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The wrong approach to combating racism

by on Aug.17, 2017, under Posts>Opinions>Society>Drug Abuse>Posts>Opinions>Society>Racism>Posts>Opinions>Politics>Terrorism

Calling racist people racists will never stop them from being racist. Racists do not reason or reason the way normal people do. And they are very strong-willed. The more they are called racists, the more stubbornly racist they become.

When you want to change them, you can not openly oppose them and make them feel that you are their enemy. So it is actually better that Donald Trump is soft on them, no matter it is because he is racist himself or because he does not want to offend them. Let’s be soft on Donald Trump as well. I used to think that Donald Trump should not be the President. But now I see why we need Donald Trump in the White House. This is the only way to decrease tension with a rather large part of the population. The racists who went to Charlottesville last weekend are not the only racists in the US. There are in fact a lot of racists in the US. That is why there is the Fox News channel.

Fighting racism should be similar to fighting terrorism and drug addiction. We have to find the root cause of the problem. We have to try to help people who embrace racism out. In fact, some racists do do drug and some do get violent.

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These people need help!

by on Aug.15, 2017, under Posts>Opinions>Society>Racism>Posts>Opinions>Politics>Terrorism

I am joining many others to mourn the loss of Heather Heyer, who was killed in Charlottesville, Virginia last Saturday. (To find out more about her, please read “Heather Heyer is a civil rights martyr“) As far as I know, she is the third person since Trump got into office who has been killed by a white supremacist while fighting racism. I really do not want anyone else to be killed in their fight against racism.

Please do not to get into a physical confrontation with those who disagree with you. Go online to have a debate, or hold your own rally (as suggested by David Swanson in Top 10 Misconceptions About Charlottesville). And try in your daily life to help people who hold extreme views out, not to get them into even more troubles.

Whenever people become violent, what we should see is that they need help. Something is not quite right in their lives or they think that something is not quite right in their lives, and so they are acting out. Extremism is not a solution to their problems. But extremism is a signal that we should not miss. It is like cancer. It is better viewed as a sign that something need to change or be done to bring harmony back to the society rather than something to fight against or eliminate. When the society returns to harmony, extremism will go away.

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How to fight terrorism?

by on Apr.08, 2017, under Posts>Opinions>Politics>World Affairs>Middle East>Posts>Opinions>Politics>Terrorism

I guess Trump has been attacked on so many fronts that he does not know what are the right things to do any more. Now he is doing exactly what Hillary would have done if she had become President: trying to take down the Assad regime. Never mind that neoconservatism is going to destroy America! It is popular right now!

Since Trump has been saying that he will focus on fighting terrorism, I will just talk about how to fight terrorism. Firstly, take a look at why terrorism is not just happening in the Middle East but also in America, Europe (including Russia) and China. People who become radicalized in America, Europe (including Russia) and China are not foreign nationals but mostly citizens or legal residents. These people are radicalized not just because they are inspired by others but mainly because they feel hopeless in some ways for economic or political reasons. If they are not inspired by others, they may still commit violent acts or do drugs or find some other ways to self-destruct, just like any other citizen who is not inspired by Islamic Extremism. To fight terrorism, the problems these people are facing need to be solved. Problems of only part of the population in any society are actually problems of that whole society, not just problems of that part of the population.

Secondly, can countries outside of the Middle East use force to eradicate Islamic Extremism in the Middle East? It depends. Regimes like those in Germany and Japan during WWII were taken down by force by Allies. But so far, have we seen any regime like that popping up in the Middle East? Regimes that may be repressive but are not committing genocide or waging large scale wars against other countries may not be taken down by force. They need to be dealt with in other ways.

Waging wars not for self-defense is self-destructive. That is how empires fall apart, which is illustrated by the fable “The Death of a Camel”. The death of the camel in the story started with a kick at a piece of glass out of anger, which caused a foot to bleed. Then the blood attracted a vulture and a wolf which scared the camel into running until exhaustion, which resulted in the camel falling next to an anthill and getting attacked to death by the ants.

By the way, supporting the Assad regime is a wrong way for Russia to fight terrorism in Russia. And it is considered an interference in Syria’s internal affairs. Russia can be friendly to Syria. But to provide military support to a regime is more than being friendly.

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The failed Western approach to terrorism

by on Mar.06, 2017, under Posts>Opinions>Politics>World Affairs>Middle East>Posts>Opinions>Politics>Terrorism

The failed Western approach to terrorism is like painkillers which make you unable to feel the pain but do nothing to help your body recover or eliminate the source of pain.

Like painkillers, which are prescribed to patients to make them happy by making them unable to feel the pain, operations that “kill terrorists” are good propaganda to make the general public happy. But they not only always fail to eradicate terrorism, but also more likely than not increase terrorism.

If you can not understand why I am saying it is a Western approach and it is a failed approach, please study the difference between Western medicine and Chinese medicine. In Western medicine, if an organ in your body fails to function normally and causes pain and suffering, often times it is removed. In Chinese medicine, the goal is to make a failed organ get back to normal.

Trying to get something back to normal is not as easy as removing it all together. That is why people often throw away things that have malfunctioned rather than try to fix them. But for a body to function properly, organs should not be discarded so readily. For a society to function properly, people should not be purposely killed. Just like organs depend on each other to function, people depend on each other to live. You and me may not be directly affected by the removal of a person, some of that person’s relatives and friends and associates may.

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My thoughts on Trump’s travel and immigration ban

by on Feb.01, 2017, under Posts>Opinions>Politics>Immigration & Globalization>Immigration>Posts>Opinions>Society>Racism>Posts>Opinions>Politics>Terrorism

First of all, I agree with Dallas Mayor’s assessment that Trump’s travel ban could help radicalize extremists. Whether or not there is any good reason for Trump to order such a ban is not as important as it is how the ban will be seen by the world. I am sorry to have dismissed political correctness. Political correctness is not unimportant in this case.

As to Trump’s motivation for this ban, I can only speculate. There could be a few reasons for Trump to have come up with this ban. There could be an innocent reason for the US to stop accepting refugees from Syria. I was once a refugee. So I know something about how things work for refugees. When conflicts end in the country where they come from, refugees are supposed to go back to their country if they have not resettled in another country. Whether refugees from Syria should still be sent to other countries to resettle there depends on whether conflicts have ended in Syria. Trump probably does not want to think that there are still conflicts in Syria. In reality, conflicts do not usually end so quickly. If Russia is still supporting the Assad regime, conflicts will still be there. Even after all foreign forces have left Syria, there could still be a civil war there. There will be peace there eventually. But probably not right now.

That being said, a lot of people, including myself, feel that Trump’s ban is motivated more by some people’s fear of, or worse, hatred for, Muslims. This is because Trump got into power partly by making promises to people who fear or hate Muslims that he will protect them. When government policies are made out of fear or hatred, they can not be reasonable. Why do some people have to be inconvenienced and disrespected? Human rights are not just for the majority. They are for everyone. If Trump does not want to be misunderstood, he should offer as much explanation for his decision as possible. By simply saying because the US has the need of finding extremists, some people have to be inconvenienced and disrespected, Trump is showing disrespect for these people. I can therefore tell that disrespect is the most important reason for Trump to come up with the ban. Of course, trying to keep his campaign promises, and by extension, keep his job, is another reason.

By the way, if stopping extremists from entering the United States is the reason for the ban, I can not understand why Iran is on the list of countries whose citizens are to be banned. I can only think of Iran being the enemy of Israel as the reason for her to be included.

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Comments on “Killings by China anti-terror cops raise concerns”

by on Sep.08, 2014, under Posts>Opinions>Politics>Terrorism

This AP article by Gillian Wong “Killings by China anti-terror cops raise concerns” discusses the issue of how terrorism in Xinjiang has been handled by the Chinese government and how it should be handled to reduce terrorism, an issue which I have been very concerned with, in a very educated and constructive way. But it has been met with hostilities from both Chinese and American readers.

To agree with the author, one needs to be rather educated in human rights. The world’s methods of fighting terrorism are still so primitive that terrorism is only getting worse and worse. This article is pointing out why China is failing in her fight against terrorism. Learn from it and China can see a better future.

From the comment section, you can see that some people did not like this article also for the reason that there are similar problems with how the US government treats ethnic minorities in the US and how the US government handles terrorism in the US and abroad. I want to point out that this article is discussing a problem in China. It does not discuss anything about similar problems in the US or problems with US anti-terrorism policies. There are plenty of other articles discussing issues in the US and issues with the US government’s policies. Nobody says that problems are limited to China. If every time a problem in some place in the world is discussed, we reject the discussion on the basis that there are similar problems elsewhere, nothing will ever change and no problem will ever be solved.

By the way, since there are lots of comments from White Americans living in China criticizing the article, I think I should also point out that White Americans living in China can not speak on behalf of ethnic minorities in China. Han Chinese, who are the majority in China, look up to White Americans while looking down on most Chinese ethnic minorities including Uighurs, probably because White Americans are considered as more wealthy and powerful. After all, White Americans can leave China if they feel uncomfortable living there.

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Security and Equal Rights

by on Jan.09, 2010, under Posts>Opinions>Politics>Terrorism>Posts>Opinions>Politics>World Affairs

I heard that in some places in the world where the gap between the poor and the rich is very wide, the rich have to build walls around their houses, hire private guards, and spend a lot of money on security.

When I think of the reason why the United States have to spend more and more on security, I think of that phenomena. The world in which America has become the only super power, has become a place where the gap between the powerless and the powerful is so wide that America’s security has become a bigger and bigger issue.

So the key to America’s security is not hard stuff such as security cameras and personnels, but soft stuff such as foreign policies. Empowering people in other parts of the world more by stopping support of regimes that are not democratic and giving other countries more says in world affairs will help improve American security fundamentally. For example, stop supporting the Saudi Arabia royal family; stop interfering with OPEC countries’ rights to decide oil prices – let the market decide oil prices rather than overturning regimes that would not allow the increase of oil production that will result in lower oil prices.

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Torture is counterproductive

by on Jul.15, 2009, under Posts>Opinions>Politics>Terrorism>Posts>Opinions>Politics>World Affairs>Wars

It is a lesson from history that torture is counterproductive. The French tried to use torture to prevent themselves from losing their control over their colony Vietnam. However, the history of Vietnam’s war to gain independence from the French told me that their use of torture was counterproductive. Their torture of Vietnamese made them look cruel and desperate in the eyes of Vietnamese and drove more Vietnamese to fight against them.

There are at least two reasons why torture is counterproductive.

Firstly, for every person that is tortured or killed, there are many people who are their family members, relatives, friends, etc., who are enraged. So torture and killing create more enemies.

Secondly, for some people, the more we force them to do what we want them to do, the less likely they will do it. However, if we treat they with respect, they will cooperate. If what we try to achieve is noble, what we need to do is to convince them that what we want is not against their interests. Forcing them into doing something will make them suspicious as to what our intention is. This will drive them further away from us.

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What does it mean when politics finds its way into religions?

by on Mar.27, 2008, under Posts>Opinions>Politics>Presidential Campaigns>Posts>Opinions>Religions>Posts>Opinions>Politics>Terrorism

When people’s wills can not be reflected in a political system, politics often finds its way into religions. That is why we have Christian churches and Islamic mosques getting criticised for planting hate in people.

In fact, it is not that churches and mosques turn people radical. It is the other way around. People who can not get their voices heard in a political system often turn to religions. That is what turns churches and mosques political.

So when we see a religious entity turning political, we should try to find out if the people who attend that religious entity have some grievances that are not being addressed in their political system.

From this, I see an important reason to elect Obama. The fact that Black churches in America are radical should tell us that Blacks in America are not well represented in the American political system. Since Obama and Blacks have a very good relationship, as shown in the primary thus far, he can represent them well. As long as he can also represent Whites and other ethnic groups well, he will do a good job bringing Blacks into the political process and deradicalizing Black churches. Thwarting their wills will make them even more radical.

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Rev. Wright should be a politician rather than a pastor, and why Obama’s race speech is great

by on Mar.25, 2008, under Posts>Opinions>Politics>Presidential Campaigns>Posts>Opinions>Religions>Posts>Opinions>Politics>Terrorism

The role of religion should be to help people find faults in themselves so they will not get themselves into troubles because of their weaknesses. It should be the opposite of the role of politics, which is to help people fight for their rights assuming that they do not deserve what they have got. In short, religions are to help find faults in oneself, while politics is to help find faults in others.

On the race issues, Rev. Wright is clearly playing the role of a politician, not that of a pastor.

Many “religious leaders” make this mistake. That is why religions have been blamed for many conflicts in the world.

Religions can be a force for peace only if they are practiced properly, which is to emphasize the existence of weaknesses in people and help them overcome their weaknesses. Only when people realize that they share the blames in their problems can they help solve their problems. And only when all people recognize their contributions to a problem can a problem be solved. This is why Obama’s speech on race is historic. No any other politician has been able to see both sides of the race issue.

Politics aims to force parties to accept responsibilities. It often has to be backed by force. This is why we have wars. If religions can play a bigger role in solving conflicts, there will be more peace and less wars.

By the way, Rev. Wright’s opinion on terrorism is a self-reflection on our part and should not be attacked. However, though he helps the public understand the cause of terrorism, his message can be misinterpreted as an endorsement for terrorism. So it should have been delivered in a more meditative environment than in a passionate sermon.

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