” The racism I encounter in China is a sort of self-racism.
In short, Caucasians get preferential treatment in China.
I’m almost never on the receiving end of these perks, simply because I don’t was teaching their children English; then they’d start looking around as if they thought I’d simply hidden the regular white teacher in a nearby closet.
I once had a voice-over job offer rescinded because when the director saw me in person, she suddenly claimed my speech had a voice was exactly what she needed only a few minutes earlier. When I look in the mirror, I honestly do not see myself as Chinese (probably a psychological effect of growing up in a very Caucasian town and attending an even more Caucasian college).
My Caucasian friends in China constantly complain about being stared at, singled out, and overcharged; they wish they could blend in like I do. Maybe it’s just my ego speaking, but I’d prefer being put on a pedestal than being looked down upon. So to move to China and suddenly become other people — it’s soul-crushing.
On my first trip to Ireland, and by association Europe, I was incredibly disappointed to find that locals were constantly complimenting me on my English and then pressuring me to reveal my “real” country of origin.
I hoped things would be better in Paris, as it’s a much more diverse and cosmopolitan city. If in China I was treated unkindly for looking Asian when people wanted me to fulfill their white American stereotype, at least I would still gain a few points for having grown up in America and being fluent in English.
In Paris, I’m assumed to be Asian — and looked down upon simply for that fact.
I’ve had a lady come up to me on the subway, mutter “Chinois” at me sharply like it was a dirty word, then walk away.
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In China, I encounter a great deal of hostility because I don’t speak fluent Chinese.