Solita Monsod is a Racist Enabler

Solita Monsod has seen fit to respond to my critique of her Inquirer article “Why Filipinos Distrust China” with yet another article, which essentially regurgitates her assertions without really addressing the points I raise about her basing her generalizations on her personal experience. Like I said, her circle of “Chinese-Filipino” friends must be quite limited–a fact that makes her personal observation blinkered and limited, as I pointed out–if all she can come up with is a sentence like “Actually, I have often observed, Reader, that a Chinese-Filipino will never ever state unequivocally that he/she is a Filipino first, and a Chinese second (meaning, his loyalty is to the Philippines).” When I say that she has blinkered and limited powers of observation, I am not resorting to ad hominems, I am merely pointing out a fact.

Monsod claims in her article that she is merely reporting the results of surveys showing that Filipinos “trust the United States, Japan, Malaysia, Israel, but on the whole, they don’t trust China.” She goes on to say, in her own defense, “Don’t kill the messenger.”

As far as I’m concerned, Monsod, by uncritically retailing the stereotypes and assumptions of the alien Chinese as people “taking away what is ours” and failing to call out the racism of such a statement, is not just a messenger, but a racist enabler who condones racism and even seeks to justify and rationalize it.

She  then goes on to say: “Chinese-Filipinos comprise less than 2 percent of our population, but they comprise at least 50 percent of our richest listed in Forbes magazine. You don’t think that causes resentment, and even distrust? Perhaps because of their conspicuous consumption? It is Ms Hau that generalizes; she jumps from distrust of the richest Chinese-Filipinos to ALL of them. Excuse me.”

There are historical reasons why Chinese-Filipinos are disproportionately represented in the Philippine economy but Monsod is not interested in discussing them. Reader, I suggest you read Edgar Wickberg, Richard Chu, Teresita Ang-See, Ellen Palanca, Antonio Tan, John Omohundro, and Wong Kwok-Chu, since you’re not likely to learn anything about the Chinese in the Philippines from Monsod. All Monsod has done is to confirm that anti-Chinese racism is alive and well in the Philippines.

Monsod accuses me of generalizing and “jump[ing] from distrust of the richest Filipinos to ALL of them.”  Excuse me, Mareng Winnie, didn’t you just resort to yet another generalization in that last paragraph you wrote, when you try to rationalize the resentment against “Chinese-Filipinos [who] comprise  less than 2 percent of our population, but they comprise at least 50 percent of our richest listed in Forbes magazine” by attributing the resentment to “their conspicuous consumption”? You think that using the word “perhaps” dilutes the racism of your argument that Chinese-Filipinos engage in conspicuous consumption?

By the way, it’s not clear from your sentence whether you are saying that the Chinese-Filipinos who constitute “less than two percent” of the population are the ones who engage in conspicuous consumption, or you are saying that billionaire Chinese-Filipinos engage in conspicuous consumption. Either way, you are still generalizing. Even if you are referring only to the Tsinoy billionaires, are you saying that all these Chinese-Filipino billionaires engage in conspicuous consumption? Are you then implying that the billionaire Filipinos and non-Chinese Filipinos are thoroughly immune to conspicuous consumption? The fact that you don’t see fit to point out the class resentment stoked by the conspicuous consumption of some of our oligarchs and politicians clearly indicates that the Chinese ethnicity of these Chinese-Filipino billionaires (or do you mean the “less than two percent” Chinese-Filipinos?) is an issue for you because their ethnicity makes them aliens who “take away what is ours.”

Reader, who is generalizing now? Tsk, tsk, tsk, mahina ang kalaban.

Your essay says “To be continued.” Bring it on.

This entry was posted in Essays. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Solita Monsod is a Racist Enabler

  1. Nina Chua says:

    Go go go, Carol!

  2. FPPT says:

    Tignan mo naman sa FB sino mga mahilig mag post ng mga branded bags and displaying places they’ve been re: conspicous consumption. Di ba Jose Rizal, namatay for the bayan, GomBurZa, pinatay din, di ba mga chinese ethnicity din sila? Boying Pimentel’s article is also educational. Sa UP pa lang, dami na chinese ethnics na serving the Filipino nation to help Philippines flourish. There is no place for racist rant in any society especially from a “Professor” of the most prestigious University in the Philippines. Someone have to remind Ms. Monsod she is from UP (University of the Philippines) and should conduct herself accordingly and not from UP (Under Pass ng Quiapo).

    • Caroline Hau says:

      Maraming salamat sa comments! Oo nga, ang dami diyan sa FB na nagmamalaki ng kayaman nila. Kung kailangan nating magpaabot ng puna, di sana dahil Tsinoy o Pinoy, kundi dahil masamang damo yung ilan diyan sa atin.

  3. Ambeth says:


  4. Richard Chu says:

    Dear Carol, I admire the power of your words and the courageous spirit you have. I’m behind you in this.

  5. Jojo says:

    Hi Carol, now the racist has to eat her words. Tessie Ang-See just schooled her, hinting even that Monsod has not read any of her worls. Seems my planned response seems no necessary anymore (that said, I refer to her now as “the racist” in my FB post). Padayon!!–hHhLj-xJa-nwutJy5_8TUOLqPTfWg-LwlbluXFR41A

  6. lisa says:

    mahusay ka at mabuhay ka

  7. Coco says:

    I don’t know if she is racist or (just) lazily and mistakenly made racist statement that she pride-fully won’t retract, but I appreciate your uncompromising push-back.

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  9. Juneau says:

    I am a Filipino. If I were to be asked, what kind of Filipino? I would perhaps say…ok lang, friendly, gwapo (sana). Oh, you mean, if I’m Chinese? Well, I’m a Filipino of Chinese descent. So you’re Chinese? Yes, I’m a Chinese Filipino. Naturalized? Oh yes, I’m a naturalized Filipino. Oh I see. Well, I hope you do see that as a naturalized Filipino, I chose to be Filipino. I’m a Filipino not by default but by choice. We all are Filipinos. Thank you Ms Hau for your encouragement.

  10. Arnaldo Arnáiz says:

    There would have been no Philippine revolution if it were for the Filipino Chinese. Monsod’s a typical “clasista”. This economist doesn’t read Philippine history that much.

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