George Washington University Backpedals After Agreeing To Investigate Critics of China

One of the most troubling aspects of the Chinese Communist Party’s brutal crackdown on free speech is that it doesn’t just affect China—it impacts us here in the U.S. as well. That’s because many American organizations and people—businesses, athletes, etc.—choose to engage in self-censorship in order to appease the Chinese government. A powerful example was provided by Activision Blizzard, the online gaming company, which punished a professional Hearthstone player for uttering a pro–Hong Kong slogan while being interviewed on a livestream.

Similar things were expected to happen at George Washington University. Recent art posters that criticised the Chinese government were posted all around campus. They also mentioned the Winter Olympics taking place in Beijing.

Badiucao is an artist and dissident from Australia who protests the Chinese government.

G.W. Criticism was levelled at the postersG.W.

Higher education scholars expect university students to possess basic scientific understanding and maintain cultural diversity. These posters not only incite hatred between Chinese ethnicities, but also hostility among other cultures. George Washington University believes in equality and inclusion. We also believe students are open-minded and friendly at George Washington University. Such hateful messages on posters aren’t only offensive and cause ethnic tensions within Chinese students, they also inspire friendships between international Chinese students and peers from all over the globe. They fuel prejudices and conspiracies against China, which have been prevalent since the crisis.

G.W. was required to investigate the matter. The Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement was asked to investigate. It may be a sign of the office for diversity that they often become the first line of defense against would-be dictators.

Badiucao retorted, accusing G.W. A witch-hunt was launched against student activists.

Mark Wrighton, the president of the university, was initially responsible for creating it. respondedHe stated that he had been offended personally by the posters in a statement and would make an attempt to identify the culprits. He apologized for his statement after he was subject to a lot of criticism. He stated, “Upon understanding fully, I don’t view these posters to be racist. They are political statements.” “There’s no investigation by the university, and there won’t be any.”

While the University has now backed down, FIRE is still concerned that Wrighton initially wanted to open an investigation into possible offensive speech.

G.W. should have known immediately.FIRE released a statement saying that it should have been immediately obvious to G.W. “If the students who posted this artwork were from China or Hong Kong, they and their families could have been placed in real peril if their involvement were investigated—a fate that has awaited other international students who have been uncovered as critics of China at U.S. campuses. These are important points that universities should keep in mind across America.

Yes they should. They should not aid Chinese censors to hide the truth or assist them in the pursuit of dissidents.