DISPLAYING a clear lack of racial sensitivity, a museum in China has set up an exhibit showing black people in comparison to animals.
Nigerian Edward Duke posted on Instagram a video he shot while visiting the museum in Wuhan, the capital of Central China’s Hubei province. In the gallery were hung photos of wild animals, framed alongside those of black people displaying similar facial expressions.
The photo of a lion which appeared to be growling in the photo was framed alongside the photo of a man with a similar expression, a chimpanzee with its mouth opened wide was framed alongside a child, and a number of other photos of animals were also framed side by side with those of humans wearing similar expressions.
According to Punch, Duke’s post, which has since been taken down, received a mixed reception. Many comments condemned the racist nature of the exhibit, while others voiced the opinion that Asian people can be “extremely ignorant about the black race.”
This is not the first time this week that China has been called out for racism.
According to Shanghaiist, China’s favourite social media app WeChat, apologised on Wednesday when its translation algorithm was found the translate heilaowai, meaning “black foreigner”, to the N-word.
China has a problem with racism towards black people, with people often surprised and shocked by the casual racism they encounter in the street on an almost daily basis.
There is a commonly held irrational fear of a “black invasion” that people believe will bring drugs, crimes and interracial marriage.
In March, politician Pan Qinglin told local media, “Africans bring many security risks.” He urged the government to “strictly control the African people living in Guangdong and other places.”
The response to Pan’s comments on social media was overwhelmingly supportive, according to Quartz.
The notion of a “black invasion” is not founded in any reality. While a growing number of Africans work and study in China – the African continent’s largest trading partner – estimates for the number of sub-Saharan Africans in Guangzhou (nicknamed “Chocolate City” in Chinese) are approximately 150,000 long-term residents, according to 2014 government statistics. Guangzhou has a total population of 14 million.