Air China is taking some heat today after posting some unusual “safety” tips for their travelers looking to visit London. The controversial advice was posted in Air China’s in-flight magazine, Wings of China, and read as follows:
“London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people. We advise tourists not to go out alone at night, and females always to be accompanied by another person when traveling.”
The excerpt from the magazine was first revealed by Beijing-based CNBC producer, Haze Fan, who posted the following tweet:
— Haze Fan (@journohaze) September 7, 2016
As noted in the Evening Standard, Londoners were naturally a little upset with the safety warning and have called on Air China to retract the excerpt.
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour MP for Tooting, which has one of the largest Indian and Pakistani populations in London, said: “My initial thoughts were that the comments were outrageous.”
“I think that it is offensive to Londoners and I would like to see it removed. I would also like to ask the airline why they thought these precautions needed to be taken.
“Why they feel they needed to warn people of something that is not reflective of London at all?
“I am going to be writing to the Chinese Ambassador to invite him to visit Tooting in London, where all races live side by side. Then they can see how we live and our wonderfully diverse community.”
As Fan pointed out in an article on CNBC, this is not the first time a Chinese company has drawn criticism for racism. Back in May, Shanghai Leishang Cosmetics, the maker of Qiaobi laundry detergent, published the following commercial that also took some heat for being “slightly” racist. The commercial shows a black man entering a room and attempting to flirt with an Asian woman. She feeds him a detergent drop and stuffs his body into a top-loading washer. When the cycle completes, a fair-skinned Asian man emerges to the woman’s delight.
The company offered an official apology for the ad but one executive of the company told The Global Times that people were “too sensitive.”
Can you imagine if these blatant acts of “microaggression” were shared with millennials attending our various elite universities? Mom and dad would have to spend $1,000s on doctors to undo the psychological damage caused by this level of offensive material.