Posts Tagged ‘language’
On ResetDOC, Michael Dillon comments on violence by the Chinese government against the Uyghur population and points to the underlying structural racism:
If [Uyghurs] don’t speak and read Chinese correctly, then they do not get a job. But they are also excluded for ethnic reasons: Han Chinese prefer to work with Han. Simply, there is a strong anti-Uyghur racism there.
Dillon also comments on the hesitant role of European countries and the US:
The difference is certainly that the Uyghurs are Muslims and Muslims are not very popular in the West right now. Though the main difference is that with Tibet there is an alternative government in exile under the Dalai Lama, so the Chinese have always been able to point at the Dalai Lama and say that he is undermining their control over Tibet. And a lot of Tibetans as we know support the Dalai Lama. That is not the case for Xinjiang. The Uyghurs do look to Central Asian states, such as Kirghizstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, as a sort of a mother, but there is not an alternative government.
The Dutch government seems to have adopted a new terminology for ethnic minorities in the Netherlands. The term “bicultural” is now used in official communication rather than “allochtoon” for people of non-Dutch (or rather non-white) ethnicities. In February, the organisation Innovation for Integration will start a media campaign to promote the term.
The word bicultural is a positive counterpart for the word allochtoon,” Yesim Candam, the Turkish founder of IVI, said last year. “We used to say ‘guest labourer’, ‘new Dutch’ or ‘allochtoon’. ‘Bicultural’ is the first term that expresses the fact that two cultures are more than one!”
The term “allochtoon” has become widely used in the Netherlands for people of non-Dutch descent. In popular use, the term is only applied to non-whites, such as people with Turkish or Moroccan ancestry. The Dutch bureau of statistics makes a differentiation between “western” and “non-western” allochtoons in their census categories. While the state agency refers to “allochtoons” only to first- and second-generation immigrants, in everyday usage all non-white people are seen as “allochtoon”.
Historian Ian Buruma described the term “allochtoon” as “an ugly, and relatively new, bureaucratic term for people of alien, but more specifially non-European, origin”. It’s an example of how citizenship in Europe is often defined racially. Like in most European countries, citizenship law in the Netherlands is based on the “jus sanguinis” principle (literally: right of blood”). It confers citizenship rights based on the belonging to the national community of the Dutch, whatever that might look like.
The introduction of the term “biculturalism” is another step toward recognising that citizenship should be based on political principles rather than ethnic and racial fault lines.
Source: Crossroads Magazine