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Baizuo (/ˈbˌtswɔː/;[1] Chinese: 白左 báizuǒ, literally "white left"[2]) is a derogatory Chinese neologism used to refer to Western liberal elites.[3][4][5] . In more than 400 answers submitted by Zhihu users during 2015 to May 2017, the term is defined as referring to those who are hypocritically obsessed with political correctness in order to satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority motivated from an ignorant and arrogant Western-centric worldview who pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours. A related term is shèngmǔ (圣母, 聖母, literally "holy mother", title for the mother of an emperor), a sarcastic reference to those whose political opinions are guided by emotions and a hypocritical show of selflessness and empathy, represented by celebrities.[6]

The term baizuo was apparently coined in a 2010 article published on Renren Network, entitled The Fake Morality of the Western White Left and the Chinese Patriotic Scientists (西方白左和中国爱国科学家的伪道德). No further use of the term is known until 2013, with only isolated use during 2013–2015.[7] Substantial use in Chinese internet culture begins in early 2016, at first at MIT BBS, a bulletin board system used by many Chinese in US, during the United States presidential election of 2016. Baizuo was here used to criticize to the policies of the Democratic Party with regard to minorities, perceived as treating Asians unfairly.[7] English-language reception of the term begins in 2017, with a definition posted on Urban Dictionary in May of that year.[8]

After the 2016 United States presidential election, the term came to be more widely used, e.g. in reference to the perceived double standards of Western media, such as the bias on reporting about Xinjiang conflict.[9][10]

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ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ English pronunciation reconstructed from Tim Pool, "Social Justice Hypocrites and the 'Baizuo'" (youtube video, at 8:26). Urban dictionary: "pronounced 'bye-tswaw'".
  2. ^ "福克斯台给美国大众普及:中国人说的"白左"是什么意思…" (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2017-12-10.
  3. ^ Qu Qiuyan (2017-05-21). "Chinese derogatory social media term for 'white left' Western elites spreads". Global Times. Archived from the original on 2017-05-25.
  4. ^ Chenchen Zhang (11 May 2017). "The curious rise of the 'white left' as a Chinese internet insult". Archived from the original on 10 June 2017.
  5. ^ "这个词,让中国向西方逆向输出了一次价值观". 加拿大家园 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2017-06-25. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  6. ^ Chenchen Zhang: The curious rise of the ‘white left’ as a Chinese internet insult, openDemocracy, 11 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b 方可成 (2017-12-10). "方可成:"白左"污名化与社会达尔文主义". 红歌会网 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2018-06-06. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  8. ^ 周方舟 (2017-06-21). "论白左". 杨邱自媒体 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2018-06-06. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  9. ^ Zhang Yi (2017-05-22). "Chinese baizuo gibe a rebuttal to West's moral superiority". Global Times. Archived from the original on 2017-05-29. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
  10. ^ "The curious rise of the 'white left' as a Chinese internet insult | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. 2017-05-20. Archived from the original on 2017-12-12. Retrieved 2017-12-11.