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Tibet ramblings

Friday, April 11, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Having found myself getting involved in myriad debates and emails and discussions about this storm of controversy and mainly condemnation of China, I figured I might as well as unite everything I’ve been saying – it could fill reams of pages, but I’ll try to keep this one short. (Lol, and coherent.)

A month ago, nothing much was happening on this front… and the US economy continued its flailings, Obama and Clinton were busy throwing mud at each other, McCain was doing his thing, Harper added to the amount of carbon dioxide and other noxious gases spewing out of Canada, Dion went on being useless, Putin goes on with his agenda, and so on …

And then Tibetan teens and other angry people throw rocks and attack the Han Chinese, and bam! The media explodes all over how Oppressed The People Are.

The problem is that as long as people hear what they want to, they won’t stop. Especially if they’re not too smart and easily led (read: more than half the world’s population, unfortunately.)

What I’m getting worried about is the backlash from self-righteous ‘westerners’ who think they’ve got something to say to every Chinese person, now that they are confirmed in their superiority… this will give every supremacist bigot another reason to pick on Chinese people. (As evidenced by a very loud, very rude and very dim person on the bus this morning. Up yours, jerk.)

My biggest issue is the utmost hypocrisy the media is indulging in – by presenting themselves as the most impartial, unbiased human rights lovers ever, they somehow carefully ignore the other side of the story – and the other side isn’t a small minority, it’s a rather large country with some very vocal and (increasingly) angry people.

Tibetan protesters assert their independence by snatching the Olympic torch – they get kudos. Chinese people who try to protect a paraplegic girl who had the torch in hand? Arrested or labeled as violent oppressing Communists. Go media. I wave my flag at you. (Unfortunately my flag says ‘fuck you’.)

And the present situation doesn’t really seem too rational to me. People are getting waaaaayyy too passionate to be anything near reasonable about this issue. Also, if you look carefully at the information available to ‘outsiders’ (and people who’ve visited and seen Tibet), the Chinese government is trying very hard to modernize the region. They’re spending more money there than on my home province, for heaven’s sake.

It’s true that you can argue censorship – but today’s Tibet is very different from that of ten years ago (like in the rest of China, in fact…) and that is the worst source of worry for a lot of people there.

The local Tibetans want to make sure they don’t get brainwashed into the commercialism that’s sweeping the country, they want to maintain their language and culture. I get that (in fact, this whole commercialism thing with people my generation in China worries me immensely, but I digress). It doesn’t give them the right to attack Han-owned stores and Han Chinese. (Which is how this whole thing started, btw… so stop shouting abuse. Or at least let the rightful victims do it.)

And I guess the Dalai Lama & co. are worried that if the region gets too comfy with the government’s support, they won’t want the guy back…

Let me know what you think!

Sevenses

[Small factoid for those confused by the Han Chinese, Tibetan, Mongols etc – China is made up of 56 different ethnic groups, the larger portion (somewhere around 90%, I believe) are Han Chinese. We’re the ‘yellow’ ones (well, everyone’s almost the same colour, but odds are that most Chinese people you’ve met are Han Chinese). Those 56 groups include many groups of practicing Muslims, the Hui, Manchurians (who were all but absorbed after conquering China c.1600s), the Tibetans, etc.

The only group to not get preferential treatment for taxes, university enrollment (a huge deal in China), jobs in government etc is the Han Chinese.]

Btw, in answer to someone’s question, ‘Why do they hate us?” (Rather naive and innocent, but I’ll give it my best shot.)

– They ‘hate’ us because we’re in danger of becoming too strong to listen to their every whim. The American government (and probably everyone else) would love nothing more than to break China up into little, tiny, obedient pieces. And then they’ll stay mum about human rights abuses, because it’ll be perpetrated by their own people. Viva humanitas.

Also, in case you think I’m a propagandist:

– I’m not saying the Chinese government is wonderful. I’m not their apologist, fortunately for me. It makes mistakes, tons of them, and the level of stupidity in that building continues to astound me. They frequently get on my nerves, most of the time because they’re just asshats who are after money. I’d really like more clarity, less corruption, a solution to this migrant workers being marginalized thing, less pollution (ye gods, pollution), world peace, happiness, the US shutting up for once and a home for kittens and puppies.

However… I’d like for those who cry human rights abuse look at their own countries and see if they’re all innocent and wonderful. (To fall back on Jesus, let those who have not sinned stone this man.) We ALL have human rights problems, we ALL have oppression issues. China’s dealing with it (and if they don’t, I will have lots more to say, most of it in caps).

To be perfectly frank, there are worse humanitarian issues out there that have US interests involved – and thus get no attention – to name a few: Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and of course, that elephant of elephants, Guantanamo Bay. (Iraq also off list – US does want it stable, if only to start mass oil pipelining… Darfur is politically and oil motivated, sorry. Plus, what is Ethiopia doing? Meddling is always, always bad.)

Actually, taking a look, they’re all US interest/political issues. Um. What does that say? *cowers*

Discussion welcomed, flames used to warm my bath water.

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  1. irugnotmis
    Friday, April 11, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    I agree. I was out eating lunch the other day and the news was playing. For the half an hour I was there, all there was that played on the news was a condemnation of the human rights “problem” in China. I’m sure the US government has so much problems on hand about the country itself to trouble their balding heads on other countries’ business. Just look at the gas price, the dropping currency, and the non ending war. You wonder why no one has done anything to restore the Clinton era prosperity? Oh because the politicians love to waste their time picking on China.

    Of course, China’s got its own problems. With itself and Taiwan and whatnot. At least China’s minding its own business before stepping over all the other countries.

  2. Jess
    Friday, April 11, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    First.. ignore the comment I posted previously in your first blog regarding the Tibet issue. I wasn’t fully informed on that topic at the time.

    For these past few days, all my non-Chinese friends (and even some Taiwanese friends) who are brainwashed by the North American media have been bitching about China and how Tibet should be freed. Damn it, I’m so sick of everyone saying the same thing… for all the reasons that you’ve mentioned in this blog. A very convincingly written one, I might add.

    China does have its problems, I admit. But, like you said, and I quote, the present situation doesn’t really seem too rational to me. People are getting waaaaayyy too passionate to be anything near reasonable about this issue. By the way, I hear there’s going to be an anti-Tibet separation protest on Sunday in Ottawa. A lot of my friends are going… hmm, what’s your take on the separation issue? What’s Dalai Lama thinking.. can Tibet even survive without China, economy-wise? Unless the U.S. has their back… meddlers.

    And what’s this talk I hear about boycotting the Olympics? Fuck that.

  3. cheshmgir
    Friday, April 11, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Thank you for your comments which MAKE SENSE.

    I have been pretty fedup of the “free Tibet” movements here in Europe by people who were not bothered by the whole situation just a month ago and who know faint little of the issues at stake.

    Indeed the US’s human rights record is quite grim. The Chinese government has been running an annual report on this for a few years now titled ‘The Human Rights Record of the United States.’

    For a Pakistani perspective on the situation please see: http://cheshmgir.wordpress.com/2008/04/08/pakistan-supports-china-on-tibet/

  4. cheshmgir
    Friday, April 11, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    Here is the link to the Human Rights Record of the US for 2007:

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-03/13/content_6533800.htm

  5. Anonymous
    Friday, April 11, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Before we expect China to “give up” Tibet, can we discuss indepedence for the following: To the USA : please give freedom to Hawaii,Puerto Rico, the Native Americans, viz Navaho Nation,Sioux Nation ,and MANY other native tribes, Alaska to the Eskimo etc
    To the French: the Basque people in the French provinces, and the Corsicans,to Spain: the Basque people, and the South eastern provinces. To India, the Sikh people who want Khalistan, the Kashmiris, the many eastern provinces, to England, please leave northern part of Ireland to the Irish, to Australia please give the aborigines their land back, to the New Zealanders give Maoris their land(incidentally there has been official government sanctioned genocide against these peoples as also to the native Americans in USA.) There are many others elsewhere, too many to list, that are just as valid or more so,as the Tibetan cause, such Chechnya from Russia, Kurds in three countries (Iran,Turkey and iraq), Palestinians Israel Just a thought.

  6. nah!
    Friday, April 11, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    @Anonymous! I do not know why you hate US so much ! Have you work as social workers in the US to know deeply that Native Americans are getting priority advangtages as the #1 citizens in the US ?

    I worked in the medical field of US and worked with Tribed people : while we are struggling with expensive medical bills, the Native Americans (even with 1/4, 1/8 of blood Native Americans) get all medicals, treatments, and hospital admidsions for free all of their life until death . Their kids all go to school for free, free medicare and food-stamps for all kids and parents. We have to find jobs for Native Americans and cannot fire them when they are so lazy, do not want to work; because we are paying for the price of genocide them before . And where all that money come from? All of money come from tax money of all Americans for generations and generations.

    Americans learn a lot from genocide lesson in their history. That why they are more sensitive to this matter.

  7. sevenses
    Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 9:51 am

    iurgnotmis and Jess – that backlash thing? Has already started, what with Harper being his usual pinhead self.

    And China’s got tons and tons of problems (almost as much as its carbon emissions, which is hefty) – but outside interference, imo, will just make it worse. It’s like no one takes history classes or something.

    Yeah, some of my friends are going to Ottawa, but it’s midterm/endterm season for uni and cegep, so not a lot are – but I think there’s a chartered bus thing, so at least they don’t have to worry about transport, yey.

    cheshmgir, thank you for your input, I’ll check out those sites when I have a bit more free time. 😀

    Anonymous – while your points give us a view of the hypocrisy present in the current mentality, in this argument, it would be unproductive to point fingers. Thanks for stopping by!

    nah! – sounds like you’ve got some issues with the Native Americans… which I will not comment on – they’re for you to figure out.

    I really doubt Americans are learning ‘a lot’ from committing genocide. A little, maybe, (like don’t go into a country where you’re hugely unpopular and expect success). Why don’t I think so? Look at Iraq and what it’s done there.

    And there are so many other genocides out there that it has chosen to ignore in favour of this politically expedient one… Sorry, can’t agree with you.

  8. nah!
    Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Sevenses: I do not have any issue with Native Americans at all. I just pointed out that 200 years ago, some American patriots genocied Native Americans, now everyone in the US had to pay for that . I’m American Asian, and I’m very, very poor, I do not have enough food to eat sometimes, and I have to work my ass off to pay for everything, I have to pay heavy tax too. While I volunteered to work for the trible people of Native Americans, I saw they get all the good supplements from the US government . I thought it is not fair and asked people around me, they said I have to bear with it because the US goverment felt guity about genocide and thus they have to give the Native Americans all of the advantages. See, the younger American generations have to pay for what the American patriots done in the past

  9. nah!
    Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    oh! I do not hate Native Americans at all, I still think they are nice people, but still …like when I was sick and did not have enough money to go to see the doctor, and some Native Americans just come to the hospital to ask me for free medications and get doctors for free … still not fair for me though.

  10. sevenses
    Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    I see! It must be frustrating to see that happening. *pats you on the back*

    However, if you look carefully, Tibetans receive the same type of treatment as the Native Americans, and the Han didn’t even have to do any genociding.

    (Btw, if you hate taxes, don’t come to Canada! The taxes here kill. On the other hand, the welfare programs pretty much rock. Hmm…)

    And honestly, I’m not sure how aware the average American is, when it comes to where their tax money goes.

    Good day!

  11. Jess
    Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvCCFwSMZZs&feature=related <-Pathetic, disgusting, and no-brain humor.

    Also, people are talking about how China is launching a genocide on Tibet. A genocide.. I don’t know what to say. I guess WTF would suffice.

  12. Janesc
    Sunday, April 13, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I thought the torch protest was a bad move cos the Chinese will remember this disruption by the West long after the Beijing Games. Are the people spoiling the torch relay trying to beat China down? There is outage in China, where the young has flooded Internet Bulletin Boards with anti-foreign sentiments. The West’ displays of contempt for China and things Chinese will have consequences in their lifetime beyond the Olympics.
    I don’t think that the protests will impact China to change its policy in Tibet or against dissidents.

  13. sevenses
    Sunday, April 13, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Jess… well, the way I’m taking it is – they’re jealous because the one for ’10 is uglier than George Bush’s morality quilt.

    Janesc – I hadn’t thought about that one. Good point! Generally public memory is rather short, you know… But yeah, it’s nice that people are realizing how ‘friendly’ the world is. I was anointed in the Temple of Cynicism a while ago, so this wasn’t a huge shock, but to some people, it will be a wake-up call, and about time too.

  14. idabi
    Sunday, April 13, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Aie… I shall avoid speaking about this matter. Politics depresses me in general.

    In attempt to bring some some cheerfulness to this debate:
    http://www.soompi.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=210425

    Isn’t that such a cute gesture?
    😀

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