Complaint to CBC: Painting critics of China’s Communist Party as “racist” hurts real victims of racism

Dear CBC Ombudsman,

I’m writing to you as a CBC Radio listener who wakes up every morning to The Early Edition with Stephen Quinn. I have appeared numerous times on your news programs on radio and television. I’m a Canadian taxpayer who has repeatedly fought against attempts by certain groups to defund the CBC because I appreciate the value of having a national public broadcaster when so much of the media landscape is corporate-controlled.

I’m deeply concerned by CBC’s article yesterday published under the headline “’Racist and inflammatory’: Canadians upset by Epoch Times claim China behind virus, made it as a bioweapon.”[1]https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/epoch-times-coronavirus-bioweapon-1.5548217

CBC’s portrayal of the Communist Party of China as a victim of racism diminishes the legitimacy of the struggle against racism that visible minority immigrants like me face.

When I was running for City Councillor some of my opponents shared a blog post advising people not to vote for me because “you can take a savage out of the jungle but you can’t take the jungle out of the savage.” [2]https://twitter.com/jonesj/status/1049680409825439744

I have been mocked for my accent on many occasions when I have spoken in public in support of my city’s economically marginalized. There have been threats made against me solely based on my ethnic heritage.

I’m not the only one. We hear about 12-year-old indigenous girls being handcuffed and detained by the police just for trying to open a bank account. Racial profiling targeting black, indigenous and people of colour by the Canada’s law enforcement officers is well documented.

Canada’s growing income gap is even more pronounced for racialized groups. The racialized poverty manifests itself in the form of “a double digit racialized income gap, higher than average unemployment, differential labour market participation, deepening and disproportionate exposure to low income, differential access to housing leading to Neighbourhood racial segregation, disproportionate contact with the criminal Justice system, particularly for racialized youth leading to the criminalization of youth and higher health risks.”[3]https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CERD/Shared%20Documents/CAN/INT_CERD_NGO_CAN_70_8253_E.pdf.

Racialized individuals like me are the very real victims of racism in Canada. Being criticized for one’s actions as a government does not make one a victim of racism. Your article targeting Epoch Times creates that false equivalency, which is deeply painful for a real victim of racism like me.

The Communist regime in China practices systemic racism based on their racist ideology of which has been described as “Han Chauvinism”. President Xi Jinping’s administration stands accused of committing ‘Cultural genocide’ against by separating Muslim children from their parents and putting them in concentration camps.

Human Rights Watch and other rights groups have sounded the alarm about how Chinese authorities are brutally cracking down on political opponents in occupied Tibet by restricting their fundamental rights[4]https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/07/29/china-crackdown-tibetan-social-groups. China is effectively erasing the Tibetan language by severely restricting ethnic Tibetans’ access to education in their mother language[5]https://www.hrw.org/report/2020/03/04/chinas-bilingual-education-policy-tibet/tibetan-medium-schooling-under-threat.

Meanwhile, African nations are crying foul about systemic racism and xenophobia in China that’s leading to abusive and discriminatory treatment of Nigerians, Kenyans and other African citizens living there[6]https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-racism-discrimination-africa-china-326de397-a3f9-4993-9c8b-1dd303b593db.html.

The Chinese government is not a victim of racism or xenophobia. It’s a perpetrator of insidious racism targeting China’s own ethnic minorities and xenophobic abuse of African nationals.

The Communist Party of China is notorious for labelling its critics as “racist” to deflect blame away from the Chinese Government for its atrocious human rights record. For example, Lu Shaye, China’s envoy in Ottawa, called Canada “white supremacist” for calling for the release of Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig – the two Canadians arbitrarily detained in and held without trial in China[7]https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/china-ambassador-white-supremacy-1.4971884.

One would expect a public broadcaster in China to frame Epoch Times – a publication founded by Chinese dissidents fleeing Chinese Communist Party’s brutal persecution – as racist for criticizing Chinese government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CBC, however, is the national public broadcaster of Canada – a democratic nation where freedom of expression and the freedom of the press is enshrined in the constitution. It’s not to say that there are no valid criticisms of Epoch Times concerning its quality of journalism. But dismissing the publication’s criticism of Chinese Communist Party as racist is lazy, dangerous and deeply disappointing.

It’s lazy because by simply labelling Epoch Times as “racist” without trying to rebut their argument, CBC is committing the ad hominem fallacy.

It’s dangerous because CBC’s is using the same tactics employed by the Chinese government to silence critics of the Communist regime’s atrocities against minority groups.

It’s deeply disappointing for me as a visible minority immigrant Canadian to see Canada’s public broadcaster delegitimizing the struggle of real victims of racism like me.

I implore you to follow CBC’s mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, and “actively contribute to the flow and exchange of cultural expression,” instead of resorting to taking cheap shots at critics of a brutal despotic regime.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
Rohana Rezel

Rohana Rezel is a Vancouver-based tech worker and a housing advocate. You can reach him by email at [email protected] You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook and Github.

References   [ + ]

1. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/epoch-times-coronavirus-bioweapon-1.5548217
2. https://twitter.com/jonesj/status/1049680409825439744
3. https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CERD/Shared%20Documents/CAN/INT_CERD_NGO_CAN_70_8253_E.pdf
4. https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/07/29/china-crackdown-tibetan-social-groups
5. https://www.hrw.org/report/2020/03/04/chinas-bilingual-education-policy-tibet/tibetan-medium-schooling-under-threat
6. https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-racism-discrimination-africa-china-326de397-a3f9-4993-9c8b-1dd303b593db.html
7. https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/china-ambassador-white-supremacy-1.4971884

15 Responses to Complaint to CBC: Painting critics of China’s Communist Party as “racist” hurts real victims of racism

  1. Zhao Li-wen says:

    You are clearly a racist who has no understanding about the geopolitics of China.

    Tibetand Xinjiang are part of China. Different ethnic groups in Tibet and Xinjiang live peacefully and harmoniously and strive for development together. China is a united country with 56 ethnic groups, working together to build the country.

    Terrorism is a common enemy of all mankind and infiltration of religious extremism is a common challenge to the whole world. Every country needs to tackle this challenge effectively. It’s time to stop blaming China for taking lawful and effective preventive measures in Xinjiang.

    Tibet has a serious problem with organized crime. We are using effective anti-gang measures to keep peaceful law-abiding Tibetans safe.

    I urge you to immediately stop any form of interference in China’s internal affairs, and immediately stop condoning racism against china.

    To quote Dr Zbigniew Brzezinski: If we treat China like an enemy, they will become an enemy.

    • Bryon says:

      LOL U of T Scarborough elected a Tibetan as student body president . The Chinese students demanded that the school remove her from the position. That is pure racism my friend.

    • Bryon says:

      China needs to stop interfering in other nations.

    • Anonymous says:

      The way China covered up and spread the Wuhan virus around the world, China’s government is now considered enemy number one…

    • Manuel says:

      Remind you how badly the 2 Canadians are treated in China jail. Get Huawei out of Canada is what Canadians should do!

    • Marcin Kowalski says:

      This is a lie pushed by CCP , we know about Uighur concentration camps , we know about systematic destruction of Tibetan culture, we know about organ harvesting of Falun Gong, we know about CCP rewriting the Bible.
      Does saying it makes me racist?
      The reason you can’t criticize CCP is because they’re so paranoid about their image. Once the true face is revealed, the game is over…

    • LIAR FROM CHINA says:

      See lies about Tiebat from evil people evil Chinese-CCP Supporter #Chinazi #realrascism #ChinaLiePeopleDie

    • V for Vendetta says:

      You (Zhao) clearly do not understand what racism is about. As a Canadian of Chinese-descent, I find your comment particularly troubling and quite insulting. (I’m grateful that my dad decided to leave China with the blessing of his father.)

      Look at how China is treating Africans and blacks during the pandemic (evicting them from their homes, barring them from public areas, police harassment, etc.)… and other foreigners, calling them “foreign devils” and “foreign viruses”.

      China will always point the finger at others, whether it’s foreign nationals within China or abroad… or/and ethnic minorities in China (Tibetans, Uyghurs, Manchurians, etc.) The CCP will always look for a new scapegoat when something goes wrong. They will even blame their own people if that’s the only way to keep themselves in power.

      You tell us to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, well it’s China that is meddling in other countries’ internal affairs; meddling in our politics, spreading disinformation, hacking and stealing our technology and personal data, undermining our democratic system… and so forth. Not to mention China is also the biggest supplier of carfentanyl in the world (4000 Canadian deaths per year)! The CCP is the biggest criminal organization in the world! It is a Mafia.

      “If we treat China like an enemy, they will become an enemy.” Is that a warning or a threat? The fact is: CHINA IS TREATING EVERYONE LIKE AN ENEMY. The CCP is paranoid and sees “enemies” everywhere. China has no friends. No one wants to be their friend. They are bullies in a playground and now they wonder why they are all alone. China has become ENEMY NUMBER ONE.

    • SL says:

      You are now under investigation. Your information has been sent to CSIS to begin the investigation into spying allegations for the CCP.

  2. Jessie says:

    Thanks for the timely reminder! I will file my complaint to the CBC Ombudsman too, and its public funders. As a victim of the Communist regime’s decades of persecution against 4 generations in my home. Now the Communist predator is wearing the hat of CBC.

  3. From Taiwan says:

    OMG THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS!

  4. Joe says:

    Good letter!

  5. Orwell's Ghost says:

    “To quote Dr Zbigniew Brzezinski: If we treat China like an enemy, they will become an enemy.”

    I have never heard of Zbigniew Brzezinski saying such a thing. You (Zhao) must have misquoted him or mistaken that quote for someone else (Richard Woolcott). Anyway, it’s a stupid quote no matter how you look at. It really sounds like a threat and is counterproductive – you will definitely not make any friends and earn any respect in this world. (Maybe you should read about Sun Tzu)

    FYI: the CCP sees everyone as an enemy, including its own people.

    Here’s a better quote: “Love your enemies.” – Jesus Christ (You will make more friends and earn their respect – that’s a guarantee!)

  6. SL says:

    8 out of 10 Canadians hate the CCP. Period

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