“Posing an either/or option – either this is or is not a hate crime – does not help us understand what transpired. Racism is not an either/or phenomenon. It is deeply embedded in our society and, when left unchecked, has the potential to inform our perceptions and actions in ways not captured by a caricatured understanding of its diverse forms. Racism is not always conscious or intentional. It exists across a vast spectrum of consciousness and intentionality. As part of our subconscious, racism can manifest in the form of microaggressions that are often unintentional and sometimes even well-meaning. On the more dangerous side of the spectrum, it manifests in violence. We need to break the association of racism with intent because racism endures without it.
Our current cultural paradigm often makes a simplistic equation: Good people are well-intentioned and are therefore not racist; bad people are ill-intentioned and are therefore racist. Consequently, if the white police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Gardner are considered “good people” by their friends, families, and colleagues, their actions cannot be deemed racist. Such a conclusion focuses solely on intent and overlooks how members of the police – like all of us – have been shaped and influenced by notions of black men as threatening and how such cultural imagery has, in turn, structured racialized violence.” .
— Evelyn Alsultany | www.evelynalsultany.com | from her article "Beyond intent: Why we need a new paradigm to think about racialized violence” | Link in bio
People hold many stereotypes about Chinese, do Chinese hold stereotypes about other cultures? Oh definitely. We might be reluctant to say, but actually there are people from every culture holding stereotypes towards those from a different one. (We even hold stereotypes towards our own culture!) Put it in another way, we tend to imagine things about people we don’t know, constructing faceless images that summarise all, because we lack first-hand experience, or that our source of information is singular or biased, or that we take something common or a trend as an absolute rule that applies to everyone and on everything.
Generalization and symbols are easier for the mind to grasp. Recognising diversity and complexity requires a lot more work, including constant battles with your own mind through unlearning and relearning.