With all the recent controversy going on between China and HK and how the western media has weirdly picked up an intense interest in this issue the anti-chinese sentiments across the west are escalating rapidly. I specifically phrase this as Anti-Chinese rather than anti-china because in practice this is how it will play out.
Be absolutely sure that the vast majority of the people who are outraged about this issue that live in the west do not really care about this issue at large. Rather, it’s a way for people to justify their contempt for China and likely even its people. Now you can argue that perhaps China does deserve criticism (this is not what I intend to address in this post), but know that in practice the western people who are outraged will not suddenly become arbiters of altruism and go to HK and fight for their perceived “freedom”. Rather, what’s more likely is that this controversy will dramatically ramp up the anti-asian racism that we asian diaspora will face here in the western countries since now racists will have a way to excuse it.
With perceived justification racists will most likely be out in full force. Hanging on their mouths will be words about how they only dislike the Chinese government but what they’ll do in practice is to terrorize western asians who are completely unrelated to the controversy because we’ll be the closest thing to them. Rather than making a sign and flying over to HK to help in the protests they might find an asian restaurant to trash, or a take-out delivery person to harass and even worse.
But that’s only just talking about the petty small-fry racists. The anti-chinese sentiments are [already systematic] (https://www.forbes.com/sites/russellflannery/2019/10/03/chinese-american-groups-trying-to-push-back-against-loyalty-tests-discrimination/#20fb7e2b1ce4) (link inside) and it’s very likely that even things like this will escalate. And as soon as discrimination has public government backing then it’s extremely likely that the racism will go off the rails very quickly, both systematically but as well on the micro-level.
Now, one might think that if you aren’t chinese you’ll be completely fine, but it’s no secret that our society sees race way before ethnicity and while the racism faced might be milder, one is unlikely to not be negatively impacted by this.
Now, I’m not trying to fear monger here and I hope I’m not coming across that way. I am merely worried that in the coming months we might see a drastic escalation in anti-asian racism in the west as a result of controversies happening on the other side of the globe. Does it make sense for us to have to suffer for political issues we have no part in? No. But racism rarely makes sense, unfortunately.
Make sure to stay safe out there. And make sure we help each other out in rough times.