Tom Grundy has created a blog called Hong Wrong. He is an activist and aims to show people the dark side of certain cultures and how they exploit others. In one of his latest blog entries he features a workbook from a Hong Kong school that is overrun with stereotypes that should not be taught to children. These stereotypical descriptions were used to try and help children match up the people pictured with their nationalities.
One of the first photos that he tweeted showed a series of people and a thought bubble next to them describing who they were. It starts off with a white male whose description is, “I am British. I am an English teacher.” That one doesn’t seem too bad, right? Then it jumps to a woman of color with the description, “I am Filipino. I am a domestic helper in Hong Kong.” From there it moves to “I am Japanese. I have a sushi restaurant in Hong Kong”, “I am Chinese. Shanghai is my hometown”. Those are not too terrible either. The last one featured on the page states, “I am Indian. I study in an international school.”
After the description pages there are pages that have the students match up the different races with supposed characteristics that each race possesses. For example, they state that black people have “thick lips” and “wide noses”. Grundy questioned the Hong Kong Equal Opportunities Commission about the stereotypes that these textbooks were using. They stated that educational materials should have diversity and cultural values. They stated that they did not feel that ethnic stereotypes should be looked at with caution.
The South Morning China Post states that the textbooks that Grundy is referring to are not on the recommended educational materials list for schools in Hong Kong and yet they are still being used in schools.