Posted by: Chasy | 07/07/2009

In Communist China…

Crikey has a good summary of the media attention the Uighur protests so far. These two struck a chord with me, in particular:

What if the Uighurs were Christian rather than Muslim? Just imagine if the Uighurs were a Christian — rather than Muslim — minority, battling against the tyrannical Communist regime in Beijing, resisting various types of persecution, and demanding religious freedom. They would be lionized by America’s Right. — Glenn Greenwald, Salon.

Buddhist protests and Muslim riots. I’ve been struck — in the early days of this protest — how restrained and comparatively unsympathetic the foreign press coverage of the Uigher uprising has been in light of the highly sympathetic reporting on the Tibetan uprising last year. — Adam Minter, Shanghai Scrap.

It certainly puts a different perspective on things. I think we, the general public, while accepting that the Chinese government is an oppressive regime and being responsible for some of the harshest controls on freedom of speech, care little about the rights of the Chinese people or the Uighurs. It’s as if the culture of ‘softly, softly’ that our governments have followed has somehow filtered into our consciousness without us knowing.

If we honestly thought otherwise, we’d have the protests making front page headlines and becoming the leading stories in our nightly news. It would be a trending topic on Twitter and bloggers would be discussing various ways in which they can show their support for the Uighurs and get information to them.

Instead, they are not. We hear about it briefly and then it fades away. The Uighurs don’t endear themselves to us like peaceful monks standing up for what they believe in, or protesters demanding true democracy in a country that stands to become America’s next great conquest. We, the general public, don’t know who they are and we don’t care.

Update: I stand corrected:

Urumqi

It still hasn’t reached the heights of the Iran Election twittering, nor has it knocked of fucking Michael Jackson, but it’s made it.

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