Say what you like about Americans, they do like to do things by the book. Even if they might harbor racist sentiments, they know not to say them out loud, or put them into writing. They know that if they make derogatory remarks about a black person, they are in for a rough ride.
Look at what happened to Donald Sterling, co-owner of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Los Angeles Clippers. The release into the public domain of a conversation recorded by a female friend, in which he made racist comments, whipped up a storm that ended with the NBA imposing a lifetime ban on him and requiring him to sell the team, in compliance with the league’s rules.
Sterling was not happy with the NBA’s disciplinary action, accusing it of violating his constitutional rights of private ownership. Nevertheless, he is likely to lose the team anyway, as the franchise might be sold to former Microsoft chairman Steve Ballmer for US$2 billion.
Coming back to these shores, there was a story a few years ago of a former public servant who was found to have openly made derogatory comments about ethnic Taiwanese, under an assumed name, for which he was disciplined and made to leave his post.
If the story had ended there, there would be little more to say. However, it turns out that with retirement approaching, this man was miraculously rehired for a Taiwan Provincial Government post, just so that after a few months he could retire and collect a monthly pension, perhaps as high as NT$70,000.
The Taiwan Provincial Government, in all its wisdom, decided to recruit this gentleman as a foreign affairs secretary, only after senior provincial government officials delivered a final appraisal of the candidates “according to the law.”
This audacious move, employing somebody who had been fired from his previous post, with a black mark on his record, and in the year that he was due to retire no less, so that he can be paid his pension at the expense of the taxpayer, frankly stinks.
The orders for this man’s rehiring must have come from on high.
Otherwise, for a non-entity like the Taiwan Provincial Government to take him on, to forget his indiscretions and misdemeanors and put him back among the people he has insulted, would surely have taken some audacity. He did not have much influence himself. It must have been someone with influence looking out for him.
The man who made these slurs about ethnic Taiwanese, from the size of the pension that he is going to get, is quite the comeback man, now in the service of the very people he laid into.
In the US, Sterling was punished for making derogatory comments about black people with a lifetime ban from the NBA, even though he actually stands to make quite a lot of money from the sale of the Clippers.
In Taiwan, a public official who slurred ethnic Taiwanese was rewarded by being shoehorned back into a position in the provincial government, in preparation for receiving a nice, fat pension.
This kind of high-level corruption could only come about within the culture of this foreign regime that has been imposed upon us.
James Wang is a media commentator.
Translated by Paul Cooper