29 October 2019
Increasing the flow of information can make it easier to get away with atrocities. People and organizations can distract multiple audiences from important issues because dire situations can be drowned out by all the noise; censorship becomes harder to notice and know there are things to hide.
Our government placed children in cages, and we have moved on, no longer caring about the children who are being adopted by Americans after their parents were deported, according to an Associated Press report published on Oct. 21.
The Chinese government’s current crimes make my skin crawl even more than the atrocities that happen at our southern border.
They are harvesting organs from ethnic minorities, rounding up minorities and placing them in concentration camps and have leveled almost half of Yarchen Gar — one of the world’s largest Tibetan Buddhist sites.
Because a single person is limited to what they can do to fi ght atrocities, the most powerful tool they have is their voice.
Americans should understand the power a single voice can have because one of our fundamental values is the freedom of individual expression — the freedom of speech.
Yet our corporations have seemingly developed a cognitive dissonance that we cannot allow because it will cause our freedoms to be eroded.
Activision-Blizzard, a video game producer, banned Hong Kong professional player Ng Wai “blitzchung” Chung from competing for a year and revoked $10,000 of his prize money after he voiced support for Hong Kong’s fi ght for independence from Chinese control during an interview.
This same company has a statue of one of its characters outside of its headquarters with a plaque that lists the company’s supposed eight core values, but they seem to have forgotten to practice three of these values: every voice matters. Think globally and lead responsibly.
While Activision-Blizzard’s decision is the most public betrayal to our values as Americans, many American companies are obliging the demands of the Chinese government and are aiding their oppression of the Uighurs, Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The biggest violators are Disney and Apple.
Disney, through Marvel, changed a Tibetan monk in “Doctor Strange” to a white woman because the screenwriter did not want the Chinese government to censor the movie, according to an article by NBC News from October 2016.
Disney also, through ESPN, forbid any discussion of the situation in Hong Kong unless it was critical of the Houston Rockets manager practicing his fi rst amendment rights, according to a memo acquired by Deadspin from the senior news director of ESPN.
Apple has banned apps from their App Store that allowed citizens of Hong Kong to avoid the police force that has been increasingly violent to bystanders.
Apple has censored the Taiwan fl ag emoji in Hong Kong and Macau.
Apple has given iCloud data over to the Chinese government and given them the encryption keys to unlock the data according to the Verge and was caught defending a security exploit that the Chinese government used in their attempts to round up the Uighur population in China.
We cannot allow American companies to be complicit in these crimes that run so counter to any kind of human decency.
By capitulating to the demands of the Chinese government, these companies have become accomplices and the people who made these decisions must be held accountable.
The only way we as individuals can fi ght these atrocities is to no longer support companies that bow to the demands of authoritarians. It is time to take the stand.