It's bad enough that those living under the heal of tyranny have their God-given rights suppressed but one expects to hear of this transpiring in less-developed countries that have never really known freedom to begin with. However, things have really gotten out of hand when those living in the United States have to fear for their livelihoods for speaking out against abridgements of liberty occurring overseas.
According to an Associated Press story titled, "Protestors Take CNN To Task Over Commentator's China Remarks", Jack Cafferty observed, "We continue to import their junk with lead paint...and poisoned pet food and export, you know, jobs to places where you can pay workers a dollar a month to turn out stuff we’re buying from Wal-Mart. I think they’re [the Chinese government] the same bunch of goons and thugs they’ve been for the last 50 years.”
So instead of addressing the factuality of the allegations, a group of Chinese Americans took to the streets outside of CNN’s Hollywood office and called for the firing of Jack Cafferty. Of the group, one must question whether its loyalties were to be found with Red China or the United States.
One of the ringleaders is quoted as saying, “We understand free speech.” No, apparently they don’t as Cafferty stated a perfectly legitimate opinion in a non-obscene manner.
In such a situation, one ought to fight back against a claim one does not like by leveling a counterargument against it. However, in this case, the statement cannot be refuted so the only recourse is to appeal to the strong-arm tactics more like those used in Communist countries than those that ought to be considered in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
The Chinese leaders are in Cafferty’s words, “basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they’ve been for the last 50 years."
Are not the leaders of the People’s Republic of China still Communist? Do they still not engage in the same kinds of human rights violations inherent to that sociopolitical philosophy no matter how much they claim to liberalize the economy?
How else other than as goonish or thuggish does one describe a government that blocks its citizens from accessing the Internet unfettered, forbids its citizens the right to affiliate religiously with whomever they please without fear of reprisals, and interferes with the number of children couples are permitted to have?
Distracted by weightier matters such as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, many Americans have problems relating to issues and events beyond those directly brought to their attention on the nightly news. Even if that is the case, they still don’t have to stretch their diminished attention spans too greatly to become familiar with the goonishness and thuggery of the Red Chinese.
For as the Olympic torch made its way through Western lands, citizens of the Free World were granted the privilege of experiencing first hand on a small scale the kinds tactics employed by these Eastern despots. Chinese paramilitary units “protecting” the torch laid hands on American and European protestors demonstrating against this regime’s civil rights abuses and even threatened those carrying this global symbol not exactly in a manner how its Marxist caretakers thought it ought to be. I ask you, do these operatives have the right or authority to lay a finger on a single person outside their nation's territorial jurisdiction?
Here we are being told to shut our own mouths out of respect for a foreign society while representatives of this very same society have no intentions of honoring our tradition of dignity and restraint while on our own soil. And don't think this will all blow over with Westerners, particularly Americans, going back to enjoying our God-given right to say what we want about whomever we want.
According to a Reuters story dated 4/28/08 titled "CNN Now Sued For $1.3 Billion --- $1 For Every Person In China", the global network has been slapped with a lawsuit in a New York court by a beautician and elementary school teacher (both of Chinese origins) on the grounds that Cafferty's remarks "insulted all Chinese people and intentionally caused mental harm". One wonders if those shot in the skull by Red Chinese organ harvesters will be allowed to seek recompense for the "mental harm" inflicted upon them by the government there.
Such legal action could result in silencing criticism of Red China not only in areas controlled by these diabolical Communists but even in nations where freedom of speech is suppose to prevail. CNN might be able to stand up to such judicial challenges, but what about the average citizen journalist or blogger?
Yet despite droning on and on about how glorious their homeland happens to be and how we as Westerners are not to pass judgment against the regime ruling over this particular nation and its territory, there is one glaring hypocrisy that has to be pointed out. And here it is: if China is such a swell place that isn't ruled by a bunch of goons and thugs, why are those so eager to rush to its defense living over here rather than contentedly over there?
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.