Lazy, stupid, greedy.
Promiscuous, disease-ridden, corrupt.
Dishonest, lustful and irresponsible.
One of the latest racist article to appear on WeChat this summer gained tens of thousands of views and likes before a targeted campaign led by members of China’s African diaspora eventually led to its removal.
The article, entitled ‘中国人在非洲谈黑人：黑人是上帝赐给人类的毒物 (A Chinese person in Africa speaks on Black people: Black people are god’s poison given to mankind) starts with a qualifying statement by its purported author, a Chinese national who has apparently either lived in or visited Congo (Brazzaville), Cameroon, Nigeria and Zambia.
‘Before going abroad (presumably to Africa), due to my education I always felt that Black people are good’, the author states, before going on to reveal how his lived experiences proved the opposite to be true. What follows are countless assertions about Black people – statements that some fear will now have been accepted as fact by many of the Chinese readers who have followed, shared and liked the lengthy piece.
‘I’ve never come across a trustworthy and honest Black person’
‘Black women are easily seduced’
‘Black men are the laziest men in the world’
‘Black countries are extremely corrupt.’
The article ended with a cautionary warning – and justification for his assertions, reminding everyone that his words are based on ‘real life experience’:
‘I’ve written down all that I’ve seen and heard in Black African countries to share with you all and let you know what Black people are truly like’
‘When I saw it I knew I just had to report it’, says Mohamad a Guinean national based in Shenzhen. It was sent to me by a friend and then I took the time to translate it on google – into French and English. I shared a PDF of it in groups and people started to react.’
‘Once I shared it, people were saying how bad it was…Maybe we can call it defamation. What he was writing was intended to make us all look bad…and not just us but our culture too’
Several people reported trying to leave comments to express their disdain for the article, but their comments never appeared, suggesting they’d not been approved. Coincidentally tens of comments agreeing with the article were approved: ‘in the comments, they were saying things that are even worse.’
‘It felt like Guangzhou all over again …you know that’s how it starts…with the social media’, Mohamad explains.
And then [the commenters] started to ask questions about why the government weren’t removing Africans from the country, why were they allowing Africans to come to China…it was really ugly’.
At the bottom of the article the supposed author left a WeChat ID with a message – get in touch! ‘We wanted to find out if he was really in Africa so a few of us added him on WeChat. We figured if we knew where he was, we could report him to some local authorities.’
They sent countless messages his way, but oddly, though the account accepted their requests, it never responded.
‘So we thought we’d report it to WeChat instead’, says Mohamad
Not everyone in the community agreed. ‘If we report it, how many other of these articles will pop up…when will it stop?’ some said. ‘Nothing will happen anyway’, others argued
Within four days, those who’d reported the article received a notification that the article had been removed.
Before long, another article, this time remixing Pan Qinglin’s 2017 ‘Anti-Africans in Guangzhou’ bill proposal surfaced, making a case for the return of the bill.
Pan Qinglin is a delegate of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Living some 2000 kilometres away from Guangzhou in Tianjin, he gained infamy amongst many, (and fame amongst others), for his 2017 bill to ‘tighten policy of African immigrants’:
“近年，来自非洲许多国家的黑人纷纷涌向广东省，聚集广州市，据各方面大概统计已达 50 万「黑人口」。除合法入境者约 2 万以外，其余为非法入境或过期居留，其中男性占九成，且以每年 30%—40%速度增长。他们往往夜间出没街头、夜总会、偏僻地区。贩毒、骚扰女性、打架滋事严重扰乱广州市治安。非洲是全球艾滋病、埃博拉病毒最猖獗的地区，非洲有些国家年轻人中艾滋病携带率高达 40%以上!而来华的所有的黑人入境时没有申报健康证明，成为巨大隐患。!
到目前为止，中国大陆的非洲黑人非法移民已达 70万，若不采取法律法规严加控制，粗算预计到 2030 年可能达到 1500 万人，而 25 岁以下年轻人中黑人或黑黄混血人的比例可能将高达四分之一左右。中国将从民族国家变成移民国家，从黄种人基因国家变黑黄混血人国家。
The main body of the article is brief, closing with a familiar cautionary warning ‘If we don’t adopt this law, China will turn from a ‘nation-state to an immigrant country, from a county of Yellow DNA to mixed Black and yellow DNA.
Then, at the bottom a poll is linked, asking readers to vote – should such a bill be passed?
At the time of writing this artice, 96% of respondents answer resoundingly ‘Yes’.
Only 2 % of voters answered no. ‘We must learn from the example of America’, one commenter wrote.
‘China really isn’t this golden land that Africans feel so quick to settle in’, said a Nigerian man who asked to remain anonymous. ‘We come here to make money, or get an education and go…in fact if anything the life in China makes us appreciate home much much more. I don’t know where they get this idea that we plan to take over their country or something’, he continued.
Naturally, this anti-African sentiment isn’t echoed by all Chinese people, but it is contributing to a growing sense of insecurity amongst many in the community.
‘Try and be safe and vigilant wherever you are. You’re not that much loved here’, wrote one user to a 500-member WeChat group for Africans in China.