Has the devil got hold of their hearts?
Russell Peters, the Canadian stand-up comedian of Indian origin, said during one of his talk shows: “Terrorists hate Americans. Indians hate each other”. He might have spared Indians the ridicule had he known the depth of hatred among Chinese, as manifested in regional discrimination and sentiments.
Such discrimination, aimed at inciting hatred against people from certain parts of the country, is ubiquitous in our daily life and on the internet. Sometimes subtle but most often blatant, such discriminatory attitude tramples on the dignity of the victims and tears apart the fabric of society.
Sociologists believe this type of discrimination stems from a sense of superiority that somepeoplehave as a result of the wealth gapsamongdifferent regions. As the saying goes,“Guangdongpeople consider all outsiders poor, andShanghainese see all non-natives as country bumpkins”. But there are factors other than economic, such as ignorance, prejudice, stereotype, or just hate for hate’s sake, behind such discrimination.
Inone prominent case inOctober2014, ZhouLiang, a Shanghai-based soccercommentator, called players from Jiangsu province subeigou( North Jiangsu Dog) during a live broadcast of amatchbetweenthe ShanghaiandJiangsu teams. The derogatory term coined by Shanghai people several decades ago to refer to their compatriots from the neighboring province in the north is no less abusive and insulting than the N-word.