OH MY GOD – what the hell is this shit? A French band calls itself CHINESE MAN and thinks that is okay to be all white men using this name for their band? I am finding it almost impossible to work out how this is acceptable? This blew up after this band is due to play in Vancouver on March 31 at the Granville Street nightclub. Protests are planned to highlight the issue of why an all white ban using the name “Chinese Man” is extremely problematic. Jen Li (Twitter Handle “Velvet Thunder”) made a Twitter post on the signs she will use for the protest. She is the founder of the campaign #TakeDownJulienBlanc. Vancouver resident Karen Quinn Fung with Jen Li and others are planning this protest outside the venue the band will be playing at. Georgia Straight News continues this story:
“What they’re really doing, not just in the name, but also in their marketing materials and their merchandizing is they’re promoting lazy Orientalist tropes,”
According to Fung, it’s unclear why the band named itself as Chinese Man, but it’s evident that the concept was to use the “idea of an exoticized other”.
“What we’re saying is that using it this way is actually hurtful to real people who are trying to advocate for better living conditions, better working conditions, and to be treated as equals in our home,” she said. “So whether or not the band continues or doesn’t continue to use this name…we don’t have much of a say on this. But we do have a say on what happens in our backyard. And this is trafficking in stereotypes and tropes, and we don’t want to see that continue or go unchallenged.”
Fung said that the Vancouver protest is in solidarity and was inspired by a similar protest to be held in San Francisco, where Chinese Man is playing Wednesday (March 28).
Chinese Man is also performing in other North American cities with sizable Chinese populations like Toronto, Montreal, and Seattle.
“I might try to make a funny sign,” Fung said. “I think that humour, you know, the example of punching up as opposed to punching down, I’d like to set that example for the band to maybe understand why they’re punching down. But I actually am not very good at this. So whether I’ll have a sign, I don’t know yet.”
Fung believes raising the issue around Chinese Man is relevant.
“The City of Vancouver is both embarking on a creative music industry, but they’re also going to be formally apologizing to Chinese Canadians for their role in creating racist laws at the city level, starting April 2018. And this concert is literally the day before the month of planned activities relating to this apology,” Fung explained.
According to Fung, the protest is a chance to engage music fans about how the city can do better in booking bands.
“We can learn from this. We would like everybody to get a chance to learn from this. But we will also be having fun with it, because it’s more important to us that people understand why this hurtful than for us to be necessarily be angry about it,” Fung said.
Its scary that this band formed in 2004, and no one had issues with it? I would be interested to know how French Asians feel about this as they are also the ones who have been demeaned with these French white guys disrespectfully hijacking the culture. I am abhorred that this band thought it was okay to use this name which is a form of racism and “Orientalism”. Also for many who may not be aware, the term “China man” was a derogatory term used by racist white people when the first Chinese went to the West to find gold. I am unsure of how this term is viewed in Europe, but to me it is highly offensive and in all ways appropriating East Asian culture. I support the protesters and I wish I was there to be able to join in.
Images via Georgia Straight News
To read the original article, please click on: Protest planned against Vancouver gig of Chinese Man hip-hop band from France