Setsuna K:
Late Night Opinion
On Separatism and Oversea Ethnic Chinese's Identity and Search of Heritage

2024.3.28. Dublin, Ireland
(It's called "Late Night Opinion" because everything from writing the script to recording is done late in the evening after midnight...)

Sometimes people consider the anti-China sentiment that comes from separatism is so-called "self-hating" and the fact that people are calling it that, is baffling to me; and it's often people who technically could've had zero business with China as well, like the ABCs and the CBCs and whatever-BCs. To a certain extent their opinion is understandable: sometimes the society they are in are not willing to fully accept them because they got an Asian face and they looked Asian and whatnot, it could drive people the other way and for the BCs the "other way" is of course the "Chinese culture". And it's obvious that when people like us denounce the concept of China they would get angry; they would say you are "self-hating", or you have "internalized white people racist narrative", or you are a "bootlicker of the white people", or whatever the fancy word kids these days like to spin without any thinking; and of course it's all a facade, and what they're truly saying is: "you denounced the thing our identity relies on. how dare you do this to our identity, when we have nothing else to rely on but this."

An interesting thing is that those who think this way never truly look past the anti-China part of what we're actually promoting, much like how the same group of people never truly look past the plastic, tokenized quote-unquote "Chinese culture" they thought they know. I think people who are on this path, either by one's own will or simply being misled, must understand that true separatism comes exactly from one's love of his homeland: his homeland exploited by the government, his mother tongue oppressed by the government, and naturally he would rise up and said, we don't want this any more, for the sake of everything that should rightfully belong to us, we'd like to rule on our own. This is no "self-hate", this is the exact opposite of self-hate.

Also, there's one thing, that oversea quote-unquote Chinese needs to be careful about. You see on YouTube, on Twitter, on Instagram, on Discord, and any other social network, a lot of them are saying that, they'd like to learn more about their Chinese heritage; but here's a question for all of them from someone who's actually from the thing they think they are from: do they truly know what they're searching for? And do they truly know what they want to search for? Are they willing to settle with a plastic, tokenized representation of the so-called "Chinese culture", or do they really want to know who they actually are and where they actually come from? Because for someone who wants the latter, the former option is not enough; and for whoever chooses that former option, they are far better off to just go and be American or Canadian or some shit.

This is a very important question, and I'll tell you why. Not that long ago, there was this new deity-thingy called the 趙世子 Zhao Shizi. It was said to be a deity with a proper worshipping history in Hokkien. And here comes the catch: I've got friends from Hokkien so when the thing somehow became news I asked them about this, they said they worshipped 媽祖 Mazu (which we all know), but they never heard about this Zhao Shizi thing. This is the catch: not a goddamn soul in hokkien have ever heard about this deity. it's completely fabricated. You could argue that all deity is fabricated, but Zhao Shizi is new, it's extremely recent, with a history of very probably less than one year.

Now imagine that your family comes from Hokkien; you have a bad relationship with your parents because that's how most Chinese family turn out to be, but you would really like to connect with your Hokkien heritage; and when you trying to do so, instead of Mazu which is truly Hokkien, you got this fake Zhao Shizi deity. When you're getting that, how could you tell that this is not the thing you thought you were going to get? If, for whatever reasons, you who are oversea second or third or fourth or whatever-generation born Chinese, decided that you are willing to settle with a generic "Chinese culture" how are you supposed to know if the thing you were taught to believe in is a fake one that could be designed in such a way that allows your affinity to be exploited in their benefit?

This is one of the reasons why separatism in China is important other than other "not so important" to you and "brain-hurty" to you things such as directly solving the Taiwan problem and the South China Sea problem. Under the concept of China, there is no place for locals. It doesn't matter if you're from canton or hokkien or manchuria or whatever, you're just Chinese, and when you're just Chinese, everything about your background and heritage is at the mercy of whoever's controlling what "Chinese" is, and there will never be any real truth about the thing you wish to connect to when it's under such a system.