Wednesday, August 13, 2008


It’s not often in this day and age of political correctness to see a large group of people being totally racist. Unless you live in Spain. According to the Guardian:
Spain’s Olympic basketball teams have risked upsetting their Chinese hosts by posing for a pre-Games advert making slit-eyed gestures.
The advert for a courier company, which is an official sponsor of the Spanish Basketball Federation, occupied a full page in the sports daily Marca, the country’s best-selling newspaper.
I’m not sure what’s worse, the fact that they’re doing the slant-eye move (which is popular only among third graders) or the fact that they are completely oblivious to the fact that it’s offensive to over a billion people. Spain is kind of like the world’s grandpa. When everyone gets together, he still tells really uncomfortable jokes that usually involve some racial slur. And when your mom tells him to stop his only response is, “What’d I say? What? So the Nippers are good at math. It’s a compliment. I didn’t say nothin’ bad. Pass the mashed potatoes.”


Suso said...

I am Spanish and it's the first time I read that making those slanted eyes gestures could offend chinese people. In Spain it's considered as funny or even sympathethic ("Hey, I'm chinese too!"). I don't understand how could it be an insult, because having slanted eyes doesn't mean being worst (things are different with those shameful monkey chants sung to black sports players, of course that's very degrading).

It's curious that the reactions came mainly from English and American papers, but there were no complains coming from China or from chinese people living in Spain. Are we completely sure that those gestures are offending to chinese out of America or UK?

Anonymous said...

there are many chinese upset with this...just not in China...becuase you are not allowed to protest.

"We're disappointed that especially during the Olympics, a time of cooperation and celebration of diversity, this sort of negative stereotype would be used," said Hope Chu, senior communications manager for the Organization for Chinese Americans in Washington. "It would be nice to see an apology, but if this can be a point of discussion and learning for folks who think this is an acceptable way to characterize Asian people, that will be the most positive outcome of this whole incident."

Suso said...

In China you are not allowed to protest against Chinese government, but if Chinese people had felt offended, their government would be the first to protest and ask for an apology.

So... No protests from Chinese government, no protests from Chinese Spanish, only from Chinese Americans, perhaps that gesture is only offensive in America?

Anyway, what I don't understand is that someone describes it as a "negative stereotype". How possibly having slanted eyes can be considered negative? In Spain in any case it's seen as a sign of beauty!