A New Kind of Idol: Lou Jing

Lou Ching is an all-around normal and attractive 20-year-old girl from Shanghai who likes clothes, (presumably) boys, the mall and has big dreams of becoming a singing superstar. So big that in August she became a contestant on China’s Let’s Go! Oriental Angel, a televised talent contest much like our beloved American Idol. So what’s the big deal? Lou is Black.

To clarify, Lou Jing is biracial. The product of an extra-marital affair between her Chinese mother and an African-American man, naturally the circumstances surrounding her birth make for great TV, which the show’s producers have played up, and playing Lou in the process. A baby born out of an affair is hardly news in any country, but the simple fact that her mom slept with a Black man and Lou was born has made the girl the focus of a rapidly growing debate about what it means to really be Chinese. Lou’s birth and upbringing in China, and pretty much her life until now, has been disregarded by many simply due to the fact that she has Black blood in her veins, something that I suspect would be different if her father was White. Naturally, she and her mother have their fair share of haters, some just displaying outright racism and disrespect towards both of them, hidden by the cloak of the internet. Seen over at China Smack:

Lou Jing’s mother had a husband, then had an extramarital affair with a black man, then gave birth to Lou Jing, and then after her birth divorced.
And that black devil, after fucking ran back to his home in Africa.
It is unimaginable how that Shanghainese man [husband], excited and anxious to see his own “daughter”, must have felt when he saw that she was black…

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and while strolling through the comments, presumably made by Chinese readers:

There is nothing wrong with the daughter, but her mother is indeed a bitch/slut, married but still getting involved with a black person, probably for the great “love” too. Too bad the black man treated her as a toy. Chinese girls, please have a little more self-respect.

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Black people actually have a pretty high standing internationally, many famous fashion models and stars are all married to black people.
However in China, this kind of thing is a little embarrassing/shameful.

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I think this mother is still very great/admirable.
Willing to face her own mistakes, I ask how many TF here would dare to face [such mistakes].
A single mother able to bring up a daughter is already very difficult/impressive, much less one with a different skin color, the difficulties are imaginable.
Everyone has the ability to analyze what is right, what is wrong. Everyone think about it, don’t be so immature, opening your mouth to hurl abuse without thinking. Be a bit more understanding with other people.

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I think Lou Jing should not be condemned, she herself did nothing wrong, and if her father was an American white person, she probably would not be discriminated against. In the end, it is still racism.

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Black people’s tools/weapons are big! Her mother must have been very satisfied! Even having the audacity to go on television! Probably hoping that Africa can see [the television show], and [the father] will come to recognize his daughter, haha!

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I wonder, if Lou’s father was Chinese and had married an African American woman, would she and her mother be vilified in such a manner? It would be too easy, and too long (for this piece), to explore global perceptions of African and African American men and women, as well as double standards of male and female infidelity, so remind me to do that later.

Here in America, Lou probably wouldn’t so much as spark a flint of controversy, since bi-racial people are a part of our country’s DNA, but it seems that the outrage expressed over Lou in China brings to light the country’s awkward attitude toward it’s biracial population. And they are not alone, Japan just got around to making citizens of its estimated 20,000+ mixed-raced children, which is surprising given it’s post-WWII boom of biracial children. This is not to say that all biracial children in Asia are the victim of such attacks. Still, many suspect that children of Asian and non-Caucasian unions are often targeted more than their half-Caucasian counterparts, partially due to the fact that Caucasian standards of beauty are far more accepted in Asia, right down to the eyelids. Ironically, while Lou has been a catalyst in what seems to be an overdue debate, in America she would be seen as a Black girl, due to that wonderful “One Drop Rule” that dictated that anyone with African ancestry was black. But is that fair to her? Does that make Americans any better than the Chinese?

Seeing that American, unlike Asian, society is not homogeneous, even if some of us would like it to be, Lou Jing isn’t so newsworthy because of her skin tone, but more  because she is an example of what the world’s future holds, and to some it is a scary prospect. As people of all colors and cultures increasingly open themselves up to travel and international living, naturally we will have to be willing to accept children with dual ethnicities and cultural sensibilities, no matter where they are. With increased immigration into EU, Asia and South America, from the Middle East and Africa, it’s no longer as simple as Black and White…or Asian.

Through it all, don’t think Jing is going down without a fight, she posted a response for her critics:

I am DragonTV Angel Lou Jing, and here I make a statement!
1.    My father is American, not African.
2.    I am a born and bred Shanghainese person.
3.    I should not have to bear my parents’ mistake, I am innocent!
4.    Sternly but strongly protest some people’s racism, my skin color should not become a target of attack!
I reserve the right to take legal action!

Word to Lisa Wu.

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  • Dom

    Wow, this is interesting. I havent heard anything about this before, and I didnt know there was so much racism in China. I wonder what Wesley Snipes has to say about all this?

  • Angela

    This is probably just nitpicking, but last I checked, Africa and the Middle East were not “countries”.

  • http://www.parlourmagazine.com J. Baker

    @Angela – care to explain? Africa & The Middle East aren’t referred to as such.

    @Dom – crazy right? What IS Wesley doing?

  • Angie

    I think it is interesting how Chinese and Asian countries presumably hate blacks and Africans and yet their countries are in Africa, trying to “forge” business relations so that they too can STEAL our natural resources. Its interesting how lowly they think of blacks, yet all over Africa, their citizens are there doing business and filling the place with their CHEAP AND WORTHLESS merchandise- Antifreeze in toothpaste, Toxins in baby formula…and the list is endless. Hopefully we can read this and learn to stick together as blacks, regardless of where we hail from. Enough of the crabs in a barrel mentality, all other cultures/races stick together and support and promote each other, we should too.African, Afro-brazilian, Afro-american, Afro-european, Afro-caribbean etc-At the end of the day, when they look at us, all they see if black, so it really does not matter where we hail from originally!-Much love.

  • Charles Liu

    JB, I don’t think the one-sided racist remarkes are representative of the comments in Chinese blogs. I searched the girl’s name on Chinese search engine and found as many, if not more, sympathic voice against racism:

    “洪晃:我们凭什么歧视混血女孩娄婧” – “Hong Guan: what right do we have to discriminate against mixed blood girl Lou Jin”

    “娄婧没有错,对娄母也应多宽容” – “Lou Jing is blameless, her mother deserves understanding too”

    “看中国男人怎对娄婧母女发邪火” – “observing Chinese male-chovanism againt Lou mother-daughter”

    “娄婧的呼声感人肺腑” – “Lou Jing’s appeal [to find father] moved me to the core”

    “娄婧天使舞台证明自己和大家一样” – “Lou Jing’s stage presence proves she is the same as everyone”

    “并不是因为她有着奥斯卡影后上海“哈利贝瑞”的称号。而是娄婧切身的故事” – “not because she resembles Halle Barry, but because of her life story”

    “勿以肤色论英雄” – Shouldn’t judge by skin color

    ” “黑珍珠”娄婧证明自我” – “black pearl” Lou Jing proves self-worth

    “娄婧比模特儿更美” – Lou Jing is more beautiful than models

    “大家多谅解她吧” – people should cut her some slack

    “娄婧是个小天使,这与她的肤色无关” – Lou Jing is an angel, matters not what skin color

    “黑色只是普通的肤色” – Black is but a normal skin color

    “很佩服你的勇气” – I admire your [Lou Jing's] courage

    “自认为一番高论的鸟语,首先让我感到你真丢我们炎黄子孙的脸” – your [racist] self-righteous BS made me feel you’ve lost face for all Chinese

    “应该让我们所有的人值得同情” – they deserve all our sympathy

  • Hil

    Poor girl, what a horrific life to lead with such intolerance and discrimination. Lou is beautiful and should be judged on her worth as a human being and a modern day ambassoder for china. China should see her as a bridge between China and the rest of the world where mixed marriages and heritage is increasing and respected. Good Luck to her.

  • mike

    wow…………

  • Gaby

    Let them have the spirit of co-habitation like in Cameroon. Though they are even discrimunatory even out of china. They should learn to understand that blacks are a race of wisdom and a dime of gold. So expensive a joke they should stop, stop he discriminatory. They do no more a fatherland. If so a saturated one?

  • Tom

    From reading about her background, it appears a large part of this isn’t as much about race, as it is that Lou Jing is the product of a married Chinese woman who had an affair with a guy who then fled the country. The mother hid the truth through pregnancy, until it was blatantly obvious to the husband that it wasn’t his. If it really were about race, then why did Lou Jing admit that she never experienced feeling different or ostracized through by peers/society through her first 20 years of life?

    The spin and comments off of those linked US articles is ridiculous though. It’s unfortunately common for Western media to pick and choose facts or events, to fuel the self-serving and smug attitude we like to have when it comes to people/events outside our borders.

    One could EASILY make up an article about rampant American racism, xenophobia, prejudice, and discrimination and link to various Stormfront articles and comments as proof. You don’t really see this though, in East Asian newspapers, even though they could if they did what US media does.

  • Marc

    **********************************************
    THIS COMING FROM A COUNTRY THAT SUPPLIES US WITH ATNIFREEZE-TAINTED TOOTHPASTE, LEAD-FILLED TOYS FOR OUR CHILDREN, KILLER PET FOOD, AND SELLS BABY FORMULA WITH THE NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF CARDBOARD?? NAH, NOT THAT CHINA, RIGHT??!! LORD ONLY KNOWS WHERE THAT SO-CALLED “HUMAN-HAIR” THATS SOLD TO MANY OF OUR SISTERS COMES FROM…I’M JUST SAYIN’
    ****************************************************

  • musa

    Only in China! How do they expect to cultivate a culture of co-operation with Africa if this is how ignorant many in China are? I was in Kenya only the other day after a long spell overseas and was surprised at how many Chinese nationals we have in the country…all treated very well by the Africans of course! Wake up China, learn more about the world and its people before you ever dream of becoming a super power, assuming of course you will not get old before you get to the top of the world. And by the way, I am BLACK and living in a white country where I have not witnessed acts of racism against me in all my 20 years here!

  • A.J.

    Issues aside and ignorance aside (from both the racist Chinese and racist non-Chinese [read: American] people who are perpetuating racism by posting racist posts)… she is BEAUTIFUL. I know there are a few Chinese men who must be intrigued by her beauty. I know i’m not the only one who would be willing to put up my fists to defend her honor.

  • A.J.

    Also,

    Big ups to Charles Liu (earlier post) for showing the other side. If people start coming out and showing that the ignorant are really in the minority, and that we as human beings are able to reason through our differences, then the ignorant minority will continue to be marginalized.

  • LADY D

    LOU JING is a very courageous young lady and her mother is very brave. The chinese people need to wake up and smell the coffee,this is the 21st century.The world is getting smaller.They cannot remain a homogenous society if they want to be a super power.Along with trading goods, people are meeting people of different races, and one cannot dictate in matters of the heart.

  • F.A.

    I think some of the “racism” hype around Lou Jing has been a bit overblown. Jing insists that she was not aware of discrimination growing up. Moreover, although not coming from a privileged socioeconomic background, she appears to have been socially well-integrated as a child and even managed to gain admission to university in a country where university seats are much harder to come by than in the US – apparently completely on her own devices.

    According to her own statements, the racist attacks on her person started on populist Internet celebrity blogs after her debut into reality-TV stardom… which is sort of like sayin’ one got mistreated on talk radio. One wonders if she would’ve gotten a much fairer shake from Immis (who saw fit to mock the ethnicity of an entire college women’s athletics team), much less from the Limbaughs and Becks of the world.

    There certainly are problems with racism in China, but it is possible to take some of the wilder charges out of context.

  • Afa

    Can someone tell me how to donate or set up a fund drive for Lou Jing (Black Chinese Girl). Send the information to my email address.

  • Sean Bahamas

    THAT’S REALLY NICE OF YOU AFA..I READ YOUR POST ON ANOTHER SITE. I WISH I COULD ALSO DONATE TO THE CAUSE. :)