Opinion | Can BLM movement help Taiwan tackle racism?

Photo courtesy of CNA

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Condemnations of racism against the black community erupted in the U.S. hours after the footage of police killing an African American, George Floyd, was released.

Americans of all ethnic backgrounds took to the street against the repressing racist framework.

Citizens across the world in the United Kingdom, India and Ethiopia also took action against racism in their countries. Statues of slave owners were torn down, and high company officials suspected of racial discrimination have been dismissed.

The question is, how can Taiwanese people contribute to tackling racism? 

Recognition 

Recognizing our involvement in the racist framework is equally as important as tackling it.

Although Taiwan is less racially diverse, we are still contributing to racism in a number of ways. Immigrants from Southern Asian countries, for instance, are commonly associated with physical labor and lower-quality education while we hold admiration towards westerners.

Ask yourself, are these conceptions rational? Why do we think this way? Identify the sources of these ideas and clarify them with factual information. 

Conversation

Without first acknowledging Southern Asians as human beings with statuses equal of our own, it would be impossible to eliminate the racist framework in play.

Talk to the new immigrants in the store, greet them and try having a conversation with them. Be curious and ask them where they are from? Which city in the country? Your curiosity is a lot more welcoming to them than your indifference. 

Interruption 

Try interrupting racist comments that appear in your conversations with friends or family members.

They might make racist remarks without intending to be racist, but remind them that they are reinforcing racism when making those comments. 

Relationship-Building 

Recognizing our involvement in the racist framework is equally as important as tackling it. Try to befriend Southern Asians in your surroundings and take the necessary steps to make them feel welcomed.

Our indifference to new immigrants could be a deterrent from their willingness to integrate. The first step in tackling racism is to achieve cross-racial understanding, and that begins with filling the silence with conversations.