Word of the Week: The New Five Black Categories

Editor’s Note: The Word of the Week comes from China Digital Space’s Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and frequently encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around censorship and political correctness.  If you are interested in participating in this project by submitting and/or translating terms, please contact the CDT editors at CDT [at] chinadigitaltimes [dot] net. 新黑五类 (xīn hēi wǔ lèi): the new five black categories
The new five black categories depicted as the 2008 Beijing Olympics mascots.
During the Cultural Revolution, the five black categories referred to five political identities: landlords, rich farmers, anti-revolutionaries, bad-influencers and right-wingers. On July 31, 2012, a People’s Daily overseas edition editorial simultaneously called for internal reform and warned against U.S. efforts to undermine China from the grassroots. Netizens latched on to this passage in particular: With ‘Internet freedom’ as its slogan, they [the Americans] will attack ‘top down’ governance in order to push forward the traditional model of liberal democracy; through the use of ‘rights lawyers,’ underground religion, dissidents, internet leaders and disadvantaged social groups as the core forces, they will push for a ‘bottom-up’ approach to Chinese governance from the grassroots to lay a foundation for changing China. 以“网络自由”为旗号,改变“自上而下”推进民主自由的传统模式,以维权律师、地下宗教、异见人士、网络领袖、弱势群体为核心,以期通过“自下而上”的方式渗透中国基层,为中国的“改变”创造条件。 Activists immediately picked up the five groups listed in the People’s Daily article and named them “the new five black categories.” ...
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