Zambian miners have killed a Chinese manager and injured a second by pushing a trolley into him, over a wage dispute on 4 August. The incident took place in southern Zambia, and is a result of significantly lower wages and far more safety risks in poor working conditions compared to other foreign-owned mines. In spite of efforts to improve in 2011, not much has changed, which is noted by Human Rights Watch in their 2011 report.
With China’s rise as a superpower in the world, one perspective shared by some of our comment posters here on 8Asians before hypothesizes that people’s perceptions of Asians will be better than they have been before in the Eurocentric world. Their reasoning: Asian faces and the rise of Asian America in tandem with China as a superpower will equal more respect for Asian Americans.
Whether this hypothesis is true or that there is an actual correlation is not important, but when incidents like this happen, however, it’s a good way to remember that even if people recognize power, that doesn’t necessarily lead to a better perception or impression. From the lessons of Machiavelli in his work The Prince, he says between love and fear, fear is what allows you to have power over people, for love is a choice which can change based on what they think of you, and fear stays regardless of whether they like you or not. Incidents like this are not uncommon, and the fear and loathing for China’s power doesn’t translate to respect and admiration.
Besides: respecting and admiring someone solely on the basis of race is, you know, a form of racism too. It’s not the kind of racism that leads to being killed by angry miners or assaulted in Detroit by disgruntled autoworkers, but it’s still racism.
[Photo courtesy of here]