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It's wrong to tell the truth in the worker's paradise

By Tom DeWeese
web posted September 20, 2004

If you've played on a sports team or a least watched a movie about one, you've seen the dramatic moment at half time when the team is down and the coach tries to inspire them to rally in the second half.

He stands before the team and in a soft voice he says: "I'm disappointed in you guys. You've given up. I don't think some of you cherish the honor to play for this team. You gave up easily every time you came across obstacles. I might as well quit trying myself." Then his voice rises as he shouts, "Is that what you want? Is that how this is supposed to end? You're better than that! Right?" And the team answers the challenge. "Right!" they shout. "OK, now go out there and play like I know you can. Get out there and win!" And the team jumps to its feet, knocks open the door, and the rest is history.

Well, apparently that's just the American version. In the worker's paradise of the People's Republic of China such speech is "irresponsible" and "disloyal."

Yao Ming (L) of China slam dunks under pressure from Roberto Duenas of Spain during their men's basketball classification 7-8 game at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games on August 28
Yao Ming (L) of China slam dunks under pressure from Roberto Duenas of Spain during their men's basketball classification 7-8 game at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games on August 28

At the recent Olympic Games in Athens, the Chinese team suffered a humiliating loss to Spain. Yao Ming, the Houston Rockets star, was playing for his native China. He was so disappointed in his team that he expressed the very sentiments, almost verbatim, of the fictional coach above. Ming questioned their dedication to winning. He even hinted at quitting the team if his mates didn't rise to the challenge. His were the kind of comments one reads everyday in the sports pages.

But in the workers paradise, Ming's comments caused a firestorm among Chinese sports officials who said they were "strongly dissatisfied" and "very angry" with Ming. "How could he say that the other players weren't playing their best? Any irresponsible speech like his, any action to split the team, is definitely forbidden," one official was quoted as saying.

The Chinese officials blame the United States for corrupting Yao and giving him American personality habits. When he first went to the NBA two years ago, he was "an obedient child with a good reputation," one official said. "Now he has changed, he's more like an American, he dares to say anything."

Now, according to Chinese media reports, the Yao controversy has persuaded the Chinese officials to clamp the lid on any more Chinese playing in the NBA. "The Chinese Basketball Association will consider more deeply and carefully about sending players to the NBA again," one report said.

Sports fans in China are outraged about their government's comments. Boldly, on Chinese websites, e-mails have poured in declaring their support for Ming and questioning the government's actions. One Chinese fan wrote, "Does this mean that the Americans tell the truth but Chinese do not?"

"He dares to say anything," says it all. Americans were brought up to question and take action. We were taught how to express our emotions, speak freely, get it all out on the table and win. It's called a free society. We call Americans free men and women. Red Chinese is not free. They are called "obedient children." There are no recognized individuals. The Chinese Olympic team was simply expected to perform and win without emotion. It's the stark difference between the human life of the American Republic and the living death of Communism. 

Tom DeWeese is the publisher/editor of The DeWeese Report and president of the American Policy Center, an activist think tank. The Center maintains an Internet site at www.americanpolicy.org. © Tom DeWeese 2004

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