Monday, June 8, 2009

Again and Again

Last week had another anniversary that should never be forgotten.

A number of years ago when Bill Clinton was President there was a diplomatic scramble to accommodate the Chinese for a meeting in New York. It was a meeting between Clinton and China’s President Jiang Zemin.

It was to have been at the main branch of the New York public library, but the Chinese discovered that there was a exhibit there detailing the Tienanmen Square massacre. The Chinese were offended and demanded a new meeting place.

Truth will always offend when its reality is denied.

American sources estimate that thirty-five hundred people died in the Beijing protests of 1989.

The world of twenty years ago saw the pictures, the bodies, the pain, and to this day, the Chinese Government continues to deny that anyone but soldiers died in the weekend massacre.

The collective heart of humankind, however, knows the truth and weeps.

There is another sadness, beyond the loss of life. It is the continuing shame that again in human experience an oppressive authority used and uses force to deal with an idea of freedom.

Force will never conquer the desire for freedom, nor the active quest of free choice. History has validated that truth over and over again on the crumbled actions of oppression. Truth and tolerance, compassion and education, common courtesy and common sense are the only values that will sustain a government in power and elevate the condition of its people.

It is sad that twenty years have passed and despite remembrances and an occasional condemnation by global organizations it happens again and again. Look at Tibet! Look at Darfur.

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