Two Pieces of Self-reflections

When I suddenly saw my Facebook post from one year ago, I still felt proud for having participated in the pro-Hong Kong protests in San Francisco last year. I also felt proud of the first public speech that I made at one of the events. I do not think I have done anything wrong. Instead, I think this will always remind me to be empathetic and understand the pains of the other people.

Below are two posts from my Facebook. I would read it every now and then to remind myself of the values that I need to stick to.

My name is Fan. I come from China, while I lived in Hong Kong for four years before I came to study in the US.

During my study in Hong Kong, my professor always encouraged me to think critically – the government can be wrong, the law can be wrong – we need to fix those wrong things instead of accepting them naturally.

Having seen the umbrella movement and this time the anti-extradition bill movement, I feel very heart-breaking. I could totally understand their situation. Many people around me – like my friends from China or my mainland friends in Hong Kong – they don’t care much about what’s going on in Hong Kong or how the Hong Kong people feel. Why? Because they never perceive Hong Kong as their home, and they can easily leave the place when the situation is getting worse. However, not every person in Hong Kong would have that luxury to come to the States, to go back to China or Canada or Taiwan. Where else could they go? Where could my lovely friends go? Hong Kong is their home. The only home. So, I definitely support them to fight!

For me, why should I, as a mainlander, stand out? First, I perceive Hong Kong as my home. Second, I know there are so many things that need to be prioritized over economy or stability – such as humanity and social justice.

In the end, I’d like to say, a lot of bad things are going on. It’s never going to end soon. However, we still have to do something. If we don’t do anything, 10 years later, if we find the world is even worse, we could only blame ourselves – because we don’t do anything to stop the bad things from worsening.

God bless Hong Kong. Amen!

I am a mainlander living in California. Before this I lived in the East Coast and also in Hong Kong. Even for myself, being a mainlander, I do not feel I belong to the Chinese community – not because I hate China, rather because I love China a lot while the country/Chinese groups hate me whenever I give any criticism. Sometimes I just wonder who really loves this country and the people – the ones who are maintaining the unfair system or the ones who are challenging it?

I often find my position – loving China but opposing CCP/firmly standing with my friends in Hong Kong – very hard. I would be easily attacked by the Chinese community as a traitor (and actually I have already been). When I supported my Hong Kong friends by sharing articles on Facebook and joining the pro-Hong Kong events in San Francisco, my Chinese “friends” publicly blamed me on the Chinese social media and reported me to the local police.

For many of the mainlanders, the world is black and white – if you are anti-CCP, you do not love China. If you support the Hong Kong people, you’re trying to split the country and supporting the independence of Hong Kong. If you criticize China, you must have been brainwashed by the western countries and sponsored by the anti-China foreign forces. Apparently, this is absolutely not the logical way to understand the world – but this is how many of my well-educated Chinese friends think.

For many times, the pro-CCP people have told me many “bottom lines” – from Hong Kong to Tibet. However, they could not answer me what if the system is wrong and the cost is sacrificing one’s religious freedom, the basic human right of saying something, or the basic social justice?

Moreover, as the CCP has always put, many Chinese support the idea that we can sacrifice a small group of people in exchange for the development of the majority/the society. I always find it difficult to justify this idea and find this idea absolutely wrong. Do the minorities deserve to be sacrificed? What if everyone of us can be a minority one day? What if we are sacrificed simply because we are Christian, Muslim, gay, left-handed, blind, not good at communication, etc.? Should we feel guilty and blame ourselves for being Christian, Muslim, gay, left-handed, blind, not good at communication, etc.? What if we get treated unfairly by the CCP-controlled legal system (e.g. in those “nail house” cases)? Should we just accept that as our fate?

To me, the only bottom line is “humanity” – having empathy for all people for the situations they’re in and respecting their choices. There’s never a rule/law in the universe saying Tibetans/Taiwanese/Hong Kong people should identify themselves as Chinese, and moreover there’s no scientific way to draw the boundary of Chinese/Non-Chinese (By gene? By language? By birth country? By what?). There’s never a rule that every single person should choose the thing that the majority has opted in.

In the end, the only bottom line for a society will be: respecting every individual’s choices. If one, no matter whether it’s a Tibetan, HKer, Taiwanese, or even a mainlander, does not identify himself/herself as a Chinese, that’s NOT wrong by any means and should always be respected. It’s just a freedom of choice – I do not have to love RED color even if most Chinese love RED.

However, as the writer of the letter said, if we do not stand out, we deserve the “disliking” and “discrimination”, as we are tolerating/accepting/supporting the “injustice” that CCP has enforced on the minorities. That’s the reason why I attended the pro-Hong Kong and pro-democracy events, though my American manager has been warning me and worrying about my safety a lot as he knows the CCP would threaten my family/life.

For many times, I also have a strong fear of being misunderstood by my friends, being arrested when going back to China, and even being attacked by the other pro-CCP groups in the US (as what has already been happening to the Hong Kongers in many universities).

However, I also remember what I learned from the BBC show “Years and Years”: when the situation becomes worse and worse, and when something really bad happens one day, we could not blame the other people but should blame ourselves – because we never do anything to stop the bad things from happening.

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