Xinjiang remains offline and online discussion of the recent ethnic unrest there continues to be highly restricted. Building off radical interpretation of Uighur-on-Han violence in Ürümqi, however, and noting that neighboring Mongolia has its fair share of neo-nazis, what conclusions can be made regarding the violence from both sides?
Beijing Spring editor Hu Ping, in a recent post for RFA, wonders if Uighur anger can be attributed to government policies in the region, lists several reasons why that might be and, using the term Han chauvinism, concludes that it is. Wikipedia defines Han chauvinism as:
“Referring to people carrying ethnocentric viewpoints that favor the Han Chinese majority ethnic group in China at the expense of the other minority ethnic groups, often under the assumption of cultural superiority. […] Actions and speech that constitute the ethnocentric and ideological aspects of Han chauvinism (such as hate speech against minorities) are illegal in the People's Republic of China and are either banned or censored.”
Hu's post brought in a number of comments:
09/03: 我没去过新疆，但是在我的家乡湖南，最起码我读书的两个城市：永州，长沙。还有现在在的这个城市：深圳。维族人跟我们（汉族人）比起来权利是大很多的—— 他们可以强买强卖，他们卖的价格非常高，而且看了东西一定要买，这个我们一点办法都没有的。警察可以骑在我们头上，对他们是一点办法都没有的，就是犯了事也很快出来！
Hu's piece was reposted to UighurBiz, founded by the ethnic Uighur economist and netizen Ilham Tohti; Tohti was detained in July and released in late August, and generated some discussion online this week after expressing support for the new Xinjiang Party boss Zhu Hailun's tougher stance (canceling the ‘less arrests, less executions, more leniency’ policy) on crime. Here are some comments left today on the UighurBiz post:
Ilham has expressed support for the new Ürümqi Party chief Zhu Hailun's decision to cancel the “Two Lesses, One Leniency” (less arrests, less executions, more leniency) ethnic policy. Ilham feels that all people should be equal before the law, saying that ethnic minority criminals have definitely benefited from this policy, and that at the same time it leaves Hans feeling dissatisfied.
That's how people are; Han only started calling for Wang Lequan's resignation after they began getting pricked with needles; Uighurs only called for the cancellation of ‘Two Lesses, One Leniency’ once they started feeling their safety threatened. Do you think there's a chance they'll each go back to their previous stances?
Ilham is one of the few Uighurs who talks any sense, who sees clearly the difference between ethnicity and state. Not at all like some of his underlings who don't know crap, calling Han [relocation] illegal, treating it all like a big joke. Glad to be able to learn something here from you.
And just how many Han are there who don't discriminate against Uighurs?
In fact, Han in many places in Xinjiang don't just discriminate against Uighurs, but don't even see them as human. For example, six years ago I was in Xinjiang on a business trip. I was standing on Yan'an Nan Road in Ürümqi trying to get a taxi, and one Uighur girl came up next to me and was trying to get a taxi too. It always takes a long time to get a cab in Ürümqi in the winter. We were freezing and finally when one empty cab did pull up, it went right past that girl and stopped right in front of me. Strange, I thought, and after I got in I asked the driver why he didn't stop for the girl. The (Han) driver said: we don't pick up those leatherhats (Uighurs). I asked why. He said once he picked up an Uighur who gave him fake money, so I asked if he'd ever had Han customers who gave him fake money. He said he had.
I said if you treat Uighurs like this, aren't you worried about the ethnic conflict getting worse? The driver said, they don't dare, we have guns. Then I had nothing more to say. I was there for three days, and every time I got in a cab I asked if they were willing to take Uighur passengers, and got the same answer every time: Uighurs have bad tempers, can't be reasoned with, they won't stop for them, etc. It was only later after I asked one local Uighur that I found out that there are about 6,000 taxis in Ürümqi, and because Uighurs are always getting refused rides, in the end they hired 200 Uighur drivers, but when that's not enough, there's not much else to be done, so a lot of Uighurs have started their own unlicensed taxi businesses, basically any Xiali car you see around Erdao Bridge is a pirate taxi. Once I got a better idea of the situation, I thought something was bound to happen sooner or later.
Unwarranted love or hate, it's just like a mirror. However you treat people is how they'll treat you back. If you don't think about the consequences of your actions and just go around putting labels on a certain ethnic group, seeing these people who have been here for centuries through a lens of prejudice, how else could Xinjiang not be in a mess?
uighurhr 发表于 2009-9-9 07:41
In fact, Han in many places in Xinjiang don't just discriminate against Uighurs, but don't even see them as human.
If you want people to treat you like human, first you need to start acting like one.
Thanks to years of lovely propaganda from Party Mother, when we here in the interior get victimized by Uighur thugs, we don't even believe our eyes.