A companion piece from the NYT that ran on the 18th:
Eva Chou <email@example.com>
Regarding the recent article from The Diplomat, I’m not sure the author is giving a fair hearing to the honest critique from Chinese people attending her seminar. She references “Patrick Henry, the First Amendment and ‘Je suis Charlie Hebdo'” but immediately cries “Chinese censorship” at a delicately handled critique.
If Ms. Girard thinks that discrimination against Chinese and Asians or Asian Americans is a thing of the past, she isn’t living in the same reality as many of the rest of us. Hate crimes, racial slurs, job and social discrimination are on the rise. and quite frankly never stopped. If she thinks that discrimination is something from long ago she is definitely not “seeing the world through Chinese eyes.”
To include a blanket statement that the “concept of law is weak in China” is over simplified at best. China is a huge country that values the harmony of the community over individuals. That is a difficult job in such a diverse population. Think of it from the Chinese point of view — how is the United States doing right now?
Her Chinese audience members could have brought up objections in a very public way which would have caused conflict and discomfort within the group. Instead they chose to delicately channel their opinions through a third party. I would recommend that the author take their objections seriously and consider whether she may be presenting her own biases.