Best of ’09!: A New Kind of Idol: Lou Jing

This post was written by J.Bakes after realizing that Chinese message boards could be more racist than re-runs of the Glenn Beck show.

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 | by J. Baker

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…

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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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