I recently stumbled upon Atun-Shei films, a Youtuber who makes educational videos about history (and, to a lesser extent, films). So far, I am impressed by his nuanced yet non-fence-sitting approach to history.
And he said something interesting in one QnA video.
To sum his words, he refuses to label the Confederates as traitors due to the possibly unsavoury implications. If they are traitors, that means the Haitian rebels and America’s founding fathers are also ones; from my Indonesian perspective, my country’s founding fathers should also be referred to as such.
Technically, any attempts to overthrow the state is treasonous. But, due to the negative undertone, labelling every rebel as a traitor may potentially comes across as siding with oppressors.
I am disappointed with myself. Considering how I love bashing the status quo, I should have thoughts about it sooner.
Obviously, morality can be very grey. You can condemn the means which “traitors” try to achieve their goals and, if the overthrowing is a success, you can certainly condemn the new establishment for being just as morally corrupt, if not more.
But, it would dishonest to dismiss every single one of their grievances.
Obviously, unless you are insane, many of you agree that the Capitol rioters were terrorists. But, I am certain not all of you agree about labelling the Hong Kong rioters the same way. I am sure you would call me a Muslim terrorist for condemning any attempts to overthrow the current Iranian regime.
Just think twice before you condemn rebels. Mind you, as a payback against foreigners -Americans in particular- who lionise Hong Kong rioters, the Chinese government perceives the Capitol riot as a karma and suggests US lawmakers should use this incident to self-reflect.
If you ask about the Hong Kong riots, I would say I am on the side of the pro-democracy camp. But, in this regard, I cannot help but agreeing with Beijing.
There is nothing wrong about taking sides. If anything, in some cases, it is moral to do so. But, there is no excuses to throw nuances out of the window; trust me, you won’t like it when your words bite your asses later on.
This reminds me of an essay I wrote during last year’s BLM riots. I argued that riots were not always the language of the unheard.
Well, let’s just say I am glad that essay of mine ages well.
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