Un-free Tibet

Posted by on August 31, 2010 | No comments

Next time I see a guy with a “Free Tibet” shirt, sticker, or attitude I’m going to punch him in the wang.


Westerners just don’t get the free Tibet things.  They’re too naïve.  They see it as black and white.  The poor Tibetans being bullied by the big bad China-man.  But it’s not always the case.  I’ll admit, I used to be a hippie.  Dreds, tie-dye, free Tibet.  It was cool.  After coming to China I’ve changed my mind about a lot of things.


The thing westerners don’t get about the Tibet thing is that we’ve done the exact same thing before.  Can you imagine if tomorrow California was like “dude, lets go back to Mexico”.  And Obama says, “Well, it’s only fair.” I don’t think so.


The whole western part of the US was “bought” (by force) from Mexico what, not even 200 years ago?  Tibet has been a part of China for thousands of years.  Sure, it’s got a special name that western people know, so everyone seems to think that it was somehow stolen by the Chinese government when they came to power 60 years ago, but it’s been on the map since before they had maps. Westerners don’t understand that China is a country made up of many cultures.  Mongolian, Khmer, Han, Hakka, Tibetan, and many other national minorities are all part of the country we know as China.  And it’s been like that for a long time.  Since China began, rulers have come and gone and the size of China has waxed and waned.  Hey Americans, remember when the south tried to do that whole separation thing?  We didn’t let it happen.  How would you feel if you and your family lived in the neighborhood for 50 years and two weeks in your new rich neighbor comes over and tells you how to raise your kids?


I don’t know details about the rest of the world, but you know what I mean when I mention Britain, Spain, France, Portugal, Australia, and well, the list goes on.  Suddenly we’re all noble and just can’t stand to see how unfair the Chinese are. And what would happen if China throws up their hands and say “Ok, sorry guys, my bad.”  Once they do that, next to go is Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia.  Next thing you know, Guangdong and Yunnan are too cool for school and then what’s left of China?


And what do you guys think is happening in Tibet?  Have you ever been? Have you ever talked to a Tibetan?  Yes, there are problems.  Yes, the Chinese government doesn’t always choose the path other governments might choose, but they are doing a lot of good.  Western people love to talk about “preserving culture”.  They love the idea of some Tibetan guy riding yak through across the winter plains with a couple of dirty kids running behind.  But nomadic life is hard.  Didn’t you ever consider that Tibetans might like the stability of housing, farming, and schools?  Maybe they want TVs, indoor heating, and running water.  Wouldn’t you?  China is giving them these things.


We see a lot of crazies on TV.  That’s what the news is for.  We see the unsatisfied Tibetans getting riled up and throwin’ stuff.  “Oh my god, the poor natives!” we say to ourselves.  The truth is, they’re probably just some drunk guys who are pissed off because they lost money playing cards.  And then China steps in with police. “Oh my god, how brutal”.  Christ, I’d do the same.  If I was trying to found a prosperous, safe, strong country and some group antagonists f-ed with my plan, I too would come down on them with an iron fist.

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