My friend Josh Schrei has a powerful rebuttal to the Chinese government’s statements that Obama should support their position on Tibet because he is black and a fan of Abraham Lincoln. Here’s a good chunk:
President Obama, we will not insult your intelligence — as your current hosts have – by explaining to you why it is racist, colonialist, and utterly unfounded to make comparisons between the Confederate South and Tibet. I’m sure you are as shocked and outraged as we are, as is the entire world community.
What we do question is why the world community continues to legitimize, fund, and coddle a dictatorship that is so dangerously out of touch with the norms of modern society. The Chinese government is positioning itself as — and quickly becoming — the next great world superpower, and we are busily helping them. It is high time this stopped. You did not meet with the Dalai Lama before you left for China. But you can make a difference now. We urge you to publicly distance yourself from the Chinese Government’s recent statements and to push for immediate improvements in Tibet, where the people enjoy no freedom of speech and are still suffering the results of a brutal crackdown after last year’s March protests. As someone who respects Lincoln’s name and has an understanding of his politics, this is the least you can do.
The simple truth is that the people of China and Tibet have no freedom, and the fundamental issue is the right of people to determine their own future, which our President Lincoln was a champion of to the end. In the absence of that right — and in defense of the repression of it — mad minds make ludicrous claims. Comparing Lincoln to the current leadership in Beijing is a violation of all that we as Americans value. We trust that — as our President — you will respond accordingly.