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Blacks In Beijing Being Banned From Bars, As Olympics Approach (2848 hits)

Chinese police officials have forced some Beijing bar owners to sign secret pledges promising to prohibit blacks from entering their bars during the Olympics next month, a Hong Kong newspaper says.

The police denied the report yesterday, and most bars denied any knowledge of the pledges. But many African residents of Beijing say they are facing harassment from police and discrimination from bars as the Olympics approach.

"Bar owners near the Workers Stadium in central Beijing say they have been forced by Public Security Bureau officials to sign pledges agreeing not to let black people enter their premises," the South China Morning Post reported yesterday.

It quoted the co-owner of a bar who said that a group of police had recently visited his establishment to order it "not to serve black people or Mongolians."

In the famed Sanlitun bar district of Beijing, some bar owners have been required to sign pledges agreeing to ban a variety of activities, including dancing and serving black customers, the newspaper said.

Africans and Mongolians are often perceived as criminals in Beijing. Until this year, a number of young African men were openly selling drugs in the Sanlitun district, and many Mongolian women were working as prostitutes in the city.

Both groups are among the targets of China's security crackdown in the lead-up to the Olympics, along with thousands of Tibetans, Uyghurs, migrant workers, petitioners and social activists who are seen as potential troublemakers or protesters.

In a notorious incident last September, dozens of black people were detained by police in a raid on bars in the Sanlitun district.

Witnesses said the police rounded up all the black people they could find, up to three dozen in total, and beat some of them with rubber truncheons.

Grenada's ambassador to China filed a complaint to the Foreign Ministry, saying that his son suffered a concussion and needed hospital treatment after he was clubbed on the head by police during the raid.

Africans have been coming to Beijing for decades as university students or traders. But many were forced to leave China this year because of new visa restrictions that made it difficult to renew their paperwork.

In interviews yesterday, a number of Africans said they are facing discriminatory rules from Beijing's bars and nightclubs as the Olympics approach.

A woman from Liberia, who is co-owner of a hair salon in Beijing, said she was outraged when she visited a popular Beijing nightclub and found that the entrance fee for black people was twice as high as for other foreigners.

Even if they managed to enter the club, the black patrons were prohibited from sitting at the tables, she said.

In another incident, she said, an African-owned bar was raided this week by police with dogs, and the customers were required to provide urine samples for drug tests.

"When the police come, you have to run," she said. "I've lived in Holland and the United States and it was never like this. There's no human rights here. It's racist and it makes me feel very bad."

If the police are now ordering bars to prohibit black people from entering, it is highly unfair, she said. "Every race has good people and bad people. You can't blame all blacks for drugs. If a person is not causing a problem, you shouldn't bother them."

Two Nigerian businessmen said they were required to show their passports before being allowed to enter a Beijing nightclub last weekend. Black people who could not produce their passports were barred from entering the club, but other foreigners were not required to show their passports, they said.

"This had never happened before to me," one of the Nigerians said. "I was very angry. This is racism."

The Africans spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing more harassment from the police if they are identified. The Nigerians, interviewed at a bar, asked that the bar not be identified because they were worried that it could be raided if the police learned that Africans congregate there.

This article was written by GEOFFREY YORK of The Globe and Mail.

Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/sto...
Posted By: Dante Lee
Tuesday, July 22nd 2008 at 6:41PM
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I think it's common knowledge that the Chinese are not known for leading the way in human rights. Which is very disappointing, considering that they have one of the most promising economies in the world.

The Chinese government is infamous for their disregard for freedom and equality, from banning non-government sponsored media, blocking and monitoring Internet use by their citizens, using secret police and mock trials, and supporting the terrorist regimes of the Sudan and Zimbabwe. Considering this track record, apartheid is not a surprising development.

Beijing has the opportunity to showcase the best that the nation has to offer, but so far it appears that they're showcasing the worst. This is all the more reason to support our American athletes during the Games, and start thinking seriously about our direction as a nation. If we do not start making some serious changes in our education, economy, and foreign policy, these are the people who will be the world superpower in 30 years.
Wednesday, July 23rd 2008 at 9:35AM
Jon C.
I would only like to point out this is a systemic thing that happens to African people all over the world. In this particular case I would like to point out this is the same Chinese government that supports the Sudanese government and its atrocities against the African population there. (Everyone is quick to claim something else, Arab or whatever). As an African people we must realize we are a billion strong also. If only we would have the confidence in ourselves that we have in other peoples, we would not have to worry about frequenting their nightclubs or businesses or be concerned with using the Chinese to build our oil infrastructures.
Wednesday, July 23rd 2008 at 12:25PM
Justin Tomlinson
As I am reading about this interesting topic, I have to say, I am not at least surprised. China supports the genocide in Sudan, should we expect them to treat us with any respect. Referring back to an earlier comment, China is not known for human rights, look at the way they treat their people. If Africans and African Americans were to unite....... we wouldn't have to worry about incidents such as these.
Wednesday, July 23rd 2008 at 2:49PM
shakira moran
Thank you so much for this article and thanks to the commenters as well. While no form of racism and prejudice should be tolerated anywhere, we often forget about the more covert racial atrocities happening outside of the U.S. If it's not resulting in genocide, we don't hear about it. I often hear comments, aren't we in the 21st century? But we fail to realize that many other countries are not as progressive. Other nations may have had female prime ministers and minority leaders in top positions for decades, but they still treat people they do not understand as inferior.
Wednesday, July 23rd 2008 at 3:40PM
Laura Major
Boycott china and their products...
Thursday, July 24th 2008 at 1:01AM
Will Moss
Let's say this is all true. Why would anyone be surprised? The United States has taught other countries this protocol. Now we are trying to say we support human rights. This reminds me of the days long ago when scientists compared early man to modern African to Mongolian and stated they were of low intelligence, etc. The Chinese have a repressive and closed society. What can you do except stay away?
Thursday, July 24th 2008 at 5:50PM
anna canaday
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