Colonial Racism in Hong Kong and Contemporary Social Movements
Elizabeth Lee City University of Hong Kong
Despite the prevalent notion of racial equality, racial discrimination is still a very real problem today. Recent movements such as #BLM and #StopAsianHate are testament to this. Despite Hong Kong’s freedom from overt oppression today, this was not the case under the British Administration. Under the British colonial government, heavily racist legislation against the Chinese in Hong Kong were enacted and applied by the courts. A parallel can be drawn between the discrimination faced by the Chinese with some of that faced by the Jews in Nazi Germany and the Africans and African Americans in the United States. Corresponding areas include that regarding slavery, corporal punishment, zoning and segregation, superiority and purity of race, and various apartheid laws. In the present day, Hong Kong has come a long way in its progress of establishing human and civil rights. Nevertheless, in comparison to the events on the international timeline, Hong Kong is belated in putting into effect these rights. This is in part due to the perpetuation of colonial discriminatory policies and the failure to code basic rights into the legal system until the twilight of the British Administration. Since our own history has such a strong corresponding experience to the discrimination fought against in the #BLM and #StopAsianHate movements, not only should Hong Kong demonstrate a solidarity for these social movements abroad, but it can also take lead in upholding the rights against discrimination for those who still face racial discrimination in Hong Kong today.