Okay before I start I realize some of this blog might seem a bit contentious but bear with me.
We hear a lot of people talk about Free Tibet and China’s roll in Tibet and I find it really interesting to throw out some idea’s about this to put some things into an interesting context.
Yes free Tibet in a way that all places be free of tyranny and that all places are run by government that represents the people of the land. But many of those free Tibet supporters are also big supporters of the Dalai Lama and I ask them this, whether they want the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet and resume his place their as it was before the Chinese resumed control in the 50’s? If the answer is yes then they are not interested in a free Tibet. Lets be real, the Dalai Lama was half King half Pope in Tibet and it was not a country of sweetness and light. Also there are a few ethnic groups there and more than Buddhism so the country was being ruled by the Dalai Lama effectively as a dictator and clearly not representative of all the people. Now that is not to say that I don’t think the Dalai Lama is a decent guy. But my point is that it was not a free country before the Chinese resumed control and it is not free now.
I emphasize that the Chinese resumed control as it was as even though a Dalai Lama proclaimed Tibetan independence from China in 1913 and no other country recognized Tibet as legally a country. But again I want to see people there free as in all communities.
But then I am in favor of the statement free Tibet, free Hawaii. I know it is contentious but I say it for a reason. Hawaii was taken over arbitrarily by a foreign power that had no history in that territory (unlike China in Tibet). And I can hear you say come on though the people of Hawaii haven’t undergone the same human rights abuses as those in Tibet. Really I would say. Time is a funny thing. Take advantage of a snapshot in the now and you can miss out on the complexity of history. The taking over of Hawaii exists a little further back in history than Tibet, but not that much further. And for any of us unfortunate enough to know the absolute obscenity of how the indigenous people of the land now termed the USA have been treated, mass murder, abuse, sterilization, confinement, boarding schools, germ warfare, good ole fashioned genocide will know that China in Tibet might be slightly more recent in our memory but it takes a lot of effort to be as brutal as the US government and citizens were against the indigenous peoples of the USA.
But the Chinese I hear you say are sending large numbers of their own people into Tibet to settle and become the majority. True and it is going to be destabalizing for the Tibetans. But look at the demographics of Hawaii and tell me what’s different?
Free Tibet yes, but real freedom and we need to all shout for this also for the oppressed Indigenous peoples of the world, and for they Gypsies and the Palestinians and those in Darfur and beyond all in the same way as we should have been shouting about the rights of those in Cambodia and Rwanda and that we finally did about Apartheid and that we were too slow to do about the Jews and the Gypsies and the Homosexuals and the disabled and all the others exterminated in that Holocaust.
Sure the Dalai Lama is a good guy but for him to represent freedom then he should denounce his own historical role as the pope/king/pseudo-dictator of Tibet.
There’s nothing like being contentious on a Sunday morning.