Thursday, March 20, 2008

#4 The Term "Hai Ren"

darkie toothpaste
The image above is the packaging for a brand of toothpaste many Asians, specifically, Taiwanese and Chinese, refer to as "hei ren" toothpaste.Most Asian countries such as China, India, or Korea unified many ethnicities and races to unite under one banner. What people don't know is that part of the agreement to unify, was that a pact was signed agreeing to project all Asian ignorance and hatred outwards toward all non-Asian cultures and races. This was the only way leaders such as Qin Shi Huang Di, The Last Emperor Tom Cruise, and others were able to convince everyone that looting their neighbor's tea house was not the most efficient way of growing their GDP.

This ignorance toward other cultures and ethnocentrism is still prevalent today as evidenced by the term "hei ren," which means "black person" in Chinese. For many Chinese people, it is difficult to say "black people". Hearing the term causes panic, frenzy, and perhaps even the infamous Chinese Fire Drill. Instead, Chinese people say "hei ren". Combining the force of the idea of black people with the native tongue, quells fear and the subject can then be discussed civilly. You could be hearing a keynote speech from a respected scholar on American Film at UC Berkeley and most likely he will stop mid-sentence to speak Chinese if anything "black" is involved. This is done in the interest of safety and security, but I ask, when will it stop people? When can we assimilate the word "black" like we've assimilated "white" into our vocabulary. Is it really that bad grandma?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this blog so very, very much. It is so witty, yet accurate.