Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hong Kong and racism

The Washington Post reported that a survey examining economic freedom and racism ranked Hong Kong as number one of all other countries for racial intolerance based on questions including one that asked if they would mind a neighbor of a different race.

Aside from the usual caveats regarding truthfulness in surveys, I can think of other possible reasons for intolerance of others when packed together like sardines.  SB and I are distracted by our neighbor's cooking smells but I'm not sure that it makes us racist to wish that it wasn't so common for some cultures to fry fish and fermented food items.

On the other hand, we have seen some deplorable behaviors toward foreigners that can't be blamed on stress from overcrowding and over-saturation.  I just have a hard time imagining that the prejudice that I have experienced in Hong Kong is the worst in the world when I read about horrific crimes committed all over the world.

** Update: Hong Kong Paintings has informed me that the Washington Post made a correction, and that instead of 71.8 percent of HK residents reflecting racial intolerance, only 28.3 percent responded that way, making it neither the best nor the worst.

3 comments:

HKP said...

Don't know whether you heard, but the Washington Post posted a correction stating they had the Hong Kong data inverted.

architart said...

I read about several peer reviewers who were scrutinizing whether the criteria for the conclusions was fair but I did not hear that the data was inverted, which is a rather large oversight before publishing that Hong Kong is the most racist of the world.

I was wondering if I was being too defensive over the findings so the correction is a relief. It fits with my experiences, which are that there are racists in every culture of the world but Hong Kong okverall is a welcoming environment for foreigners.

HKP said...

Didn't seem right to me either. From what I've seen over the past 7 years, it's a remarkably tolerant city.