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May 20, 2015

When riots broke out in the US city of Baltimore in May 2015, the reaction across the Chinese social web was sadly predictable as Internet users posted countless anti-black racist comments. However, what was interesting about their posts is how there is seemingly a growing conflagration in the minds of Chinese netizens between African-Americans and African migrants. Now that China is home to tens of thousands of African immigrants, those racist comments morphed into xenophobia. Viola Rothschild is a Fulbright Scholar at the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University where she posted a commentary on Foreign Policy magazine's website that focused on the increasingly complex racism that is expressed online towards blacks (both from the US and Africa). Viola joins Eric & Cobus to discuss her observations about China's complex relationship with multiculturalism and how it's manifested online.