Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can’t help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies.”
Morrissey has been called a racist before for lyrics in songs such as “Bengali in Platforms” and “Asian Rut,” and for the anti-immigration comments he made to NME music magazine in 2007. But he’s apparently standing by these comments, saying later in a statement:
“If anyone has seen the horrific and unwatchable footage of the Chinese cat and dog trade – animals skinned alive – then they could not possibly argue in favour of China as a caring nation. There are no animal protection laws in China and this results in the worst animal abuse and cruelty on the planet. It is indefensible.
(sigh) I confess that I LOVE the Smiths. I perform an acoustic cover of “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” for my partner and my dog in my living room on a regular basis. I, however, AM SO DONE WITH MORRISSEY.
I am furthermore exasperated by the constant conflation of the existence of animal cruelty within a given geographical region or national boundary with ETHNIC CULTURAL PRACTICE. I stay on the PETA e-mail listserve because I don’t mind getting some animal rights schwag every now and then, be it stickers or veg*n brochures (that are not idiotic), but I vomit in a mouth a tiny bit whenever I see a call-out for an action to be staged in front of, say, the South Korean Consulate in order to protest th lax enforcement of laws against the consumption of dog-meat in that country. My nausea only worsens as I imagine the phalanx of white, hipster, petite-bourgeois animal rights activists carrying around fake blood stained placards baring the colors or likeness of the South Korean flag. C’MON NOW! FOR SERIOUS?!
Look, I get that Morrrissey or any other white vegan/animal rights activist is not thrilled about certain practices regarding animal rights situations in certain parts of the world (I’m not either), but to demonize an
entire nationality or ethnic group or refer to an entire nationality or ethnic group pejoratively as a SUBSPECIES. Dude… completely unnecessary, completely uncalled for, SHUT THE F-RONT DOOR!
Probably my two biggest gripes about these near-sighted race politic expressions of animal rights are that:
1) they really perpetuate, particularly amongst people of color, the misnomer that veganism can only be narrowly defined as a white, middle-class subculture and that;
2) vegans of color are further marginalized within the discourse of animal rights whether or not we cry foul at the egregious white-supremacist twists on these representations of animal rights politics.
As with Morrissey as well as the rest of the white animal rights crowd, here’s a itsy-bitsy tip when attempting to articulate a discourse about animal rights: a little nuance goes a long way in figuring out where the root of the problem lies and where the solution can begin. The intersection of race and ethnicity between veganism is much more complex than you might make it out to be.
And oh yeah… Girlfriend in a coma? More like Morrissey’s racist brain in a coma. That joke isn’t funny anymore. It’s too close to home and it’s too near the bone.
Thanks to Angry Asian Man for the link and pic.
Here’s the original article from the Guardian.