Help me change my parents’ opinions on China

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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2022 6:00 am

Help me change my parents’ opinions on China

Post by LsSkRtSj »

Greetings from Singapore. This is where I was born and where I have called home my whole life. My parents are from China and have each lived in Singapore for the past 30 years.

Despite having had three decades to break free from the clutches of the Communist Party, I am unable to communicate with them about the plight of Uighur Muslims in the country, instead echoing the narrative that it’s a story made up by Western media to stifle China. They scoff at credible evidence I show them and when I keep pushing, they yell at me and threaten to never speak about this topic again.

I don’t want to stop them from visiting China again or from buying goods; instead, I want them to know the truth and then decide from there. Trouble is, they do not even recognize the moral and ethical implications because of their utter indifference toward the Uighur situation, saying they will travel as long as they are not harming anyone. Of course, they won’t harm anyone directly, but what happens to the money they spend during their travels? Will it go to the ones who are harming others? In China, we will never know.

So, help me in my mission to have one more voice against corrupt, racist, and manipulative China.
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Re: Help me change my parents’ opinions on China

Post by steve »

Thanks for your post. I think it brings up an important point.

As frustrating is it is, I don't really blame ordinary citizens in China for eating up the propaganda that the CCP pushes on them. They have been raised from infancy to not question the omnipotence of The Party. They simply lack the ability to think critically. They are to be more pitied than blamed.

The ones I blame are those in the West who live under the blessings of liberty but choose to imprison themselves. They have the freedom to see information from all sides, but they are too lazy to look beyond what THEY are being fed by social media algorithms that are optimized not for truth but for profit. And the CCP is at the top of the list of manipulating social media, from the happy videos of Uyghurs dancing in the streets on Quora to the public shaming of anyone who questions The Party line on TikTok.

While Twitter is not exactly the model of free speech, one thing I appreciate about it is that it has not (yet) started to censor reports of atrocities against Uyghurs, plus they do a better job than others like Quora, Meta, and especially TikTok of screening for China state actors. Just go to Twiiter and search "uyghur" and you'll find lots of first-hand videos and accounts.

However, I would caution you not to believe everything you see. In some cases, there are NGOs who are using the Uyghur tragedy for their own political advantages. In some cases, activists who are desperate to get the word out will exaggerate or take a video out of context. And believe it or not, the CCP is at such an advanced level of propaganda that they themselves will often put out sensationalist accounts, just go they go back back later to "debunk" it.

Over time, you'll find accounts that you can trust to give information that, while not unbiased, is at least accurate, transparent, and measured. Here are some of the accounts I've followed:

There are many more--take the time to go through Twitter at the Tweets you find most useful. Follow them, and look at their Follower list to find others.

Here's the important thing--do NOT just forward every Tweet you see to your parents. They will just simply see it as further evidence of YOU being brainwashed by the Western media who is fabricating or cherry-picking videos. Don't blame them, they have no choice. And again, do NOT just believe every Tweet you see yourself--read the comments and decide for yourself whether the video is accurate or was embellished by someone with an agenda (good or bad). And even if you see something like the recent UN report, don't just automatically forward it to them.

Bottom line, become an expert yourself on what's going on based on primary evidence and objective secondary evidence like the UN report. Then, if/when you get into a conversation with your parents, don't push them or feel frustrated that they don't "get it". Just state what you learned calmly and objectively. The truth has a matter of eventually sinking in, but they have to go through the process themselves.

The Internet has changed the game. 30 years ago the only access to information any citizen in any country had was their own media. Today, that media is petrified of what the Internet represents, because it means they will lose their power and their control if individuals learn to find truth for themselves instead of having it delivered to them. That's why the CCP is investing so much in creating confusion and turmoil on Western social media, and why the Western mainstream media is so desperate to control the narrative.

Remember that even though voices like ours don't have the big microphones, we do have truth on our side. And truth is what scares every propagandist, East or West.
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