Friday, October 11, 2019

The USA Is Not Mainland China

Formerly a good off-guard in the National Basketball Association, Steve Kerr is currently a good head coach with many championship rings from the Chicago Bulls (as player) and Golden State Warriors (as coach).  The son of a man murdered by Islamic terrorists, he is anti-Trump, thoughtful, and somewhat of a gun safety activist. However, that does not make him immune from espousing moral equivalence as when, in an otherwise very civil and reasonable news conference, he responded to the umpteenth question about mainland China and the NBA by stating (beginning at 12:24 of the video below)

But people in China didn't ask me about, you know, people owning AR-15s and mowing each other down in the mall.

I wasn't asked that question, so we can play this game all we want and go all over the map- and you know there's this side of the issue and that issue. The world is a complex place and there is more gray than black and white. I realize what's popular these days is to make it black and white and you're either good or you're evil and it's convenient to do things that way.

There is a lot of murder in the USA, mass murder, murder among close relatives, and murder in the streets. But that partly comes not from a restriction of freedom but from an excess of freedom, or at least a misinterpretation of one among the Bill of Rights.  Condoned by some in government, it is not carried out by the state. But when it comes to the ethics of the regime in Beijing, it is largely black and white, and it comes down on the side of evil. And for the government which has made concentration camps a thing again

.... the vision of high-tech surveillance — precise, all-seeing, infallible — that China’s leaders are investing billions of dollars in every year, making Xinjiang an incubator for increasingly intrusive policing systems that could spread across the country and beyond....

Developed and sold by the China Electronics Technology Corporation, a state-run defense manufacturer, the system in Kashgar is on the cutting edge of what has become a flourishing new market for technology that the government can use to monitor and subdue millions of Uighurs and members of other Muslim ethnic groups in Xinjiang...

A New York Times investigation drawing on government and company records as well as interviews with industry insiders found that China is in effect hard-wiring Xinjiang for segregated surveillance, using an army of security personnel to compel ethnic minorities to submit to monitoring and data collection while generally ignoring the majority Han Chinese, who make up 36 percent of Xinjiang’s population.

It is a virtual cage that complements the indoctrination camps in Xinjiang where the authorities have detained a million or more Uighurs and other Muslims in a push to transform them into secular citizens who will never challenge the ruling Communist Party. The program helps identify people to be sent to the camps or investigated, and keeps tabs on them when they are released.

This is not Luxembourg or the Netherlands, Japan or even Botswana. It is despotic mainland China, and the allure of mass profits has proven too powerful for Ivanka Trump and numerous western corporations to resist. In the annals of villains in this story, Steve Kerr is only approximately 997 out of 1,000 (Ivanka in the top 10) and would deserve the benefit of any doubt there is. And if Steve Kerr has not been up to the task of speaking truth to power, time is running out for someone in the NBA to do so.  

Next up: someone who deserves no benefit of the doubt.

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