Author Archives: Sarah Cheung Johnson

Why I’m sick of being the invisible minority and why we need to change!

Chinese families live in every community in the UK. Some of the smallest, remotest villages in the UK will still have one Chinese takeaway. And yet we and other East and Southeast Asian minorities are consistently under-represented in the media and in positions of power – in businesses, in the judiciary, the legislature and most other institutions of note.

Hey, have you seen the Chinese family in Eastenders? No? That’s cos they don’t exist – it only started in 1985, maybe they just didn’t get around to it yet. Oh wait, how about the East or Southeast Asian celebrity that’s taken part on Strictly Come Dancing, the biggest show on TV? No? Having just completed its 19th season maybe they couldn’t find anyone…

And on and on it goes. I have young, mixed-race children and their own experience with a lack of representation moved me to start a petition to ask CBeebies to feature a storyteller who was from an East or South East Asian background on their flagship CBeebies Bedtimes stories. They’ve filmed over 800 episodes featuring many diverse guests, Marvel superhero actors, Hollywood stars, Olympic champions and many more. But in the 4 years my kids have been watching them at bedtime, not one has been someone who looks like them.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 24 Comments

We don’t talk – really talk – enough about race

We don’t talk enough about race. Properly talk, that is.

It’s become obvious, as the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has come to the fore with the murder of George Floyd in the United States, that, whilst many of us who consider ourselves liberals have a desire to be anti-racist and create a society where your skin colour does not determine your life chances, we lack the language and the understanding of how to achieve this.

We excel, instead, in talking around the edges of it: about statues, colonial history and political history.

If you agree, I would heartily recommend the book: “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla F Saad – as an essential read, whether you are white or not. It has given me a language, terms and understanding of issues around race and discussing race that have long troubled me, that I have had no easy way to express.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 21 Comments

Recent Comments

  • Andy Chandler
    @Adam Ah, that's my bad on that. I misread it. Apologise about that. Part blame dyslexic tendencies (always came out as that despite three attempts to get it p...
  • David Symonds
    I find the adversarial politics in Britain to be highly depressing and corrosive. They are enforced and reinforced by the rotted First Past the Post voting syst...
  • Martin Gray
    @Alex Macfie..Whatever the reason, this individual felt the need to assassinate a democratically elected head of government. As Mary has pointed out - those t...
  • Adam
    @ Andy Not "invented" but "inverted"!
  • tom arms
    @ Ian Sanderson: Normally I would agree with your assessment, but in the case of Robert Fico, in the first elections after 1991 he was elected to parliament as ...