to do what you want,” Celina wrote in an article on the BBC website after the documentary aired. .
“If the price (or pay off) is high enough, or the sense of humor
r raw enough, the possibilities are endless. “
“It is precisely this boundless freedom plus a deeply ingrained racist ideology that has made an online Chinese industry I have spent the last year investigating possible,” she wrote.
ONEnti-black racism remains uncensored
The immigration authorities of Zambia confirmed that they had arrested Lu den June 21st.
Ghanaian YouTuber Wode Maya told the Black Livity China podcast that the Chinese term “heigui” or “black ghost” corresponds to the N-word in English.
Guests told the show that anti-black racism remains largely uncensored on China’s tightly controlled internet, and that the video was part of a lucrative industry that exploits African adults and children with bespoke greeting videos.
Not everyone in China likes the videos that have been sold in online stores, but many believe they are a harmless and fun way to send a news greeting, while others see anti-black racism as a function of Chinese colonial power in Africa. according to views expressed on the podcast and on social media.
One video derived from a keyword search on Wednesday showed young black men dressed in coordinated clothing appearing for camera to cheer Shanghai residents up during the exhausting COVID-19 lockdown in April.
Another showed black children dressed in red with flowers and chalk boards with birthday messages to a Chinese woman called “Xingxing”.
The Malawi Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has called on the Chinese Embassy in Malawi to apologize to black Malawians over the racist video recorded by Chinese citizen Lu Ke, and called for an immigration investigation for Chinese nationals who remain illegally in the country. Country.
“CDEDI hereby challenges both Malawi and the Chinese governments to treat this matter with the urgency and seriousness it deserves,” Namiwa said in a statement. June 17th statement posted on the group’s website.
“It must be emphasized that any attempt to downplay the problem or help the suspect beat the long arm of the law will only succeed in encouraging avoidable actions with far-reaching consequences,” Namiwa said, but said the group did not want any. aimed at Chinese society for retaliation as a whole.
“As the case also borders on aspects of profit creation, CDEDI urges the relevant authorities to ensure that survivors of the exploitative filming should benefit from compensation,” it states.
The Chinese embassy said via Twitter on June 13 that it had noted with great concern the results of the BBC documentary Racism for Sale.
“We strongly condemn racism in any form, by anyone or happens anywhere,” it said. “We also noted that the video was recorded in 2020. It must be emphasized that the Chinese government has zero tolerance for racism.”
It added June 17th: “We demand that Internet and social media platforms strictly prohibit the dissemination of all racist content.”
The BBC documentary found that two Douyin accounts shared the video in question along with other anti-black racist content, and that Lu had bribed the children with food and sweets to participate in the filming.
Shih Yi-hsiang of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights said China’s response to the incident was inadequate.
“The Chinese government condemns this case and also says that China has zero tolerance for racism, which is ridiculous because the Chinese regime has done something against the Tibetans. [and] Uyghurs … for a long time are seriously racist, “Shih said.
“What we actually see behind [these words] is exploitation and oppression, “Shih said.” Chinese are abusing these children. “
Shih called for further investigation into Chinese content creators’ exploitation of African children.
Blackface on CCTV
Taiwan’s strategic analyst Shih Chien-yu cited the use of blackface at the CCTV Lunar New Year TV gala, as well as costumes linking black people with monkeys.
Chinese go to Africa to record these videos to make money, rationalize racism, which is clearly colonialism with Chinese characteristics, Shih Chien-yu said.
“They think the locals are poor and they will be obedient if you give them some small benefits,” Shih said. “We see 19th-century colonialism being replicated in 21st-century China.”
Gong Yujian, a Chinese dissident now living in democratic Taiwan, said anti-black racism is still very common in China, even though those who enjoy overtly racist videos are in the minority.
“Mao Zedong once said that black Africans could only achieve their national independence and liberation with Chinese aid, so there was a feeling that they had come to China with a cap in hand,” Gong told RFA.
And since the launch of the Belt and Roads Overseas Infrastructure and Supply Chain Initiative under the ruling Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping, many Chinese have begun to consider themselves superior, he said.
Comments that were still visible on Chinese social media this week were critical of the video, although they were largely in line with China’s international image, with some pointing to racism in the United States to divert criticism of China.
“Lack of monitoring of Chinese online platforms, some low-quality waste groups, some with ulterior motives, [and] these attacks on black people have seriously affected the relationship between China and Africa, “wrote Weibo user @LiuJiayi.
“It has brought huge and catastrophic losses to China’s political, economic and diplomatic ties in Africa and works in favor of the United States,” the user wrote.
Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.