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Old 10-08-2019, 11:21 AM
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Political correctness - allowing China to dictate what we (Western nations) do or say.


Recently, the NBA issued an apology to China because one of its execs, Daryl Morey, issued a tweet that said, "fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong." James Harden, star player for the Houston Rockets, also issued an apology to China on behalf of the matter (even though he himself wasn't involved.)

More analysis of the overall China situation in this Axios article.

China is trying to take its censorship tactics abroad to stifle criticism and speech of people abroad.

NPR article: How China censors debate in Western democracies - including discussion of possibly removing a Tibetan soccer team from a sports tournament because of fear of offending China. The article mentions how a Chinese official even threatened that the UK would get a less-favorable post-Brexit trade deal with China if it didn't disinvite Anastasia Lin, a human-rights activist, from a university debate.

SCMP article: Western scholars are self-censoring themselves when writing about China issues.

Springer Nature, a large Western publisher, removed access to hundreds of articles that might offend China.

Nike also pressured into removing sneakers.

Atlantic article: "Hollywood's Great Leap Backwards on Free Expression"

China is threatening academic freedom abroad. (Additional articles here, here, and here.)


As the Vox article notes, decades ago, the West believed that globalism and modern technology would have the effect of liberalizing China and making it freer - but in fact the opposite has happened: It has allowed China to control non-China nations and make the rest of the world less free.

This trend has been the case for years, and is only worsening. For China to stifle the speech of people within its own borders is one thing - it's not good, but at least it's within China - but for Beijing to try to dictate what people in other countries do is quite another. This political correctness is only going to intensify if Western nations/governments don't draw a line and make it stop.

Last edited by Velocity; 10-08-2019 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:26 AM
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The Chinese learned capitalism, and are leveraging it to their advantage. It's up to us to decide whether Chinese money is worth more than our principles. And that's all it is - money. China cannot actually restrict or punish speech outside its borders.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:28 AM
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The NBA's decision is about greed, if you're looking for a label. Market share and consumers. There's lots of dollars to be made in marketing the NBA in and to China. Using the label "political correctness" misses the mark.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:30 AM
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This is not about political correctness at all. It's about the worship of money and greed over freedom. The NBA can eat shit and die as far as I am concerned.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:34 AM
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Great thread idea, by the way. I was just reading about this.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidth...kong-comments/

I think companies are likely to find out in short order that there's a significant monetary cost to acceding to Chinese demands, just as there might be in standing up to them. Hopefully they'll figure this out soon and do the right thing (i.e. stand up to demands of governments that conflict with the principles of free speech).

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 10-08-2019 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:36 AM
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I wonder if anyone in the NBA corporate leadership thought to themselves, "Well, if the Chinese start killing Hong Kongers, a la Tiananmen Square, those victims aren't going to watch our games and buy t-shirts. Let's not stick our neck out too far on behalf of potential non-customers!"

Yeah, double-fuck the NBA. We've finally found the sports association that makes the NFL look competent at PR.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:40 AM
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The Chinese learned capitalism, and are leveraging it to their advantage. It's up to us to decide whether Chinese money is worth more than our principles. And that's all it is - money. China cannot actually restrict or punish speech outside its borders.
Bingo.

Alternatively from "Inglorious Basterds"

That's a bingo!
It's just bingo.
Bingo!

Last edited by BeepKillBeep; 10-08-2019 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:40 AM
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This is not about political correctness at all. It's about the worship of money and greed over freedom. The NBA can eat shit and die as far as I am concerned.
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The NBA's decision is about greed, if you're looking for a label. Market share and consumers. There's lots of dollars to be made in marketing the NBA in and to China. Using the label "political correctness" misses the mark.
This is very much indeed about political correctness. There are three topics that China generally works very hard to stifle any talk about - sometimes dubbed "The three T's - Tibet, Taiwan and Tienanmen." (Hong Kong is also now joining that list.) They are, generally, the most politically-incorrect topics that one could talk about within China. Now, it's not remarkable at all that the CCP would clamp down within its own borders, but when Western companies and governments and scholars bend over backwards to accommodate Beijing on this, that's caving in to China-PC.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:43 AM
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This is very much indeed about political correctness. There are three topics that China generally works very hard to stifle any talk about - sometimes dubbed "The three T's - Tibet, Taiwan and Tienanmen." (Hong Kong is also now joining that list.) They are, generally, the most politically-incorrect topics that one could talk about within China. Now, it's not remarkable at all that the CCP would clamp down within its own borders, but when Western companies and governments and scholars bend over backwards to accommodate Beijing on this, that's caving in to China-PC.
That's still not PC. It's simple government censorship.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:52 AM
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Blizzard has banned an eSports player and confiscated 1 years worth of their winnings because the player voiced support for Hong Jong. They reportedly also fired two commentators who had interviewed him.

Last edited by Rysto; 10-08-2019 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:58 AM
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The latest episode ofSouth Park, "Band in China," took this on. They slam med Disney, the NBA, and Google for "sucking on the warm teat of China." The Chinese have reportedly banned South Park within their country as a result of this episode.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:58 AM
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I'll second the quibble that this is "PC". Government censorship is entirely different than PC-ness.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:02 PM
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Nothing to do with PC. PC is what conservatives condemn when told not to disparage people who differ from them. This is a dictatorship trying to censor criticism of itself in what used to be a beacon of freedom.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:08 PM
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This is very much indeed about political correctness. There are three topics that China generally works very hard to stifle any talk about - sometimes dubbed "The three T's - Tibet, Taiwan and Tienanmen." (Hong Kong is also now joining that list.) They are, generally, the most politically-incorrect topics that one could talk about within China. Now, it's not remarkable at all that the CCP would clamp down within its own borders, but when Western companies and governments and scholars bend over backwards to accommodate Beijing on this, that's caving in to China-PC.
When one compromises one's morals for a dollar, that's greed.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:09 PM
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I would hope that most Americans can agree that what the NBA did was shitty and craven.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:10 PM
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Nothing to do with PC. PC is what conservatives condemn when told not to disparage people who differ from them. This is a dictatorship trying to censor criticism of itself in what used to be a beacon of freedom.
PC is thought control using mob violence, physical or economic, as the enforcement tool.

What China is doing is called consequences. Should China behave in that fashion? I don’t think we in the west could say otherwise without being hypocritical.

It does anger me that we kowtow to them though.

Last edited by octopus; 10-08-2019 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:17 PM
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PC is thought control using mob violence, physical or economic, as the enforcement tool.
Surely you can give an example of mob violence used to control speech?
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:19 PM
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Let's not let Nike off the hook, either. They cancelled a line of running shoes because China said they had pro-Hong Kong symbols on them.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:19 PM
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Surely you can give an example of mob violence used to control speech?
Berkeley when a speaker that the left wanted to deplatformize was invited. Wherever the ironically named Antifa shows up.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:20 PM
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Let's not let Nike off the hook, either. They cancelled a line of running shoes because China said they had pro-Hong Kong symbols on them.
Or Blizzard. They changed Hearthstone card art for the Chinese market.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:31 PM
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So I have a question for Dopers with longer memories or better history knowledge: Did the United States (or U.S. businesses, or schools) ever censor themselves in the past when speaking about any other autocratic foreign power? (such as the Reich in the 1930s-1940s or the Soviet Union during the Cold War?) Is it just because China has $$$ to offer and those didn't?
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:31 PM
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I would hope that most Americans can agree that what the NBA did was shitty and craven.
It also seems to be shitty and craven Trump Administration policy: according to reports, the US keeps quiet on massive human rights abuses in Hong Kong in order to keep trade talks going.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ng-trade-talks
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:42 PM
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Berkeley when a speaker that the left wanted to deplatformize was invited. Wherever the ironically named Antifa shows up.
Protesting a proposed speaker is not mob violence.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:55 PM
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Recently, the NBA issued an apology to China because one of its execs, Daryl Morey, issued a tweet that said, "fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong." James Harden, star player for the Houston Rockets, also issued an apology to China on behalf of the matter (even though he himself wasn't involved.)

More analysis of the overall China situation in this Axios article.

China is trying to take its censorship tactics abroad to stifle criticism and speech of people abroad.

NPR article: How China censors debate in Western democracies - including discussion of possibly removing a Tibetan soccer team from a sports tournament because of fear of offending China. The article mentions how a Chinese official even threatened that the UK would get a less-favorable post-Brexit trade deal with China if it didn't disinvite Anastasia Lin, a human-rights activist, from a university debate.

SCMP article: Western scholars are self-censoring themselves when writing about China issues.

Springer Nature, a large Western publisher, removed access to hundreds of articles that might offend China.

Nike also pressured into removing sneakers.

Atlantic article: "Hollywood's Great Leap Backwards on Free Expression"

China is threatening academic freedom abroad. (Additional articles here, here, and here.)


As the Vox article notes, decades ago, the West believed that globalism and modern technology would have the effect of liberalizing China and making it freer - but in fact the opposite has happened: It has allowed China to control non-China nations and make the rest of the world less free.

This trend has been the case for years, and is only worsening. For China to stifle the speech of people within its own borders is one thing - it's not good, but at least it's within China - but for Beijing to try to dictate what people in other countries do is quite another. This political correctness is only going to intensify if Western nations/governments don't draw a line and make it stop.
This isn't about political correctness. It's about the CCP using it's power to get what it wants. And it's easy to blame western companies (in fact, I do, mainly for being so freaking stupid), but China wields enormous power wrt forcing foreign companies to toe the line...the party line. It's sad that this has taken so long for people to wake up about, as it's been going on for years now and China is almost in it's endgame wrt pushing this agenda.

What's really sad is that so many people handwave away China's actions, or ignore them...or, worst off, don't even know they are happening. The fact that many posters in this thread automatically blamed, say, the NBA for caving in, instead of thought about who is doing the coercion is telling. Same goes for Hollywood. But, the thing is, this isn't limited to just businesses and greedy corporations. Our political systems are equally under attack. You don't hear that much about what China has been doing in many other countries to subvert their political systems, or even what they are doing in THIS country to do the say. They have a lot of politicians in their pockets the same as the NBA or Hollywood, and really for similar reasons...the home that if we cave in, go along, play the game, that in the end China will change, will open up their markets, will become more like us because they will see how great we are and want to be just like us. It's fucking stupid, it was never going to happen, but that's the light at the end of the tunnel for many...sadly, that light is the train coming right at us.

I think Hong Kong is going to be the tipping point, one way or another. If the Chinese crack down...and they almost certainly will if things continue...well, then what will we do? Nothing? Say bad things about them then move on? Will it be Tienanmen Square all over again, with the west denouncing the CCP, then a few years later forgetting all about it and vying for tickets to the Olympics or to other events so we can lick their ass? Because that's what the Chinese and, especially the CCP got out of Tienanmen...that they could do something horrific, and that the west would protest and howl...for a while, then forget and even scramble to try and cater to China for it's favor and access to it's markets. Will Hong Kong be the same? If China actually does go ahead with it's plan for Taiwan, what then? Protest, howl...then forget, and scramble for seats at their 100th anniversary blowout party? That's what the Chinese THINK we will do, and they are betting on it. It's been what's happened with them for years now. China pushes...say, building artificial islands in disputed waters, that they say they won't militarize or use for territorial claims. Then militarize them and use them for territorial claims.

This is an across the board attack by China, but only they seem to understand that. Yeah, or speech is certainly in danger. But this is a full court press on just about everything, and thus far we aren't really responding very well, in general, nor are we seeing the threat for what it is. I was really glad to see John Oliver take on the 1 child policy, as it's good to start looking into this stuff. The problem is, that is old news now and there is so much more that he SHOULD be looking into. Any other country doing the sorts of evil shit the CCP does and John would be all over them. But I won't hold my breath on his organ harvesting show, nor the one about Falun Gong, nor even one about the myriad other stuff going on. I hope those are going to be done sometime, as he seems to be able to get the public to take note...but my WAG is, if he doesn't have to apologize for what he did (which, frankly, went easy on the CCP) he's probably not going to be able or encouraged to look into the really tough stuff.
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  #26  
Old 10-08-2019, 01:05 PM
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Protesting a proposed speaker is not mob violence.
It becomes mob violence when the protesters are starting fires and smashing windows.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:07 PM
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And then it is no longer political correctness.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:09 PM
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It also seems to be shitty and craven Trump Administration policy: according to reports, the US keeps quiet on massive human rights abuses in Hong Kong in order to keep trade talks going.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ng-trade-talks
Sure, but that's not really a policy unique to the Trump Administration. Politicians from both parties have been more-or-less ignoring China's abysmal record on human rights for decades to play nice with them.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:27 PM
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I would hope that most Americans can agree that what the NBA did was shitty and craven.
I no longer make these sort of assumptions about the moral character of my fellow countrymen.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:30 PM
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Berkeley when a speaker that the left wanted to deplatformize was invited. Wherever the ironically named Antifa shows up.
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
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And then it is no longer political correctness.
This is offtopic and a hijack of this thread. No more of this here.

[/moderating]
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:32 PM
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When one compromises one's morals for a dollar, that's greed.
Or, as Stan Marsh put it, "anyone who would betray their ideals just to make money in China isn't worth a lick of spit."
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:50 PM
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As others have said, this is not an issue of political correctness. Political correctness is about not offending people who are helpless to respond.

This is sucking up to the boss. This is not offending somebody because you fear they will retaliate against you.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:50 PM
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I no longer make these sort of assumptions about the moral character of my fellow countrymen.
OK, but can you and I at least "agree that what the NBA did was shitty and craven"?
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:15 PM
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This is offtopic and a hijack of this thread. No more of this here.

[/moderating]
I should have been more clear. These things are off topic because they are not about China or anything related to China's actions.

Whether something is politically correct or not is in fact germane to the thread and not subject to the above mod note.

[/moderating]

Last edited by Bone; 10-08-2019 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:16 PM
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Thank you for clarifying that.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:24 PM
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I feel like I've lost my mind here. The NBA most surely did not apologize. They put out a statement that basically said, "hey, some people were bothered by this, and that's unfortunate." As a part of the same statement, they reiterated that their corporate culture allows and encourages people to express their opinions, tacitly supporting Morey's right to say what he said. Adam Silver went ahead and doubled down on that support. Daryl Morey is still the GM of the Houston Rockets (in spite of deciding to put Russell Westbrook and James Harden in the same backcourt!).

I guess the NBA could have been more stridently supportive of Morey, but the way they're being characterized here and elsewhere on the Internet you'd think they issued some groveling statement of grief and remorse and then chopped Daryl Morey's head off at sunset.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:24 PM
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The fact that many posters in this thread automatically blamed, say, the NBA for caving in, instead of thought about who is doing the coercion is telling. Same goes for Hollywood.
I don't think anyone blaming the NBA is unaware that they're doing so because the CCP is putting financial pressure on them.

But so what? The CCP is gonna do what authoritarian bully governments do. We should resist it, and we should call out the NBA for mealy-mouthed acquiescence instead of standing for something.

Note that the criticisms of the NBA's quick fold here appear to have had the desired result. The NBA commissioner is taking a public stand for freedom of speech and China isn't going to air the games.

Last edited by iamthewalrus(:3=; 10-08-2019 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:29 PM
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The OP mentions Political Correctness simply as a way associate the Left with something negative.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:32 PM
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The NBA most surely did not apologize.
They said that the tweet hurt feelings in China, "which is regrettable." The most straightforward reading of that passive voice is that people shouldn't hurt other people's feelings. That's not quite an apology, but it is passive-aggressive finger pointing at the Rockets' GM for doing something wrong.

The NBA statement then went on to say that its priority is "bridge cultural divides" between China and... someone. The statement conspicuously chooses "lets get along" in order to brush under the rug the massive human rights violations China is responsible for in Hong Kong.

So that's my reading of it. I'm not really sure how anyone can interpret it differently, but I'd like to hear your more specific thoughts on those two sections.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:40 PM
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The OP mentions Political Correctness simply as a way associate the Left with something negative.
The term is meaningless now, because so many people use it as an intellectually lazy way to beg the question.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:44 PM
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They said that the tweet hurt feelings in China, "which is regrettable." The most straightforward reading of that passive voice is that people shouldn't hurt other people's feelings. That's not quite an apology, but it is passive-aggressive finger pointing at the Rockets' GM for doing something wrong.
I guess we disagree on the plain face reading of this. If I punched you in the face for some reason, and then said to you - "hey, these actions hurt your face, which is regrettable," would you think I was apologizing to you? Or would you think I was issuing a vague "I'm sorry you got your feelings hurt" non-apology?

Quote:
The NBA statement then went on to say that its priority is "bridge cultural divides" between China and... someone. The statement conspicuously chooses "lets get along" in order to brush under the rug the massive human rights violations China is responsible for in Hong Kong.
Well, first they said: "While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals’ educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them."

This is pretty unambiguously saying that "whether we agree with him or not, we will not be punishing Daryl for exercising his right to express his opinion, which we support even in cases where we do not agree."

But then the last sentence was this: "We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together."

I think in context this reads as pacifying words that don't really mean anything. We have great respect for the history and culture of China is a meaningless truism. And the last clause - "[we] hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bring people together" is just a repackaged ancient cliche about sports.

So in total, I read the statement as:

Hey, sorry you got your feelings hurt. The NBA is a collective entity representing thousands of opinions about Hong Kong, so we can't say we agree or disagree with Daryl, but we stand behind his right to say what he said. You guys are swell! And old! And sports are about togetherness and transcending our differences! So keep buying our T-shirts!

Maybe not the scorched-earth condemnation of Chinese policies that we might prefer, but not an apology.
  #42  
Old 10-08-2019, 02:51 PM
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I don't think anyone blaming the NBA is unaware that they're doing so because the CCP is putting financial pressure on them.

But so what? The CCP is gonna do what authoritarian bully governments do. We should resist it, and we should call out the NBA for mealy-mouthed acquiescence instead of standing for something.

Note that the criticisms of the NBA's quick fold here appear to have had the desired result. The NBA commissioner is taking a public stand for freedom of speech and China isn't going to air the games.
On the one hand, I agree. On the other, it's a handwave...'The CCP is gonna do what authoritarian bully governments do.' is a complete cop out, and it's what I generally hear. The CCP gets a pass because, you know, authoritarian dictatorships are gonna do what they are gonna do, so let's attack the NBA for caving in! Let's leave aside that COUNTRIES are caving in as well to their pressure, and focus on the fact that the NBA didn't stand up to them as they should! Or Apple didn't. Or Google didn't.

There are US politicians on both sides who have caved into the CCP...and some that are, or seem to be at least partially in the CCP's pocket. And we are far from the worst affected. You don't hear a lot about it, but Australia and New Zealand have both come in for a lot of this...native politicians who seem to have a CCP oriented agenda.

I agree though, that we, as consumers of things like the NBA (ok, I'm not, but I'm sure there are dopers that watch professional basketball or whatever) should DEFINITELY vote with our pocketbooks when they do stuff like this. But we should also be aware that this isn't even the tip of the iceberg...more like the first few molecules of the iceberg.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:05 PM
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I guess we disagree on the plain face reading of this. If I punched you in the face for some reason, and then said to you - "hey, these actions hurt your face, which is regrettable," would you think I was apologizing to you? Or would you think I was issuing a vague "I'm sorry you got your feelings hurt" non-apology?
But punching me in the face is inherently wrong, so I think the context is different. "Joe went to get a burger, offending PETA, which is regrettable" is more analogous. And in such a statement, validating PETA's hurt feelings is a rebuke to Joe.

But I agree that the word "apology" doesn't seem really apt in this situation. Someone has to have a slight amount of guts and pride to admit error. The NBA seems unburdened by such a modest amount of courage.

I'm not going to debate your interpretation word-by-word -- but thank you for explaining your perspective more.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:18 PM
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Nthing the notion that this has nothing to do with "PC" (which is just a snarlword for "tact") and everything to do with corporate greed.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:21 PM
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CCTV (the state run television channel) has issued the following statement about the latest attempts by the NBA to walk the thin line between supporting freedom and democracy and making that almighty dollar:

They released a statement saying:

"We have noticed that Adam Silver, the Commissioner of the NBA, who is participating in an event in Japan, has responded to Houston Rockets general manager Morey’s post of inappropriate Hong Kong-related remarks. We are strongly dissatisfied and we oppose Silver’s claim to support Morey’s right of free expression. We believe that any speech that challenges national sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech.

To this end, CCTV Sports Channel of the Central Radio and Television Administration has decided to immediately suspend the current broadcast arrangements of the NBA pre-season (China Games) and immediately investigate all cooperation and exchanges involving the NBA."

The NBA appears to have meetings set with officials from China on Wednesday. Should be an interesting meeting.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:24 PM
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CCTV (quote):............"We are strongly dissatisfied and we oppose Silver’s claim to support Morey’s right of free expression. We believe that any speech that challenges national sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech."
Well, there you have it!
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:27 PM
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They released a statement saying:

"We have noticed that Adam Silver, the Commissioner of the NBA, who is participating in an event in Japan, has responded to Houston Rockets general manager Morey’s post of inappropriate Hong Kong-related remarks. We are strongly dissatisfied and we oppose Silver’s claim to support Morey’s right of free expression. We believe that any speech that challenges national sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech.
This is the point at which we must remind ourselves that the Chinese government hates basic freedoms.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:35 PM
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This is the point at which we must remind ourselves that the Chinese government hates basic freedoms.
They see them (rightfully, from their perspective) as very real threats. The thing is, they do this all the time to nation states, and often they force compliance in similar ways...with hold access or money or influence or whatever. Hell, they were forcing countries to pressure their national airlines to make sure that on their drop down menus for destinations in Asia, they had Taiwan listed as a province of China.

They do this sort of shit all the time. It just generally goes under the radar and unnoticed.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:36 PM
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Why do we give two fucks about whether Chinese television shows NBA? If they get their panties in a twist every time someone in the US says something they don't like, tough titties.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:44 PM
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Why do we give two fucks about whether Chinese television shows NBA? If they get their panties in a twist every time someone in the US says something they don't like, tough titties.
I totally agree, but then it's not skin of my nose if anyone watches the NBA. The NBA probably cares because they are making inroads into the China market, as there are a lot of new NBA fans due to Chinese nationals who play in the NBA and just because, it seems (for reasons that frankly escape me) that Chinese just like basketball (I honestly don't know why anyone likes to watch any sports, but that's just me).

You could say the same thing about Hollywood...if the Chinese get all butt hurt because of something in your movie, well, though shit...they can just steal it as they have been doing. The issue, of course, is money, but that's just the leverage tool that the CCP uses to keep companies and whole countries in line with their will.
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