Analysis | Looking inward: Racism in Taiwan

The perception that Taiwanese people have of the U.S. or America is unnecessarily flawless and paradisiac

Taiwan honor guards perform during a change of duty ceremony at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Taiwan paints a mirage of a tranquil and tolerant society but looks a little harder and the deeply rooted prejudice becomes clearer.

Although discrimination here is not as blatant or violent compared to the U.S. The Black Lives Matter’s solidarity rally held on June 13 granted the perfect opening to revisit pre-existing racial issues.

The UK is a brazen example of this inner reflection of marginalization amid protests. Participants recently destroyed a statue of Edward Colston, a local slave trader, which had stood since 1895 in Bristol.

If Taiwan consolidates its history, then the former authoritarian leader must be scrutinized. Discussions of repurposing the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall have been held.

The project could propose removing the massive bronze statue of the dictator altogether. Despite being a prime tourist hotspot, the Memorial Hall relays a strong message about Taiwan’s identity.

Distancing and cutting ties from their past would allow the island to further establish its status and uniqueness.

Taiwanese people evaluate other cultures based on prejudices and notions that have become standards in their own culture. It is quite reasonable for there to be hesitancy and unfamiliarity with foreigners.

Yet, we live in an era of rapid globalization and immigration, there is a low tolerance, if none, for this orthodox manner of thinking.

Black people do live in Taiwan, albeit in small numbers. There have been unacceptable and criticized circumstances affecting them.

This further emphasizes the need for difficult but crucial conversations involving both locals and foreigners. The issue at hand is changing their way of thinking.

White supremacy runs far and deep in the world due to historical events and discoveries. The residue of European colonialism has rotted the mindset of people all over the world.

Biases against black or dark-skinned people, such as Taiwan indigenous people, remain preserved and growing owed to our past.

The perception that Taiwanese people have of the U.S. or America is unnecessarily flawless and paradisiac. The U.S. and its democracy are idolized and viewed as superior.

According to Sueann Shiah, a film director, in the eyes of local Taiwanese citizens, America and white people are the same. The stereotype of an unbroken America needs to be discarded. It’s clearer now than ever before, how fractured and conservative their society can be.

But it doesn’t end with black people, migrant workers from South-East Asian countries suffer from bigotry as well. Countless incidents involving unequal wages, inhumane treatment, and awful working conditions have emerged.

These people are exploited because they come from less developed nations. Managers refuse to hire dark-skinned individuals for English teaching jobs, neglecting actual talent or expertise. On public transport, there is palpable hesitation towards sitting near dark-skinned foreigners or migrant workers.

Equality and fair treatment is a utopian and long term end goal. People need to be chided for their doctrinal actions that have aided and abetted a toxic and racist environment.

This is the only way to propel toward a distant goal even when this movement is replaced by something else in the headlines.

The human race has come far from their savage and uncivilized roots, what was once merely tolerated won’t be for much longer.