Sunday, February 15, 2009
Appreciating My Right to Free Speech
I caught this news story on CNN.com today... about Huang Qi. He's a human rights activist and blogger in China. He's been arrested because he shared, on his blog, the accounts and complaints of families who lost their children in the Sichuan earthquakes. Children who died in schools that crumbled because of shoddy construction and lack of upkeep. You can read his human rights history on Wikipedia. The website that has caused his life to be at risk and changed so dramatically is 64tianwang.com It's in Chinese. Just so you know. Edited to add: I found this open letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Huang Qi's website. Reading this little blurb today on CNN and then reading more about Huang Qi and his story and what he has dedicated his life to accomplishing- getting out the stories of everyday people in China who have had their lives destroyed because of the government- has made me appreciate my ability to have my blog and say whatever I want. Don't I? For the most part, yes. I could, say, interview gay people across the country and around the world about gay marriage and legality and so on. And that wouldn't be an issue. I suppose if I were to start writing posts about terrorists all the time... about atrocities being committed in Iraq... or that sort of thing... I'd probably attract attention from unwanted sources. But if I did what this man did... let's say I went to New Orleans a couple of years back and interviewed people who were devastated by Katrina, stranded on bridges, in the Dome, dying on rooftops. I could have taken those interviews and printed them on my blog, in a newspaper, written a screenplay... without fear of being jailed for, potentially, a lifetime. Or fear of death or torture. That's pretty damn amazing.