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Pet Sins December 2001

Are Asian women more likely to back the white establishment than Asian men?

I subscribe to a Chinese internet community and recently there was an event that split the community in 2 - the men vs. the women. The long story could be summed up as

  1. A Chinese immigrant man who spoke no English took care of his children at home while his wife worked outside the home. His 8-year-old daughter had a urinary tract infection and he applied medication on the infected part.
  2. Her school teacher asked students if anyone had touched their privates. When the girl said, yes, her dad did, the teacher called Child Protective Services.
  3. When CPS came to take the children away, the man refused to let them. Not understanding English, he could not comprehend their demands.
  4. CPS called the police, whom the man allegedly threatened with a gun. The man was shot dead by police.
  5. His wife was then charged with abetting child molestation and her children were removed from her. Her court date was allegedly delayed beyond the legal limit of time. Charges against her were later dismissed.

You can check out the story yourself on http://cao.swifte.net and decide for yourself what's right or wrong. What I want to bring to attention is not who to blame, but the reaction of fellow Chinese. The men all blamed the police. They said, This is just like another Diallo incident, with police overreacting and killing innocent civilians. The women, on the other hand, were adamant that the police did no wrong, putting the blame squarely on the father of the family, blaming his "irrationality" and claiming that if he did truly care about his family he would not react "emotionally".

I took the middle road and said that the man in this situation wasn't like Diallo, who was unarmed. The Chinese man was allegedly waving a gun at police. But assuming he was rightly killed by police, the charges against his wife and the apparently deliberate delay in giving her a fair hearing and returning her children to her were unjust. I also said that CPS has broken up disproportionate numbers of families of color, compared to white families. The women scolded me, saying that they don't care for the policies of the state and the foster care system, and that the only thing that mattered was the dead man's stupidity. I was shocked - shocked that they refuse to entertain the possibility of any wrongdoing on the part of the state. I did not even claim the state was wrong. I just said it had a history of judging non-white families by a harsher standard. But that was too much even for these women to handle. They only wanted to blame the Chinese man and no one else.

Chinese professional

Comment from 'African American professional'
The story above doesn't surprise me. Men of color generally feel more strongly about police brutality than women of color because the men are more often victims of it. Black men and black women sometimes differ intensely on their responses to police brutality. Even in the Diallo case, there were black women who were more sympathetic to the police.

There are some black women who are quick to line up behind the establishment without questioning whether the white-controlled establishment could be doing wrong. I agree with the Chinese contributor that CPS breaks up far more families of color than white families, compared against their ratio in the population. Children of color are over-represented in state custody. I think the police often handle sensitive matters in a confrontational manner which aggravates the situation. In this specific case in which there was a non-English-speaking party, they should have backed off and brought in an interpreter instead of rushing to end the stand off. The fact is, men of color are killed by police in disproportionate numbers compared to white men.