An Alleged Counterrevolutionary Teacher’s Personal Plea

Yang Shiqun, photo courtesy of bbs.163.com

, photo courtesy of bbs.163.com

As reported in a previous post on CDT, two female students accused their political science professor, Yang Shiqun, of being “counterrevolutionary.” This is in line with a growing trend of bloggers and journalists (recently Chen Daojun), and now (recently Guo Guanglin) being censored for their criticisms. This story is also an example of the powerful tool the Internet has become in China for spreading grassroots movements, as Yang Shiqun posted his story on his blog, generating support for his cause. The Foreign Expert’s Jason Weinberg has translated the original post and comments. Yang Shiqun laments about Chinese students’ nationalism and pride in the face of criticism, and the future of Chinese students in general:

It needs to be known, if this kind of thing were discovered during the late Qing dynasty, maybe people would still believe it: and to say that it occured during the republic’s “May 4th” period, nobody would believe it. You know, young people at that time already basically accepted the concepts “democracy,” “freedom,” “human rights,” so normally we wouldn’t find this kind of strange event. Nonetheless, now, in 21st Century China and in Chinese universities, there can often be found such incredible things. Thinking about the most recent strange events found in Chinese schools, I just have a silent prayer for Chinese society and people: when will Chinese society be able to walk away from ignorance? When will Chinese education be able to get on track? When will Chinese students be able to compare well-balanced ideas?

See more of the translation in the previous post on CDT. The article continues:

作者:oouiojfsd 回复日期:2008-11-25 15:31:12

放你妈的屁,呵呵
“抵制”杨老师的言论?到公安局告密,这是抵制”言论”
这俩傻逼,想的是”因言获罪”,想的是用”文字狱”把杨老师抓进牢里关起来。
居然有这么恶毒的女学生,她们家庭绝对是当官的

Your mom’s farts, hehe
“Reject” Professor Yang’s speech? Go to the police and squeal, this is rejecting “speech”
These two idiots, they think they are “getting a conviction because of speech,” think they are using “character law” to get Yang into prison.
There actually are girls this evil, their families are definitely officials.

作者:农村户口小学文化 回复日期:2008-11-25 16:12:17

这和文革有什么关系,
你反传统时,违背伦理道德,

违反公共价值观,
难道不能反对。
而且别人是通过法律途径的,有什么错吗?
说明,现在的大学生法律意识空前提高
是应当值得大大表扬的事情

What’s the relationship between this and cultural revolution?
When you are anti-tradition, you breach ethics and morality.
It disobeys communal values,
So, you cannot argue against it.
Also, what is wrong with people who follow the law?
To say it clearly, contemporary college students’ legal consciousness used to be empty and has increased,
It should be something to praise highly.

In a very different musing on Chinese versus Western media, EastSouthWestNorth brings together several articles about the differences between the two. One article notes the trend of the “hurt feelings” of Chinese people when the West reports on news. From Joyceland:

At a media conference at the London School of Economics a few months ago, a Chinese woman accused me (representative of the entire “Western media”) of not taking into account “social stability” in reporting on Tibet. Basically, she said I was irresponsible for printing things that might upset Chinese people.

I responded that, broadly, “Western media” could not take into account the feelings of all the citizens of every country before printing articles, nor were newspapers responsible for what people felt, or did, after they read bad news. Good, bad and ugly — if it happens, it goes out as accurately and fairly as we can manage it.

When I said we didn’t take “social stability” into account, I was refering to not bending to self-censoring bad news that the Communist Party might find “destabilizing.” I was not inferring any lack of personal sympathy or sense of responsibility over those we cover.

I’d figure that these so called “media experts” would understand this basic distinction between professional news judgment and private emotion and ethics. It’s something news journalists deal with every day.

Journalist Joyce Lau notes her confusion over why some Chinese people use emotions to criticize journalists who report on China, which is not entirely rational. Similarly, Yang Shiqun is bogged by the same rationale from his students who said his criticisms came from him being “upset.”

See more about how emotions in cyberspace can get out of hand when online mobs seek vigilante justice through “human flesh search engines” and online culture.

December 1, 2008, 1:26 AM
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Categories: Politics, Society