Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Morrissey calls the Chinese "a subspecies"

Like sunrise in the morning and clocks striking noon, it's time once again for one of Morrissey's alarmingly periodic racist rants. As Pitchfork reports, the former Smiths leader and loved/hated solo artist spoke to The Guardian last week—in an article predictably titled "Bigmouth Strikes Again"—about his views on China. Morrissey, a longtime animal-rights advocate, called out the People's Republic on its inhumane treatment of fuzzy little critters, which is fair enough. But he probably didn't have to phrase it like this: "Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can't help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies."

Since then, of course, Morrissey has refused to apologize for the remark. Instead, he offered The Guardian this clarification of his views on Friday:

If anyone has seen the horrific and unwatchable footage of the Chinese cat and dog trade—animals skinned alive—then they could not possibly argue in favour of China as a caring nation. There are no animal protection laws in China, and this results in the worst animal abuse and cruelty on the planet. It is indefensible.


(The rest of Armitage's original article is worth reading, especially for quintessentially Morrisseyan exchanges like the following: Morrissey: "Am I looking in the mirror?" Photographer: "Yes, please." Morrissey: "'Twas ever thus.")

A complete rundown of Morrissey's quasi-racist, pseudo-racist, crypto-racist, and just plain racist comments—in both interview and song—would take a while. Suffice it to say, he's really trying the patience of even his most ardent and defensive fans. Granted, in a rare moment of mea culpa, Morrissey did donate 28,000 pounds to the organization Love Music Hate Racism in 2008 after dropping some anti-immigrant zingers such as, "England is a memory now. The gates are flooded, and anybody can have access to England and join in." Love Music Hate Racism, however, has stated it will refuse any further donations from him if he fails to apologize for his latest gaffe.

It's depressing that Morrissey—a painstakingly deliberate lyricist, and a guy whose every word in interviews seems brilliantly scripted-—apparently knows full well what he's saying. But here's what's even more depressing: Morrissey's comments are so far to the right, if he were the leader of a Tea Party faction he'd immediately get the boot for publicly dropping shit like this.