Chinese anger at Lil Pump racism is justified, but China needs to look in the mirror
- Criticism is more effective when it is turned inside as well as outside, when it opens the doors to taking a look at residual attitudes towards other cultures
Everyone is lining up to criticise American rapper Lil Pump for racial slurs in the preview clip of his new single Butterfly Doors on Instagram, since deleted (“Rapper Lil Pump’s apology for racial slurs only fuels Chinese backlash”, December 28). Social media is truly a viral medium. It can also get very repetitive very fast.
The anger is justified. Any critique of ignorance is justified, especially if it opens the doors to self-knowledge and a new look at residual attitudes towards other cultures by dominant social groups. For example, I am sure Chinese rappers would criticise Chinese social media for the racist depictions of African people, including the use of children for advertising purposes.
I would myself like to know if any Chinese rappers have pointed their social critiques at the current Chinese administration’s criminalisation of entire ethnic groups, with the ongoing surveillance and incarcerations in Xinjiang (“Pakistani men wait for news of Uygur wives in Xinjiang”, December 17).
Criticism is more effective when it is turned inside as well as outside. The works of Chinese literary giant Lu Xun are an excellent example of internal critique.
Sean Macdonald, Amherst, NY