Re: Exporting Misery
It's saying, there are ways in which it's not OK to treat a British worker -- but it's fine to treat a Chinese worker in those same ways. How is this not racism?
It would not be OK to treat a worker in the UK of any race in that manner, just as it would be OK to treat a worker in China as described in the article, regardless of race (though they are very homogenous demographically). It's not about race... it's about the standards of the country in question, and the only reason you've brought this up is that racism has become the worst imaginable sin possible in the west, and somehow making it "racism" instead of "institutionalized slavery" (but by members of the same race) is supposed to make it even worse.
It's the Chinese government whose job it is to stand up for the rights of Chinese citizens, just as the British government has for its own citizens. Why is it that this kind of thing as described in the article isn't ok in the UK? It's because the UK has a representative government and the people of the UK won't stand for it.
In China, there is no representative government, and it doesn't much matter what the people stand for. The government is responsible for what happens to its citizenry, and by our standards, it has fallen down on that job very badly since the "People's Republic of China" has existed.
But (playing devil's advocate here) who are we to impose our values on the Chinese? Surely they are capable of running their own country without our help. Companies will do whatever they can get away with in any country; this much is known already. If the Chinese government allows it, that's their choice for their citizens (if you can call them that) and their country.
Refusing to impose our western views of human rights on Chinese workers is not racism.
I agree with the western views of human rights; I think the way the Chinese government treats its citizens and allows others to treat its citizens is terrible. Do I think our western values are better than theirs? You bet your ass I do.
I don't find that to be racist either, as I don't care what race the person is... all people have rights, and the Chinese government systematically violates the human rights of its own citizens, or stands by and does nothing as Foxconn and others do the same.
If there was any racism in this equation, it would be those of us in the west thinking we know how Chinese workers should be treated better than the actual Chinese (meaning the government) do. Of course, we do think that, or there would not be any outrage over this.
It's not about race. Not everything that is bad and unacceptable has to be boiled down to racial issues.