Name: King Vert
Vision: To be a catalyst for change so that all aspects of society can flourish in Taiwan. King believes that if we can eradicate all discrimination, Taiwan will soar and people from all walks of life will be excited to be part of such a diverse land. Like many victims of discrimination in Taiwan, King is shocked by the complete ignorance that he has frequently encountered. But he won’t give up. None of us will give up. Why? Because we truly believe that Taiwan is an inspiring, exciting country. If we eliminate all cases of discrimination, Taiwan will truly be one of the best places to live in the world.
I am writing this here in hopes that in the future, hopefully the near future, things will change in Taiwan, and not just Taiwan but also in China from what I have heard. My perspective as a black guy here living in Taiwan for just a few months short of 5 years, I know and see that there are too many black men and women here in Taiwan that are treated so indifferently almost, if not, everyday while living here and they just accept it. If they don’t accept it then they will get angry about it, try to laugh it off, or discuss among friends that “that’s how Taiwanese are”, and then just continue to live their normal, everyday life here. However, the problem with this is that this approach does not change anything, which means it will keep happening over and over again. Every foreigner in Taiwan knows that the Taiwanese prefer white people over any other race, but no one will do anything about that, and no one will go to say, “Hey you are wrong. We are all equal and should be treated equally.” Maybe they are afraid or just don’t know how to.
I will go public in saying that I really like this place, and I am really considering staying for a while. I have met some really nice people who will see you and treat you the same way, so I am sure and am relieved to say that not every Taiwanese is the same.
However, with this said I will go and point out the things that I hope can be changed here. There are instances where a foreigner who is not white will apply for a job, maybe through email or phone, and it will be like he or she has already got the job until the employer actually sees that the person is not white and then it will be a different story. They will tell you that they will call you, but of course that is the last time you will hear from them. If you guys were communicating through emails back and forth, then they will ask for a photo. The minute you send your picture to them and they see your skin color, naturally that will be the way of email communication, they just won’t reply to just avoid saying sorry we can’t hire you because you are black.
What is the meaning of 外國人 (foreigner)? I thought it meant being an outsider not being born here, but it seems like I was wrong because when they see an Asian looking person and they seem to be speaking fluent English, then they say oh look they are American born Chinese ABC, they are not foreigners. When they see a black person they say oh look 黑人 (hei ren), or in Taiwanese pronunciation so we won’t know what they are saying (O lang), a black guy, which all blacks hate by the way. It’s extremely impolite and doesn’t mean foreigner. Filipinos, they call them Filipinos and so forth, but when it comes to a white person “oh look, foreigner”.
Why do they stare like that? Isn’t it common sense to know that it’s impolite to stare at people? I can understand sometimes they say that they don’t see a black guy so often, or at times it’s the first time to see someone black, but, even so, you don’t stare at people like that–it’s very rude. The parents anger me sometimes. Sometimes their kids didn’t even notice that there is a black guy close by, and they will be the first to point it out. I may accept the staring and the pointing from the little kids, but what should I say about the adults? How can you ask someone why are they black? How in heaven’s name can someone answer that question? More so, how in heaven’s name can someone ask that question and think it’s ok to ask this? How can people not know that there are black people in this world? A taxi driver once told me that he did not know this world has people that look like the way I do. There is so much more to write about the ignorance that I have encountered with Taiwanese, but I am tired of writing.
I had friends that left here and just because they cannot take it anymore…but I won’t follow them. I believe it’s bad when you don’t do anything. Like I’ve said, this approach changes nothing. They will go back and say to everyone, “Don’t go to Taiwan if you are not white.” This is wrong; it is truly a wonderful place here and the day we get rid of all discrimination from within this country, it will be one of the best places to live in Asia if not the entire world.
My purpose here is just to say out loud what most people know but don’t really want to say….