Immigration, Assimilation, Ethnicity and All That Jazz

South Africa Reclassifies Chinese as “Black”

Posted by chinesecanuck on June 19, 2008

From the Wall Street Journal.

WTF?  Too lazy to create a new category called East Asian?  I don’t think it’s fair to black people of South Africa to classify immigrants from ANOTHER CONTINENT as black, do you?  It’s almost the same as classifying any non-white person as Aboriginal.




One Response to “South Africa Reclassifies Chinese as “Black””

  1. Daniel said

    I was confused when I heard that too, but I think the how people in South African society classify people in groups does differ a bit with North America and Europe in some cases. (Take France for example).
    I only met one South African college student (this was about 4 years ago) who talked about the 4 main groups of Black, White, Colored and Indian. The situation with Chinese or other East Asians is a bit complex. Depending on the time period of when the Chinese immigrants arrived there, and from where, there status would differ greatly from being “similar to whites” to “similar to blacks”.
    It’s sort of going to be a bit hard to understand without looking at their history and societal trends. I forgot which one of my international friends told me that there were some “white” South Africans who do not considered themselves to be part of the “European/Western” catergory of people and viewed themselves as a different, seperate ethnic group all together.

    I noticed that even though there are some similarities to other people’s beliefs, it may not be useful to use all our “North American concepts” in understanding others.

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