« Back in the real world.... | Gene Expression Front Page | Feature addition »
April 02, 2003

Is this what happens when you mix an East Asian male and a black Jamaican female?

I recently came across a television news story that talked about Michael Lee Chin, who owns one of the top 10 or so largest mutual fund and finance companies in Canada - AIC. As a blog that's intensely interested in Human Biodiversity, I thought you all might find him intriguing. It's not often that one comes across a half Chinese/half Jamaican billionaire (according to one 2002 article, one of 3 "Black" billionaire’s in North America).

Here's a quote from: http://www.foruminternational.ca/fr/display_news.php?ID=120

"if you want to divine why Lee-Chin’s so successful, look at his roots. He grew up as one of nine children in a close-knit, entrepreneurial family in the Jamaican seaside town of Port Antonio. The spot had long been a tropical hideaway for the rich and famous. Tycoons like J.P. Morgan and William Randolph Hearst once anchored their yachts offshore, while Hollywood swashbuckler Errol Flynn, who bought a nearby island, claimed he’d never met a woman as beautiful as Port Antonio. Both of Lee-Chin’s grandfathers were from China; his grandmothers were Jamaican. The Chinese began migrating to the island in the 1860s as indentured laborers to work on plantations following the abolition of slavery, and the descendants of mixed Asian-Jamaican couples today account for less than 5% of Jamaica’s population. “As kids we were harassed because we weren’t fully black and we weren’t Chinese either,” recalls Lee-Chin. “We were both betwixt and between.”

What's interesting is that he shows traits that usually ascribed to black males:

"At six-foot-four, the 51-year-old Lee-Chin is a powerhouse. He works out at least five times a week in a personal gym in his Burlington mansion, once owned by former Laidlaw chief Michael DeGroote. He can bench press a stunning 275 pounds, although these days he pumps just 225—five more than he weighs—preferring to concentrate on endurance rather than sheer strength. Lee-Chin says 50 push-ups is the minimum needed to qualify for a competition. I politely decline."

Athletic prowess, strict workout regimens and physical feats of strength aren't traits that are commonly associated with Asian business leaders. Neither is the gift for the gab, which is what I am assuming the authors meant when they stated that ".... The secret to his success? Lee-Chin is a salesman, pure and simple. "

Here's a pic of Mr. Chen: http://www.bbpa.org/Harry/michaell.html
And here's another splurge of info: http://www.bbpa.org/Harry/michaell.html

What perplexes me is how the black community seems to take him as one of their own (as far as I know, he's half African black and half Chinese). Maybe he identifies with the black community, I don't know much about the man. He's half African and half Chinese, so it seems to me that the Chinese community have as much right to claim his as one of them.

Anyways, discuss amongst yourselves.

Posted by alpha at 10:59 PM