Student - 23 januari 2014

Students accuse each other of racism

Nicolette Meerstadt

A post on the Facebook page ‘Wageningen Student Plaza’ sparked off a row between Dutch and Asian students.

Wageningen Student Plaza (WSP) is a group with more than 8000 members which is mainly used to sell stuff and make requests within the Wageningen student community. Student Dan Xu posted a message complaining that a package of his had been opened by someone at the Bornsesteeg. There were several responses in Chinese, after which a Dutch student posted a South Park clip about incomprehensible Chinese people. The word ‘racism’ was soon being bandied about and there were 350 comments.

Nonalaki Kudomo from Japan, who has been in Wageningen for six months, felt deeply offended by the film and the whole tone of the discussion. ‘When I see the comments mocking the Chinese accent, I think it is very disrespectful behaviour’, she emails. ‘In our culture, we never use jokes about a group of people and the comments had nothing to do about the topic in the first place.’ She responded with a few films about the Dutch (1 en 2).

Dutch student Hugo Hegeman does not take it all so seriously. He feels the discussion got totally out of hand. WSP is a group with members of many nationalities, so he feels it is a bit odd to start posting in Chinese. ‘Someone posted a funny South Park film to drop the hint that “I don’t understand a word” and this was seen as extremely racist by a tiny group of people.  You have to take sarcasm with a pinch of salt, and certainly must not take it personally, which is what happened here.’

Nonolaki does not agree at all. ‘I feel a strong intention of this "sarcasm”, which is discriminating. Well, I am not the only one. I received messages from some Dutch students to apologize about this and tell me to ignore what happened. I find it offensive they keep saying they are innocent and using Dutch humour as an excuse.’

Dan Xu, the student who posted the original message, does not understand how such a discussion could have blown up. ‘I felt very sad, upset, ungracious, and ashamed.’ He only wanted to warn others to be on the alert about their mail.

He is cross about the first video and he thought the tone of many comments was aggressive and sometimes even racist towards the Japanese, but then Nonolaki said a few nasty things about the Dutch too. Above all, he cannot understand why not a single Dutch student objected to the negative and insulting tone.

The message is still on Facebook but the row has blown over. Dan Xu only wants to remove his message when all those involved have offered an apology.

Re:acties 11

  • Wick

    I don't get how people still call this racism. A whole comedy scene is built around stereotypes and not only about asians, but about arabs, german, dutch or americans. I just wanna refer to a famous canadian comedian, Russell Peters. Check him out and his multicultural audience, where no one feels offended.
    PS: Why is there no word about the japanese girl freaking out, getting all personal and wanting to sue everybody who has a different oppinion than her?


Reacties 9

  • maria

    So let me ask you something. Is saying "miaw" or "ni hao" because if my eyes is something racist or just to make fun?

    So if I said "bule" or "bekantan" because of your nose. Is it racist or just to make fun?

    I am Indonesian chinese btw.

  • Johan Veldhuis

    I think both sides have to take lessons here:
    The chinese that they should not react oversensitive to this thing. Calling something racist is a very serious accusation and you should give it a really good thought before using these words. Also saying: "I will not remove the post on facebook till everyone has offered their excuse", clearly is an oversensitive reaction, which people will not take seriously. At the same time dutch people should understand chinese people are quickly offended and should pay some attention to the emotions. Not try to make things worse.

  • Johan Veldhuis

    I am surprised by the overly sensitive reactions, such as: "i will not remove the post until everyone has offered their apology". I mean, this shows no self-reflection at all. I mean is there no sense of humour, is not asked: am I reacting a bit oversensitive to this?

  • Peeeeet

    Annnnd another stage to bash.

    Dumb humor yes, but girl is bashing hem Guus top...

  • Oscart

    Why some people is surprised about the dutch racism? or even the european racism? the Japanese girl is right, but we must to deal with that.

  • Nagasaki

    The difference is they came to the Netherlands, so they should adapt. Not the other way around. If u dont its oke, but dont start crying then when people make a harmless comment about it and accept it, like the dutch do.

  • Jan Smit

    It's just a public discussion...

    The 2 people that are offended are really naive and made they were part of letting the ridiculous discussion continue all along.

    Dan Xu should have ended this post when he saw that it went wrong.
    Something with being a man and not a crybaby.

  • A$AP T

    Sarcastic Racism can, and is often, used as an excuse to avoid any consequences of the use of conventional racism because of sarcastic racism widely being considered self-derogatory. This may even lead to sympathy for the user. This usually fails, however, because everybody fucking knows the difference between insulting oneself and insulting another just as they can tell piss from shit unless they're a complete fucking downer.

  • batman

    "dus het is raar als mensen meteen overgaan op het Chinees", i can't say how many dutch posts are there every day. we also see other international students using their own language there. it's our own choice, should not be bothered.

    yeah, you think the video is funny, but it was very inappropriate on that post. and everybody deserves respect.