Meiyang Chang (Photo Credit: Instagram)
Singer turned reality show host and actor, Meiyang Chang was subjected to racist comments and verbal attacks last month amid the global spread of coronavirus that found its first epicenter at China. Chang now has featured in a video as a fitting reply to his haters, condemining casual racism.
The video starts with Change with twisting SRKs famous dialogue in 'My Name Is Khan'. “Namaste. My name is Chang and I am not coronavirus. Now you must be thinking why I am delivering this popular dialogue of Shah Rukh Khan like this. Let me explain." He then goes on to narrate an incident where he was called by names that are synonymous with Chinese cuisine like momo, hakka noodles and the latest addition to these names is 'Coronavirus. "Why? Maybe because he looks a little different." he further goes on to ask.
Talking further about his reaction to these' rascist comments he opened up about how habituated he has become with such abuses. "Now this man was really angry. He thought of abusing them or doing something. But then he calmed down and just ignored it. Because he has been ignoring such racist things since childhood. Sometimes ‘Ching Chong’, sometimes ‘momo’, sometimes ‘hakka noodles’, sometimes ‘Hey, open your eyes at least’ and God knows what else. He just ignored it. That man was me, an Indian of Chinese descent,” he says in the video.
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Chang further goes on to explain that such incidents have happened with anyone from the northeast as well, and in all likelihood, already has. “Now you must be thinking, ‘What’s the big deal, yaar? He must have been joking. Just chill.’ And you know what? You are actually right, they must have been joking." Recalling incident in the recent past where people belonging to north-east are being trageted, Change said, "Jokingly, an uncle in Delhi spit on a Manipuri girl. Jokingly, people of Nagaland were thrown out of their homes in Ahmedabad and Kolkata. Jokingly, an aunty in Pune thrashed a Mizo girl publicly. Jokingly, someone was made to realise that even though you are from this country, you don’t belong here."
Raising voice against the 'casual rascism' in the garb of 'joke' he said, ‘Go back to China, Nepal or wherever you are from!’ By saying this, they have hurt someone’s identity. But this is not a joke. This is casual racism. And racism against Indian Chinese, northeast Indians or anybody for that matter is not cool. Not even jokingly. Because how it escalates from a joke, we have all seen that,” he adds.
Addressing the youth, Chang said that if they have nothing nice to say they should not say anything at all. He asks the 'kind, smart, sensitive' to explain others to not pass rsacist comments. "Especially at a time like this, when we cannot afford to be divided. Thank you so much and please take care of your health.” he further concludes the video.
Reports of racism against people from the northeast and Indians of Chinese descent have emerged during the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
At least 22 cases of racial discrimination or hate crimes against people from North-Esat or of Chinese origin has been reported between February 7 and March 25, says a report by Rights and Risk Analysis Group (RRAG), a New Delhi-based rights group. The MHA on March 21 issued an advisory to all states/UTs to act against such racial attacks.