Many years ago, I described to my grandma the many things in the United States that were absent in China such as churches, bars, and gyms. She didn’t know what a gym was. After I gave her an explanation, she said, “Those people who have more than enough to eat often do things for nothing. They just have an overeating problem that can be resolved by fasting for a couple of days.”
My grandma’s generation experienced all the contemporary wars in China, and all the political and social campaigns after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) seized power in 1949. During their lifetime, the main task was to get enough food to feed the family. It is understandable that they had to do a lot of physical labor, so there was no need for additional exercise. That explains why she could not understand why Americans have to find ways to burn fat.
I also remember reading a report from Chinese state media in the 1980s. Several American citizens travelled along the Yangtze River at the time and one of them was interviewed after the tour. The American woman said that the scenery from Chongqing to Wuhan was very beautiful. Upon seeing countryside children astride buffalos, she literally shed tears. She said that in the United States, “machine monsters” were everywhere in the countryside, and she hoped such scenes would never appear in China—the rural beauty and simple lifestyle were priceless.
I recalled that her words caused heated discussions among my college classmates. Several of them grew up in the rural areas of Hubei and Sichuan provinces located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River. They did not feel flattered by the woman’s praise of China’s countryside; instead, they opposed it and felt outraged.
I learned from my classmates that life is very miserable for rural residents. They have very low income and barely enough food to eat. Most villages had no paved roads, electricity, tap water, or indoor plumbing at the time. It was very likely that those countryside children on the buffalos could not afford to go to school, and their families undoubtedly lived well below the poverty line set by the United Nations’ poverty standards.
My classmates had a rational reason for disliking the American woman’s comments and it was simple: she beautified and romanticized impoverished rural life in China, describing it like a Chinese landscape painting. In her eyes, the villagers who toiled on the riverside were just embellishment in a poetic painting.
The woman probably had good intentions. Before the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, the scenery downstream was indeed very impressive. The river slowed down after the gorge area, and calmly flowed through many twists and turns. The surface of the river was often covered with mist. Further downstream, at Dongting Lake, the vast and boundless view was truly breathtaking.
In the 1980s, very few Americans went to China as tourists, and even fewer went there to do business. This group of people, who had been invited to travel to China, were probably pro-Beijing Americans, including intellectuals. Using today’s terminology, they were American leftists.
It’s not surprising that American leftist literati would feel the same as the aforementioned woman. However, if this group of people were to hold power and set the rules for us, it would be a different story. Some citizens would likely have a miserable life under their rule. China’s Mao Zedong was exactly such a leftist figure. He used romantic idealism to govern the country, and the results are obvious to all.
Many leftists in the United States now look at the world with the same attitude and attempt to lead the world in the same direction. What’s interesting is that the majority of American leftists are young Caucasians (Millennials and Generation Z), and many of them grew up in families with a decent income. They live a comfortable life and are accustomed to thinking about “big issues”—the big issues of all mankind and even the whole universe. They often sum up a set of theories and concepts from the perspective of the universe, and then promote these theories as absolute truth.
Hence, it is difficult to have a sensible conversation with such people because they will immediately respond from the moral high ground, a moral system from the perspective of the universe. If you tell them you support the right to bear arms, they will say you are racist. If you support merit-based school enrollment, they will call you racist. If you oppose tax increases, they will say you are racist. They will always look down on you from that moral high ground.
In China, such people are “political counselors” in universities, “party bosses” in enterprises and institutions, “political commissars” in the military, and “general secretary” or “political leaders” at the national level.
A few days ago, a Chinese friend commented, “Wow, why does the United States suddenly have so many political commissars?” We all laughed.
Nonetheless, I believe that the emergence of many “political commissars” in the United States is not spontaneous or accidental; it is a result of orchestrated promotion.
I recently watched a video on YouTube in which an African-American police officer, named Jakhary Jackson, was interviewed. He was a frontline police officer when Antifa was causing trouble and protesting in the streets of Portland, Oregon last year.
Jackson said that when he was on duty one day, various people, including blacks, Latinos, and Asians approached him and wanted to talk. But a white man came up to them and said, “Don’t talk to the police.”
Then, a young African-American woman approached Jackson and asked why he didn’t talk with those people. He said that someone would always come and try to prevent a conversation. As soon as he finished his sentence, a white woman came over and told the black woman not to talk to Jackson. He asked the white woman why she was trying to stop the black woman from talking to him. The white woman could not give him an answer and she simply said, “They told me to do it.”
The key question is, who are “they?” The answer is, members of the Communist Party and those who uphold communist ideology. Their goal is to subvert capitalism by dividing society into various categories, sowing discord, creating divisions, and creating chaos.
Is there racial discrimination in the United States? Yes, there is. But is there systemic or institutional racial discrimination? I dare not claim to be 100 percent sure, but based on my own experiences, I say no.
As a journalist, I have been to many countries around the world. I dare say that although the United States may not be the best at dealing with the issue of racial inequality, it is definitely one of the best in the world.
However, today, the leftists in the United States are educating American children to hate the United States, describing the United States as a sinful country because of racial discrimination and economic oppression. There are many social problems in the United States, but I firmly believe that the solution is not socialism or communism.
Alexander Liao is a journalist who covers international affairs, focused on the United States, China, and Southeast Asia. His work has been published in newspapers and financial magazines in the United States and Hong Kong.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.