Violence against monks. Violence against Han Chinese. Understandable anger against Chinese state violence. Understandable anger against Tibetans who commited acts of violence at Han Chinese. China continues crackdown, continues today.
Chinese Media control and suppression. Blackout in China. Censorship in China. Chinese voices of patriotic constructive criticism, of consideration of human rights, and of mediation, shouted down, silenced. Western media predominant focus on China human rights abuses, less on Tibetan violence towards Han Chinese. Latent & state-instigated Chinese nationalism--both in China and abroad.
What has happened/is happening to discourse & discussion in America? One development that must be accentuated and crucially reversed is the censorship & stifling of basic discourse, in America:
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The media took note first when Duke University's Chinese international student Wang Qianyuan was harrassed on April 16th and continually mobbed with threats till this day, for attempting to mediate at a Tibetan vs. Chinese rally and for speaking for human rights. Wang's family in China is in hiding from numerous death threats by fellow Chinese.
Today's NYT article takes a broader assessment of this development that has taken place, of talk (in America!) on Tibet-China stifled & censored. By whom? Indeed, if we as Americans lose sight of our foundational principles to speak freely, discuss freely, to protect and defend speech & discussion from intimidation at all costs, then it is really we ourselves who have censored our own principles. It would be we ourselves who have outsourced another one of our goods to the authoritarian People's Republic of China (the MADE IN CHINA brand of "speech" & "discourse").
Min Zhu, center, was removed from an event with a monk at the University of Southern California after a bottle was thrown.
"...Campuses including Cornell, the University of Washington in Seattle and the University of California, Irvine, have seen a wave of counterdemonstrations using tactics that seem jarring in the American academic context. At the University of Washington, students fought to limit the Dalai Lama’s address to nonpolitical topics. At Duke, pro-China students surrounded and drowned out a pro-Tibet vigil; a Chinese freshman who tried to mediate received death threats, and her family was forced into hiding.
And last Saturday, students from as far as Florida and Tennessee traveled to Atlanta to picket CNN after a commentator, Jack Cafferty, referred to the Chinese as “goons and thugs.” (CNN said he was referring to the government, not the people.)...
“We’ve been smothered for too long time,” said Jasmine Dong, another graduate student who attended the U.S.C. lecture.
By that, Ms. Dong did not mean that Chinese students had been repressed or censored by their own government. She meant that the Western news media had not acknowledged the strides China had made or the voices of overseas Chinese. “We are still neglected or misunderstood as either brainwashed or manipulated by the government,” she said...
Rather than blend in to the prevailing campus ethos of free debate, the more strident Chinese students seem to replicate the authoritarian framework of their homeland, photographing demonstration participants and sometimes drowning out dissent.
A Tibetan student who declined to be identified for fear of harassment said he decided not to attend a vigil for Tibet on his campus, which he also did not want identified because there are so few Tibetans there. “It’s not that I didn’t want to, I really did want to go — it’s our cause,” he said. “At the same time, I have to consider that my family’s back there, and I’m going back there in May.”
Another factor fueling the zeal of many Chinese demonstrators could be that they, too, intend to return home; the Chinese government is widely believed to be monitoring large e-mail lists.
Universities have often tried to accommodate the anger of their Chinese students. Before the Dalai Lama’s visit to the University of Washington, the campus Chinese Students and Scholars Association wrote to the university president expressing hopes that the visit would focus only on nonpolitical issues and not arouse anti-China sentiments. According to a posting on the group’s Web site, the university president, Mark A. Emmert, told them in a meeting that no political questions would be raised at the Dalai Lama’s speech. A spokesman said the university, which opened an office in Beijing last fall, had prescreened student questions before the Chinese students voiced their concerns.
Some experts say that colleges feel constrained from reining in the more extreme protests through a combination of concerns about cultural sensitivity and a desire to expand their own ties with China.
“I think there tends to be a great deal of self-censorship,” said Peter Gries, director of the Institute for U.S.-China Issues at the University of Oklahoma, “and not just among American China scholars but among the whole web of people who do business with China, including school administrators.” "