Saturday, July 18, 2015

Truth in Taiwan

Hiding deep in a recent newspaper – away from all the major stories – was a major story.

The article told how the most painful event in Taiwan's modern history is on display in two museums and a park in Taipei, the capital.

The complex depicts “the 228 incident” that occurred Feb. 28, 1947. Then Taiwan was governed by the Kuomintang – ‘nationalists’ engaged in a struggle with Mao Zedong’s communists for mainland China -- (a struggle lost in 1949).

In response to 1947 demonstrations by Taiwan citizens, Nationalist troops were brought from the mainland to squelch protestors.

They killed between 18,000 and 28,000 people, launching a campaign against Nationalist opponents, principally Communists, that lasted until martial law was lifted in 1987.

The 228 complex is an acknowledgement of an atrocity.

The Kuomintang still governs Taiwan. It was the villain here.

What if we were to acknowledge all the atrocities committed by our government?
    The decimation of Native Americans. 
    The World War II interments of Japanese (and German and Italian) citizens.
    Troops squelching strikes.
    And slavery. And Jim Crow.
    And private prisons and the incarceration of immigrants.

There are more stains on our heritage than confederate flags. None of them should be glorified or justified but all of them should be acknowledged. We would be better for it. Perhaps even less arrogant and self righteous.

Just a thought.

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