Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Idle

Chinese Companies Rent White Foreigners 145

Posted by samzenpus
from the token-white-guy dept.
The job market may look bad here, but if you're in China, and you happen to be white, all you need is a suit and tie. An increasing number of Chinese companies are willing to pay any price to have a few fair-skinned faux employees walking around. From the article: "'Face, we say in China, is more important than life itself,' said Zhang Haihua, author of Think Like Chinese. 'Because Western countries are so developed, people think they are more well off, so people think that if a company can hire foreigners, it must have a lot of money and have very important connections overseas. So when they really want to impress someone, they may roll out a foreigner.' Or rent one."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Chinese Companies Rent White Foreigners

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They rent us because we can pronounce our L's and R's
    • by quenda (644621) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @10:56AM (#32744688)

      Oh dear. Its the Japanese who have problems with those sounds, not the Chinese. How lacist.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Moryath (553296)

        Well, the Japanese and Jackie Chan...

        Of course, this is nothing new. Westerners have been "renting" asian women especially for years, especially during armed conflicts...

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Chinese have problems with with R sounds.

        In college, every math professor who were Chinese (about 1/4 of my math dept) I had would say "ploblem". It became so much a joke that I would even write "ploblem" instead of "problem" in my notes and homework... it was always the little things like that kept me awake in complex analysis.
        • by ljgshkg (1223086)
          That depends on the dialect they're speaking. Different dialects can have very different characteristics, and people with different dialects have different difficulties on pronouncing English.
          • by cayenne8 (626475)
            Hell, who cares??

            Where do I sign up for one of these jobs?

            I mean..almost a type of welfare job for white guys!! I could be a token whitey for the right price!!

            :)

            • by flajann (658201)

              Hell, who cares??

              Where do I sign up for one of these jobs?

              I mean..almost a type of welfare job for white guys!! I could be a token whitey for the right price!!

              :)

              You slut.

        • by HungWeiLo (250320)

          Southern Chinese have problems with R sounds.

          Northern Chinese have too much R sound. Even more than the Japanese - letter="retter".

        • I remember taking a class in "C and Unix" in college circa 1991 with a professor who was quite brilliant, but had a very, very thick Chinese (Cantonese, I believe... he mentioned living in Hong Kong quite a few times) accent and had a VERY hard time with the "L" sound.

          I went through two entire classes taking notes on the use of "Unix share variables" before realizing that he meant "Unix SHELL variables"

          He definitely didn't have a problem with "R" sounds, though. I distinctly remember him mentioning what was

          • by flajann (658201)
            Did you ever get to play with an Amiga runing SVR5 flavor of Unix? The Amiga was actually the first Unix box you could get back in those days for anything less than $5000. It was a great pity Commodore dropped that project. Actually, there were a lot of kick-ass cool stuff us Amiga engineers were planning and developing for that wonderful machine, but Commodore upper management shit-canned a lot of it.

            Then, when the "PeeCee" started getting some of those abilities, it was a day late and a dollar short f

            • I saw an Amiga 2500UX once. It was a demo unit owned by Creative Equipment in Miami, but from what I remember, there really wasn't much you could actually *do* with it at the time unless you were a college professor or grad student with a Unix-related obsession. There wasn't really any commercial software for it, and I doubt whether it even shipped with the necessary libraries to build anything more ambitious than maybe "Adventure", "Spacewar", and "Life" -- all of which were undoubtedly cool in the 70s, bu

              • by flajann (658201)

                I saw an Amiga 2500UX once. It was a demo unit owned by Creative Equipment in Miami, but from what I remember, there really wasn't much you could actually *do* with it at the time unless you were a college professor or grad student with a Unix-related obsession. There wasn't really any commercial software for it, and I doubt whether it even shipped with the necessary libraries to build anything more ambitious than maybe "Adventure", "Spacewar", and "Life" -- all of which were undoubtedly cool in the 70s, but didn't seem very interesting compared to "Bard's Tale", "Federation of Free Traders", and "Lemmings" ;-)

                Agreed.

                Like I said, Commodore killed the development of Amiga Unix, which I think was a bonehead move on their part. Amiga Unix would been a favourite for those schools teaching CS, and the student wouldve brought Amiga Unix into the workplace once they moved on.

                This is not the first time Commodore gave up a golden opportunity to get into the schools. It made the exact same bonehead mistake with the Commodore PET and Commodore 64. It handed over that market to Apple, where the grads did exactly as you'd

          • by mjwalshe (1680392)
            and the Amiga even had real multitasking unlike the Mac
      • A coworker of mine who emigrated from South Korea has problems too.
  • "I want to be a rent boy for the Chinese!"
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bsDaemon (87307)

      Just being realistic about future prospects?

      • by ihatewinXP (638000) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:26AM (#32745244)

        Normally I wouldnt comment on this but as I did this TODAY ill chime in..

        I live and work in Beijing and these sort of opportunities come up through the grapevine fairly often - and as weird of a position that it is it somehow makes sense out here. You really have to realize how important 'face' is in China - especially when doing business.

        The article is kind of dumb (and of course had been passed around the foreigner community last week to great laughs) but it isnt wrong per se. Having a 'laowai' ('old foreigner') around is good for your social standing. Today I had a client ask to take me out to dinner - which is abnormal - this guy never asks me out to dinner. When I pressed him on the reason he just said 'To introduce you to some friends.' When I arrived tonight I figured it out instantly: I was there to be the token white guy and to give this guy face. To his clients he just became that much more worldly and respectable because he keeps foreigner friends - this man obviously has some connections.

        It seems odd and racist (which it is - dont get me wrong) but in a country that probably doesnt even have a word for 'multiculturalism' it works. So tonight I was 'token white friend', I made a couple of good contacts myself, I gave my boss face, and was treated to an amazing dinner where I was marvelled at for my ability to use chopsticks, speak Chinese, and drink 'Chinese white wine.'

        Why the hell not? Someone has to make this country open to the outside world and different cultures - daily im doing my part. And for all the times I get harassed for being white I might as well get paid and treated for it on occasion as well.

        Sorry is this is just an incoherent rant - but the aforementioned white wine is well on top of me at this point.

        • by Kell Bengal (711123) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:46AM (#32745602)
          And you know, you're probably right. By being that token minority and then breaking stereotypes, you're crossing boundaries and exposing people to a new understanding of foreign culture. For once, something self-serving is actually helping the world become a better place.
        • That reminds me of my semester in China, the university took us to all kinds of city functions. Even though we weren't athletes per say, they had us play the local city team in football (soccer). We got creamed, but it was fun. This post puts a lot of the functions we went to in an entirely new perspective.
        • by tonywong (96839)
          Yeah, it's still racism couched in the nicest possible way. Chinese people are very prejudiced against dark skinned people, particularly "Blacks" and "Indians". If they rented out people of all colours it would be a different story but obviously white people are superior to everyone else except the Chinese...
          • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Kinda like the uber-liberal who has the 'one' black friend that he invites to the pub to show he is 'not' racist.

            • But that's back to 'face' again. It's not just the über-liberal's face but face in general. First impressions have a huge impact on attitudes for a long time to come, as do tokens such as taking off your sun glasses to speak to someone, taking off your glove to shake hands, not looking at at your watch or yawning when at a social gathering, taking the last treat from the tray and telling the cook it's because they're just that good... This stuff isn't 'little'.
              When one white guy brings a black guy to a

            • Kinda like the fake-liberal who has the 'one' black friend that he invites to the pub to show he is 'not' racist.

              FTFY. Somebody you'd call an 'uber' liberal wouldn't even give a shit in the first place.
          • by flajann (658201)

            Yeah, it's still racism couched in the nicest possible way. Chinese people are very prejudiced against dark skinned people, particularly "Blacks" and "Indians". If they rented out people of all colours it would be a different story but obviously white people are superior to everyone else except the Chinese...

            The Brits might have a bit of a disagreement with that!!!!

        • Slashdot isn't blocked in China? I'm genuinely surprised. Or do you have a proxy somewhere else?

        • I fully expect to get modded into oblivion, but I can't help myself:

          I gave my boss face

          I don't know exactly what that means, but I hope you got a raise after.

        • by flajann (658201)
          You get harassed for "being white", I get harassed for "being black", ... Kinda makes me sick we live in the 21st century and still have to deal with this crapola.

          Hell, in my divorce, I got harassed for being a man, and for being concerned for my kids. While married, I got harassed for having an autistic child. And I'll stop it right there. Sometimes I feel as though people harass me just for existing.

          Will we ever grow up as a species? Or will we always be not much better than our simian cousins? No b

          • by RockDoctor (15477)

            You get harassed for "being white", I get harassed for "being black", ...

            If it makes you feel better ... I can see potential for using this sort of dehumanising sort of job as a punishment for some sorts of racist crime.
            Imagine, if it pleases you, some local Klan lord or Aryan Brother scumball (or from my side of the pond, we could send you a few members of the British Nazi Party, now that the election is nearly over) having to do his community service by being rented out to some Chinese body shop to serve

            • by flajann (658201)

              You get harassed for "being white", I get harassed for "being black", ...

              If it makes you feel better ... I can see potential for using this sort of dehumanising sort of job as a punishment for some sorts of racist crime. Imagine, if it pleases you, some local Klan lord or Aryan Brother scumball (or from my side of the pond, we could send you a few members of the British Nazi Party, now that the election is nearly over) having to do his community service by being rented out to some Chinese body shop to serve as a prop representing the body form of a feared and hated minority. Well, I can see ways of using this to make life particularly miserable for people whose lives deserve to be made miserable.

              Oh, there's much better ways of dealing with such types. Throw them in a prison full of the very ones the despise. The rest will take care of itself... right up there where the sun never shines.

        • by blair1q (305137)

          There are six times as many of them as there are of us, and they've never had much of an open society (beyond a few port cities), much less a ground-up melting-pot culture like America or Europe. It's not a bit surprising that many of them have gone so long being insular, and are displaying the characteristics of a population coming to grips with integration.

          And this: "To his clients he just became that much more worldly and respectable because he keeps foreigner friends - this man obviously has some conne

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by timeOday (582209)
      All modeling is exactly this - pay people who look a certain way to be associated with your brand. It's not logical, it's highly effective, and it's so ubiquitous in every culture I know about that it's hard to even notice.

      Unsurprisingly, being white isn't quite the only requirement: ""There are job opportunities for girls who are pretty and for men who can look good in a suit."

    • by slick7 (1703596)

      "I want to be a rent boy for the Chinese!"

      Take some Vaseline so you'll be ready when the company takes a dive. Then you can be a rent boy full time at 10 Yuan per day.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mikkeles (698461)

      How is this any different to 'renting oneself out' as an actor to MGM or Ridley Scott?

    • being a rent boy to anti-gay crusading republicans.

    • A bit odd for a career.

      But if you're a student/intern or similar Herbert, it seems like a reasonably easy way to make a bit of beer money.

  • by Xenophore (1260104) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @10:24AM (#32744128)
    If the Chinese hire them to hang out around the water cooler, does that make them coolies?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @10:30AM (#32744220)

    The gift that keeps giving.

  • News? (Score:5, Funny)

    by WilyCoder (736280) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @10:31AM (#32744226)

    This is news?

    I rent people all the time in Amsterdam's red light district!

  • Idunno about that. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by FooAtWFU (699187)

    "'Face, we say in China, is more important than life itself.'"

    I've always been more of a "ESSE QVAM VIDERE" fan myself. ("To be, rather than to seem.") State motto of North Carolina. Guess Ah'm just a sample countreh boy aht heart aftah all.

  • if you throw a party, you have to put out crackers

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So you know nothing, you do nothing, but people just pay you to hang around.

    Sounds like a booth babe to me.

    Now it's open to men!

  • Similar in Korea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @10:52AM (#32744628)

    Something a little similar occurs in Korea. The biggest employers of foreigners in Korea are the US military and language schooling, whether at public or private institutions. Now, the fun thing is, schools much, much prefer white teachers, because there's a perception here that white face means English speaker. Someone with an Asian face, on the other hand... maybe the school is trying to pull something.

    I got turned down for a few job applications for no real reason, and I'm pretty sure it had something to do with my skin tone.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Because there's a perception here that white face means English speaker.

      It goes far beyond that. In Asia in general dark skin means you are a menial worker who spends all of their days outside in the sun. Light skin means that you are rich and can afford to spend all of your days indoors. The idea of genetics is not even considered in many places.

      A lot of Asian cosmetics are or contain skin whitening chemicals. It's like fake tan in the west, but the other way around.

  • sounds familiar (Score:4, Interesting)

    by snoop.daub (1093313) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @10:56AM (#32744702)

    I had a couple of friends go live in China for a couple of years. She was teaching english, he did that but also picked up some other "jobs", one of which involved, as far as he could tell, being shipped around to various places in China, dressed up in a suit, and having drinks poured down his throat until he couldn't walk anymore. Near as he could figure, he was supposed to be playing the role of the representative of a foreign company which was working with the Chinese outfit which had hired him, since that would make them look good to possible business partners. Sounds like a pretty surreal situation.

    • So, what do you do for a living?

      I stand around.

      What's the title of your occupation?

      I'm a Professional Poser.

      Does it pay well?

      For not doing shit? Hell ya.

    • Oh yeah, just remembered another weird aspect of this story. He would be asked to give a "presentation", which consisted of slides that were prepared by his employers. He'd speak in English and have it "translated" as he went. Of course he had no clue what the presentation was supposed to be about, so he'd basically just babble nonsense for the duration.

  • Did the Chinese get the idea from Mad Men?

  • by GreenTom (1352587) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:11AM (#32745006)
    I lived in China for a few years, and had two of these gigs. Once, I had to pretend I was someone from the midwest interested in investing in a chemical factory somewhere. It got very surreal, because once the conference started, even the people who hired me seemed to forget that I was just playing a role...the extent of the communal illusion was mindboggling. In another one, I had to pretend I was the coworker of some guy who knocked up a Chinese woman, representing him at they're own wedding that he couldn't attend for "business reasons".
    • by fbjon (692006)
      Wha.. you represented someone at their own wedding? How does that work?
      • by GreenTom (1352587) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @01:28PM (#32747406)
        I know, weird, right? It was a huge face thing...this poor Chinese girl believed the foreigner when he said he'd marry her, got pregnant, and her family plans this big wedding. The foreigner jets back to where ever he came from, leaving the woman pregnant and the family with a wedding. As I understand it, it would be absolutely unthinkable to cancel the wedding, and almost as bad for the woman to go through with having the child without getting married.

        So, the went forward with the wedding, just without the groom. I was hired to pretend that I was the "manager" of the absent groom. I was there telling people how great the groom was, and that he was working on important overseas assignments for our company, and simply couldn't be there. Everyone there probably knew what was really going on, but this solution seemed to save face all around. And I got the best meal I had in two years in China out of the deal...

        Does make me wonder if there are similarly farcical things that we do here, but that are somehow invisible to us because we all just accept it as normal.
        • by fbjon (692006)
          I'd say in the west it's what's called 'keeping appearances', it's just not as exaggerated.
        • by mjwx (966435)

          Does make me wonder if there are similarly farcical things that we do here, but that are somehow invisible to us because we all just accept it as normal.

          Uhhh, hi boss. Ummm I'm not feeling too well today so I don't think I'm going to be in.

          /rolls over and goes back to sleep.

        • Everyone there probably knew what was really going on, but this solution seemed to save face all around. And I got the best meal I had in two years in China out of the deal...

          We're not interested in the *meal*.

        • by Xest (935314)

          A good example I can think of is fireworks night here in the UK.

          For those that don't know, it's a celebration of the failure of the gun powder plot which was an attempt to blow up parliament by a guy called Guy Fawkes.

          We basically build a massive bonfire, not unusual for it to be around 20 ft high, and we place an effigy of Guy Fawkes on top, then we burn it all and during which usually set off shit loads of fireworks.

          It's a normal celebration here and most people partake in it, but I caught myself wonderin

  • Nothing new. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:11AM (#32745008)

    This is nothing new.

    About 10 years ago I interviewed with a few companies in Taiwan. There were several who pretty much wanted to hire me as the token foreigner. One or two of them thought I might bring new ideas to the table, but I'm sure their corporate culture would pretty much squash any new ideas. One company in particular was more direct about what they wanted. They wanted to convey a more international image to make themselves more appealing to investors.

    A lot of companies in Asia have this obsession with passing themselves off as an international corporation. Every two-bit company has the word "international" in their name. Their English name, because the vast majority of companies in Taiwan and China have an English and Chinese name. I guess it's aspirational in some ways. It's not simply that they want to impress, it's the belief that doing these things will lead to the perception turning into reality and I think some of it is linked to how Japanese companies became successful. It's like they think success will just happen without looking at the fundamentals.

    In hindsight maybe I should have taken that job. I probably would have done little to no work and there were a bunch of cute girls working there.

    • by backbyter (896397)

      and there were a bunch of cute girls working there.

      ...and the money would have come around full circle. :)

    • It the obvious extension to outsourcing jobs. First American jobs go offshore, then Americans.

      Vote for Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman so they can send your job to China! Help restore republican economic policies.

      Should anyone blame the Chinese for discovering the republican secret for job "creation"? They want to enjoy the benefits of crony-capitalism too. We wanted them to drop communism and become capitalists. It seems we now have evidence that they have.

      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        Vote for Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman so they can send your job to China! Help restore republican economic policies.
        Yeah, b/c Barbara "dont call me ma'am" Boxer and Gov. then Att. Gen now wants to be Gov again "Moonbeam"(It's like California Uber Allies was a prophecy) have been doing such a bang up job running the economy.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by gtall (79522)

        So you say you slept through the Clinton administration? That's a long sleep, how did you do that?

    • by dintech (998802)

      it's the belief that doing these things will lead to the perception turning into reality

      Isn't this what they try to do with their political history?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:17AM (#32745094)

    I might be the only person here who's actually done this, so I can attest to the fact that a) it does happen b) quite frequently and c) it was a lot of fun. I live in Shanghai as a teacher but was rented for a weekend-long product presentation as up-and-coming American architect (with vast Italian-architecture experience). They pre-wrote the speech and created the ppt in first person so it seemed real, and the draw for this was incredible. Face is extremely important to the Chinese -- "perception is reality" is a ground-rule for living here. But with flexible-enough morals, free meals, a private driver, pre-arranged tours, my own 5-star hotel suite and pay is a pretty great deal for what was only about 2 hours work!

    • Nope, you're not the only one. "Taught" in Beijing for a while. My job was to be the "foreign teacher." I was hired not knowing a word of Chinese and thrown in a classroom of junior highers who spoke no English. I wasn't there to do anything useful, I was there to be a white guy they could point at and say "we have a foreign teacher for your student! You should come to this school!" Only lasted a year, though. Even though I was getting paid double what the other teachers were starting at, it couldn't cover
  • Stuff like this is part of why one should never, ever, invest in Chinese stocks even if they are ADRs on the US exchanges.

  • could you elaborate on how this story reinforces that point?
  • Subject (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Legion303 (97901) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:29AM (#32745308) Homepage

    After reading the article I see that "Any price" ranges from $44 to $300. Great summary, slashdot!

  • So I'd like to know where people get the notion that doing well is al about money? Monetary-wise I'm doing "not too shabby." Still I find being with my family the best time money can buy. Remember that when you kick the bucket the only thing you can be proud of is the way you were with the ones you loved. I'm an atheist but I maintain that if anything could be brought to the other side, that "thing" could only be related to the good vibes spread on earth. And although the "good vibes" thing isn't sure at al
    • by Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @12:51PM (#32746762) Homepage

      Don't think "us" western people are particularly better at doing the stuff that really matters. Everywhere around the world there will be people enjoying the good company of others.

      Why is it that whenever there's a story about China, someone feels the need to jump in and say "b-b-but the west..." This "west" you speak of is a vast and extremely varied tapestry of different cultures spread across the entire globe, numbering a good many more people than are in China, so you can't go making sweeping statements about what they are good at or otherwise, especially if its a subtext for "rich white people laughing at poor foreigners".

      For all the cultures in "the west", I don't know of a single one that hires people to stand around and look prosperous as a general trend, so this is an interesting cultural artifact, probably unique to China at least, and is worthy of attention as such.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jackpot777 (1159971)

        Western businessmen don't employ certain races to make themselves look multicultural. That's what stock photos in the Annual Report are for. And they don't use people from any particular continent to give the illusion of success, but that doesn't mean they don't do it. A Mercedes Benz with driver here, conspicuous use of the Amex Centurion Card [wikipedia.org] there, and soon enough your Mister Big Shot to your prospective clients.

        Everything counts in large amounts. It seems that some businessmen are easily impressed by a

        • Western businessmen don't employ certain races to make themselves look multicultural.

          Maybe not, but prejudice was/is all around. I once witnessed an Indian being offered a very senior software position on the ground that "well, Indians are good at software". Made them look the look though.

          Of course the Indian bloke in question actually was pretty much crap otherwise the idiotic situation wouldn't have gone noticed. He left the company without accomplishing anything other than cashing the pay check.

          DISCLAIMER: I don't think Indians -or any other ethnic group of people- are generally be

  • are actors. I thought white boys knew this.
  • Americans (Score:3, Funny)

    by Ukab the Great (87152) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @12:16PM (#32746166)

    The other white meat.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @12:29PM (#32746388) Homepage
    Once they start producing their own generic clones, the price will go through the floor.
  • HEY!!! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Theodore (13524) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @01:44PM (#32747640)

    WHERE DA WHITE WOMEN AT!?!?!

  • Not surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gauauu (649169) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @02:52PM (#32748578)

    I spent 2 years in China working for a software outsourcing company. Although there were a handful of other Americans at the company, I was the only one that wasn't of Asian descent. It was funny, really -- any time important people toured the company, they'd always stop by my desk to introduce me, even though I wasn't any sort of important role. Just being the "token white guy" got me a decent amount of attention. It was quite odd.

    In general, though, being "white" in China still has privileges. I was in one of the most modern cities in China (Shenzhen, near where all your iPods are made) Just a friendly smile would set young women in hysterical giggles. Random people at the bus stop would ask me if I would be their friend. The banks would let me skip the line and go to the VIP counter. My Asian-American friends, on the other hand, didn't get nearly the special treatment. While people would compliment my horrible butchering of the Chinese language, people would ask them why they couldn't speak better. Sadly, I guess that means that racism is still thriving in some parts of the world....

    • by flajann (658201)

      I spent 2 years in China working for a software outsourcing company. Although there were a handful of other Americans at the company, I was the only one that wasn't of Asian descent. It was funny, really -- any time important people toured the company, they'd always stop by my desk to introduce me, even though I wasn't any sort of important role. Just being the "token white guy" got me a decent amount of attention. It was quite odd.

      In general, though, being "white" in China still has privileges. I was in one of the most modern cities in China (Shenzhen, near where all your iPods are made) Just a friendly smile would set young women in hysterical giggles. Random people at the bus stop would ask me if I would be their friend. The banks would let me skip the line and go to the VIP counter. My Asian-American friends, on the other hand, didn't get nearly the special treatment. While people would compliment my horrible butchering of the Chinese language, people would ask them why they couldn't speak better. Sadly, I guess that means that racism is still thriving in some parts of the world....

      Reminds me of a sketch Eddie Murphy did once about painting himself as a "white guy" and everyone started treating him with all these privileges. I hear something similar happens in India, too. But there is has more to do with being "American" than being "white".

      • by samjam (256347)

        I was waiting in the airport check-in queue with a group of friends at a UK airport.

        One friend (from India) made the mistake of standing a little apart from us and was subject to stern questioning from one of the airport staff and close scrutiny of his (Indian) passport.

        As this happened, we (his white friends) walked closer to him to see what was going on.

        The airport staff saw us and then apologised (to us, I recall) saying: I didn't realise he was with you.

        Later on in the same airport, one of the staff (of

        • by flajann (658201)
          Yeow.

          Profiling stinks, big time. And besides that, I've never heard of an Indian terrorist in the western world. So not only do their profiling stinks, it's not even accurate.

          Or...

          It's just an excuse for xenophobia. My word, he had to be validated by "whites" to be seen as "OK". Really makes me sick to my stomach that this kind of crap still goes on in our world.

          • by samjam (256347)

            In this case it may be as a result of some peoples inability to handle general legitimate mistrust specific ways.

            It doesn't bother me too much. As imperfections go it's not very bad.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by KingKaneOfNod (583208)

      I spent 2 years in China working for a software outsourcing company. Although there were a handful of other Americans at the company, I was the only one that wasn't of Asian descent. It was funny, really -- any time important people toured the company, they'd always stop by my desk to introduce me, even though I wasn't any sort of important role. Just being the "token white guy" got me a decent amount of attention.

      This actually reminds me of a certain communications & media company I used to work for; they had just bought a company in China and had brought all of the executives over to give them a tour of company headquarters. As soon as they got in the door they spotted the white (and overweight) security guard and went into a frenzy of pointing and excitement. Soon after they all had photos taken with the guy who looked quite confused! I didn't have a clue what was going on but a colleague of mine (of Chinese d

    • This is why I enjoy visiting Japan more than Taiwan.

      While in Taiwan: "Why can't you speak Mandarin properly? Why can't you understand Taiwanese at all?"

      While in Japan: "Oh, how cute! It's a Chinese guy trying to speak our language! Pretty good!"

  • And where do I sign up?

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. -- John Muir

Working...