SHANGHAI — As a mixed-race girl growing up in this most cosmopolitan of mainland Chinese cities, 20-year-old Lou Jing said she never experienced much discrimination — curiosity and questions, but never hostility.
So nothing prepared Lou, whose father is a black American, for the furor that erupted in late August when she beat out thousands of other young women on “Go! Oriental Angel,” a televised talent show. Angry Internet posters called her a “black chimpanzee” and worse. One called for all blacks in China to be deported.
As the country welcomes the first African American U.S. president, whose first official visit here began Sunday, the Chinese are confronting their attitudes toward race, including some deeply held prejudices about black people. Many appeared stunned that Americans had elected a black man, and President Obama’s visit has underscored Chinese ambivalence about the growing numbers of blacks living here.