In the 1960s, this was the unthinkable horror of science fiction. Now, it’s the reality of the modern-day United States.
Even if they’re not noticing it, Americans are increasingly falling victim to Chinese censorship thanks to cowards in business and political leadership.
Although those of us living in the United States will likely never suffer at the hands of the Communist Party of China like those that dare to speak out in the People’s Republic do, Americans are still watching their culture slowly being chipped away to appease Chinese President Xi Jinping and his cronies.
This became uncomfortably apparent for many last week as a since-deleted tweet from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey ignited a firestorm.
Morey’s tweet wasn’t anything vulgar or aggressive. He didn’t call for China to be nuked from orbit or for its ruthless communist rulers to be overthrown. He simply posted an image that read “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”
Chinese officials were furious.
The Chinese consulate in Houston issued a statement condemning Morey and his comments. Companies in China began to cut ties with the Rockets. Chinese state television refused to air any of the team’s future games.
Facing the loss of millions of dollars, the National Basketball Association issued an apology. Morey quickly followed suit.
The league isn’t taking chances now that relations with a market of 1.3 billion people are at risk. The NBA seems to be cracking down on fans to appease the Chinese, and recently booted two average basketball fans over their pro-Hong Kong sign.
It’s not just sports fans who are now witnessing the fallout of Chinese censorship.
Even if China isn’t explicitly exerting pressure to silence American citizens, hallmarks of our culture are slowly changing to appeal to a communist government overseas.
Hollywood, an industry that exemplifies American riches and technology, is a prime example of how even classics are being changed to become more China-friendly.
The sequel to “Top Gun” has a Taiwanese flag missing, an image that symbolized America’s stalwart defense of democracy in the face of overwhelming odds.
Now that China may be poised to invade the tiny island nation and bring it under the fold of its oppressive communist government for good, Hollywood seems to have completely abandoned even references to Taiwan. Although there could be an argument for changing audiences (after all, how many of today’s youth could point to Taiwan on a map?), the move is a shameless attempt to cater to the Chinese market.
The Chinese, jealous guardians of their own culture, only allow a select number of foreign films to be released in the country each year. A film portraying the Chinese in a favorable light has a better chance than one that celebrates her enemies.
For Americans who watch neither sports nor movies but would rather relax with a video game, China’s tendrils have infiltrated that industry as well.
Major American gaming company Activision Blizzard suspended a professional player of Hearthstone, a competitive digital card game, and canceled the prize money he’d won.
Players are now quitting the game in droves, sending a message to the company that they are not happy with the appeasement of communists.
The message in all of these instances is clear: China commands a powerful grip on many American industries and won’t hesitate to use pressure in order to keep people from disparaging the communist nation. Even if China can’t directly censor Americans, it has ways to make companies do its dirty work.
The era of America-first companies appears to be nearing an end. Globalism and the riches it promises business owners has many of them turning their backs on the very country and freedom that made their success possible.
Fortunately, Americans are starting to remember the horrors of communism and realizing that they too are beginning to see the stranglehold of censorship.
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