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Watch: This China-based Black Man is Fed Up With 3 Major Things

A short video by a black man who has been living in China for three years is making its rounds on Chinese social media. Speaking in Chinese, the young man talks about three things he is really fed up with in China in relation to the color of his skin.

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https://youtu.be/IZaUka4Kmk4

A short video by a black man who has been living in China for three years is making its rounds on Chinese social media. Speaking and swearing in Chinese, the young man talks about three things he is really fed up with in China in relation to the color of his skin.

Just when a Chinese laundry commercial caused big controversy for being “completely racist”, a short video by a black man living in China has gone viral on Sina Weibo.

In the video, the New Yorker, who is said to have been living in China’s Chongqing for three years, talks about three things that he is really fed up hearing.

The video was posted on Weibo by ‘Master Pi‘ on May 30 through the Miaopai video app. The original video was posted on May 29 by the New Yorker himself, who calls himself ‘Li Heishuai’.

In the video, the young man says:

Hi Everyone (..), I’m from New York in America. I want to talk to you about three things that make me really uncomfortable. The first is when I come to many places here, people will say ‘hey black devil’. What?! Your mother’s pussy! Don’t call me black devil! It is really very disrespectful. I hate it.”

He continues:

The second thing (..)..fuck..(..) is that sometimes people will ask me (…) where I am from. When I tell I am from NY, USA, they will say ‘that’s impossible, aren’t they all white there in America?’ (..) Hello, Obama?! Isn’t he a black man?! What about Will Smith, isn’t he black? What about Kobe Bryant? Isn’t he black? I hate it.”

[rp4wp]

Then he says:

The third thing, is that sometimes men will often ask me if I’m big down there. Fuck! The next time somebody asks me this, I will take off my pants and let him see for himself!

Within one day, the video has already been shared over 25000 times, receiving over 15400 comments on Weibo and 19000 on Miaopai, with most netizens appreciating the man’s humor, his Chinese proficiency, and Sichuan dialect.

Although some netizens think he’s “cute” and others are “laughing out loud”, there are also those who are upset with the young man using swear words and call him “low”. One commenter says: “He swears better in Chinese than I do.”

“It’s funny but he is right,” one commenter says: “Don’t call black people ‘black devils’, it is very rude and uncivil.”

As some netizens are calling out the young man or talking about his appearance, a female Weibo user responds: “I really don’t get why people can be so low. You only evaluate others by saying they’re ugly. But I think this black man is very funny and cute, and moreover, he addresses a problem that is recurrent in China. ‘Black devil’ really is rude, and he’s found a way to make his statement with humor. You can scold him, but it only makes you ugly.”

Apart from talking about ‘Li Heishuai’s’ words, there are also some netizens that are still wondering about the third point addressed by him.

“Hey handsome,” another netizen comments: “You’ve gone viral now.”

– By Manya Koetse

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the founder and editor-in-chief of whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer, public speaker, and researcher (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends, digital developments, and new media in an ever-changing China, with a focus on Chinese society, pop culture, and gender issues. She shares her love for hotpot on hotpotambassador.com. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. DIANDIAN GUO

    May 30, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    The first point is genuine impoliteness, but Chinese also address Japanese as 鬼子,Koreans as 棒子,Russians as 毛子… it is disrespectful, with a sense of superiority, but no one says Chinese discriminate against Japanese or Russian. The second point is genuine ignorance. The last… Genuine ignorance plus a vulgar curiosity…
    I think either racist or not, it takes much more time when China get enough foreign exposure on the life world level, before the issue of transcultural/multicultural can be really on the agenda. I doubt whether anti-racism can be an preemptive. It has always bee remeditory hasn’t it.

  2. Thomas Jones

    May 31, 2016 at 5:01 am

    While I think that PC in the west has gone out of control, this guy makes some good points as China upon first glance appears to be the complete opposite, which is also just as bad.

    For starters, making comments like “white devil”, “black devil”, any sort of “devil”, “wide nose”, “big lips”, or for westerners/Arabs and sometimes even Indians “big nose” is EXTREMELY offensive, yet Chinese think little about saying such nasty things. While it’s not an everyday occurrence, but I’ve had Chinese who I’ve asked for directions say straight up me and my friends have “big noses”; friends of a friend sitting around us at a dinner table commented on my nose while having dinner at a fancy restaurant. The husband of my former boss taught his young son to look at my nose to the point that 3 years later at my wedding the first thing the then 6 year old said is “wow, what a big nose” (他的鼻子好大).

    These comments are dehumanizing, demoralizing and just plain offensive. China doesn’t need PC like we have in the west, but it does need to learn some basic human decency and manners. Do they have any idea how some of us feel, when we become so self-conscious that we can barely function properly in China because locals are so rude and distasteful in their comments just based upon the way we look? I wouldn’t walk down the street in Sydney, Los Angeles, San Francisco or Toronto and call Chinese “slant eyes” or “small nose” what makes them think it’s OK to abuse us foreigners when we’re in their country?

    As for the “only white people in America” comment, that’s just hilariously ignorant. One look at any American film made since the 1960s shows that America is a very diverse society – can’t believe Chinese would believe the west is just a “white” version of China. Our societies are completely opposite in this respect and I’m pretty sure most Chinese would have seen at least one Hollywood film or at least have been taught something about our societies. Evidently this doesn’t apply to everyone.

    • samy hung

      August 28, 2016 at 7:36 am

      Five thousands years of civilization is destroyed by the communism through this past 60 years of ruling. Please forgive.

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China and Covid19

‘Voices of April’: The Day After

“The best way to make videos go viral is by censoring them.”

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On April 23, a day after the video ‘Voices of April’ briefly took over social media before it was censored, the trending topic of the day is a hashtag related to new Covid cases reported in Shanghai.

Shanghai reported higher Covid-19 cases and deaths on Friday than the five days prior, which showed a daily decline in new cases. Shanghai reported a total of 23,370 new cases (including 20,634 asymptomatic ones), the municipal health commission said Saturday. A related hashtag by Xinhua News received over 910 million views on Weibo on Saturday (#上海新增本土确诊2736例无症状20634例#).

Although the hashtag was initiated by state media to inform about the Shanghai Covid situation, netizens started using it to criticize Shanghai’s handling of the crisis, with more commenters questioning China’s zero-Covid strategy. Similarly, other state media-initiated hashtag places also became online spaces where Weibo users vented their frustrations earlier this month.

Besides the ongoing online criticism and vocal disagreement with China’s Covid handling and policies, there are also many who express shock at the recent crackdown of any form of protest or criticism regarding the situation in Shanghai.

“‘Voices of April’ has been shutdown all over the internet, I’m simply dumbfounded,” one person said about the popular video that contained real recordings of events that happened during the city’s lockdown.

“If you still can find the video anywhere, forward it,” another person writes.

Besides Voices of April (四月之声), there have also been other videos over the past week that are meant to expose the mishandling of the Covid situation in Shanghai.

One of them is titled Farewell, Language (再见语言), another one is Shanghai Late Spring (上海晚春).

Farewell, Language (再见语言) is a 42-second sound art video by artist Yang Xiao (杨潇), who used over 600 commonly used propaganda phrases from Chinese official channels and randomly broadcasted the audio in the community where he lives.

The anti-epidemic workers just continue their work and do not seem to notice anything out of the ordinary at all. The video shows how this kind of language has been so normalized that for most, it has just become background noise in their everyday life – without even noticing nor critically assessing its meaning or logic anymore.

The Shanghai Late Spring (上海晚春) video is a compilation of video footage from the Shanghai lockdown, showing people struggling to get food, violent altercations between anti-epidemic workers and residents, people living in deplorable conditions in quarantine centers, and more (link to video).

The video uses the song Cheer Up London by Slaves, its chorus being:

You’re dead, already, dead, dead, already-ready
Dead, already, dead, dead, already-ready
Dead, already, dead, dead, already-ready
Dead, already, dead
.”

One Weibo commenter responded to the video in English, using a text from Les Misérables: “Do you hear the people sing / Singing the song of angry men / It is the music of a people / Who will not be slaves again!” The phrase “do you hear the people sing” was also used by other social media users to address the situation in Shanghai and the censorship of related topics.

“The best way to make videos go viral is by censoring them,” one commenter replied.

Read our previous article about ‘Voices of April’ here.

For more articles on the Covid-19 topics on Chinese social media, check here.

By Manya Koetse, with contributions by Miranda Barnes

Get the story behind the hashtag. Subscribe to What’s on Weibo here to receive our weekly newsletter and get access to our latest articles:

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China and Covid19

The Voices of April – The Online Rise of a Shanghai Protest Video

‘Voices of April’ is the biggest topic in China’s Covid social media era since the death of Dr. Li Wenliang.

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Voices of April is a video containing edited audio snippets that show the reality of a Covid-stricken Shanghai where residents struggle with feelings of powerlessness. The video seeped into every corner of WeChat, but not long after, it was gone.

On Friday, April 22, a video was shared on Chinese social media and when the evening fell, it suddenly was on everybody’s smartphone screen.

Voices of April (四月之声) is a compilation of real audio snippets from conversations recorded in Shanghai throughout April, providing an emotional and heart-wrenching account of what residents in Shanghai have gone through since the Covid crisis started in their city.

By early Saturday morning, Beijing time, the Voices of April (四月之声) video had seeped into every corner of WeChat. Not long after, it was gone.

The video, made by a person named ‘Cary’, first seemed to have appeared online on Friday with the following message:

One month after the outbreak of the epidemic in Shanghai, I’ve seen too many online voices coming by which then soon disappeared. Over time, I’ve become somewhat desensitized, but some things shouldn’t have happened. Since they did, they shouldn’t be forgotten. Too many of our compatriots have suffered in ways that could have been avoided. I made a video, as objective and realistic as possible, as a record to remember the voices of April, and hope that all of them will pull through.”

The video in question, embedded below, is almost six minutes long. (Update: Here is a link to a version including English subtitles.)

It starts its narrative on March 15, just a day before Shanghai introduced its so-called “grid screening” strategy – meaning that every resident in a city Covid key area would do two nucleic acid tests within 48 hours. That day, the total amount of Covid cases since the onset of the outbreak in early March was 1156. The audio is real – as all snippets are – and was recorded during an official Shanghai Epidemic Prevention and Control news conference.

“Right now, Shanghai has no lockdown, and there is no need for a lockdown,” the spokesperson can be heard saying, while the video shows aerial footage of Shanghai city.

The video then jumps to March 26, when the total number of cases since the beginning of the outbreak had risen to 12,527 (asymptomatic and symptomatic combined), the daily new added cases being 2676.

Still, Shanghai officials can be heard saying that there will ‘never be a lockdown’ in the city, suggesting that Shanghai is not just important for Shanghai, it is important for the economy of the entire country.

The video then shows its title page: Voices of April.

The video, showing aerial footage of Shanghai for the entire six minutes, then continues with snippets of audio fragments starting at the beginning of April, with worried residents calling local authorities to voice their concerns about their personal situation after the sudden announcement of a phased lockdown in Shanghai on March 27.

Through dozens of audio snippets, we hear the voices of residents, delivery drivers, community workers, parents, children, Covid patients, pet owners, volunteers, and more.

In doing so, through the words of those who witnessed it, Voices of April raises the issues that so many have been concerned about over the past 25 days or more. Shanghai residents going hungry; food supplies going to waste due to mismanagement and failing logistics; parents and children being separated in quarantine facilities; people unsuccessfully trying to get urgent care for a medical emergency in their family; cancer patients being unable to return to their homes after getting chemotherapy at the hospital; Covid patients arriving at centralized quarantine locations that have no supplies nor beds; a desperate mother who finds herself calling out to neighbors to get medicine for her sick child in the middle of the night; pet owners in tears over their dog being killed by anti-epidemic workers.

“The virus is not killing people, the hunger is,” one voice can be heard saying.

“Distribute supplies! Distribute supplies! Distribute supplies!” a group of people can be heard shouting.

Through the audio snippets, it becomes clear that it’s not just residents who have been suffering throughout this whole ordeal – it’s the entire city, including its volunteers and community workers who are also helpless in helping others due to the policies in place.

The video ends with a black and white screen showing the characters “上海, 早日康复” (Shànghǎi, zǎorì kāngfù): “Shanghai, get well soon.”

Not long after the video went viral, Wechat and Weibo users discovered they were no longer able to forward the file, and soon all links to the video ended up leading to a ‘404’ deleted message.

The censorship seemingly only added fuel to fire. “[You want] war? War it is!”, some said, with others posting images protesting the censorship: “You can’t censor the unity of the people of Shanghai!”

Straight away, netizens started coming up with various alternative ways to refer to the title of the video to circumvent censorship, suggesting that there can never be a ‘zero policy’ when it comes to silencing people’s voices.

Nevertheless, alternative hashtags and phrases were also soon taken offline, such as the hashtag “The Voices of Shanghai” (#上海之声#).

“You can’t treat everything that’s being deleted as something that never happened,” one Weibo user wrote. Another commenter said: “What are you deleting? For what? What is so terrible for us to know that you’ve come so quickly to censor it?”

“It’s just a record of actual events, what good does it do to censor it? Originally, we were just sad, not angry. Now it’s a revolt of the people. A cover-up only makes matters worse.”

The only time during China’s Covid era when there was an online outpouring of anger comparable to this instance is probably when Li Wenliang passed away – the doctor who was initially silenced when he tried to warn others about the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (read more here). His death, and the censorship surrounding it, also led millions of people to vent their frustrations online. The censorship, as in this case, only added fuel to the fire.

One word that many people commenting on the Voices of April video use after seeing it is ‘powerlessness’: “I watched the Voices of April. Putting all of the powerlessness together, this world seems even more helpless.”

“Tonight is the night of the deleted voices [404之声],” one Weibo user wrote.

For context:
Growing frustrations during early outbreak of the city’s Covid crisis
Children and parents being separated for isolation
Pet dog killed by anti-epidemic worker
Deplorable conditions at quarantine locations

Update, also read: Voices of April, The Day After.

For more articles on the Covid-19 topics on Chinese social media, check here.

By Manya Koetse, with contributions by Miranda Barnes

Get the story behind the hashtag. Subscribe to What’s on Weibo here to receive our weekly newsletter and get access to our latest articles:

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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