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“All Asian people look alike” is something that many Westerners are bound to have heard at some point in their lives. While some people argue that such a statement is an example of racial discrimination, one man is out to challenge the view by arguing that not being able to tell people of certain ethnicities apart is not equivalent to being a racist.

British YouTuber GradeAUnderA recently posted a cheeky video titled Racism Test–See How Racist You Really Are!, which has already spread around the world during its short existence. In the video, he attempts to call out people who are hypersensitive to racism by daring his viewers to pass a five-round quiz in which they have to identify the ethnicity, vocation, and so on of certain people based solely on their outer appearances. Many Japanese net users have so far found the quiz to be extremely difficult–how will you fare?

It’s sometimes easy to tell a person’s ethnicity or nationality based on his or her speech patterns, fashion, and even way of walking. But how many times can you accurately guess where a person is from based solely on physical appearance?

GradeAUnderA’s video, which has already stirred up considerable discussion online, explores the essential paradox that while many white, black, and Hispanic/Latino people can’t determine the origins of other members in their respective “races” with a single glance, it is often considered racial discrimination in the West when they can’t distinguish between Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans, among other Asian groups.

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GradeAUnderA expands on this point by saying,

“If the three of us stood in front of you, no one on Earth could distinguish a Canadian from a French man or an Australian–’cause they all look identical, right? However, it is considered racist to say the exact same statement about Chinese, Korean and Japanese people.”

In defense of his observations, the YouTuber then calls on any viewers who disagree with him to prove that they’re not racist by taking a short quiz of his making and passing every question. At this time, feel free either to watch the full video with his commentary below or scroll down to see our compilation of the five quiz rounds in brief.

Round 1: Question

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Round 1: Answer

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How did you fare on this first round? Granted, the way this first question was posed can be construed as misleading. But you might want to get used to that…

By the way, the person pictured on the far right is actually a Laotian drag queen. GradeAUnderA snidely points out that if you didn’t realize that right away, “Then I guess you’re sexist as well.”

Round 2: Question

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Round 2: Answer

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Feeling frustrated at either yourself or the video maker yet? Hey, you’ve still got three rounds left.

For rounds 3-5, watch the video to see the answers for yourself.

Round 3: Question

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Round 4: Question

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Round 5: Question

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To recap, GradeAUnderA hopes that this quiz will essentially stop people from trying to make mountains out of molehills when it comes to identifying people by their outer appearances: “Can people just stop reading into little things and twisting everything to somehow make it racist and to have something to be enraged at?”

Japanese net users who took a translated version of the quiz had a variety of comments to say about the issue:

“I can’t distinguish between Japanese idols, and I’m Japanese. Lol”

“I don’t mind if someone mistakes me for someone from a different country, but I’d like them to apologize after realizing their mistake.”

“By defining someone as the race called ‘Asian’ in the first place, you’re clumping together both modern peoples and those from, say, ancient Persia. It’s too broad of an interpretation.”

“I don’t think that it’s discriminatory to say that ‘Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese all look the same.’ It is racist, however, to clump them all together using a derogatory term or by saying things like ‘ching chang chong.'”

“For the most part, we Japanese can tell different Asian faces apart. It might be hard for some people in the West who don’t have much contact with Asians though. Even Japanese people sometimes think, ‘Hey, that guy looks Chinese or Korean,’ but he actually turns out to be Japanese.”

“I guess in the end this guy just wanted to brag about himself? Maybe he was trying to be funny, but I just don’t get why this kind of ‘humor’ is funny to foreigners.”

Readers, what are your takes on all of this? In this writer’s experience, the best rule of thumb is to keep an open mind and to never assume that someone identifies as something, even if it seems obvious at first glance. Don’t assume that any Asian person you meet is Chinese and immediately say nihao. Don’t assume that every white person you meet feels comfortable speaking English (as a disgruntled Hungarian girl at the Tokyo college where I studied abroad often vented).

Further considerations are welcomed in the comments section below.

Source: Yurukuyaru via My Game News Flash
Images: YouTube/GradeAUnderA