April 25, 2006

Day 61: Nina writes of injustice

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 10:48 am

On April 23rd, Day 61 of Hao’s detention, his sister Nina posted an entry to her blog titled Injustice:

There are too many injustices in life!

On Friday night, my husband and I went shopping at the supermarket. As our car was exiting from Century Street onto Yanggao Street, a jeep with a “Practicing” sticker passed us at high speed. Since there was only one lane, my husband was unable to avoid the car. When this car with the license plate “Hu D” overtook us, its rear wheel struck our front wheel. A young lady stepped out of the jeep, and at first said “Sorry.” When we started talking about responsibility for the accident, she insisted that two lanes were merging, and because her car was in the main lane, she had the right of way. Please! The exit was quite far from where the two lanes merged. By then our car had already driven on the main lane for a stretch. After the 110 police car and traffic cops arrived, they looked at the indentation on the front right wheel of our car and the marks on the back of hers, and assigned us full responsibility, according to both common sense and traffic laws (in the end, even the traffic cop said that we were wrongly accused.) That “Mushroom hair“ was suddenly inspired, and asked us to compensate her 200 yuan, saying, “The insurance company will cover it anyway,” and, “There’s time to pay now.” In the end, I could only tell her that I hoped she took the money with a clean conscience.

Friends! If a car is going to hit you from behind, and if you have a few seconds to think before yanking your car to the side, please analyze the situation: can you avoid a collision? If so, turn the wheel and avoid it. If not, please let the car hit you from behind. Whatever you do, don’t dodge and let the rear wheel of the other car strike your front wheel. Otherwise you won’t be able to explain that you were in the right.

Injustice in life isn’t only here. A friend yielded to an electric bicycle. After the car stopped, the bicycle started to slow down. Because it was for a bicycle, because the driver was a woman, and perhaps because she had an out-of-town accent, she was fined 1000 Yuan by a policeman. My husband and daughter once saw a person from Xinjiang, among seven others, stick his foot under a slowly turning taxi. Claiming it had been crushed, he forced the driver to hand over all his money. As soon as the taxi left, he started walking about unhindered…

Injustice in life happens in many places. A normal businessperson, simply because he isn’t willing to pay the tax collector’s “personal expenses” or offends “certain people” while doing business, might suffer a harsh auditing, and even enter prison due to unjust judgment on charges of “tax evasion.” An honest, ordinary person gets in a dispute with a neighbor. Because the other side is the little brother of the district party secretary, the ordinary man suffers harassment and beatings for a long time…

My brother was taken away by police without any legal procedure. He can’t see his family or lawyer. This is the unjust treatment of Haozi by the police. His family members have been unable to get information about him for a long time, and have not received an explanation from the police or government. They also endure torture from the words of the police. Is this the unjust treatment that a suspect’s relatives must endure? Our life is laid out before their eyes; must we endure the humiliation of being stripped naked? Must we endure the lasting effects of shadows on our psyches? Worried about unnecessarily troubling friends and relatives who do not yet know, and even influencing their lives, we hurriedly end our phone conversations. We also do not warmly welcome friends into our house or drop in on them, nor do we enthusiastically take part in all kinds of social events. Must we endure the hardship of leaving behind a normal social life? If these are the hardships that we must endure, we have the courage to endure them. I only hope that sun and moon can witness the great pains we have taken, and friends and relatives will one day understand our temporary rudeness and unreasonableness. I hope that someday lighthearted laughter and welcoming smiles can return to our household.

I hope that this society will have more conscience, justice, and respect for the law, making these injustices fewer and fewer.


  1. I don’t see the western pro-God policies fair for all. To give you an example, the abortion clinics are constantly abused and harassed throughout the US. Imagine systems where we tax everything, business, income, bars, buses, churches; except for all Wal-Marts are tax free. I bet people will jump out yelling unfair.

    Think about it, that is exactly what the western policies are doing to Christianity. All churches are tax free. The system promotes religion. The system is unfair and irrational for those who do not believe in God. The US pledge of allegiance claims “one nation under God.” Does that appear to respect individual religious freedom? Remember the west claims that their governments do not dictate people what to do, what to believe … what self-contradiction.

    The Christian west then pushes their ridiculous systems onto others; frequently by means of bloody wars. I think President Hu did a very good thing. He went to visit business sectors first. It is clearly a mimic of the passionate church visits by some of the US high-level officials. Religion is not a big thing in Chinese culture. I would not expect the westerners with their five-year-old level Chinese to understand China.

    Comment by jessica copeland — April 26, 2006 @ 1:42 am

  2. Mission Impossible was released yesterday. Doubt many at the glitzy premiere were aware that Wu Hao played a small part in its production. If I remeber correctly, he was a volunteer translator for the head camera-guy during filming in Shanghai a few months ago….wanted to get an insight into filming techniques. A curious guy as always.

    A bit of trivia (perhaps a lead that his friends have already pursued). Anybody out there with Hollywood guanxi?

    Comment by anon. — April 26, 2006 @ 2:09 am

  3. Would it be viable and/or effective to organise flyer distributions outside Mission Impossibilbe screenings with appeals to write to MPs/Congressmen/Senators/Chinese embassy? Would local Amnesty chapters (or Film School students) have the resources to help?

    Am one of his many friends based here in China who are doing nothing for his plight. Why? For the Chinese citizens, fear of ending up in the same predicament and for the foreigners, fear of getting booted out and losing our incomes. The latter being a bit pathetic given Hao’s predicament.

    Comment by anon. — April 26, 2006 @ 4:15 am

  4. […] In the whack-a-mole world of blogging in China, there are no fine lines between what’s acceptable, what will get you blocked and what will get you thrown in jail. Lists of words and topics appear from time to time, but nothing official has ever been released. […]

    Pingback by Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » China: Photoblogs—translation unnecessary — April 26, 2006 @ 5:13 pm

  5. Freedom for All -

    After repeated slaughters of minority children by white cops, side from the spontaneous explosion of rioting, there was a meeting held at a downtown church, The New Friendship Baptist Church, where ministers of the local black churches, the Black Panthers, the Black United Front, family of the child killed by police, and a crowd of supporters gathered to compose themselves and plan a strategy.

    Damon Lynch, of the Black United Front condemned the violence and said: “The government will not change until we stand up in numbers.”

    Cincinnati cops, who patrol the area were allowed entry to the church. The cops were invited to speak, but after stating, “The problem is not with the police, it’s with the parents,” the police were shouted down and run off with chants of “Pigs out of the building!”

    Attendees then decided to march down to the site of the rioting with the ministers, the elected official and several nuns in the lead. They were met by a line of police who instructed them to stop, turn around and go back.

    After the ministers refused to leave, stating that they wanted to try and cool things down, police held a loaded shotgun to the head of the politician (Roland Heyne) and the order to leave repeated. (comments, what a hell of freedom ;-) )

    Only then did the marchers obey the police and return to the church.

    As fifty people stood on the steps of the church, five police cars roared by with their lights blinking. From the police cars a barrage of rubber bullets flew into the side and doors of the building, ricocheting and bouncing around. One witness said she counted at least twenty rounds of shotgun blasts.

    Thousands of minority children and youth were injured. There is a clear news black-out in the US media. It seems these fail to concerns any of the foreign bloggers in China. What a joke! Shameless joke.

    Comment by jessica copeland — April 26, 2006 @ 10:47 pm

  6. So much injustice, and it seems, so little we can do to make things better in this process. We can share information, influence those around us, publicize, even lobby those who may have access to some power. But our individual actions must rest on the hope that together, collectively, we will make a difference. And so we wait.

    Comment by Steve — April 26, 2006 @ 11:00 pm

  7. “Jessica,” I don’t know what happened to your own blog, but please…yes, there are plenty of injustices. But why are you here? Honestly. This blog is about Hao and Hao’s family. Can you not spare any of your outrage for him and his situation?

    Comment by Other Lisa — April 27, 2006 @ 6:00 am

  8. Steve,

    No you won’t ever win. Democracy is a majority dictatorship. The democratic political system legitimizes the illegitimate suppression of minorities.

    Comment by jessica copeland — April 28, 2006 @ 12:12 am

  9. Ah, but Jessica, I will win. As a minority myself, I am well aware of the dangers in a majority system of government. That is why freedom of speech is so jealously guarded here in the United States. That is why you are so free to ramble on and on here, off topic with little or no respect for the people here concerned for Hao Wu’s welfare. Because of this freedom of speech and respect for individual human rights I, as a member of the minority, can still express my views and criticisms of the US government without being taken away. You don’t like democracy? Have a better idea? You could always live in China if you believe the “people’s democratic dictatorship” is more to your liking. Bye!

    Comment by Steve — April 29, 2006 @ 2:07 am

  10. Steve,

    When it comes to economic development and minority rights, I say a combined political approach is much better than pure democracy.

    As we know, whites are racist and extremely anti new immigrants. But a large number of US polls show blacks are even more racist and hostile to new immigrants than whites. I think the foundation of such anti-immigrant sentiments is Christianity. I never cease to be amused to see how much hatred Christianity bestows onto believers.

    I notice the CNN uses blacks to bash Chinese nation in recent news. I find it laughable based on the clear poll data. What a nation of hostility and ignorance! I speak critical of CPC in China for many years … nobody ever pays attention to me. It is not just my personal experience. New immigrants as a group are repeatedly told what you have just said – something like – if you don’t like it here, go home ;-)

    I feel a need to educate you on that we Chinese reached California, centuries before Columbus and the following black slaves. If you don’t like me being in “your territory”, you are free to go back to Europe, Africa, etc. BYE!

    Comment by jessica copeland — April 29, 2006 @ 6:33 pm

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