Friday, March 16, 2007

Racism on the Rise in Taiwan? Naaaaa...

The newspapers reported recently about a group that sympathizes with Nazism in Taiwan. What's even more disturbing is that they seem to agree with the notion of superior race promoted by the Nazis.
Taipei Times - archives

Some might say that this is another example of rising racism and xenophobia in Taiwan. I'm not so sure. I've written about the fascination with Nazis and the swastika in Taiwan before.

And although this group seeking attention seems to be a bit more organized than the typical display of Nazi anything, they really do not have any broad support or any real chance of widespread success. They must be regarded as fringe.

At least they can try to start their party regardless of how horrible it sounds. Communists don't have this privilege.

I think this is just another fine example of how flirtation with Nazis, the swastika and nationalism themes pop up now and again in Taiwan with disastrous results.

Of course, blatantly wrong things like this should be pointed out as they are really embarrassing. Poor old Taiwan that should be trying to make as many international friends that it can rather than alienating them.

I include an infamous ad that appeared in Taiwan a few years ago. The Hitler cartoon is promoting the German superiority of a heater by proclaiming "Declare War on the Cold Front". It is interesting to note the reaction of the creator to the ad once she became aware of how offensive it was:

Huang Chong-jung, manager of the trading firm's marketing department, said that the campaign was never intended to show support for Hitler. The company merely decided to use him to emphasize that the heaters were made in Germany. `We thought it was just a comic picture,' Huang said."

A German in another situation says:
"Taxi drivers will often tell me Hitler was a great man, very strong"

This is the attitutude we're up against in Taiwan and perhaps in Asia in general...

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