Ben in Hong Kong©

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The little things...

I was walking up my road earlier in the week towards home and spotted some policemen walking towards me. I don't know why this crossed my mind, but I frequently witness police stopping Asian men and women in random checks, yet this never seems to occur with white folk.

So I thought to myself what it might take for me to get stopped by the police? Options that sprang to mind at that precise moment involved kicking a small dog to my right into the path of an oncoming tram, then perhaps stripping naked and running to my local supermarket. That should get me stopped, I pondered. Truth is though, on that day (Monday) I really did believe that despite dead dogs and nudity, the police would still think twice about stopping a white guy.

Fear not though, this is not an essay on race.

My assumptions were proved wrong on Tuesday when I was told about how recently a white western male was stopped and fined for using a pedestrain crossing whilst a red light was showing. I then heard a similar story taking place in the financial district involving a white western female. I then cast my mind back to a girl I know called Rachel, who was stopped because she had an Ikea bag which police thought she had stolen. So police are not ignoring white folk, they are just ignoring me.

If I was stopped by gun wearing baton weilding police officer my first sarcastic comment might be 'don't you have any real police work to do?' The thing is though, I don't think they do in the typical English sense of the word. Take a look at this news article by clicking (here.)
It is about a police swoop on a famous clothing designers for creating T-Shirts that have a vague reference to Triad gangs. They arrested numerous people and hauled them away, needless to say that the T-Shirts are being removed from circulation.

My main realization is this. I know I should be outraged that police can stop me without cause on the streets. (They are allowed to perform 'random' stop and search by law). I also know I should be shocked at the lack of freedom of speech the police provide to T-Shirt designers.
However, i'm not in the slightest bit shocked or outraged. Police are everywhere on the streets of Hong Kong which is why I can walk past a drug addict clinic at night and not be conerned for my safety. Besides, this is a society that instructs me on a daily basis through announcements how 'escalator safety is easy to learn, and easy to use'.
So what more would you expect?



bensmum said...

Blige Ben, I can see you standing on a soap box in speakers corner London!!!!

Ben 'Soapbox' said...

Im 6ft 3 I don't need a sopabox! i'm opinionated enough as it is!