A letter from the editor
June 16, 2010 - Editor's Note: The following was originally written as an e-mail response to Mr. Terry's letter to me, I decided to use it as my column this week to respond in the newspaper as well.
Dear Mr. Terry,
As I have said repeatedly in numerous columns, I have nothing against teaching Chinese language or culture to students. I have not stated any opposition to the teaching of such.
I do have a problem cooperating with a government which is still totalitarian and brutally oppressive in nature, and taking money from that government (i.e. the Confucius Institutes/Hanban) to help teach Chinese language and culture here to our kids.
It's an ethical thing.
I don't believe in cooperating with murderers and thugs. No matter how much of a happy face the Chinese government tries to put on for the world, it can't cover up its crimes against humanity.
I suggest you read more on the brutalities of the Chinese government, which many people, not just me, have been screaming about and protesting against for years and years. The Dalai Lama comes to mind.
My worry is our teaching of Chinese language and culture is glossing over who and what the Chinese government is. We're in such a hurry to make money that it seems like we forget we're making deals with the Devil.
Accusing me of xenophobia is a not only a knee-jerk, uneducated opinion, I find it personally offensive and insulting — no different than when racial demagogue Jesse Jackson accuses someone of being racist for disagreeing with his ideas.
I bear no ill-will toward anyone based on their race, religion or nationality. In fact, you'll find many Chinese people who are opposed to their government's tyranny.
I've also said in previous columns that I will cheer on the day when the Chinese people finally do rise up and overthrow their government. The Chinese people are and have been the biggest victim of their government.
As for Hong Kong, the People's Republic of China can take absolutely no credit whatsoever for its economic success.
The island nation was under British control from 1842 until 1997. When China took over, it agreed to allow Hong Kong to enjoy a high degree of autonomy, so as to keep it successful and thus make it a showplace for the world.
Hong Kong is part of China's PR campaign to show the world how great it is.
I wrote last week's column because Skilling has been telling teachers, the (Oxford) village council and others about how China is a capitalist nation and it's simply not true as the Index of Economic Freedom shows. I believe the Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation are much, much more qualified to speak on that subject than a superintendent of a school district.
As for your assertion that I have a personal vendetta against Skilling, it's nothing personal, it's just business. I oppose much of what he does and the manner in which he does it.
While some people are content to sit silently or meekly acquiesce, I choose to speak out against Skilling's actions — something more and more people are doing in letters to the editor these days.
When I agree with something he does, I say it. In fact, during this school year, I received three phone calls from Skilling complimenting and praising me for things I wrote.
The first was for supporting the bond last fall. The second was for a column I wrote on the insanity over Obama's back-to-school speech. The third was for my column condemning the lawsuit brought against the school district by William Arthur Keely's alleged victim (an OHS student).
I also wrote a column during the winter noting that I agreed with the school's privatization efforts. I was the first to report on such efforts and praise them.
I hope this clears up my point of view for you. If you wish to have your letter below published as a letter to the editor, let me know.
Note: The majority of my column last week consisted of quotes and facts from the Index of Economic Freedom, put out by the Wall Street Journal and Heritage Foundation.
None of the information there can be classified as xenophobic.
Other items in my column such as China's practice of forcing women to have abortions and the fact that it has the highest female suicide rate in the world are matters of fact.
Repeating them is not xenophobic.
If criticizing a totalitarian government's oppression of its people and lack of economic freedom is considered to be xenophobic, then I must be reading a different dictionary.
In the United States, we don't have any laws prohibiting free speech.
We just have people who try to silence others by throwing out labels like xenophobic, racist, sexist and homophobic so as to shut down the debate.
My quarrel is with the evil Chinese government and anyone who would cooperate with and aid it.
If that makes me xenophobic then I'll just add it to the list of names others have tried to label me with over the years.
I'll consider it another badge of honor.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.