Though Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer-winning columnist for The Washington Post, is a serious and highly sophisticated man, I was disappointed by a recent column in which he compared the United States and China.
In eloquent terms, Robinson asserted that the Chinese, right now, look more unsentimentally at their problems and are not bluffing the world about taking them on, no matter how large, intimidating and deeply dug in by custom they might be.
Robinson suggests the Chinese seem to be addressing their most important natural resource, which is their population, as we are not — as proven by the depressingly shallow nature of American political arguments.
Fair enough, as far as it goes.
But Robinson does not mention something about China — something that an honest assessment of its strengths and weaknesses should not ignore.
For at least 20 years, I have heard stories from Americans who speak Mandarin, have traveled to the Asian country and have tales about Chinese bigotry against black Americans and Africans.
Yet this reality is barely whispered in our diverse media circus.
I have no doubt there are thousands upon thousands of decent Chinese and Chinese-Americans who, having known the sting of prejudice themselves, harbor no ill will toward African-Americans. But let’s not deny a stubborn cultural problem when it is staring us in the face.
Here are examples of what I have been told.
One Irish-American friend fell in love with Chinese culture and learned Mandarin. Often in New York’s Chinatown, he heard this answer when Chinese New Yorkers were asked by those from the mainland what New York was like: “Fine. But too many black people.”
Read the rest of Crouch’s column at the New York Daily News.