Although I’m nearly on the other side of the world, I’ve heard about the terrible events taking place in Ferguson. It’s really sickening that people of color are still being abused for wanting equal rights.
Many people are also concerned that America is becoming a police state with tear gas, limited media access, and journalists being arrested. These events are equally revolting, no doubt about it, but I’m not sure if Americans understand what they mean by “police state”. This is not a term to be tossed around lightly, and my dad along with other Chinese citizens can testify to that.
In 1989, my dad and his friend went out to join peaceful protesters at Tiananmen Square who we’re protesting against the oppressive Chinese government. The Chinese government had executed and imprisoned many dissidents, my grandfather being one of the incarcerated. They also sent thousands of bright, intelligent students to the countryside for “re-education”, which is basically brainwashing them when they do hard labor. Besides that, China was nearly a closed off country - pretty much cut off from the Western world. Many college students felt that this system was unfair, and they all gathered in the square to protest.
My dad didn’t expect the police to come. My dad didn’t to see the blood of innocent students splattered across the white concrete tiles. Chinese officials had ordered armed soldiers to shoot the students, all of whom were unarmed.
That’s not even the worst part - the Chinese government doesn’t even acknowledge this today. I would search for the number of casualties and injuries from this massacre, but the above photo is what happens when you search for “tiananmen square massacre” in mainland China. My phone was working perfectly fine, and when I did a quick search for “apples” and “tiananmen” the results came up as usual.
The sad part is that most Chinese people cannot even speak the truth about history, unlike Americans. When I studied abroad in China, all of my history lessons were completely whitewashed. There was no mention of the 1989 Massacre, or the Cultural Revolution of the sixties. Some younger kids didn’t even know who Mao Zedong was. History lessons, banners, and posters that praise the CPC still exist today - on the subway, in museums, in schools, in the government controlled media/propaganda outlets. The above may sound as if it’s from a Isolationist, oppressive dictatorial country (e.g. North Korea, Cuba) but it’s coming from China - a modernized, industrialized country with the worlds fastest growing economy.
As my friend from Suzhou said: “You cannot speak up, but in your heart you must accept that it’s not true.” I’m so glad that the victims to the unfortunate event in Ferguson have a place such as the internet to gather and speak out on, but most Chinese have no voice. They live in a real police state.