Tired of Ignorance

Name: King Vert

Nationality: American

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.

名字:King Vert

國籍:美籍

憧憬:他要當台灣的《催化劑》,讓台灣變成一個全社會都能興盛的地方。King是相信,如果我們能剷除種族歧視,不管人有甚麼背景,都會很開心地當這個繽紛國家的一份子。像其他受害者一樣,King平常碰到的無知是令他吃驚。但他一定不要放棄。我們都不要。為甚麼呢?因為我們全心認為台灣是一個令人振奮的國家。如果我們能清除種族歧視,台灣真會變成世界上最好住的地方之一。

 

因為我希望有朝一日(更快是更好)臺灣的現況會變好,我也聽說過中國有一樣的問題,所以我寫這篇文章。我是住在臺灣5年的男性黑人,從我和我認識人的經驗來看,我知道臺灣有太多黑男人與黑女人差不多每天受到冷淡的對待,而且他們不反對,他們就接受這種的對待。如果他們不接受的話,這個對待會讓他們生氣,他們就會笑決定算了或跟朋友們說,[臺灣人就是這樣]。他們受到冷淡對待後,就會繼續做生活的日常事。上述情況的問題是這三個方法不會解決問題或改善狀況,因此冷淡的對待會繼續再三發生。每個住在臺灣的外國人知道臺灣人喜歡白人比別的種族多,可是沒有人要為改善情況做任何的事,而且沒有人會說,[種族歧視是不好的,各種族是平等的,所以每個種族應該受到同樣的對待]。有可能人們害怕說上述的話或他們不知道怎麼表達。

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.

我要公開說我喜歡這裡,而且我在考慮要不要繼續住在臺灣比較久。我認識不少很友善的臺灣人與他們對我跟他們對別人是一樣的。所以我可以放心與我也可以確定很多臺灣人沒有種族歧視這種的偏見。

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.

雖然我在上面的段落誇獎臺灣,可是我也要說明我希望會改變和我不喜歡的臺灣現象。非白人的外國人應徵工作的時候常會遇到種族歧視。他們用電子郵件或電話來應徵工作,他們面試之前,好像他們一定會被錄取,可是雇主看到應徵者的膚色不是白色之後,故事會突然轉折,雇主會告訴應徵者會打他們的電話,可是之後都沒有消息。如果非白人應徵者用電子郵件來跟雇主連絡,雇主會要求應徵者提供個人照片(這個照片要求是正常的),雇主一收到照片發現應徵者的膚色,雇主會馬上決定不要僱用應徵者。看到照片之後僱主不會跟應徵者聯絡,以免通知應徵者,[對不起,因為你是黑人,學校不要雇用你]。

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.

外國人是什麼意思?我覺得外國人的意思是在國外出生,可是好像在這裡我的看法是不對。臺灣人遇到一個說英文說得很流利與長得像亞洲人的人,臺灣人會說,他是美國ABC(華裔),可是並不是外國人。反過來說,臺灣人遇到黑人的時候,他們會說,[你看!黑人]或因為要避免外國人聽得懂,所以用臺語說,噢郎。每個黑人都非常討厭被叫噢郎,因為噢郎是非常不禮貌。臺灣人叫菲律賓人菲律賓人,日本人是日本人,韓國人是韓國人,等等,可是他們遇到白人他們會說,[你看!外國人]。

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”.

為什麼臺灣人盯著外國人?我覺得盯著別人是不禮貌的,而且不要盯著別人是每個人都應該知道的常識,可是臺灣人真的不知道這是不禮貌的嗎?我可以理解他們很少看到黑人或這次是他們的第一次看到黑人,可是我還覺得他們盯著黑人看的樣子非常不禮貌。有時候父母讓我生氣,因為他們的孩子沒注意到黑人在附近,竟然是父母指著黑人告訴孩子在他們的附近有黑人。我可以接受小孩的瞠目和他們會指黑人,可是我如何解釋父母的行為?人們怎麼可以對黑人問,為什麼你是黑人?黑人怎麼能回答這種離譜的問題?人們怎麼覺得這種問題是可以問的而且並不離譜的?人們怎麼不知道這個世界有黑人?有一次一個計程車司機告訴我他不知道這個世界有長得像我這樣的人。我有更多沒有說的遇到無知臺灣人的故事,可是我已經厭倦而不想繼續寫了。

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.

我有幾個朋之所以離開了臺灣,是因為他們沒辦法再接受上述的種族歧視,可是我不會跟著他們走。我覺得人看到不好的事,他們應該反應,而且不做任何的事是不好的。如果人就回自己國家與對他們國家的人說,[如果你不是白人的話,你不要去臺灣],做這樣是不對,因為不會改善狀況。臺灣是又棒又美妙的地方,而且有朝一日我們會完全消滅臺灣的種族歧視,那天,臺灣將會比大多數的亞洲國家適合居住,也大概是全世界最適合的。

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.

我寫這篇文章的目標是公開大部分人知道卻不敢說出口的事。

My purpose here is just to say out loud what most people know but don’t really want to say….

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One thought on “Tired of Ignorance

  1. You know I realized that many countries in the world are not multi-race societies. I’m so used to living in the UK and travelling in Western European countries that when I went to East Europe I found it weird that people looked at me in a different way. Of course I look different. I am a Han Chinese. If they haven’t seen that many Chinese on the street, in the office, in the supermarket… doing the same thing they’re doing, of course they’ll find it strange. There probably are only very few places in the world where it’s common to see different races every day. But I think it’s getting better here in Taiwan. At least on Taipei MRT people don’t stare at non-Asians any more.

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