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By Ixa
#798593
Nanjing Anti-African Protests of 1988-89 Article #711
Anti-Black racism in China

From December 1988 to January 1989, students in Nanjing, China waged violent protests against visiting African students. These protests became the precursor to the nationwide pro-democracy movement in the spring of 1989, which resulted in the massacre of Chinese students by armed troops in Tiananmen Square. Displaying an uneven combination of racial tension, nationalism, and reformism, the Nanjing protests fused mass hostility toward visiting African students with official nationalist discourse to create the momentum for a popular movement for political change. At the same time, they marked the denouement of China's proclaimed leadership of the "Third World" with long-term consequences for Sino-African relations. Yet, these protests were neither isolated events, as the Chinese government claimed, nor simply outbreaks of general xenophobia directed at all foreigners. Frank Dikötter has traced various discourses of race in China from the late nineteenth century based on myths of origins, ideologies of blood, and narratives of biological descent that have been central to the cultural construction of Chinese identity. Barry Sautman attributes the rise of anti-Africanism among the Chinese intelligentsia in the reform era (1978-present) to the return of racial stereotyping and elitist values dating back to Imperial China that link and denigrate those who are dark and those who are poor.

Hostility and violence against visiting African students had erupted for various reasons since their arrival in 1960 as part of a government-sponsored program that provided full scholarships for nationals of friendly countries. Following its rise to power in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) abolished the official discourse of race and embarked upon an intensive campaign to establish close ties with the newly independent African nations. As early as 1955, Premier Zhou Enlai declared that racism was uniquely absent in China. Friendly relations with Africa and African-descended peoples were central to the CCP's "Third World" coalition during the 1960s. Mao Zedong proclaimed that the Chinese would lead the historical struggle against "white imperialism," linking the problem of class with that of race in foreign policy. In the early 1960s, small groups of African students arrived in China with full scholarships and relatively generous stipends compared to those of their Chinese counterparts. However, most of the students returned home within a year or two due to poor living standards, lack of social opportunities, and the politicized environment of the Mao years. According to an account by a Ghanaian who studied in China during the 1960s, African students regularly encountered racial discrimination by their Chinese hosts, although racial hostility was the least important reason for their return.

The Chinese government restored the African scholarship program in the mid-1970s and began sending African students to universities outside of Beijing. As China opened itself to the capitalist world market with a series of reforms initiated by Deng Xiaoping from 1978, its Third World identity became little more than a propaganda tool. In contrast to official statements supporting revolutionary movements in Africa and the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1960s, the CCP in the late 1970s and 1980s markedly downplayed Third World themes in the media. In addition, local authorities often excused, and sometimes justified, anti-African prejudice among Chinese students. For example, the Shanghai incident of July 1979 was triggered by complaints of loud music played by African students and culminated in an attack of the foreign student hall in which the African students lived. Although Chinese press commentaries admitted that the Chinese students attacked the African students, they also implied that "drunken and womanizing" Africans were prone to troublemaking. Moreover, contact between African men and Chinese women was the source of numerous clashes between Chinese and African students in the 1980s as well as the grounds for arrests and deportations of Africans.

The Nanjing protests in December 1988 were triggered by a series of confrontations between African and Chinese students at Hehai University. The conflict intensified on December 24 when two African male students who were escorting two Chinese women to a Christmas Eve party on campus were stopped at the front gate and ordered to register their guests. A new university regulation that restricted registration procedures for guests visiting foreign students had been implemented in October of that year to stop African male students from consorting with Chinese women in their dormitories. A quarrel between one of the African students and the Chinese security guard escalated into a brawl between African and Chinese students that lasted until the next morning and resulted in the injury of eleven Chinese and two Africans. On the next day, 300 Chinese students, angered by a rumor that a Chinese man had been killed by an African student the previous evening, stormed the African students' dormitory chanting, "Kill the Black Devils!" The police arrived to restore order two hours later. Fearing for their safety, over 60 African students left for the railway station to reach their embassies in Beijing. Local authorities prevented them from boarding the trains in order to retain those involved in the Christmas Eve brawl. In response, about 140 foreign students, including other African students in Nanjing and a dozen non-African foreign students, sat-in at the train station to demand that they be allowed to board a train for Beijing.

Meanwhile, Chinese students at Hehai University mobilized students from other universities in Nanjing to protest what was perceived as special treatment for foreigners and to demand justice for the alleged murder of a Chinese man the night before. Approximately 3,000 students marched in the streets, singing the national anthem and chanting, "Down with Black Devils!" On December 26, the student demonstrators from Hehai University marched to the provincial government office to demand that the African students be held responsible for their crimes according to the full force of Chinese law. Holding a banner that read, "Protect Human Rights," the demonstrators demanded the reform of a corrupt legal system that privileged foreigners at the expense of ordinary Chinese. That evening, a group of more than 3,000 Chinese students marched to the railway station with banners calling for the protection of human rights, political reform, and justice. The African students were immediately sequestered by the police to a military guest house in Yizheng, 60 kilometers northeast of Nanjing. The police declared the student demonstrations illegal and, with the help of riot police from neighboring provinces, quelled the demonstrations in the next few days. By early January 1989, the authorities arrested and deported three African students from Hehai University who were suspected of instigating the Christmas Eve brawl and sent the remaining students back to Nanjing. The African students were instructed to report to their school authorities before leaving their campuses and to not go out at night. Furthermore, the Hehai University president, Liang Ruiji, announced that African students were required to continue registering their guests at the front gate and were restricted to no more than one Chinese girlfriend whose visits would be limited to the lounge area.

http://diaspora.northwestern.edu/mbin/W ... atomid=711
By Rajin Cajun
#798683
Yes and your point is? The Chinese were no longer socialist after Deng Xiaoping took over.
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By Ombrageux
#798777
Racism is in no way belittled by Marxist socialism. (that's is if Marxist socialism is in any way similar to Marx's views... though I'm not saying that Marxists are necessarily racists, just that it has no impact either way)
By contracycle
#798905
Hmm, you're wrong there Dumbteen. Marxism is not magic, and cannot make entrenched prejudices vanish, but it does serve as a counterpoint by showing the role of racism in capitalism. For example, two groups of immigrant workers thrown into competition for low-paying work will develop racist generalisaitons of each other, and both will be demonised by the local workers displaced from the worst work.

Marxism, in its dialectical historical and materialist forms, is a serious attack on the stereotypes by which racism operates. The link between Marxist organisations and anti-racist campaigns is not accidental.
By Ixa
#798907
Karl Marx rightly recognised the importance of inborn racial characteristics in economic development.
By contracycle
#798909
Karl Marx rightly recognised the importance of inborn racial characteristics in economic development.


What inborn racial characteristics?

Thats the nub of the problem. If they can be shown to be real differences, not just alleged stereotypical differences, then they have to be addressed. Some things, like the proclivity for sickle-cell aneamia, are known to have a genetic link. Aptitudes for work, or for intelligence, have not been shown to have a genetic link.
Last edited by contracycle on 31 Jan 2006 16:07, edited 1 time in total.
By Ixa
#798910
What inborn racial characteristics?
I think differences in personality and intelligence are the most important. See my thread in the Science forum, for more on this.
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By Ombrageux
#798996
Marxism, in its dialectical historical and materialist forms, is a serious attack on the stereotypes by which racism operates. The link between Marxist organisations and anti-racist campaigns is not accidental.

Or flip-slide, traditional Marxism itself is racist and orientalist, praising the role of cotton-producing slavery in American industrialization, asserting that India/China are "without history" and that European imperialism will give them a good modernizing (in typical Eurocentric diffusion theory) jolt.

Naye, Marxism and racism (and, indeed, 3rd world nationalism in general) have a very uneasy relationship, there is absolutely no doubt that traditional Marxism is hopelessly Eurocentric and disdainful none-white European cultures. (Marxism can, of course, be redeemed in this respect and plenty of none-white leftist intellectuals have done so)
By Ixa
#799004
Aptitudes for work, or for intelligence, have not been shown to have a genetic link.
I see you have edited your post. Actually, yes, these things do have a genetic component, as demonstrated in the "Race Differences" thread in the Science forum.
By Einherjar
#799149
Dumbteen wrote:Or flip-slide, traditional Marxism itself is racist and orientalist, praising the role of cotton-producing slavery in American industrialization, asserting that India/China are "without history" and that European imperialism will give them a good modernizing (in typical Eurocentric diffusion theory) jolt.

Marxism, which is an analysis of history, cannot be racist. It just states how things happened, and it happened that a particular race dominated others. European "imperialist" economic systems displacing Oriental modes of production is what in fact happened.
By | I, CWAS |
#799156
Marxists movements produce some of the most racist countries on earth. China, Russia et al never had to deal with reality like America, and America dealt with it and is in the 21st century, while other pretentious nations never had minorities in the first place (in relation to America) and now they find themselves in positions we were in 50-100 years ago.

It is easy to speak of race theory from a nation that has no where near the racial/ethnic/sexual/religious diveristy as THE USA. All Marxism does is offer an excuse and a pall, that is simply not natural.
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By Ombrageux
#799175
Marxism, which is an analysis of history, cannot be racist.

Of course it can, plenty of post-colonial historians have pointed out how many Western theories of history, notably Hegelian, Marxist and Weberian theories, are hopelessly Eurocentric. They presume, often explicitly, that progress is a distinctly European phenomenon. For Hegel, the conflict of ideas since the Greeks is simply not present in other societies. For Marx, Asia is simply "without history". For Weber, it's a semi-mystical cultural notion that protestantism itself (entrenched cultural and moral superiority) is the primary cause of our material superiority.

So, yeah, lots of theories of history are racist, and I'd like to point out it's hardly restricted to traditional Marxism, capitalist theories are just as prone.
By Einherjar
#799320
CWAS wrote:Marxists movements produce some of the most racist countries on earth. China, Russia et al never had to deal with reality like America, and America dealt with it and is in the 21st century, while other pretentious nations never had minorities in the first place (in relation to America) and now they find themselves in positions we were in 50-100 years ago.

In America, a multiracial nation, a racial struggle was inevitable. I fail to understand why marxism is accountable for racism in Russia or China. The Japanese are also known to be supremacists for example.

Dumbteen wrote:Of course it can, plenty of post-colonial historians have pointed out how many Western theories of history, notably Hegelian, Marxist and Weberian theories, are hopelessly Eurocentric.

Given the fact that the European socio-economic system dominated the world, this is irrelevant. I do not expect Europeans, or anyone else for that matter, to be slightly interested in non-European, obsolete systems. (They still were however - hence cultural anthropology)

They presume, often explicitly, that progress is a distinctly European phenomenon.

Yes, but European "progress" (I disagree with this sort of progressive, evolutionary view of history) is what ultimately dominated the world.

For Marx, Asia is simply "without history".

..which has nothing to do with marxism. Marx considered blacks as mere animals - that also has nothing to do with marxism. (This was already discussed in this thread)

For Weber, it's a semi-mystical cultural notion that protestantism itself (entrenched cultural and moral superiority) is the primary cause of our material superiority.

You might not agree with this postulation but I fail too see any link to the topic in question.
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By Ombrageux
#799644
You know, I did make the effort of saying that only traditional Marxism is hopelessly racist in this sense. That Asia is without history is a eurocentric racist belief that dismisses the 3/4 of Eurasia that were for most of history, the most dynamic.

I discussed Hegel and Weber merely to try to illustrate the fact that racism is not only a characteristic of traditional Marxism, but a characteristic it shares with some liberal theories.

And all that was merely to attack the notion that somehow anti-racism and communism go hand in hand, they do not, at best, Marxism can be purged of it's racism.
By contracycle
#799688
Dumbteen wrote:
You know, I did make the effort of saying that only traditional Marxism is hopelessly racist in this sense. That Asia is without history is a eurocentric racist belief that dismisses the 3/4 of Eurasia that were for most of history, the most dynamic.


Dumbteen, some of what you say is reasonable and some of it is just silly.

All these people are creatures of their time and place. That is self-evident and obvious. Yes, Marx does exhibit some dubuious ideas.

But its grossly wrong to say that MarxISM is racist - it is specifcially anti-racist. It is in fact a triumph of rationalism and the dialectic that a thesis can be advanced in this context which completely rejects rtacist determinism, and errs mainly in omission.
By Rajin Cajun
#799753
Most people forget that Marxism is ever evolving it was not a method created to just sit and stagnate. Just because Marx said it doesn't mean its applicable to today.
By Einherjar
#800378
Dumbteen:

You know, I did make the effort of saying that only traditional Marxism is hopelessly racist in this sense.

I'm sorry but I'm not aware of this traditional, as opposed to modern (?), marxism. If you refer to the new left neo-marxists, they do not agree with fundamental theories of Marx (such as economic determinism) to the point that I do not even consider them marxist (certainly dialectical materialism, to which they disagree, is the basis of marxism). I believe that marxists here strongly oppose neo-marxists - I will open a new thread.

Again, Marx's opinions on other cultures or races are as irrelevant to marxist theories just as my opinions on football or music are irrelevant to my political ideology.

And all that was merely to attack the notion that somehow anti-racism and communism go hand in hand

Anti-racism and marxism go hand in hand, yes, as the intrinsic characteristics of the individual (such as race) are reduced to triviliaty.
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By Ombrageux
#800688
Einherjar wrote:I'm sorry but I'm not aware of this traditional, as opposed to modern (?), marxism. If you refer to the new left neo-marxists, they do not agree with fundamental theories of Marx (such as economic determinism) to the point that I do not even consider them marxist (certainly dialectical materialism, to which they disagree, is the basis of marxism). I believe that marxists here strongly oppose neo-marxists - I will open a new thread.

Marxism has gone under considerable evolution, including adopting the notion that none-European societies are capable of progress, its not heresy.

VS

RajinCajun wrote:Most people forget that Marxism is ever evolving it was not a method created to just sit and stagnate. Just because Marx said it doesn't mean its applicable to today.

I concur completely.
By Sans Salvador
#800713
Eihrenjar- what do you mean by Neo-Marxists?

That term has a few meanings. Sometimes it is used to refer to post-modernist and idealist pseudo-Marxists who come in two types: fashionable idealist academics who call themselves Marxists because they dislike capitalist and have a vague idea of the class struggle, and those who understand Marxism and explicitly try to deal with the contradiction between Marxism and their post-modernism, such as those associated with the Journal Rethinking Marxism.

Also, it is in this context sometimes applied to the analytical "marxists" (G.A. Cohen, John Roemer, and Jon Elster most prominently) use methodological individualist and non-dialectical methodology to reach some Marxist conclusions (including in Cohen's case a defense of historical materialism).

However, there is another more specific meaning of Neo-Marxist, and these folks are certainly Marxists. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Marxists (Gunder-Frank, Amin, Emmanuel, Wallerstein) who devloped various theories of the relations of the core (basically the industrialized west) to the periphery (the capitalist third world) are called neo-Marxist. Thoroughly marxist ideas like the Dependency school, World Systems theory, the Monthly Review school, etc... are considered Neo-MArxist by this definition.
By Einherjar
#800780
I particularly referred to those (influenced by French structuralism) who reject dialectic materialism for diaelectic idealism as advocated by the younger Marx. - These I guess:
However, there is another more specific meaning of Neo-Marxist, and these folks are certainly Marxists. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Marxists (Gunder-Frank, Amin, Emmanuel, Wallerstein) who devloped various theories of the relations of the core (basically the industrialized west) to the periphery (the capitalist third world) are called neo-Marxist. Thoroughly marxist ideas like the Dependency school, World Systems theory, the Monthly Review school, etc... are considered Neo-MArxist by this definition.


That term has a few meanings. Sometimes it is used to refer to post-modernist and idealist pseudo-Marxists who come in two types: fashionable idealist academics who call themselves Marxists because they dislike capitalist and have a vague idea of the class struggle, and those who understand Marxism and explicitly try to deal with the contradiction between Marxism and their post-modernism, such as those associated with the Journal Rethinking Marxism.

Heh..I, although a non-marxist, respect some of Marx's theories but these post-modern liberal, moralist "marxists" which constitute the new left - I just cannot stand them.
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