Race Matters: Outcry Over “Chinese Driver” Stickers In Vancouver … Racist Or Just Jokes?

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Categories: For Discussion, News, Originals, Race Matters, SMH, What is Wrong With This Picture

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The pervasive stereotype about Asian drivers is at the core of a debate in Canada over the growth of “Chinese Driver” stickers that have become popular in Vancouver.

We found an interesting blog on the subject over at HuffPo:

“C” stickers which apparently stand for “Chinese Driver” have been spotted on Vancouver vehicles. They’re a close replica of the official signs issued by the Insurance Corporation of B.C. to designate novice drivers.

So is the “C’ sign a warning for others to be cautious of this driver? Is it a symbol of nationalist or ethnic pride, like when people put a country’s sticker or flag on their car bumper? Or is it simply a parody to poke fun at the racist stereotype of bad Asian drivers?

The blogosphere has featured intense debates of late. Many Caucasian commenters call the sticker racist and offensive, while many Asian commenters said they put the sticker on their car because of ethnic pride, and they thought it was funny.

Then I checked some more blog forums, and somebody wrote: “IF I SEE THIS SIGN IN SOMEONES WINDOW, A ROCK IS GOING THROUGH IT. THIS IS A WARNING.”

There were lots of non-Asians threatening to damage cars that were identified as having Chinese drivers, as well as making racist statements. I found more overtly racist signs advertised at a Sears website, stating “Caution Chinese Driver,” and another sign with slanted eyes and bucked teeth. Anti-Asian stereotypes were alive and well, more than a century after the 1907 race riots that attacked Vancouver Chinatown and Japantown.

Here are a few versions of the stickers:

Obviously the one with the buckteeth is going too far, but aren’t bumper stickers normally just intended to be offensive but in good fun?

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