On this day: February 28th
On February 28, while we mourn the loss of the freedom fighters, we are also facing the ignorance of those who ignore the history. How many lives have to be sacrificed for the slaughterer to consider it a massacre? How many people have to be murdered for the murderer to consider it a tragedy? Human lives are sacred and precious, be it one or a hundred. Is it not a big deal if there were only 500 people killed? Recently, Former premier Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村) argued over the number of deceased freedom fighter in the 228 massacre (http://homepage.usask.ca/~llr130/taiwanlibrary/kerr/kerr.pdf) and stated that the history textbook painted an incorrect picture. Let’s not argue if his statement was ever close to accurate (According to NY Times, the number of people massacred in the 228 event is roughly 10,000, which is twenty-fold greater than Hau’s http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00E10FA3F5A147B93CBAB1788D85F438485F9 ). I have to ask Hau. Is it okay to kill you since your life counts only as one? Is it justifiable to kill 500 people since they counted as a minority? What were you trying to educate your next generation when your focus was on the number rather than on the cause? Is killing okay if it is only targeted to a minority group?
Not long ago, the Want Want (旺旺集團) chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明) blurted out that the reality that a man who stood in front of a tank during the Tiananmen Square protests was not killed proved that the Chinese military had acted with humanity against the demonstrators and that the massacre reports were false.
I can’t believe that there are people like Hau and Tsai who have no regard for human lives. By ignoring the history and further distorting it, they are accomplices to the crime and are not any different from the murderers themselves. How can they be so inhumane? What would they react if their love ones were the ones killed? I would expect a totally different attitude from them.
Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Are we expecting more massacres to occur? I hope not. I do hope that people learn from history and cherish the hard-fought democracy and freedom. Don’t let Taiwan regress slowly back to a corrupt and blatant dictatorship.
Written by Elisa English
On February 28, 2012