Baizuo (Chinese: 白左; pinyin: báizuǒ, Mandarin pronunciation: [pǎi.tswò]; literally White Left) is a Chinese neologism and political epithet used to refer to Western leftist ideologies primarily espoused by white leftists. The term baizuo is related to the term shèngmǔ (simplified Chinese: 圣母; traditional Chinese: 聖母; pinyin: shèngmǔ; literally "Blessed Mother") or shèngmǔbiǎo (simplified Chinese: 圣母婊; traditional Chinese: 聖母婊; pinyin: shèngmǔbiǎo; literally "Blessed Mother of Bitch"), a sarcastic reference to those whose political opinions are perceived as being guided by emotions or a hypocritical show of selflessness and empathy.
The term baizuo was apparently coined in a 2010 article published on Renren Network by user Li Shuo, entitled The Fake Morality of the Western White Left and the Chinese Patriotic Scientists (simplified Chinese: 西方白左和中国爱国科学家的伪道德; traditional Chinese: 西方白左和中國愛國科學家的偽道德; pinyin: Xīfāng báizuǒ hé zhōngguó àiguó kēxuéjiā de wěidàodé), initially used as a general critique of certain socialist values in the American left. No further use of the term is known until 2013, where it enjoyed prominence in the Chinese forum Zhihu through 2013–2015.
Substantial use in Chinese Internet culture began in early 2016, at first at MIT BBS, a bulletin board system used by many Chinese Americans, during the 2016 United States presidential election. Baizuo was used there to criticize the Democratic Party's emphasis on the affirmative action policies perceived as discriminating against Asians.
Similar terms in Hong Kong
A different term was widely used for similar effect in Hong Kong, called zo gaau (Chinese: 左膠; Jyutping: zo2 gaau1). The term was employed to describe disingenuous foreign individuals during the 2014 Hong Kong protests.
|Look up 白左 or 左膠 in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Mair, Victor (17 May 2017). ""White left" — a Chinese calque in English". Language Log. University of Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on 21 May 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
- "福克斯台给美国大众普及：中国人说的"白左"是什么意思…". Sina Video (in Chinese). 21 May 2017. Archived from the original on 10 December 2017.
- "这个词，让中国向西方逆向输出了一次价值观(组". iAsk.ca (in Chinese). 20 May 2017. Archived from the original on 25 June 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
- Zhang, Chenchen (11 May 2017). "The curious rise of the 'white left' as a Chinese internet insult". openDemocracy. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 March 2021. Retrieved 31 January 2021.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Fang, Kecheng (10 December 2017). "方可成："白左"污名化与社会达尔文主义". Red Song Society (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 6 June 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2019.