Yesterday, the general manager of the Houston Rockets posted a tweet:
- “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”
Naturally, this positive statement – a sentiment of common sense and human decency – enraged the people of China. The Chinese loathe freedom and personal viewpoints not dictated by central authorities. They despise the idea of free thought and democracy as much as most westerners despise the idea of human rights violations and sweeping government censorship.
In a fairer world, the tweet would have remained online, Chinese people would have voiced their discontent (as they are, to be fair, entitled to do), and everyone would have gone about their business as usual.
Alas, it is 2019, the final year of a miserable decade. China has risen at an astonishing rate, and it is flexing its muscles as it adopts a bullying stance. No longer content to threaten its smaller neighbours, it has asserted a huge degree of influence over western nations. Where once these bastions of freedom and democracy chastised China for their human rights violations, there is now largely silence.
China is now immensely wealth, and that means we need them to like us. Governments and companies around that world have sold out their deepest values in order to continue trading with China, and China knows that’s how it works. They pressure us immediately whenever they perceive us to have broken step with the party line. In the past year, countless western companies have been brought to heel by the Chinese people and government. Some of them posted tweets using the Dalai Lama’s inspiring words, while others referred to Taiwan or Hong Kong as independent countries.
The Chinese cannot stand the thought of someone on the other side of the world having an independent thought, and they detest the very idea of nations other than their own having sovereignty. As such, all of these incidents were brought immediately to the attention of hundreds of millions of Chinese netizens, already riled up on decades of nationalistic propaganda, and ready to be set loose. They quickly bring threats of boycotts, and in every situation the company in question bows and offers the most pathetic of apologies.
The NBA is huge in China. In a staggeringly racist society, a great many Chinese list African-American NBA stars as their favourite sportsmen. According to this NY Times article, 500 million Chinese watched at least one NBA game last year. It is clear then that the NBA was never going to stand up to Chinese bullying in defense of free speech (or even common sense). No, it was always going to fold and apologise, just like Calvin Klein, Coach, Givenchy, Versace, Delta, Zara, Gap, McDonalds, and many others.
Given that the world kicked Taiwan out of the United Nations and refused to recognise their independence after threats by China, it is clear that few companies are likely to stand up to these imperious shits. China has committed genocide in Tibet and Xinjiang, stolen islands in the South China Sea, consistently violated human rights, and currently operates concentration camps… yet as soon as they apply a little economic pressure, the world folds and proffers apologies for whatever the Chinese are currently offended by.
The Chinese have vast sway over our societies (as demonstrated in a recent episode of South Park) but they allow little foreign influence in their own. They encourage their people to buy up property around the world and invest in media outlets everywhere, but they wouldn’t dream of letting that happen in China. Their influence is aggressive and purely negative, yet who is trying to stop it?
In Hong Kong, brave people are standing up to the most dangerous force in the world today, and most of the world turns its back. When one general manager of a sports team tweets about it, the league offers an apology. The NBA is famously outspoken and is ready to take a progressive stance over serious social issues. But apparently even they have no balls when it comes to China. The supposed leader of the free world, Donald Trump, supposedly offered to stay quiet in exchange for personal favours from Xi JinPing. It seems there is little hope for Hong Kong or for any of us.
Shame on the NBA and shame on every other company who has sold out its values to these evil swine. Fuck China and fuck the cowards.