Stay safe guys

A few of my friends went out to the day-time “peaceful” protests, and are coming back with reports that they are getting tear-gassed. This was in Seatle and also in Las Vegas. I don’t think I have any friends crazy enough to venture out here in Los Angeles. Please stay safe guys!!

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…glad to hear you are safe, Mike.

Hope everyone’s okay. I couldn’t get to a protest (and probably cannot if I want to keep my job, as gross as that makes me feel), but I’m looking up who to give some money to do what I can.

It’s pretty terrifying.

My block just got looted. Looters did a smash and grab on the pharmacy next to my house. I’m fine but they set it on fire.

Holy shit. Glad you’re okay.

Yeah. Definitely living in weird times. I took some photos and posted about it on my Facebook, but some friends talked to me about it and suggested I take it down since it was a negative light on the situation. Angry that my neighborhood got taken advantage of by malicious forces, but I do see the argument that although I see a difference between the protests and the looting, others may not see my perspective and it make just add more noise to the demonization of the situation.

Yeah, unfortunately a lot of people are equating the protests with the looters/rioters/etc, when that’s not the case, and I definitely empathize with not adding to a narrative that’s being pushed by racist individuals who won’t understand the differences you intended.

It sounds like taking it down was the right call, but your anger at the people who did that to your neighborhood is also justified.

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So someone was lecturing me about how the People’s Daily reported that “all American major cities are destroyed.”

And many Chinese people are walking around like, “Oh, thank God we don’t have a democracy!”

So, yeah…I know it’s nothing compared to poor Mike’s neighborhood.

Frankly, I’m also a bit freaked out that there appear to be some individuals who are using the protests as a pretext for violence for the explicit purpose of starting another Civil War.

Not sure what optics are getting out to you over there, but this is no where near as bad as the Rodney King riots to be sure. For me this was like a less then a dozen shops in a 5 mile radius from the protest in my neighborhood. The mainstream media videos are definitely zooming in on the bad, which is what they do. It glosses over the 1-2 miles long groups fo peaceful protesters marching in the streets of hollywood and downtown. The cities are perfectly fine.

“Kobe never cracked under pressure, we all need to be like Kobe right now” - LA protester

well, i actually can read English, and read the Western media, so I think my optics are about as good as they can get.

…but the Chinese people are reading “all major cities are destroyed.”

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Ah. Wasn’t sure what was blocked or not.

Yeah, the media focuses on the violent incidents and not the fact a lot of people are out protesting and supporting Black Lives Matter.

That’s scary, how it’s reported in China, though.

Yeah wow, how many millions of Chinese people think USA is in ashes right now?

A lot of them?

I mean, a few of the more educated/clever Chinese people know that the government media will always make America look bad. But that’s a pretty tiny minority. Like, a colleague asked me today how bad it was in America, and although I stressed that it’s not exactly hunky-dory A-OK, the Chinese media has overreacted.

Though, I must say, after years of pointedly not-mentioning Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, or Hong Kong, it’s a bit frustrating to all of a sudden endure a bunch of “Ha-ha! Look how shit your country is now!”

(Oh Hong Kong is dead BTW.)

They also mostly seem really surprised I’m voting against Trump. Sometimes a Chinese person will even say that they like Trump, which is a weird thing to say given how antagonistic Trump has been to China. When pressed, they often say they like him because he’s a businessman, and one Chinese girl even said they thought he has handsome, which…is not a word even Trump’s supporters often use to describe him.

As for what’s blocked, it’s weirdly selective, certain very famous names are blocked (BBC, New York Times, and Washington Post) but some things are not. Like, I end up reading the Los Angeles Times a lot, because it’s not blocked, and it’s kind of interesting how even though both the LA Times and WaPo are broadly left-of-center they have decidedly different West vs. East coast take on things. Of course, the vast majority of Chinese people can’t read English even close to well enough to do something like read a newspaper anyway.

Yeaaaah, that feels… uneven, especially when I imagine there would be repercussions for mentioning said places.

I’m surprised they’d like Trump. The only people he’s less nakedly antagonistic to in his rhetoric are Mexican-Americans and Mexicans (and he doesn’t make a real distinction), I think. Then again, I’m surprised half of the country liked Trump well enough to vote for him, so… fuck if I know.

I never noticed the different flavors until recently. LATaco and the LATimes’s Essential California blog are usually my go tos for LA stuff if you want some more localized perspectives.

Well, I have occasionally thought about where I might live when I come back to the US, and although DC is kind of the obvious choice, I have sometimes thought about LA, too – it is broadly socially progressive, I have a couple friends there (you guys!), great weather, and it’s significantly closer to Asia (which I would still like to travel to from time to time.) It does, however, have the not-insignificant downsides of high housing costs and virtually nonexistent public transportation.

But, with the job market what it is, I’m likely to stay in China for the near future. After all, they’re not exactly letting in new English teachers to the country at the moment. Actually, I don’t think I could even book a flight back to America right now if I wanted to. I don’t expect international travel to be A Thing again before 2021.

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