No, China didn’t bulldoze Tai$hi and murder its men, women and children the way those irrepressible Nazis did to the Czech town of Lidice. But they have tried to create the same effect, i.e., causing Tai$hi to cease to exist, at least in the public consciousness. No record and no written history, and it’s as though it never happened. As this post at CDT reminds us, they shut down the message boards and delted the Internet posts about the ugly incident and, in all probability, Tai$hi inspired the recent blocking of Wikipedia in China. Call it historical bulldozing, or intellectual erasure.
In the same post, CDT provides a link to an essay in Chinese by Chinese sociologist Li Yinhe, and I’d like to repeat here the one portion CDT offers in translation:
People are equal; the rights of individuals as citizens cannot be divided by hierarchical levels. But in today’s China, because of historical and cultural reasons, it is a cruel reality that the rights of rural and urban residents, while equal under law, are, in reality, not equal. The rights of urban residents are basically protected, but in comparison the rights of villagers lack protection. It is not so easy for urban residents to be mistreated, but it is relatively easy for villagers. It is rare for urban residents to experience violent treatment in their lives, but it is relatively common for villagers. In their effort to impeach a very small official, Tai$hi residents suffered too much pain. Moreover, after villagers suffer violent treatment, the chances of them receiving justice is very small.
I wish I could read the whole thing. ESWN, is a translation pending?
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.