Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A New and Different China

I am to put it mildly surprised at the image the current Chinese government is portraying to the world. It seems to be a blatant contradiction that China was chosen to be the host of the Olympics, an activity designed to promote world peace through friendly sport competition. The racist action of denying blacks and Mongolians entry to bars and restaurants only scratches the surface. China is assisting the government of Sudan in its genocide of the people of Darfur. Chinese projects in Sudan could be could be stopped if the Chinese government would express its disdain for the outright murder of innocent people. The Chinese government says "nothing" because it apparently sees nothing wrong with genocide. There is also the issue of Tibet, which China continues to make a colony, denying its residents freedom of expression.
I remember a very different China. A nation whose leadership opposed racism and financially supported world-wide movements that were progressive in nature. During the apartheid era
China could be counted on to supply weapons to South African liberation movements. I remember a China that emphasized educating its young about the history of western capitalistic exploitation and the significance of the Opium wars and the Boxer Rebellion. Today China itself is acting like those dreaded imperialists of that era.
It is ironic that the Chinese themselves were victims of racism when the Spanish athletes made the outrageous gesture of slanting their eyes in a group photo. The outlandish riots that continue to happen at European soccer stadiums as a result of alcohol consumption must have escaped the attention of the Chinese government. These events involved whites.
Because of the incompetence of the Bush administration there is very little that the United States can tell China about its racism or its exploitation of Tibet because if China demanded all the money the US has borrowed it would devastate the US economy. The main explanation given for the blockade and continued policy of not having diplomatic relations with Cuba has been "We don't do business with Communist countries" It just so happens that China still considers itself a Communist country, but the US government is making an exception because greedy multinationals see the one billion plus population as customers for their products.
As a person of African descent when I first heard of Blacks being prohibited from Chinese bars and restaurants my first reaction was to hope that all those of African descent who were participating the Olympics leave China. This would really show the Chinese government a financial consequence of racism. But after seriously thinking about it, maybe this is a bit impractical when one considers the sacrifice athletes have made to participate in this event which is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Something that can be done is to confront every Chinese official that comes to the US with this issue. It should be made the main topic of conversation everywhere. This cannot be forgotten.

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