Chinese man faces human trafficking charges for using Malawian children to create racist videos and post them on social media page Jokes About Black People Club

A Chinese man has been arrested for child trafficking after a BBC documentary accused him of exploiting children in Malawi for social media fame and financial gain.

BBC reporters discovered that Lu Ke filmed children as young as 6 making video greetings, taunting themselves and calling themselves the “Chinese equivalent of the N-word”. Lu paid the children about 50 cents a day, and when they didn’t listen, he pinched or whipped them, one child said.

A viral video shows children in Malawi calling themselves a racial slur while someone behind the camera directs them. (Photo: YouTube/BBC)

“If I made a mistake and if we did something wrong, he would whip us with a stick and give us detention,” said Bright, a 6-year-old boy who has starred in several of Lu’s videos.

Lu lived in a Malawian village for several years and paid for the children to popularize the videos with Chinese viewers. In a video Lu allegedly made, he instructs the children to say, “I’m a black monster and my IQ is low.” Runako Celina, one of the journalists who tracked Lu for the BBC documentary, said, the derogatory term in the video could also be translated as “Black Devil”.

Lu was caught on hidden camera video admitting he filmed the footage telling the children to leave the racist message, but quickly recanted and told the undercover journalist to delete the message.

“Don’t let black people see this,” Lu said.

Lu also told the undercover journalist who pretended to seek advice in the welcome video industry not to “pity” the children.

Welcome videos featuring Africans are popular on social media in China. According to the documentary, the videos cost between $10 and $70. The IQ video was posted on the Jokes About Black People Club social media page in February 2020. It was met with mixed reviews, but some were outraged and called for its removal. Parents of some of the children in the video said they didn’t know what the Chinese was doing.

Bright, known in the videos as Xiao Gulah, is a poster boy for the African welcome videos. When he was younger, Lu made a series of videos with Bright.

“When I took him, the man just came and took him back,” said Bright’s mother, Fauiska Banda. “It hurts my heart. We haven’t seen the benefit.”

Lu was indicted on July 18 in a magistrate’s court in the capital Lilongwe on five counts of child trafficking, the Malawi Police Service said. Authorities arrested him in Zambia last month and extradited him to Malawi.

Celina said Lu’s video underscores the exploitation of poor people in Africa for the entertainment of people in other countries.

“He used these kids as props for his own ego, as poverty porn, as commodities that you could make sing and dance for profit,” she said. Chinese man faces human trafficking charges for using Malawian children to create racist videos and post them on social media page Jokes About Black People Club

James Brien

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