Boy peeing in mall trash can sparks internet outrage

When you gotta go, you gotta go.

Thank you to the bajillion of you who sent me this photo of a kid peeing into a trash can.

The photo, which recently blazed its way through social media last week, shows a woman holding a young boy urinating into a garbage bin in the middle of the Richmond Centre Mall in British Columbia. And yes, the boy and the woman are Asian: Boy peeing in B.C. mall trash bin photo sparks online debate.

Of course, the photo sparked fierce online debate about cultural norms and public etiquette. Some commenters were quick to assume that the little urinator and his mom were from mainland China, where they asserted that public pissing and pooping were quite common. So taking a leak into a mall trash can? No big thing.

Many forums also held questionable debates about immigrant behaviour and Chinese cultural norms. Social media users, including many who identified themselves as being of Chinese heritage, said they believed the woman and child in the photo were Chinese.

"I knew they were Asian before I even clicked the link. This is a fairly common occurrence in China," wrote Reddit user LaunchThePolaris.

In many parts of rural China, the practice of young children going to the bathroom in public is deemed as widespread, with toddlers and babies wearing pants with slits rather than diapers, said Jonathan Manthorpe, a foreign correspondent who has lived and worked in the country.

"A few years ago, they were living very rough lives of peasants. I'm sure all of your viewers who have travelled in rural China will see, as I have seen, in many places that the standards of toilets is very different," Manthorpe told CBC News.
However, one person has come forward claiming that the woman is their aunt and the little boy is their cousin, and the whole thing had nothing to do with cultural norms, and was really just a case of crazy-urgent pee-pee:
Since the photo went viral, one person has come forward claiming that the woman is their aunt and the young boy their cousin, and that the incident has nothing to do with cultural norms.

"It's amazing how people come to conclusions without knowing the full story,” the individual wrote in an anonymous post on Reddit, who was using a temporary "throwaway” account to "protect their identities.”

"I think it's a shame that people put race and culture as the main reason for peoples' actions,” the post continued.

The author wrote that their aunt noticed that their cousin had started to wet his pants without warning. The bathroom was too far away to prevent a bigger mess, and to avoid having him soaked in urine, she had no option but to use a garbage bin.

"After seeing this picture go viral with top comments being about race, I'm realizing first-hand how discussions on Reddit can sound so convincing yet can be so damaging to people,” the author wrote.
Like this kid, I will admit that I have urinated in places other than a proper toilet. Interesting to see how the internet got crazy jumpy on the fact that the kid and his mom are Asian (Chinese no-doubt-about-it) and therefore lack cultural competency. Can't help but be curious over what direction the discussion and debate would have gone if the young urinator had been white.

More here: Boy peeing in B.C. mall trash bin photo sparks online debate.

angry archive