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Do not let iPhones & Chinese manufactured laptops obscure the Tiananmen Square massacre

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Jul 17, 2017 Do not let iPhones & Chinese manufactured laptops obscure the Tiananmen Square massacre

The Chinese government’s June 3-4, 1989 massacre of peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square left an indelible mark on me.

Yet, as time marches on, I myself lost track of the anniversary of this Chinese government bloodbath. So I observe that anniversary today.

On June 3-4, 1989, the Chinese army turned its guns on its own people, who were peaceful demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. Such atrocities are not limited to China. Look no farther than Kent State nineteen years earlier, even if on a smaller scale and not ordered from the highest echelons of power.

Whether with or without great public relations advisers, the Chinese government has been tremendously successful — once Jimmy Carter established diplomatic relations with communist China in 1979 — in at once continuing its brutality while continuously convincing American manufacturers to flock to China, and in convincing American consumers to purchase Chinese-manufactured goods. Can you think of any iPhone or big name laptop computer that was not manufactured in China?

Attention and memory spans of too many people fade quickly. The Chinese government — and many other governments — are far from beyond perpetrating repetitions of Tiananmen Square-type massacres, whether on the same or smaller scale. On top of that, tens of millions of Chinese people were born after this massacre, and the Chinese government has masterfully hidden information about Tiananmen Square.  Those Chinese people who have an opportunity to travel abroad have better access to information about the massacre.

We can get too caught up in our daily lives, commutes, deadlines, sleeping, and eating to pay attention to the world around us, from the beautiful to the ugly to the brutal. If everyone lets that happen, tyrants will have their way.

As lone and then fellow demonstrator Fat C. Lam urged days after the massacre, “Don’t let tyrants sleep.”

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