For the first time in my life, I received hate mails.
On Sunday Oct. 23, The Observer ran my full-page opinion piece about the death of little girl Yueyue’s (her name means Joy) and China’s moral crisis. It sparked a massive response as hundreds of people posted comments in the Observer/Guardian website.
An interviewed with CNN on the same subject inspired me. Since within the limited time slot, I couldn’t possibly express my anger and sadness or explain sufficiently why it happened, I decided to write an article.
The Observer, for which I did some stringing before, liked my piece so much that they decided to expand it to a cover story.
Among the emails I received from my web site, among the glowing praises and thanks, to my surprise, I found quite a few very nasty emails, attacking me personally, calling me the ‘running dog of the west’ and wishing me to die and so on. Very unpleasant!
See below one of them.
This is an enquiry send from lijiazhang.com Contact page.
Subject: Your Life
Ugly bitch, why are you such a western dog? You hate your own race so much because you are a useless bitch in China? No Chinese liked you, that is why you turned into a White man’s Dog.
You need to lose weight, and get some plastic Surgery, you face is appalling, I hope people like you would leave the Chinese race, and dont tell anyone you are Chinese, because you are the bottom of the barrel. You have inferior genes, and horrible education, and you make a living by bad mouthing your own race.
I’m very happy your entire family was beaten in the cultural revolution, they were right, dumb dogs like you should not have been spared.
I bet your children are also dogs to the white men, han-jian
I wrote the piece from the bottom of my heart and I told the truth the way I saw it without any intention of pleasing anyone, westerners or Chinese.
In fact, my last article, published in the Guardian the week before, was another opinion piece about the westerner’s obsession with ‘weird’ Chinese food and the colonial hang-over.
I don’t understand why these people attacked me personally. I’d be happy to listen to their side of arguments and would be grateful if they’d point out what’s wrong with my piece. But attacking my looks? Why should my less than perfect looks disqualify me to have an opinion?
If I had had more time and space, I should stress that not all 1.4 billion Chinese are cold-hearted. In the wake of Sichuan earth quake, many touching stories emerged where people helped kindly strangers. And moral decline exists not just in China but the whole world. The riot in UK this August was just an example.
But why can’t I criticize China? A nation, as in a person, needs to take a hard look at herself from time to time. I am patriotic – not a narrow nationalistic, I pointed out the problems in the hopes that the society can improve and China can grow.
I wonder who are my attackers. China’s fast-growing economy and rising position in the world have made some young Chinese assertive and sometimes nationalistic. And I guess there will always are xenophobic who divides the world into 内and 外. Since I talked about some uncomfortable truth, they’d want to kick me out of the race. But I’ll surely stay and voice my concerns and opinions whenever I want to.