After the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death, I went on WeiBo (the Chinese version of Twitter) to find out if any overseas celebrities noticed the news and made any commentaries. A Chinese director, Ning Wang, made a comment that made my jaws drop. He tweeted a picture of Osama and said, “My idol, Osama Bin Laden is dead, killed by the extremely evil American devils, sigh, [crying face icon].”
At first, I was not sure if he was serious. Maybe he was making sarcastic comments to attempt to be funny. Since I was not familiar with Wang’s personality, I imagined that his followers’ comments would shed light to the seriousness of his tweet about Osama being his idol. But, after reading his followers’ replies to this tweet, I believed that he was serious. Before finalizing my assertion, I decided to confirm with him. I asked, “Is Osama Bin Laden really your idol? He was behind the attacks on 9/11 that killed many innocents. Are we “devil Americans” really extremely evil?”
I didn’t expect him to reply because he has many followers. I assumed that he would be busy filming and directing instead of responding to his tweets.
Of course, always expect the unexpected.
He replied to me.
He said (I translated this from Chinese to the best of my ability), “Replying to this malicious non-American looking American devil, you obviously are not the descendants of those who fought and died during the Korean War, nor the civilians who died in the Vietnam War nor the descendants of the deceased soldiers, and definitely not the victims from the atomic bomb that the United States had dropped on Japan that killed hundreds of thousands of people. Now, who is the world’s biggest terrorist? I think everyone knows the answer. So why don’t you wait a few generations, hybrid-cross to change your skin and hair color and become blonde and have blue eyes, then you can speak up for the malicious Americans, okay?”
I immediately picked up the phone to call my grandpa, the head of the United States’ government, to block his Weibo account from the internet because that is what us Americans do- we block social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. Oh. Wait a minute. No. That is what China does.
Oh oops. No. That snarky comment was not an accident. I intended to poke fun at the Chinese government.
Now to the internet authorities in China, before you decide to ban people in your country from accessing my website, hear me out.
I was born in China and love aspects of the Chinese culture as well as learning aboutChina’s history. I consider myself genetically Chinese and I like to absorb and adore its culture and history. However, I am an American because not only does my passport show that but I also believe in the core values of my country’s political system.
After re-reading the director’s comment, I kept thinking of a flawless comeback to his illogical, condescending, and outrageous reply. I decided to gchat with my friends to get their perspectives because 1) I wanted to solicit opinions on the validity of his argument 2) I was curious to hear what my friends would say and 3) I wanted to decrease my level of anger before I take any actions.
A friend told me that the director is incorrect to label United States as a terrorist nation simply because we participated in warfare. He said, “Terrorism is not the same as advancing a state interest. Terrorism is a method, where you specifically target civilians and where you don’t follow the traditional rules of warfare.” His definition invalidates this director’s argument.
I find it disturbing that Wang has many Weibo followers when foolish thoughts come out of his mouth. While he thinks that the U.S. is a terrorist nation because we killed people then based on this criteria isn’t Osama also a terrorist? Why does he choose to idolize Osama and not the U.S. then? I speculate that he is merely bitter towards the United States. And because of his resentment, he chooses to idolize Osama since Osama harmed us.
Also, I don’t understand why he thinks that because I don’t have blonde hair and blue eyes that I cannot speak up for Americans. If I’m not blind then I can’t advocate for services for disabled people? If I’m not old then I can’t advocate for access to Medicaid or Medicare? If I’m not a homosexual then I can’t advocate for same-sex marriages? His arguments make no sense to me. He is wrong and illogical. I can see that he is bitter and resentful towards the United States, which is fine because everyone is entitled to opinions. Some opinions are logically formed and others are not. In this case, his opinion is the latter and because of that, I find it hard to respect him. I am sure that he is frantically calling his publicist now to fix his image because a girl on the other side of the world whom he will probably never meet disrespects him.
I’m not saying that theU.S.was completely “correct” in killing Osama. I don’t expect the rest of the world to be throwing keg parties, playing beer pong, dancing on tables and celebrating with us. In fact, some Americans oppose murdering Osama. But Wang’s reply sickened me. He argues that I shouldn’t be speaking up for Americans because I don’t look like one. Please, cut the physical stereotype out.
I’m not arguing that the U.S. is the best country ever, that we do all the righteous things in the world, and that we are a model country. In fact, I have mixed feelings about us killing Osama. I was content but also concerned. I was content because he was responsible for the 9/11 attack so we can declare some sort of “victory” over this “war on terror.” I was concerned because I knew killing Osama would not put an end to terrorism. I believe that revenge is like a vicious cycle, it comes back. However, what had to be done is done.
I am glad that the director replied to me, even if his reply is contradicting and belittling because now I am aware of the existence of another condescending, self-righteous person. Next time I meet someone similar to him, I’ll be able to telephone my grandpa faster. And I’m not going to respond to him on Weibo because this entry should suffice my attempt to be self-righteous.
For those who can read Chinese, I attached a snapshot of our tweet conversations for the full experience of our exchanges.