Nearly two decades ago the Chinese government crushed the public expression of democracy in Tiananmen Square. Some estimates say several thousand people died. Now they have decided, even though they said it was OK, they don’t want any live video from the square during the Olympic games.
The world of early June 1989 watched the beginning of the tension and the defiance on television, but then abruptly, the signal was cut off. To this day, the Chinese Government continues to deny that anyone but soldiers died in the weekend massacre. The collective heart of humankind, however, knows the truth and weeps. Just as the 2008 heart knows the truth of what’s happening in Tibet.
There is another sadness, beyond the continuing loss of life. It is the omnipresent shame that again in the human experience, an oppressive authority, used and uses force to prevent the empowerment of the people. Force will never conquer the desire, or the active quest for freedom in all its forms. History validates that truth, over and over again, on the crumbled actions of failed oppression. Truth and tolerance, compassion and education, common courtesy and common sense are the only values that will sustain a government in power and elevate the condition of its people. If we fail to learn it, we are destined to repeat it.