Question in Texas school quiz asks if it is normal in parts of China to eat cats and dogs

NEWS AND VIEWS (OPINION): a school in Texas, USA is in the news because teachers set a quiz for some of their students which included a question about cat and dog meat. The teachers who set this multiple answer quiz have been placed on administrative leave until the matter has been investigated. You can see in the photograph the questions asked. The moral of the story is not to get involved in these sorts sensitive matters if you can avoid it because it is a lose-lose situation. The world has become very ‘woke’. The eating of cat meat presents a clash of cultures. It disgusts some Westerners while some Asians regard it as normal.

A quiz administered at a school in the US state of Texas has been accused of stoking anti-Asian racism by asking students if eating domestic pets is a norm in China
A quiz administered at a school in the US state of Texas has been accused of stoking anti-Asian racism by asking students if eating domestic pets is a norm in China. Photo: Twitter.
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Questions A and B are clearly untrue while question C is correct. The teachers asked ridiculous questions in A and B to try and lead the students into agreeing that question C is true. It is factually correct because some Chinese in the south of China eat cat and dog meat because they think it benefits their health. It is a norm for some in Asia. Cat and dog meat is also big in Vietnam. It’s an objectionable habit to some Westerners because sometimes they kill domestic cats and even if they kill feral cats they do it brutally and without regulation from the authorities. For me it is a quite horrible process. Here are some articles on cat meat:

But the point of this discussion is whether the administrators of the school have been fair on the teachers. I think we can criticise them for posing questions A and B because they insinuate that Asians might be doing these horrible things. But we can’t criticise them for asking question C because it is factually correct. To be honest, I think question 3 should have been removed as it is asking for trouble.

The words used were considered to be ‘derogatory and hurtful’ by a spokesperson for the Branch Independent School District based in Dallas. Interestingly, the focus seems to be on eating cat and dog meat. It’s strange because this is factually correct, as mentioned, whereas the other two questions are absurd and I agree they are derogatory.

But you can’t say it is anti-Asian rhetoric to ask whether the Chinese sometimes eat cat and dog meat in some parts of the country. If something is factual it is simply a question of free speech. There has to be a balancing act between free speech and saying something unacceptable under the law or in terms of its morality.

One Twitter user stated that the rhetoric is harmful and they imply that there is too much harmful rhetoric in the American education system which is why there are anti-Asian hate crimes and racism in the country which persists.

The matter has been debated on Twitter and the original tweet has been retweeted 6,000 times with many people expressing disgust that the teachers seem to be encouraging xenophobia among the school’s students. Some said that the kids are being brainwashed to dislike Asians.

There is also criticism of people conflating evidence of human rights and animal rights abuses in China which are directed at the Communist Party and racist remarks about Chinese people in China. The school is launching a diversity training programme for staff to generate a more “inclusive and respectful environment”.

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