The Associated Press is jumping to the defense of Eileen Gu, aka Genocide Barbie, the US-born skier who defected from America to win gold for the red Chinese.
In a Feb. 15 article, the AP attempted to drum up sympathy for the 18-year-old Olympian as a teen caught between two worlds, the nation of her birth in the U.S.A. and the country she has adopted as her own, China.
The AP lamented that “the fascination — some might say obsession — with Eileen Gu’s origin story” is threatening to “overshadow anything she does on the slopes.”
The U.S. media itself has what might be called a fascination with its decision to continue calling her “Eileen” without also mentioning that she ditched her U.S. name and is known as Gu Ailing in China.
Gu was born in California and raised with all the education and training benefits in America. But Gu decided to abandon the U.S. and become a Chinese citizen “to empower Chinese girl,” she claimed.
The AP explained that Gu has “strong connections” to red China because her mother is a Chinese citizen.
“She has genuinely strong connections to China,” the AP helpfully insisted, “just like many others in the Chinese diaspora who are taking advantage of opportunities and resources both in the Western countries where they grew up and in an increasingly wealthy mainland China.”
The AP goes on to detail some of the Olympian’s background, including that her mother and grandmother are Chinese citizens, her father has never been identified publicly, and she grew up in a comfortably well-to-do home.
The AP story also noted Gu herself has not come straight out and picked one country over the other, noting that in 2020 she exclaimed, “When I’m in China, I’m Chinese. When I’m in the U.S., I’m American.”
Indeed, Gu has consistently dodged the question as to whether she has dumped her American citizenship for China.
The AP noted that few Chinese people can return to China and still live like a privileged westerner, like Gu. That privilege was highlighted last week when Gu was seen to be allowed to use Instagram to push her Olympic competition when no other Chinese people are allowed to use social media platforms outside China’s complete control.
But the AP quickly pivoted to the “racism” Asians face in the U.S.
“Nonwhite immigrants and their descendants, in particular, face the double bind of being required to completely assimilate in order to be considered American, but also butting up against racist notions that prevent them from being accepted as truly American,” the AP wrote.
The AP insisted that American attacks on Gu are hypocritical because white people hate Asians and tell them to “go back home” even as they attack Gu for defecting to China and leaving the U.S. behind.
The wire service then rolled out a list of people born in one country but competing for another. Oddly, the AP even cited figure skating champion Nathan Chen for winning gold for the U.S. It is odd because Chen was born in the U.S. and competed for the U.S.
While the AP does accuse Americans of racism for rejecting Gu and relays how many Chinese fans love her for embracing her mother’s land, the AP also does not spend a single word to explain why many Americans call her a hypocrite.
The AP does note that some Chinese fans are unhappy with her for not acting as an activist for Internet freedom for Chinese citizens. But the specific complaint that many Americans have — and one the AP ignored — paints Gu in a far more hypocritical light.
The teenage Gu has flitted off to China to win the endorsements of a long list of big-name companies — such as Victoria’s Secret and Louis Vuitton –, but she is more than a hypocrite for not advocating for Internet freedom.
Even as she enjoys far more freedom than other Chinese subjects of the communist regime, Gu has also attempted to fashion herself as an advocate for oppressed peoples. For example, she has extolled the cause of Black Lives Matter to criticize race relations in the U.S. Still, she has remained entirely silent about China’s genocidal crimes against its Uyghur population. Nor has she said a word about the Chinese government’s oppression of Christians, the Falun Gong, or China’s brutal suppression of the pro-democracy movements in Tibet and Hong Kong. She only cares to support oppressed people if she thinks they live in the U.S.A.
The AP conveniently ignored all this criticism and instead called opposition to her in the U.S. as nothing but racism.
She has become one of the biggest celebrities in China, with immense exposure through her modeling career, fawning state media coverage, and flashy ad campaigns making her one of the faces of Beijing’s 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
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