Monday, February 25, 2008

Racial discrimination at Paris's famous departmental store

By China Watcher

The allegations by the staff at the famous Galeries Lafayette in Paris that the Chinese couple had utilized fake note for purchases of goods and the subsequent unwarranted brutal treatment on the couple is clearly a sign of growing ethnic discrimination of Chinese tourists in Europe.

The store management had requested the police to intervene which resulted in the two newlyweds being dragged to the police station earlier this month. The French police claimed that the couple was taken to the station to verify the banknote, with an infrared scan due to the poor condition of the paper. No untoward incident happened at the station. What is not acceptable is that even after the note is determined to be real, the cashier continued to refuse it and insisted that it is a counterfeit. Do they not have any procedures to refer it to the higher authority? Or perhaps, the many immediate supervisors at the store also harbored such suspicions that a Chinese cannot afford to buy an expensive item from an upper class shopping establishment.

The Head of the Store had apologized for the incident but the damage and the repercussions have far reaching consequences. This incident confirmed the growing discriminations against Chinese nationals ranging from the transportation ride on the TGV to the purchases of first class tickets for an opera performance. China’s growing middle class, an attribute of the burgeoning Chinese economy, are traveling as tourists in bigger numbers this spring to Europe and US are now flaunting their new found wealth in the developed countries.

The Western media incessant reports over the past centuries of the Chinese as a race with poor social manners, selfish, practices money greed lifestyle and an uncultured society which do not respect universal human values only adds further to the inherent negative stereotyping by the mainly Caucasian white communities. Even present day acceptance of the blacks or colored persons into European societies is not complete and that there are still widespread discrimination against blacks. Black professional footballers were taunted with racist remarks when they played in Italy and Spain.

China had on Saturday 23 February 2008 warned its citizens against shopping at the leading Paris departmental store. Hong Kong Travel agencies may also follow similar action with their Chinese counterparts by taking out the departmental store from its itinerary.

I am a strong proponent that all races should co-exist together but let us honestly review this matter as it is and if the couple is white Caucasians the treatment would be very different. What do you think?

1 comment:

drlong said...

It's happening and very real even in this new millenium.

F1 driver Lewis Hamilton was jeered with racist remark when he was last testing in Spain for the 2008 season.

My wife was profiled at Paris Gard du Nord by British Immigration authority, just before embarkation on our return trip via Eurostar TGV back to London.

I am a practicising dermatologist in Malaysia and I do not deserve such screening just because I am an Asian of Chinese descent.
Bloody racist and bigot still abound!!!