Are Chinese Stickers Parody or Racist Stereotype? – Todd writes a commentary for Huffington Post

Here is the Blog Entry I wrote for Huffington Post

Are Chinese Drivers Stickers Parody Or Racist Stereotype? – by Todd Wong

| Posted March 22, 2013 | 12:27 AM

“C” stickers which apparently stand for “Chinese Driver” have been spotted on Vancouver vehicles. They’re a close replica of the official signs issued by the Insurance Corporation of B.C. to designate novice drivers.

So is the “C’ sign a warning for others to be cautious of this driver? Is it a symbol of nationalist or ethnic pride, like when people put a country’s sticker or flag on their car bumper? Or is it simply a parody to poke fun at the racist stereotype of bad Asian drivers?

chinese driver sign

The blogosphere has featured intense debates of late. Many Caucasian commenters call the sticker racist and offensive, while many Asian commenters said they put the sticker on their car because of ethnic pride, and they thought it was funny.

Then I checked some more blog forums, and somebody wrote: “IF I SEE THIS SIGN IN SOMEONES WINDOW, A ROCK IS GOING THROUGH IT. THIS IS A WARNING.”

There were lots of non-Asians threatening to damage cars that were identified as having Chinese drivers, as well as making racist statements. I found more overtly racist signs advertised at a Sears website, stating “Caution Chinese Driver,” and another sign with slanted eyes and bucked teeth. Anti-Asian stereotypes were alive and well, more than a century after the 1907 race riots that attacked Vancouver Chinatown and Japantown.

But I wondered if new immigrant Chinese drivers had no idea of anti-Chinese racist history or stereotypes in B.C., and were being corrected by their politically correct and culturally sensitive non-Asian citizens?

The C stickers are available in car accessory stores in Richmond, Vancouver and Burnaby for $3.99 for plastic stickers or $8.99 for magnets. According to my Chinese friends, lots of Chinese people were putting them on their cars, and most of them were indeed immigrants, according to stories in the Chinese language media, and even blogs in China.

Technically, these C stickers are only “offensive” because people “think” they’re offensive.

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