Monday, March 9, 2015

Racism Is Alive And Well Here In Hong Kong.


Call me naive, but when we moved here half a year ago, I never thought we would encounter racism on such an extreme level as we do here in Hong Kong. We moved from the south of the United States, from a small southern town. It's not politically correct to be racist today in the south, but there is still that stereotype that holds some truth. I've heard my husband's maternal relatives saying some pretty racist things {they do live in Alabama, after all}. We've always tried to shield our children from such horrific prejudices and avoid them thinking such negative judgmental thoughts.

Then we moved here to Hong Kong where my daughter had another child in her class tell her that white skin was best. It opened my five year old daughter's eyes up to a whole new level of judging people based on their outward appearances. Subsequently, we've had to have many serious conversations with her that we do not judge people based on their skin color, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation.  {Thankfully this little girl is no longer at the school thus removing her negative influence on my daughter's life.}

I'm writing this post because as a woman that looks like a Filipino, I have noticed I get treated completely different if I'm dressed up or if I go to the grocery store wearing no make-up and in shorts and a t-shirt. 

Today I did a quick run to our local grocery store. I was in shorts and a t-shirt wearing running shoes. My hair was pulled up in a bun since I had just had a shower and did not feel like straightening it. No make-up was on my face because... well... sometimes I just can't be bothered to put any on. 

Wow did I get treated differently. I had other ladies rudely bumping into me with their shopping carts. I had ladies refusing to move their cart for me when I politely said "excuse me". I had more ladies bumping into me and refusing to move. This went on for every grocery aisle that I walked down. It was unbelievable. 

Then I got back to my apartment building. Same thing happened to me from a lady living on floor 18. As I struggled to open the door of the apartment building, she just swooped inside without offering to help or even acknowledging my existence. As we both walked into the elevator, she stood firmly planted in the center of the lift, so that I ended up not having room. 

I got home and as my husband was helping me unload my groceries, we talked about the difference in treatment I receive. 

Why am I treated this way when I have no make-up on and I'm not dressed up? Because people think I'm a maid. And if I get this kind of treatment, I know the women who really are maids experience this all the time. There is so much discrimination and racism here, it's saddening. I know I fail many times, but my desire is to always show love.

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves" {Romans 12:9-10)

3 comments:

  1. Wow, so sad. I will pray for you to know how to handle things!

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  2. :( Just wondering: what if the maids started wearing make-up?

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  3. It's the nature of pride that is part of all human beings that does not allow oneself to love equally. Something does need to be done about the injustice's of the treatment to the maids. It is a modern day form of slavery. There has been a case recently about the mistreatment of an Indonesian maid from her employee. The more light we shed on the issue, the more the world will come to know of the mistreatment to this women on a daily basis.

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