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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Baizuo are coming

Zero Hedge and a few other web sites report that the Chinese have taken to calling white Western lefties "Baizuo," which is said to be a derogatory term that is pronounced bye-tswaw.

I have no way of verifying it, but hey, why not adopt the word anyway?

Baizuo is a lot shorter than smug, credentialed, virtue-signaling, hypocritical, social justice loser who conforms to every passing political trend until he contorts himself into pretzel that is unable to feed itself for fear of offending some minority.

Thus unlike the people it represents, Baizuo serves a purpose.

The story may have emerged from the Open Democracy site in a post by someone named Chenchen Zhang, who is purported to be a Chinese woman with doctorates in political theory and political science.

Meet the Chinese netizens who combine a hatred for the ‘white left’ with a love of US president Donald Trump.
If you look at any thread about Trump, Islam or immigration on a Chinese social media platform these days, it’s impossible to avoid encountering the term baizuo (白左), or literally, the ‘white left’. It first emerged about two years ago, and yet has quickly become one of the most popular derogatory descriptions for Chinese netizens to discredit their opponents in online debates. 
So what does ‘white left’ mean in the Chinese context, and what’s behind the rise of its (negative) popularity? It might not be an easy task to define the term, for as a social media buzzword and very often an instrument for ad hominem attack, it could mean different things for different people. A thread on “why well-educated elites in the west are seen as naïve “white left” in China” on Zhihu, a question-and-answer website said to have a high percentage of active users who are professionals and intellectuals, might serve as a starting point. 
The question has received more than 400 answers from Zhihu users, which include some of the most representative perceptions of the 'white left'. Although the emphasis varies, baizuo is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”.
What? People resent condescension? The ingrates! 

However, Chenchen Zhang assured the Baizuo that no one is calling them Baizuo. It is all a government plot:
Finally, it should to be noted that the internet in China is subject to strict censorship. The Chinese government has been known to hire a large number of ‘internet commentators’ (known as the 50 cent party) to fabricate social media posts. According to a recent research conducted by scholars at Harvard University, 29% of the ‘accused 50 cent posts’ they investigated fall into the category of ‘taunting of foreign countries. It is nonetheless impossible to know whether these accused posts are indeed written by government employees. Similarly, it is hard to tell whether some of the criticisms of baizuo are coming from fabricated commentators-for-hire. However, given the strict censorship regime, criticizing democratic values such as pluralism, tolerance, and solidarity is certainly one of the safest ‘critical’ opinions ordinary citizens can express online.   
Hmm. How do we know Chenchen Zhang is not a Chinese government bot?

I do like how the Baizuo-like Chenchen Zhang is suspect of the Chinese government, which of course is the model of the Baizuo political movement.

So maybe the Chinese call them Baizuo. Maybe not. But that is China's worry, not ours.

Let's call them Baizuo anyway because we need to mock these losers who act as if they were our moral and intellectual superiors.




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5 comments:

  1. "Baizuo"

    Sure it ain't how the Chinese say "Bozo"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bozo wasn't evil and malicious.

      Delete
    2. I keep hearing Bezos when I read the word.
      Weird.

      Delete
  2. It's Mandarin for "bastards." Trust me on this - just had some Panda Express last night!

    ReplyDelete