1. Stay focused on what matters (not politics) Arnold Kling, askblog
  2. The politics of hate and artistic expression in Japan Jeff Kingston, Diplomat
  3. The US and Turkey are back together again Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor
  4. Is Europe on the Chinese menu? Andrew Michta, American Interest

Pure Racism and Chinese Dining

There are several kinds of racism. The roots and the dynamics of racism are among the most interesting sociological issues. Here is a small but important fragment of the whole matter. The most common kind of racism involves three separate mental operations: 1 Assign an individual to a group; 2 Assign certain undesirable features of character or culture to the same group; 3 Assign these same undesirable characteristics to the individual because he belongs to the group.

The most pure form of common racism I know used to make me laugh. Of late, it has begun to annoy me. Here is a relevant story.

I pick up my wife at the airport after a short trip. We go out to celebrate our reunion. My wife wants to eat Chinese food. There is a Chinese restaurant near the airport where I have had excellent dinners in the past. It’s a large and old establishment with many Chinese customers. In fact, every time I have been there, I was with Chinese friends.

We sit down a little early. I don’t like the early bird menu, of course; I don’t like the regular menu either; the “specials” menu is not much more attractive. None of these menus corresponds well with my golden memory of the several original meals I have had there. I ask the waitress if there is a Chinese menu with different dishes than are on the English-language menu. “No,” she says. My wife and I order the less boring dishes from the main menu. Continue reading