A One-Way Conversation About Black People, By Gao Xiaosong
YouTube video after jump
By Jim Fields
Below is a truly eye-opening video that neatly summarizes almost every conversation I’ve had with Beijingers about African-Americans (or people with dark skin in general). I enjoy the fact that simply by having an online show called Xiao Shuo (晓说) – and spending a bit of time abroad — this guy has become an authority on all things African American. Though I’ve seen the host’s face on billboards all over Beijing, I hadn’t actually watched the show until recently – a quick Baidu search revealed that the host is in fact the well known drunk driver Gao Xiaosong. The show impressively manages to trot out almost every stereotype about black people in one episode: as it turns out, they are good athletes, good singers, and surprisingly ineffective thieves. As an aside, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the host fans himself with a large paper fan during the entire episode, in some ways resembling a corpulent, Chinese version of a plantation owner enjoying a mint julep while overlooking his estate.
Other bits I enjoyed:
- His comment about how most American TV programs feature both a token white host and a token black host (04:14).
- His joke about Chinese immigrants in the US: “Chinese immigrants in the US hate two kinds of people… one kind is people who discriminate against the Chinese… the other kind is people who are black.”
- His story about being mugged at gunpoint by a black person at 05:14 (they stole his Nokia n95!)… Mr. Gao then goes on to teach us that when you’re mugged by a black person, the mugger generally expects you to provide 50+ dollars cash.
- When he talks about meeting Kobe Bryant at 08:38 (as a rule, any conversation about blacks in China has to include at least a passing reference to Kobe Bryant).
- 09:29: Insightful comment about the overwhelming number high-profile blacks in entertainment and sports.
- 10:26: “Almost every single popular entertainer and athlete in the US is a black person.”
- 14:44: The conspicuous absence of black people in water sports – even diving (but they’re such good jumpers!).
- 15:41: Where he talks about his childhood, when he was “still a little bit racist.”
- 16:44: Cartoon in which a white female cartoon character says she wants to tan until she becomes black so she can then win an Olympic medal.
- 17:00: Cartoon in which it is shown that black people are more like air conditioners than lighter-skinned people.
- 17:57: Explaining the few sports where the Chinese can out-perform blacks (and why!).
- 18:30: Where the black dominance of the popular music industry is discussed.
- 20:05: Where we learn that heavy metal is the most racist type of American music.
Interestingly, the host
himself is a member of the Hua minority in China says that he himself was a “minority” while in America. One might think he would know better!
(Ed’s note: And the best part, in my humble opinion: the illustration on how to fire a gun in America to protect yourself against muggers with guns. It’s at the end of the first third of the episode. Enjoy! )
Follow Jim @jimfields.
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