I used to have a black teacher working for me in a school. I had one or two parents express distaste, but I don’t recall anyone actually pulling their kid out of the school. He was otherwise a popular teacher and some of his students introduced their friends. The people who object are balanced by the ones who think it’s cool to have a black teacher. The majority don’t seem to know how to react and are prepared to give you the chance.
So I wouldn’t accept the ‘economic argument’, in fact I would turn it around and use it as a damn good reason for hiring you. Either you’ll turn them around or what they’re really saying is “I don’t like black people/Lithuanians/jews/fat people, therefore my customers won’t either, therefore I’m not going to hire any.” Either way it’s crap.
But in most cases you won’t get passed over because of your colour. There will be some other convenient excuse instead. How are you going to prove that there is a problem with the employer and not with you?
Assuming that Taiwan could be persuaded to pass a law prohibiting racial discrimination, and assuming it was extended to include foreigners, how are you ever going to prove that you didn’t get hired because of your colour? They’ll blame your availability, attitude, dress sense, accent, spelling, lack/excess of experience or qualifications, etc.
Beyond educating people - by example, not by lecturing - I don’t see what ‘we’ can do. Your situation is a bit different from, say, the animals thing.
One difference between animals and black people is that it’s easy to point and say “this dog is being badly treated”. You will find it very difficult to prove discrimination during the hiring process. And even if you did, the mere act of questioning the judgement of your future boss will almost certainly make you unemployable.
My advice is to simply be really really good at what you do. Get into the habit of not making obvious mistakes - by proofreading and editing everything you write, if necessary. Make a good first impression, get that interview, and since your colour isn’t supposed to be relevant to your ability to do the job then don’t make an issue of it. It’s worked for other people here.
There are fuckheads everywhere, with all sorts of stupid ideas and prejudices. Taiwan is no exception, but we all suffer discrimination here for various reasons and the only way to change it is to make sure that there is no reason for them to slight you and to stand up for yourself if they do. But asking ‘us’ to support you when there is nothing we can really do is rather pointless.
So whaddya want? Posters and marchers with placards proclaiming black people to be human too? I imagine most Taiwanese who noticed (if any) would be rather bemused by this. Forumosan activists spending time and money to help you out?
Stray Dog tries to find homes for dogs who need them, because he cares. I have helped many people here to find jobs, but - like Stray Dog - I am always careful about who I introduce to a school. I try to match suitable people with suitable jobs, just as SD matches dogs with owners.
Does this make me an activist? No. It makes me someone who cares enough to try and help people out when I can, but I don’t care what colour people are and I wouldn’t help them out just because of their ethnic background.