In Remarks About Jews, Chinese Businessman Evokes Offensive Stereotypes

New York, NY, January 9, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today reacted to remarks by Chinese recycling tycoon Chen Guangbiao who, after his unsuccessful attempt to buy The New York Times, told a Chinese newspaper that he believes many American newspapers are Jewish-owned and has an “equally competent IQ and EQ” compared with Jews.

Chen, who recently dubbed himself “the most influential person in China,” also remarked, “I am very good at working with Jews.”  The comments were first reported by the South China Morning Post, which interviewed Chen after he traveled to New York City this week.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

How sad and how deep and how ingrained are the offensive stereotypes about Jewish brains and success in business.  These stereotypes, plus the false notion that Jews control the U.S. news media, infect even educated and successful people such as Chen Guangbiao.

For decades, self-help gurus and widely available books have exhorted the Chinese to emulate the Jews in order to achieve financial success.  For the most part, those perpetuating this call believe they are being complimentary about Jews and Jewish success, and have no idea that they are repeating deeply ingrained anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jewish brains and success in business.  Given his prominent position, Chen has a responsibility to educate himself – and his countrymen – about the deeply prejudiced roots of these statements.

For a long time, many of us thought that China was immune from the classic stereotypes that pervaded Europe and the Middle East. Unfortunately, it seems to be seeping more and more into the mainstream.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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