Planned Workouts and scheduled races

Every Wednesday: Bigfoot Cycle Workout (Dali) 5:15 am
Every Saturday: Bigfoot Swim Workout (Dali) 6:00 am

8/28 Vision Bigfoot Duathlon (Qingshui) 8:00 am
9/4 Taiwan P.E. University Cup 5000m 4:00 pm
10/1 Beauty of Taidong Triathlon (Olympic Distance) 8:00 am
10/30 Gaomei Wetland Marathon (Qingshui) - (Marathon distance) 6:00 am
11/5 NeverStop West Coast Bike Race (200km) 5:00 am *
11/13 Taoyuan National Marathon (Marathon distance) - TBA 11/20 Mizono Marathon Relay
12/18 Fubon Taipei Marathon (Marathon distance) 7:00 am (Boston Marathon qualifying attempt)

* reconsidering the NeverStop race due to the date change to November, which would result in four race weekends (perhaps five if the Supau Cup is on 11/27) in a row.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Racism in the KMT?

Entering Heping District, Taichung's only aboriginal district.

This is a legitimate question based on the actions (or lack thereof) of the KMT government in aboriginal affairs compounded with recent statements by President Ma and a KMT legislator. Statements that were made are clearly racist on the face of it and were they made by a White American politician in reference to African Americans, there would be hell to pay.

Ma Ying-jeou has been accused by aboriginal groups of not keeping his promises on aboriginal autonomy. In fact, it would seem in Taichung City's Heping District, the situation has gotten worse given the fact that as a district in Taichung City, the government and people of Heping now have far less autonomy over their own affairs than they did before the merger. The government has also been roundly accused of failure to repair aboriginal areas damaged in recent natural disasters, most notably Typhoon Morokot from two years ago. As is well known in Taiwan, the government's response to the disaster waws abysmal and aboriginal areas, including Xiaolin Township, bore the brunt of the destruction.

In early May, President Ma said that aboriginal autonomy would result in the isolation of aborigines (like they aren't already) and that they should be valued for their talent in sports and music. Well, it is true that aboriginals have a reputation for excellence in both areas. However, aborigines have far more to contribute than that. A friend of mine is aboriginal. He is, it is true, an amazing athlete. But he is also an amazing person with so much more to give than just his prowess as a runner on the roads. I have been to several aboriginal areas and have always been touched by their warmth and friendliness. They have so much more to give if they are only given the chance.

On early May, a member of the Council of Indigenous Peoples Liao Wan-lung proposed that aborigines be prevented from marrying Han to maintain racial purity. The reality is that there are very few Han, especially of the Minnan (also known as Hoklo) variety, who are "pure blood" given the amount of Plains Aboriginal ancestry has worked its way into the bloodlines. He was suspended from the party for three months, but given that this came at the same time as Ma's remarks and the lack of progress on aboringal issues, one has to wonder if there is a greater problem within the KMT.

The reality is that were these statements made in the U.S. regarding Blacks, the punishment would have been much more severe and a president making the remarks Ma did would not have been so quickly forgotten as they apparently have here just a few weeks after the statements were uttered. Is that symptomatic of a greater problem? That racist statements regarding aboriginals are still acceptable in a way that they haven't been in the United States for decades? I hope this isn't the case, but I fear it may be.

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