About Pet Sins Webzine
Skip navigation and go to main content
Pet Sins March 2000

Chinese student's assumptions on black-on-white rape

A Chinese student (from China) was telling me about a black rapist who struck on a neighboring campus. She exclaimed, "Black people are indeed terrifying!"

During my training as a rape awareness facilitator, I was told that many people assumed that most rapes were interracial and involved black men raping white women. In reality only 3% of rapes in the USA are interracial.

To test this idea I learnt from my training, I asked the Chinese student what the race of the rape victim was. She immediately replied emphatically, "OF COURSE it is a white girl"

I asked her if she actually knew it was a white girl. She admitted she had no idea at all. Then I informed her: statistically, the chances that the victim was black was 97%.

I am just amazed and chilled that American ideas on race and criminality have reached even individuals from the People's Republic of China, where most people do not interact with black and white Americans on a regular basis.

The Chinese student's instantaneous and unquestioning assumption on the race of the black man's victim hints at how deeply American biases may have become engraved in the consciousness of people in other countries. A scary thought.

Peer Rape Awareness Educator

Comment from ' Anonymous '
I met this Chinese kid. When he was asked if he had any thing against blacks, this Chinese kid said, 'No, unless they are doing something threatening.' Sounds fair enough, until you realize how commonly that 'unless...' clause is tacked onto any claim of neutrality towards African Americans. It is as if there is the assumption that blacks are by default threatening.

Comment from ' Anonymous '
A glbt email group had a discussion on discrimination. Analogies were raised between the kinds of bias endured by blacks and gays. A woman asks is it fair to be uncomfortable about encountering a group of black men? White guy says 'Of course I would be wary if a group of black men in a high crime neighborhood came up to me.' But no one at that point had said anything about high crime neighborhoods. He put it in there himself.