in china

few things are more stupid than a mob

shanghaiist published today the story of an american volunteer teacher that was attacked last sunday, when exiting carrefour on zhuzhou (hunan). below is the letter sent by one of his colleagues to the media:

Last night [Editor’s note: Sunday, Apr 20] around 7pm my friend was attacked by a mob of about 150 people outside the Carrefour in Zhuzhou, Hunan (near his placement site). When leaving Carrefour some of the crowd started shouting at him and he tried to say he didn’t have anything to do with the Olympics, but 3 men started to push him and then he was hit in the back of the head at least 3 times.
He started to run, and the mob chased him. He jumped into a cab, but the mob surrounded the car and started shaking and rocking it. The cab driver was shouting at him to get out. Then they started hitting the car. The crowd was shouting “kill him! kill the Frenchman.” He called the Field Director while in the back of the car. The cab driver abandon the car when he saw police coming.
Two police made there way though the mob and managed to drive the cab away. The Field Director alerted the Director Shu of the Hunan Department of Education. The police got him another cab and he took it from Zhuzhou to the field director’s home in Changsha. He spending the night here in Changsha and is likely leaving China as soon as possible.

[My colleague] is only 22, an American (not French), and a volunteer teacher. He graduated from Boston Collage less than 10 months ago. If he can be attacked anyone can be. The situation in central china is becoming much worse very quickly. James has been cut up pretty badly by the glass and the people trying to grab him.

I didn’t think the situation and protests were anything to worry about before now, but if the mob had gotten him outside of the cab he could have easily been killed.

Foreigners need to be more aware that this is a real danger and MUCH more careful around the protests here in central china.

Im also sending this letter to the embassy.
People need to be more much careful.

me too, i also hadn’t given these boycotts and protests much thought. now? honestly, as a caucasian-big-eyed-easy-to-spot foreigner, i feel threatened.

i find myself mentally rewinding stupid sentences in mandarin, such as “i’m not french, i’m portuguese, portugal gave macau to china, so we’re friends!”. as if i could tame the stupidity of a mob with my impressive mandarin skills. both sad and pathetic. *sigh*

here’s hoping the olympics come and go quickly. 125 days left.

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