All clear in kindergarten

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The "sǎo hēi chú è 扫黑除恶" ("sweeping away blackness and eliminating evil") campaign in China not only has not waned, but rather is going in a hysterical direction. The local authorities in Wuxi are marching into the kindergartens; below is their conclusion after investigating one of them:

(For news coverage, see here, here, here, and here.)

Here's the title of the form on which the report is written:

Wúxī shì Xīnguāng yòu'éryuán sǎo hēi chú è zhuānxiàng dòuzhēng mōpái biǎo


"Report of the Investigation of the Special Campaign to Sweep Away Blackness and Eliminate Evil at the Wuxi City Xinguang Kindergarten"

To get a better sense of the flavor of the language used, here are two key terms:

dòuzhēng 斗争 ("campaign; struggle; fight; combat; battle; accuse and denounce at a meeting")

mōpái 摸排 ("follow up clues one by one to solve a criminal case")

The rubric highlighted within a red box telling the contents of the report:

xuéshēng shìfǒu shè hēi shè è qíngkuàng mōpái


"Investigation concerning the situation whether the students were involved in blackness and evil"

Handwritten conclusion at the bottom:

Tōngguò duì běn bān 35 míng yòu'ér jìnxíng páichá, wèi fāxiàn yǒu yòu'ér yǒu shè hēi shè è qíngkuàng.


"Having carried out a close investigation of the 35 young children in this class, we have not discovered evidence that any of them were involved in blackness or evil."

Relax!  Alles klar im Kindergarten!

To tell the truth, though, people need to be clear about who the real goons, thugs, bullies, bandits, criminals, and hooligans are in Chinese society.


"Baffling propaganda: 'black' and 'evil' in contemporary Chinese society" (4/7/19)

"Insect name" (5/20/19)

[h.t. onsite correspondent, whose identity obviously cannot be revealed for having exposed such a crucial state secret]


  1. Philip Taylor said,

    May 30, 2019 @ 1:00 pm

    As one who values all forms of life, I would always prefer to persuade an invasive pest species to leave of its own accord (or, if necessary, physically re-locate it) rather than seek to exterminate it. When the species under discussion is Homo sapiens, I find a suggestion that members thereof (even if "goons, thugs, bullies, bandits, criminals, and hooligans") should be eliminated very worrying indeed.

  2. jin defang said,

    May 30, 2019 @ 1:12 pm

    this kind of language reminds me of the Cultural Revolution, with its Manichean view of good and evil, evil being castigated in just such language as Victor cites above. Plus a few "rotten eggs and slippery backsliders."

  3. Victor Mair said,

    May 30, 2019 @ 3:42 pm

    @Philip Taylor

    With the passage of time, you've become increasingly trollish. Others have noticed it too.

  4. Bathrobe said,

    May 30, 2019 @ 6:47 pm

    I think Mr Taylor was commenting on the well-known dangers of taking class struggle to hysterical extremes, a point implicit in your post.

  5. Chris said,

    May 30, 2019 @ 9:19 pm

    @ Philip Taylor : "persuade an invasive pest species to leave of its own accord (or, if necessary, physically re-locate it) rather than seek to exterminate it."

    I think Professor Mair was right to call Mr. Taylor's comment trollish.

    I have just moved into an apartment in a nice old building. Everything nice, except an infestation of mice. My neighbor just caught 21 mice with her traps. I am calling in an exterminator. Persuade them to leave of their own accord ? Physically re-locate them? Are you kidding?

    Goons, thugs, bullies, bandits, criminals, and hooligans in Chinese society. If they're there to beat you up or kill you, can you persuade them to leave of their own accord? Can you "physically re-locate" them? I know I can't.

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