I am a regular reader now of Black China Hand, which I have been calling China Black Hand for some dyslexic reason. The other day he dropped a small IED on my head.
Well today in a conversation with a colleague I learned that China has an equivalent circumstance. He told me, just as Harry told Sally, that a Chinese and non-Chinese can never be true friends or lovers or family because of cultural diferences (read: food or language.) When I pressed him on why he thought that way he finally revealed that because of the racial superiority of the Chinese people, there can never be true equality between a Chinese and non-Chinese and since any deep relationship would require that...there can be no true relationship.
Now as an African American, this wasn't the first time I've heard comments on the racial superiority of such and such. What floored me was that it came from my colleague. This is a guy I had known for many years, I guy that worked with many Americans, spoke great English (even gave his son an English middle name) and for all intents and purposes did not seem to have much problems with non-Chinese...indeed he seemed quite comfortable in a non-Chinese setting.
I had this a little in mind when it came to writing on Sutpidity the other day. But still I hadn't figured out a way to pre-empt this kind of situation. How should I let it affect me? How do I let a racist presumption affect me? Could it disable me? In the end I came to the conclusion that this is the kind of thing which I shouldn't despair to be inevitably crippling even if it is inevitable.
On the one hand, I think I can expect that Chinese who learn to speak English will inevitably learn how to curse. The word 'Nigger' is taught. And I thought back to the 80s when everybody was sure that the Japanese were going to buy all the real estate in America up, including the Statue of Liberty. Yet somehow when it came to moving around the cities they were consuming, they would still somehow figure out not to go to the ghettoes or buy anything there, thereby leaving blackfolks just as poor in an overheated market. And yet I know that there are certain things that whitefolks are incapable of intermediating and twisting - so it was equally no surprise when tourbusloads of Japanese were going uptown in Harlem to suck up as many chitterlings as humanly possible. Chinese, unless they are informed by American culture, are not going to be able to do anything but ape the same racial stereotypes. I already know what American pop culture has right and wrong about blackfolks, so I cannot be insulted.
On the other hand, Chinese' own sense of racial superiority will contain it's own peculiar baggage. It will be a laugh-filled conversation, because that's how I do. It will be like finding out a person you admired actually beats his wife. Disappointing, but not disabling. I just feel sorry for fools, but only so much. A fool is his own worst enemy. I'll just (as Sun Tsu says) let that dead body float by, instead of going upstream to kill it.
So how, I might begin, is the rest of the world going to learn about Chinese superiority? Are you going to cause an eclipse and we're all going to bow down? Is Bruce Lee going to be reincarnated? Are we suddenly going to start dreaming in Madarin? Are you going to gather us all up in boxcars and send us off to Manchuria, or wait, didn't the Japanese already do something like that to you? Are you going to poison us with MSG?
It's going to be a laugh riot. And then I will confide to my new confidant, that I'll keep his delusions close to the vest and not let anybody important know about it.
Hee hee. Hoo boy. Them Chinese. Real sense of humor they have. Whooo. That's funny.
Wait. That's not all. Did you hear the one about the Chinese manufacturer who want to call his new car the DooDoo? Oh.. I can't take it.