The plight of professional surfers, and their lack of freedoms, really got me going late last month. The fact that none of them, no not one, can speak freely about their lives thanks to an article baked into the just signed 10-year contract which prohibits any negative statement about the World Surf League or the “sport of surfing.”
My blood boiled for them, for gagged peoples everywhere, and so I became an activist. A megaphone for the silenced. A voice for the voiceless and while Ace Buchan, Wade Carmichael, Caio Ibelli need recognition and action, China’s native Uighur population needs both much more, especially from the free folk.
The Uighur, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority who live in China’s western Xinjiang province, have been the target of Chinese ire for decades. They are not Han, the ethnic group making up 92% of China’s population, for one, and mostly Muslim, for two, flying in the face of Mao Zedong’s utopian cult of personality. A real affront to total control and according the a just-released New York Times report, the focus of an unprecedented crackdown. Shall we read? It is our duty and our right.
China’s Communist Party has a special manual instructing officials on how to deal with Uighur university students who get back to find that their families have been imprisoned as part of the mass repression of the Uighur people.
Under President Xi Jinping, China has installed a high-tech police state in the region and detained at least 1 million Uighurs in prisons and camps. Former detainees have described physical and psychological torture in those centers.
The 403 pages of internal documents published by The New York Times detail the extent of China’s efforts to deflect questions and criticism of unprecedented crackdown.
The documents include instructions for local officials to corner Uighur students returning home, as soon as they arrive, to stop them from speaking more widely about what is going on.
A seven-page guide for officials in Turpan City, in eastern Xinjiang, includes 13 questions and model answers to tell students when they ask about their vanished families. The Times described it as “chillingly bureaucratic.”
On and on it goes and… really fuck China. First punk pop “surf” brand Vans had to disappear a gorgeous shoe, fearing that sales in Beijing would tank. Now, Beijing is trying to brainwash the best people on the mainland.
There is a fantastic Uighur restaurant in greater Los Angeles’s San Gabriel Valley if you’re down for a culinary adventure.
Otherwise, fuck China.