China’s Black Pop Idol Exposes her Nation’s Racism

The Guardian reports on Lou Jing and racism in China:

The 20-year-old daughter of a Chinese mother and an African-American father who left the country before she was born, Lou was a highly unusual entrant to Shanghai-based Dragon TV’s Go Oriental Angel. Her appearances – she became one of five finalists – have provoked a storm of abuse on the internet, a rare debate on racism in the media, and a bout of self-examination in a country where skin colour is a notoriously sensitive subject.

Dragon TV initially had doubts about allowing Lou to perform, but then realised that her presence would do much to attract publicity for the show. But few executives can have expected the fury contained in many of the blogs and online posts that accompanied her performances. The internet is the only place in China where the public can express views with near-freedom – although they are rapidly cut off by an army of state censors if they stray into territory that attracts official disapproval. The huge online interest in Lou clearly does not fall into this category.

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