The Daily Mail, which specialises in selling xenophobic hysteria to bored British housewives, has a history of publishing poorly sourced, borderline-racist articles about China. Even with that said however, it’s shocking just how bad a recent article, “The families so poor they queue for free cabbages“, actually is.
Let’s start with the modicum of truth that’s actually in the story:
Families queued for hours at the Shanxi Wanfucheng Mall in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, after managers bought 20 truckloads of the vegetable from local farmers.
‘The cabbages were going very cheap because the farms had produced too many.
‘So we bought all they had to give away, just to show our customers that we’re not only after their money,’ said a spokesman.
That’s the story here. Last month the price of wholesale cabbage slumped dramatically, to a mere 0.12 yuan per kilo. Farmers were left with the horrible choice of either seeing their crop rot in the fields, or harvest it for next to no return. Many chose to give the crops away rather than let them go to waste. This is a heart-warming fucking story, and seen this way the photos published by the Mail show generous farmers and happy customers, which is exactly how another paper chose to report it. But apply the Mail‘s knee-jerk xenophobia and general ignorance about the world and what do you get?
Ravaged by hunger and desperate for food, these are the sad pictures which show just how needy families in China are.
Parents and children queued for hours, just so they could snatch a few free cabbages which were being given away.
Shopping mall bosses in northern China gave away 200 tons of greens to their desperate customers.
Mail hack Anna Edwards offers no evidence to back up her claims that these people are “desperate for food” or in any way “needy”. Admittedly Shanxi isn’t the wealthiest province in China, but it still has a per capita GDP of over 30,000 yuan, not far off the national average.
Finally, as commenters at MailOnline have pointed out, if you gave away free food in any country people would line up. Liking free stuff crosses all cultural and ethnic divides.
[Via: Beijing Cream]