Image Source: Tama66 / 1862 images at Pixabay
It’s 2020: so far this year, the U.S. has seen millions of people demonstrating support of black lives, has had multiple articles published about the rising tensions caused by “political correctness,” and had an attempt to oust the current President because of his “racist” inclinations. In addition, in recent years performing and visual art attendance has increased³ and a higher focus towards art and culture in schools has been implemented. If you asked the average American, they would probably consider themselves informed on important matters affecting the world today. Yet, there are other governments, such as in China, consistently defining Americans as ignorant and selfish, and not many choose to question it. Why is such a statement, which Americans would find mostly untrue, working to deceive others so easily, especially when something like being culturally aware and racially accepting is the apex of every conversation from American pop culture to political debates?
Image Source: Eric Drooker (www.drooker.com)
Most people nowadays are aware of the Black Lives Matter Movement, and some of their accomplishments: from getting a street and plaza renamed to involving 500,000 people in protests all over the U.S. during the COVID-19 outbreak. Today, protests are still raging in Chicago, Portland, and New York, with no resolution on the horizon. Race and culture have been on a sliding spectrum from racist, culturally appropriating and stereotypical to supportive and culturally aware. It’s a slippery slope for many, and news sources are quick to feed anyone to the wolves if they slip too far into a racist or insensitive sentiment. Hopefully in the future, we all learn to not take everything seriously, but it’s safe to say that tensions are at all time high about whether something is “politically correct” or not, as most Americans want to be supportive and not be mistaken for ignorant.
On the other side of the world, you have the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that has stated the U.S. is more ignorant than ever. In a recent article, state-media accused the U.S. population of being swept up by a new “Red Scare” fear-mongering and are unable to make “informed decisions” about China, especially, because they “don’t study Chinese and don’t know about China.” Rhetoric like this is quite common from the CCP, and with tensions escalating between the U.S. and China since the commencement of the trade war, there has been a steady increase of it on both television and radio all over the country.
Image Source: “China-US relations at ‘critically important’ stage: Xi to Trump” by Orissa Post
Now, to be fair, the U.S. has been ignorant about China for some time now. In Brigadier General Robert Spalding (U.S. Air force, Retired)’s book Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept, it goes in-depth about how a blind eye has been turned to many CCP issues, such as how they have advanced their military by stealing U.S. intellectual property and have infiltrated our science laboratories. The U.S has also been ignoring the gross human rights violations occurring in Xinjiang against the Uighurs (including sterilizing woman and performing forced abortions, child abuse, and live organ harvesting), the spyware installed in Huawei devices and on Chinese apps like TikTok and Wechat, and how, although done quietly, CCP members have been systematically buying mass amounts of U.S. property and have acquired more than billions in assets from the U.S. since 2002. Only earlier this year were the funds from the Thrift Savings Plan limited from being invested into Chinese companies.
As a reminder, this is the Chinese Communist Party we are talking about, meaning they own a percentage of every Chinese business. So, where does this percentage of revenue go that the CCP is entitled to? It’s difficult to say, but something to consider is that in 2018, China’s Defense Budget had increased 850% from the previous 20 years (an increase from $20 billion to $170 billion according to China) and in 2020 it is now at $178.2 billion. How can a country support that kind of increase in their budget without a newly tapped source of funds? Where could the funds be coming from? To clarify, the CCP has a lot to gain if the U.S. remains ignorant about what they are doing so they can continue with profiting off U.S. citizens and the economy. A combination of tactics is used to keep the Americans from understanding the CCP’s true intentions: controlling information from leaving their country (like how they kept information about the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus from the rest of the world in an act of blatantly allowing spread) and attempting to silent all individuals speaking out against them. American’s must also understand that a government does not equal a country and its people; it can actually do many things the people do not approve of, especially in non-democratic nations.
Image Source: Pixabay
So the question is, are Americans as ignorant as the CCP says? The CCP has both directly and indirectly threatened the integrity and safety of all world citizens: normally these consequences would be immense to bear. The U.S., which has been reported as being at one of its most divided times, will need to unite citizens to encourage freedom and understanding, like the Hong-Kongese who have recently come under attack by the CCP, like Apple Daily owner Jimmy Lai, due to the new Hong Kong National Security Law. Despite the increasing danger, protesters are still making five clear demands to the government so that Hong Kong citizens are entitled to the same democracy the U.S. has and is meant to upload.
We are living in a time where information has never flowed more freely (except in countries where they censor, like China) and Americans are learning how to make more informed decisions than ever. They have proven they want to support people of all backgrounds, cultures, and creeds. However, if there is a government easily convincing 1.6 billion people or more that Americans are ignorant and uncultured, can they really say that they are succeeding in creating change? This question can only be answered with action: to improve the U.S. through peace, to eliminate the threats to essential values like Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression, and to better our lives with happiness and sincerity. This is our fight, too.
Image Source: zhang kaiyv by Pixabay
Works Cited (in order of appearance):
7.Kaur, Harmeet, and Lauren del Valle. “Virginia Mayor Urged to Resign after Allegedly Saying Joe Biden Picked ‘Aunt Jemima’ as His VP.” CNN, Cable News Network, 5 Aug. 2020.
8.Chen Weihua (孙晓宇). “Fear-Mongering over Learning Chinese Is like Spreading Poison.” ChinaDaily.com.cn, ChinaDaily.com.cn, 14 Aug. 2020.
11.Spalding, Robert Stanley, and Seth Kaufman. Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept. Portfolio/Penguin, 2019.
14.Bostock, Bill. “China Is Forcibly Sterilizing Uighur Women and Giving Them Unwanted Abortions in a Mission to Purge the Muslim Minority, Report Says.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 29 June 2020.
15.Cheong, Ian Miles. Chinese Communism. Twitter, Twitter, 6 Aug. 2020.
16.Werleman, CJ. “More Uyghur Horror: Harvesting Hundreds of Thousands of Organs from Mass Murder.” Byline Times, Byline Media Holdings Ltd, Byline Times & Yes We Work Ltd, 4 Dec. 2019.
17.Gartenberg, Chaim. “Donald Trump Extends Huawei Ban through May 2021.” The Verge, The Verge, 13 May 2020.
18.Altieri, Richard, and Benjamin Della Rocca. “Trump Signs Ban on TikTok, WeChat; U.S. Officials Report Chinese Election Interference.” Lawfare, The Lawfare Institute in Cooperation with Brookings, 18 Aug. 2020.