Torchlight Uyghur Group
(February 5, 2020)
Shouting against injustices was originally thought to be a trait that belongs only to human beings, but recent studies of the animal world have concluded that animals also have natural instincts to protect the weak. You can find some interesting videos on YouTube, such as rhinos saving fawns from crocodiles, or baboons saving antelopes from cheetah’s mouths. Although rhinos and baboons are very different animals than fawns and antelopes, they stood up for the vulnerable, and shouted against the strong and protected the weak. In the 21st century, as we humans are witnessing in awe the love between different animals, we can’t help but question and challenge the so-called Jungle Rule.
Regrettably, in this 21st century, while even the animals have become known with their compassion, 1.4 billion Chinese people collectively lost their voice on the Chinese government’s genocidal policy against Uyghurs. What is the reason for their silence? Do they think that Uyghurs committed crimes so heinous that they are not worthy of sympathy and voice of support?
The reason for their silence is not because the Uyghurs are guilty. We believe that the complete indifference of the Chinese people against the suffering of the Uyghurs can be attributed to the following three major factors:
The first factor: Traditional Chinese political culture
The traditional Chinese education teaches the Chinese people that “the country is home, the officials are parents, the people are grass, and to be filial is the moral standard of life”. Let’s take a closer look at the written character for filial in Chinese – 孝. The top half of the character is from the top half of the word “old” (老) in Chinese, and the bottom half is from the word “child” (子). The word “Old” in Chinese not only means parents or older people, in ancient Chinese it also was an honorary name for senior officials, such as advisors, prime ministers, etc. The main thread of traditional Chinese culture is the Confucian culture. Filial piety is the core value of the Confucian culture. In this culture, people, families, and countries are integrated into a single concept. Confucian education teaches the Chinese people that they should be family-centered, and they should respect the old as children of filial piety. In Chinese, the word “country (国家)” is represented by two written characters, “country (国)” and “home (家)”. Since the Chinese word for “official” has the same meaning as the “parents” and the “country” is equal to “home”, the scope of filial piety in the Chinese people’s mindset covers filial piety to officials and as well as the government. To the average Chinese people, the government and the officials must not be offended, no matter if they’re good or bad, clean or corrupt, or else they will not be filial. It can thus be concluded that the Confucian culture is a traditional political culture in China.
For this reason, in China, as long as the government allows people to live, no matter what bad things the government and officials do, the people will not resist. In the Chinese history, all the uprisings against the various dynasties happened basically when the people could no longer live, and in order to survive they had to rise up to resist the government’s inaction. As long as they are alive, the Chinese people regard the spirit of “willing to be cattle and horses (做牛做马)”as a filial piety. The Chinese people have never lived for personal dignity and rights. The dignitaries and cynics of the past worked hand in glove with each other and used the “right to survive” to force the Chinese people to act as “cattle and horses” for them, making it the best policy for keeping the political power. The Chinese government now claims that “‘The right to survive’ is the highest form of human rights for the Chinese people”. This declaration does not come from the communist party’s culture, but from the history and the culture of the Chinese themselves. When the survival in the 21st century is the most basic right in the human and animal worlds, it has still been advertised as the highest and only form of human rights in China.
The conclusion is that when the “right to survive” becomes the only human right, humans will deprive all other living beings of their living spaces. This is why life in China has no metaphysical meaning. For the last bastion of the “right to survive”, everyone becomes selfish and ignores the lives of others. The Chinese eat everything they see, torment the soul, and even consume vulnerable groups, such as children when hungry. These phenomena are the result of the Chinese people’s unlimited extension of their “right to survive”. When the “right to survive” becomes the highest right to be a person, there is no room left in China to accommodate other higher levels of rights. Therefore, when the Chinese children are repeatedly crushed by the passing vehicles on the roads, as long as this incident does not affect other passersby’s right to survival, they will walk away in complete disregard for this fragile life that is being crushed in front of them. In China, as soon someone’s “right to survive” is challenged, the lives of others can be ignored. Therefore, the prices of healthy human organs are clearly marked in China. As long as you have the money, you can have a surgery at any hospital for a healthy organ. And this organ comes from a living person, who is either an Uyghur, a Tibetan, or a Falun Gong practitioner, who just happened to ask for a little religious freedom in addition to the “right to survive”. In China, Uyghurs and Tibetans are cattle and sheep that have been circled to be slaughtered, while the Chinese are slaves outside the circle. The people who are outside eat the people inside the circle, in order to obtain their “right to survive”. For this reason, the Chinese people are indifferent to the incident in which Uyghurs were put into concentration camps by the Chinese government.
The second factor: Propaganda to spread ignorance
When human rights are reduced to be the most basic right to survival, ignorance education and propaganda become more important to the Chinese government. “To refer to deer as a horse (指鹿为马)” is a classic Chinese allusion. It’s about trying to force someone to call white black. The Chinese people understands the ignorance education of the Chinese government that is happening in this information age. It’s just that the “right to survive” is holding everyone from their necks. The Chinese government said at the beginning that the Uyghurs are all extremists, and then to prove it, several so-called, pre-planned “terrorist incidents” were repeatedly broadcasted 24 hours a day in all the media owned by the government. Therefore, the reason provided by the Chinese government about why millions of Uyghurs were put in the concentration camps was ‘naturally’ rationalized by the Chinese people.
We believe it is the human nature to live for freedom and to have conscience. Just like those students during the Tiananmen Square incident (on June 4th, 1989, thousands of innocent students were killed by the Chinese government) who tried to bring freedom to the Chinese people by sacrificing their lives, there are some people in China who dare to say “no” to the Chinese dictatorship. “Killing chickens to scare the monkeys (杀鸡骇猴)” is a magic weapon the dictatorship has always been using. Jailing public figures who voiced support for Uyghurs; blocking the positive communication channels to understand the situations of the Uyghurs; investing huge sums of money to publish millions of online propaganda pieces to demonize Uyghurs. All these tactics have paid off, and even some overseas Chinese have joined in defense of the Chinese government’s policies and the crusade against the Uyghurs. The remaining so-called overseas civil rights activists and groups did not want to be cast aside by the angry Chinese, so they followed the “mainstream” and lost their voices.
A Couple years ago in a training program, a lady, who was from mainland China and in the same discussion group with one male member of the Torchlight Uyghur Group, was interested in the picture of a little girl on his laptop and asked him who she was. He told her that she is his daughter. After learning that he also had a son, she asked him if he only posted pictures of his daughter because he preferred his daughter. He told her that protecting one’s daughter is a father’s duty in our traditional culture. Therefore, we generally do not marry our daughters far away from home, in order to keep an eye on whether the daughter is being treated kindly by the husband’s family. This lady became more curious and asked which country he was from, and when he told her that he was Uyghur, her expression became very weird. After a period of silence, she told him that she really did not know that the Uyghurs have such a good tradition, but their Chinese tradition is to prioritize boys over girls, so now more than 30 million single men have become a social problem in China. We could understand her ignorance. Because the Chinese government has always used propaganda to label the Uyghurs as “barbaric” and “backward”, and more recently it has put the “terrorist” hat on the Uyghurs to demonize this nation.
The third factor: Chinese people always live in rigid social circles
When Lu Xun summed up the Chinese culture, he said that “of the five thousand years of Chinese culture, four thousand years is a history of human cannibalism”. In China “human cannibalism” is the focus word of some left-wing scholars when they reflect on the traditional Chinese culture. The “cannibalism” phenomenon summarized by Lu Xun in “The Madman’s Diary” is a true summary of the concept of “right to survive” for the Chinese people. China is rich in soil and water, has sufficient human resources, and the Chinese are arguably the hardest working people in the world. But why have the Chinese people been struggling to survive since ancient times? Large-scale cannibalism in Chinese history has been documented. For example, the four famous Chinese books contain descriptions of cannibalism. Since ancient times the Chinese people have always been struggling on the verge of hunger due to the mismanagement of political power by Chinese regimes. The Chinese people are hardworking but do not know how to protect their rights and interests. The policy implemented by the successive governments has always been to exploit the masses by providing just enough food for sustenance and treat them like cattle and horses. The spiritual life of the Chinese had been extremely deficient. Reading was meant for someone who wants to become an official. Because accumulation of resources beyond what was needed to survive was also meant for seeking an official position.
In fact, as in other countries in the world, the Chinese have had metaphysical development opportunities in history. Lao Tzu, who had a fundamental impact on the development of Chinese culture, wrote down the “Tao Te Ching”, leaving the first (and also the last) philosophical work for the Chinese. The “Tao” advocated by Lao Tzu actually provided the Chinese with an opportunity to leapfrog in metaphysics. But before the Chinese looked up to the sky and thought about phenomena other than matter, Confucius persuaded the princes to provide the people in power with the theory of enslaving the Chinese people with the concept of the “right to survive”. Lamenting that “demanding donations stronger than tigers”, Confucius took the lead in making the Chinese intellectuals of all ages to choose to be cynics and the devotees of the dictatorship. From then on, personal thinking and the growth of the will were stifled in the Chinese cultural circles, and the Chinese people only had to struggle for the “right to survive” and not be allowed to live like a normal person in a democratic society. This is the political model in Chinese society that has continued to this day where the government replaced people’s political power with the “right to survive” — in other words, the masses have no political power.
This political model has continued in China for thousands of years. For generations, the Chinese who have been “cattle and horses” have no faith in a religion, no proud life. But what the masses are proud of is Kong Yiji-style thinking, — wearing a long gown, standing and drinking wine. What is Kong Yiji-style thinking? It is that every Chinese looks down on ordinary people like himself/herself, but him(her)self has no nobler spirits. The Chinese people are now fully fed, but they are extremely empty spiritually. Chinese people who are starting to be spiritually hungry are the last thing the Chinese government wants to see. If other resources are not given in time to fill the Chinese people’s spiritual emptiness, the Chinese will eventually yearn for a higher level of human rights than the “right to survive”. Therefore, the Chinese government is vigorously promoting nationalism, and reclaiming islands for the Chinese Communist Party, and displaying great pride like that in Chang’e’s ascent to the moon; the United States, which promotes human rights, is the imperialist; and the Africans who invest in China are the poor ghosts; The Tibetans who maintain their unique culture are feudalists; while the Uyghurs who resist autocracy are the terrorists. Under the propaganda of the party media, one can see how easy it is for the spiritually empty Chinese people to become the new era Kong Yijis. The 1.4 billion Kong Yijis regarded the Chinese government as the leader of the “horses”, and they were able to revel in the pride of the citizens of the great power. The different voices from the Uyghurs, of course, must stir up the intoxication of the Chinese after they finally began to enjoy the survival, and of course they support the Chinese government’s policy of detaining Uyghurs.
Another purpose of training Kong Yiji is to be the spokesperson for Kong Yijis. Kong Yiji is a man with a very strong self-esteem, but his self-esteem does not represent his independent personality, instead it represents the national character, the affairs of the world, and also the reckless and impoverished and dejected personality of the scholar. This personality can only exist and be recognized in a fixed circle. This is a collective personality. Since the Chinese people’s personality is collective, this collective personality also needs a representative. The feelings of 1.4 billion Kong Yijis are not a small force. Only a powerful regime is eligible for representing them. So, the Chinese government became the spokesperson for expressing the collective feelings of 1.4 billion Chinese people. Thus, when negative reports of the Chinese government actions are surfaced, they will ‘extremely hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and make them extremely angry’.
After this collective personality has been represented by the government for a long time, the Chinese people have become accustomed to living in a circle. Not only Chinese people living in China, but also Chinese people living in developed countries belong to this circle spiritually and personally and live their lives accordingly. A Norwegian friend of a member of the Torchlight Uyghur Group told him that once he met a Chinese from mainland China who had been a university professor in Norway for 15 years. When the friend told the professor about the current situations of the Uyghurs in Chinese concentration camps, he was surprised and said that he had never heard of it. During the conversation, the friend learned from him that Chinese people who work and live like this professor are everywhere in Europe. These Chinese, even in Europe, when going out to take a taxi, shopping, or booking a hotel, they only use WeChat, accompanied by Alipay and Ant Gold. The geographical environment is Europe, but the language and lifestyle are exactly the same as those in China. Even communication and requesting information rely on WeChat. Even if you are a foreigner, all WeChat information is first filtered in China’s domestic storage. Everyone knows that sensitive information cannot be read or transmitted. Even if the Chinese live in a country ruled by law, because they live in circles, they have chosen the Chinese government’s surveillance. The Chinese government has continuously expanded the circle of surveillance. Social circles such as Facebook and LinkedIn have also been infiltrated by the Chinese government, trying to monitor people around the world.
We don’t think the Chinese people are realizing this, the fact that innocent Uyghurs were put into concentration camps is just a miniature test field, and the real object of the government is the Chinese people themselves. The Chinese Communist Party is not afraid of the heavens or the earth, but only afraid of the awakened Chinese people. Because the real power to overthrow the rule of the Chinese Communist Party is the Chinese people themselves. The Chinese government realizes that information cannot be controlled, and more and more middle-class citizens are no longer satisfied with the only right to survival. Chinese people’s desire for legal rights is also expanding as the middle class continues to grow. When deception and intimidation cannot stop the Chinese from demanding more power, the government can only rely on tyranny. Like the regimes of previous generations, the Chinese Communist Party government has always wanted Chinese people who are willing to be the “cattle and horses”. In the past, the Chinese people were willing to become “cattle and horses” even if they were outside the circle, but now they are awakening. In order for the citizenry to continue to be “cattle and horses”, the government does not hesitate to circle them with guns. The Hong Kong people who first noticed it are now standing up. Hong Kong people have realized the seriousness of the situation. In the era of British Hong Kong, the people of Hong Kong have been inoculated with and acknowledged the value of citizenship rights, such as general elections besides the right to survival. They now recognize that speaking for Uyghurs in concentration camps is equivalent to speaking for themselves. And because most Chinese people on the mainland still recognize the traditional “right to survive”, they do not understand the protests of Hong Kong people, and they still defend and help the dictatorship of the Chinese government.
Exploring the historical and cultural reasons for why the Chinese people remain silent is not to vilify their inaction, but to provide a forum in which to demonstrate the Chinese people’s understanding of themselves. We are witnessing that the journey required for the transformation of human society has been shortened from the century to a year or a day. Science and technology have shortened the distance between human beings, and even more between different people and different societies. The consensus of humankind has long broken the solidarity within a small group of people (ethnicity) and elevated the consensus to the common values of human beings. The common values of mankind are also constantly spreading worldwide. The consensus on people in the purely biological sense has been elevated to a conscious understanding after tens of thousands of years of violent social changes. The way to achieve peace through war and killing is especially questioned after humanity has experienced two world-wide wars. Human beings realize that dictatorship and centralized power are the objective factors responsible for the insecurity of human societies. The only thing that centralized power brings to humanity is war. As a result of the war, no matter who wins or loses, the war still destroys the homes of ordinary people, and destroys the homes of future generations of mankind. Whether we are Eastern or Western, whether Uyghur or Chinese, we humans live on the same planet. As the largest ethnic group on the planet, the Chinese people should be more aware of the impact of their actions on the entire humankind.
If every Chinese person is serious about the future of his/her children and grandchildren, he/she must understand that the fate of future generations of humankind is closely related regardless of ethnic groups and cultural backgrounds. “Everyone for themselves (各人自扫门前雪)” should not be used in the education of future generations. Centralized power and tyranny have never cared about their children and grandchildren, how can they care about the ordinary people? Issues such as climate change, desertification of the soil, and water pollution are already warning humankind that future generations are facing more fundamental problems of co-existence. The earth is our only home.
Chinese people, this article is for you, our fellow humans. As human beings, no matter Chinese, Uyghurs, whites, or blacks, we are all compatriots in the human family. Love and wisdom are the magic weapon to save humankind, and we will not lose these magic weapons if we join hands together in the future. Standing in the human family, your tradition can still serve the present and the future. For example, as in the ancient poem ‘I was born with the same roots, why are you too anxious’ can be extended from the traditional family consciousness to the entire human society. Science tells us that human beings are of the same origin and live on this planet called Earth. Because of human inaction, this planet is facing death. And there is no star in the cosmic space known to mankind that is suitable for human habitation. In the future, even if we discover the second earth, we will not have enough time and technology to complete the migration. Instead of wasting our energy and wisdom to serve the dictatorship and tyranny and ultimately destroying ourselves with war, why don’t we use our wisdom to protect this beautiful planet and leave our descendants this perfect home?
Chinese people, it is time to say No to dictatorship; it is time to stand up and speak up for Uyghur people; and it is time to take responsibility for our future generations.
This was written by some Uyghurs to their fellow humans, the Chinese people.
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