News & Politics

Chinese Students in U.S. Outraged Over Dalai Lama Invitation

The Dalai Lama has been invited to give the commencement address at the University of California at San Diego. Though he generally is thought of as standing for peace and harmony, even he isn’t immune to the inane criticisms of college students.

Some, like John Leo, are outraged that the Dalai Lama has been asked to speak at commencement:

UC San Diego students are upset that the Dalai Lama has been invited to speak at their commencement ceremony.

Leo is a senior at UC San Diego and an officer for the university’s Chinese Student Scholars Association. He is getting ready to graduate this year, but is not looking forward to the commencement ceremony.

“I will probably go and leave when Dalai Lama is on the stage,” he said.

Last Thursday, the University announced the Dalai Lama as their guest speaker. Leo and several other Chinese students were shocked to hear about it.

“Inviting such controversial figure … It’s very disrespectful,” he said.

I hate to break it to Leo, but only among the communist Chinese is the Dalai Lama considered so controversial, and frankly, their opinion doesn’t mean a whole lot to us. In fact, if you want to get into “disrespectful” behavior, let’s take a look at some of the Chinese government’s greatest hits.

There’s the policy that only lets families have one child, which has resulted in an untold number of murders from families who just really wanted a son. There is terrible oppression — the hallmark of any communist regime — of the Dalai Lama’s Tibet. There is even a ban on movies or television shows about time travel, because, heaven forbid, Back to the Future might give someone ideas.

To call the Dalai Lama “controversial” is to completely buy into the Communist party line, and to not have the least bit of understanding about oppression and liberty. To call his invitation to speak at a commencement address in the United States “disrespectful” is, well, disrespectful of the country that took you in from China.

Leo there isn’t the only one wrapped up in the love of homeland and an expectation that the Chinese government’s position be accepted throughout the United States. Student Ruixuan Wang wrote an op-ed for the UCSD student website:

Our nation values unity just as you value democracy in the United States. However, the Dalai Lama spent his whole life trying to separate Tibet from the mainland of China, regardless of how much privilege and freedom the government offered the people of Tibet.

Privilege and freedom? What nerve.

Maybe if Want and Leo had studied a bit more about the nation they’ve completed their education in, they’d understand just how much propaganda they’ve been fed.