4.11.2008

Pointing Our Dirty Finger At China

The controversy about the 2008 Olympics in Beijing is deeper than it might appear on the surface. Westerners pointing to its human rights violations and other issues are doing more than just that--they are carrying a long-held note sung by our country for about half a century. Ever since China turned communist, there has been a bitter-sweet diplomatic history between it and the United States.

This Olympics controversy is throwing fuel into the flame of anti-Chinese sentiment. From the Los Angeles Times:

As the Olympic torch made its way through the streets of Paris, London and San Francisco, tens of thousands protested China's treatment of Tibet and the Dalai Lama.

But inside some Chinese American communities, notably the San Gabriel Valley, the view of Tibet and its spiritual leader is far more complex.

On Cat Chao's Mandarin-language talk show "Rush Hour" on KAZN-AM (1300), most callers haven't been debating whose side to take but why the Western media has been so biased against China in its reporting of the riots that rocked Tibet earlier this month.

"They're pretty angry," Chao said. "People usually trust Western media because they think it's balanced. Not anymore."

Others complained that the torch protests have gone beyond criticizing the Chinese communist government and have a decidedly anti-Chinese feeling.

Our country's people are voicing a lot of objections to China, especially now in light of the Olympics controversy. But we should keep in mind that as much as we try to disassociate ourselves from China through discussions of human rights abuses and environmental abuses, our country has been and currently is guilty of the same things.

I'm talking about our companies that set up sweatshops and/or factories in foreign countries--abusing local workers, their families, and their environments. Such as the Mexican maquiladora industry.

There is a lot going on with the Olympics controversy, we can't just try to target China because in doing so we are implicating ourselves. In other words, who are we to point the finger? It's not that no finger should ever be pointed, but come on, the United States?

2 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

See this. It is an excellent Marxist analysis of the Tibet question.

Dan Holzman-Tweed said...

I've never been a fan of some interpretations of the "clean hands" theory. It seems to me that our choice is to implicate ourselves over wrong actions to date; or to continue to collude in things for which we ought be implicated.

In other words, who do we need to be to point the finger?