Racism in the SCMP

I was surprised, and not a little saddened, to read the racist views of Alvin Sallay in the SCMP on Sunday when writing about the Hong Kong ladies cricket team:

Godiva is one of nine Chinese girls in the 15-strong women’s squad. The rest are non-Chinese, but all are united in the fact that they qualify for the games by being born in Hong Kong and holding SAR passports.

This is a quite outrageous sentiment. People who are born in Hong Kong and are citizens of China holding Hong Kong passports must be “Chinese”. What else could they be?

If Mr Sallay had written:

There are eight Englishmen in the 11 man England team. The rest (Monty Panesar, Owais Shah, Adil Rashid) are non-English but all are united in the fact that they qualify for the team by being born in England and holding British passports.

in a respectable journal then I hope that a decent sub would have got rid of it, but if it crept through to publication then it would have caused an outcry, triggered apologies and quite possibly have resulted in the author looking for a new job. Racist views such as this are really not acceptable in a civilised society and in what laughingly claims to be “Asia’s World City”.

It was particularly dispiriting to read this at the end of a day I had spent up in the New Territories as part of the support team for the Unison Hikathon. Unison, headed by the indefatigable Fermi Wong, really have their work cut out trying to make Hong Kong an inclusive, non-racist society, particularly when even people from within the ethnic minorities they are trying to help, such as Alvin Sallay, are so openly racist.

10 Responses to Racism in the SCMP

  1. ulaca says:

    I imagine he just means they don’t have slitty eyes.

  2. Scarpetta says:

    Standing up for the minorities, which the Chinese are in cricket in Hong Kong, in an article about developing Cricket eithin the Chinese in HK, is racist?

    Or have I missed the point?

  3. Peter says:

    Nationality doesn’t equal race, you idiot.

  4. Michael says:

    They are all Hong Kongers, but they are not all Chinese.

    Mr Sally’s description is correct and not racist.

  5. bob says:

    They are not chinese; that is a fact. Being a permanent HK resident does not mean you are Chinese; Chinese is an ethnicity too, one of these for example:
    Han Chinese, Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi

    Sure, it’s a nationality as well, but how many of these cricketers do you think have renounced their home citizenship and become PRC citizens? And Hong Kong isn’t a country, so to be a resident of HK does not imply you are Chinese.

    As for the definition of English, that is debatable, but one tends to accept the definition that is supported and promoted by the government and the legal system (and which is probably representative of most English people). But the system in China does not back up your preferred definition of Chinese – that is, foreigners do not confer the same rights (or lack of rights). For instance, the one child policy targets Han people only.

    Effectively, Sallay’s words toe the line and actions of the PRC government and the majority of it’s people too. Maybe it’s “racist” in the British Political Correctness sense, but perhaps consider that racism is subjective and open to interpretation.

  6. smog says:

    Being a Permanent Hong Kong resident doesn’t, of course, make one Chinese per se, but that’s not what I was claiming.

    Please read the article again more closely. It states that they hold HK SAR passports, (as is required to represent Hong Kong at many international events) and thus they are Chinese Citizens. They have exactly the same rights and responsibilities as any other Chinese Citizen in Hong Kong. There isn’t enough information in the article to determine whether they hold any other nationality (however, if they were not born Chinese Citizens but naturalised then they could not hold any other because renouncing all other citizenships is a requirement for naturalising as Chinese). But they were born in Hong Kong and hold HKSAR passports – to me that makes Chinese their “home” nationality.

  7. Not Chinese says:

    Is China the only place in the world that confuses nationality, citizenship and race? You can’t be Chinese unless you’re…. er…. Chinese. Actually scrub that – there are lots of places, mostly in Asia.

  8. RaceWatch says:

    There are a ton more racist articles and lack of articles in SCMP than this. You could devote a blog to it.

  9. Danny Wong says:

    Am not surprise, seriously Hker hate Chinese, gaulow, their own people and everyone else. That call people with different skin color names. it is a shame

  10. The problem here is that “Chinese” means two things: 1) a member of the ethnic Chinese race (i.e. Han); 2) a citizen of China. The writer of the SCMP article used the word in the first sense, with no racism intended; you are interpreting it in the second sense. There are Chinese people in the first sense who are not Chinese in the second sense, and vice versa.

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