Skip to main content

When Ping Fu's book, Bend, not Break: A Life in Two Worlds, went on sale with much media fanfare, almost every major media outlet reported her story. I heard it on NPR. It was then that Chinese Americans found out how Ping Fu was inventing her experience in China to profit from it. We were outraged and spoke out strongly against the book.

The American (and Western) media, instead of examining the inconsistencies in her book and accepting that they made a big mistake, started to attack her critics as "shills" of the Chinese government. The Chinese American community were insulted first by Ping Fu's lies, then abused by the media. It is a spetacular display of the ignorance and arrogance of the mainstream American culture. The undercurrent of racism against everything Chinese that most people dared not to express openly, has finally found an outlet.

This makes me very angry. We will not give up. We will fight this battle to the end.

Update: See my comment at the end.

To see a description of the Ping Fu affair, please read my previous diaries Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV.

The dispicable display of ignorance, prejudice, jounalistic irresponsibility, and deep-rooted racism can be seen clearly in the report of the reaction in this Guardian article:

Chinese cast doubt over executive's rags to riches tale

Author of book describing her path from cultural revolution to head of US technology firm accuses critics of smear campaign

Oh my fucking god, a "smear campaign"! First of all, I am one of the strongest critics of Ping Fu, and I am an American! And to use one side's words in the title of article clearly displays where the prejudice of the journalist is. The whole article is trying to gloss over the problems in her book, and just repeats the lines used by Ping Fu herself to defend her lies.

And this journalist must be a shill for Ping Fu, if we judge by her standards:

Furious at the airing of China’s dirty laundry in Ping Fu’s new memoir, Chinese commenters have kicked off an online assault. The tech entrepreneur tells Katie Baker the vitriol feels like the public shame sessions of her youth.
No, she did not have any public shame sessions during her youth. She made all of them up. Now she has brought shame onto her by her own lies.

And the display of racism in the comments is even worse. Here is just a random sample:

CharlesLiu
30 minutes ago

You got your propaganda wrong, Katie. Most commenters are ex-pat like Fu who knew her story was Mike Daisey-esq. Also the Chinese myth buster who debunked Fu's claims is a well known academic in China.

X
21 minutes ago

Another Chinese Blogger aka propagandist.

CharlesLiu
18 minutes ago

@X What a bigoted comment. I ain't from mainland China, ain't never been citizen of the PRC a day in my life. I live in Seattle, name the place we can settle this in person if you like. #McCarthyism

X
15 minutes ago

Like they say in China, keep on blogg'n

X
9 minutes ago

I just checked the phone book, and you are not listed.  Did you mean Seattle, China.

There are numerous such attacks on us on the review page of Ping Fu's book on Amazon. They are too painful for me to read.

My heart aches. Why aren't we treated as Americans? Why whenever there is a debate or disagreement, are we considered Chinese, not American? Why? Can any Kossacks help me understand? What is wrong with America?

On further reflection, I may have overreacted myself. It is possible that those attacks are the works of Fu's PR team to exploit the weaknesses in us. So perhaps even the racist tones were part of the lies. I hope that is the case.

Originally posted to xgz on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:06 AM PST.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter and RaceGender DiscrimiNATION.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  There is nothing wrong with you. But often when (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xgz, NancyWH, gc10, Andrew F Cockburn

    we human beings think we see a threat we jump too fast which is the friend of bigotry.  This situation is very complex because the author lied and now this has mobilized the worst parts of some people.  Retreat a bit, take care of yourself.  Personal attacks usually hurt deeply and leave little to say but denial.  America has a long history of bigotry and it must be dealt with if we are to be ok as a people with each other.  There is currently, again, unjust anger toward China because they hold so much of our debt for example.   But to me the real story is this:  China and America are connectd and will be in the future, because we need each other in this complex world.  The nay sayers will soon lose steam and we must see again that we are friends and have never fought each other. Trading, visiting and sharing our worlds will carry the day and the Long Term View will prevail.  Take care of yourself xgz, life is a marathon and this too will pass and perhaps you will be strenghthed by your ordeal.   We can only learn from life we can not take away the pain, that is for time and circumstance to resolve.  I hope this was not too preachee.  

    •  Thank you (4+ / 0-)

      On further refelction, my diary itself is an overreaction. I'll add something at the end to moderate it some. Thanks.

      •  A little good news for you xgz! (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xgz, Andrew F Cockburn, FG, NancyWH, WakeUpNeo

        First, my wife is Chinese.  I have spent much time in the PRC (mostly in Chengdu region).  We live in a very conservative area of the U.S..  'bout 40/60 liberal/conservative.

        My wife has always been treated with the utmost respect and has made many friends.  I haven't seen any overt prejudice.  I think some have modified their views toward China and Chinese people because they know her personally.

        2) Fortunately, a mentor of mine, some years ago, taught me not to give up my power over my emotions to anyone else.  In other words, I choose to retain my power of over my emotions and feelings.  So people can say just about anything they want about me, or mine, and it doesn't hurt my feelings.  I get a kick out of the fact that when they do this, I learn all kinds of things about them, that they probably don't even know about themselves.

        There are plenty of ignorant jerks in the world, but I refuse to let a single one cause me distress a single second of my life.  It's very liberating.

        So, I hope you can regain your power and not let others determine how your feel.

        Anyone who isn't confused doesn't really understand the situation. - Edward R Murrow

        by gc10 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:12:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks. This is very good advice (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andrew F Cockburn, NancyWH

          And it will be useful when dealing with other things as well.

        •  excellent advice (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xgz, Andrew F Cockburn, NancyWH

          I only hope I have the wisdom to remember it

        •  Thank you gc10 and Boston Beans (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xgz, gc10

          Your messages brought me to tears.

          The trend in this world is US and China are getting closer but they may not be allies any time soon. I read books by and interviews of Ira Bremmer whose arguments roughly reflected what the current government's world view. The big picture is a lot of work needs to be done to bridge the general public and media from these two great nations.

          I represent a group of Chinese living in US. Most of us are US citizens. We are now organized to sort out Ping Fu saga gradually. We will not give up until the truth is fully exposed. Eventually we want to play a positive role in bridging the two powers on this planet.

          I want to express my appreciation for the author, xgz. You have achieved so much in a few days. We feel for you. Now we have people following the trail you blazed. Remember you have our support and respect at all time. You are not alone.

          •  Thank you for the encouragement (0+ / 0-)

            One thing to make sure that US and China will work together in the future, is to bring democracy to China. This will not be easy. What Ping Fu did was very harmful to the cause of democracy in China. That's why we need to expose such lies.

            We must fight evil with truth, not with lies. Lies will only undercut our cause.

    •  most Americans have no idea of the Chinese history (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xgz, Andrew F Cockburn, NancyWH

      in America or if they do, it is in the context of Hollywood (think the various Chinese servants we see throughout the history of TV and movies.  Even when the lead character was supposed to be Chinese, the part was inevitably played by an actor of Euro heritage)

      Even for those who do know something of the history, we are constantly discovering new facts and details, such as the mistreatment of ethnic Chinese workers by Black Jack Pershing's incursion into Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa.

      Add to that decades of Cold War propaganda against Communist China and the average American already has a mental picture of how things must be for all Chinese regardless of their personal circumstances.  Anything which challenges this view is met with hostility because you are tearing down their understanding of the world around them    

  •  xgz (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xgz, Andrew F Cockburn

    I did read one of your earlier diaries about this, & I remember it made me sad.  I believe I said then I fell in love w/ China after reading "The Good Earth" in my youth.  I don't have the insider's view you have, but I can see you are in pain.  I often ask myself what's wrong with America.  Let's face it, in many minds, if you aren't a white, Christian, heterosexual male between the ages of 18-80, you are "the other," not quite fully human.  Even my largely "enlightened" spouse will someone say is being "too sensitive" about some ethnic slight, & I have to explain it to him.  #1 Never take it personally.  If they get you to do that, you're stuck, because it's something you can't change.  #2  Make them answer your question.  If their answer doesn't address your question, repeat it, and point out they didn't answer the question.  #3  This too shall pass.  Unfortunately, there will be a new outrage next week.  Try not to get stuck fighting the same battle over and over again, so you don't notice the war moved on.  I hope I'm not coming across like I think I'm your Mom or something.  Exclusion in any form hurts.  I hope you feel included on this site, at least.  Let's hope the truth wins out in the end.

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:45:35 AM PST

    •  Thanks. Yes, this site is much better (4+ / 0-)

      than others. It doubly hurts when they choose to believe the lies, and the lies were about our sufferings in China. It's not that they didn't happen. They happened, just not in the way she described them. We feel like we are being used, then rejected.

      •  most Americans are unaware, for example (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xgz, Andrew F Cockburn, NancyWH

        that Mao looked to the Americans for assistance after the Japanese were defeated and was rejected.  From memory, it seems this decision was basically the result of a power struggle between two American officials, one mistrusting Mao while the other argued that for Mao to win the revolution was inevitable

        •  Even after Mao's victory, whose side he would be (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andrew F Cockburn, entlord, NancyWH

          on was still a question. The Soviet ambassador fled with the nationalist government, while John Leighton Stuart stayed in Nanjing to greet the communists. Unfortunately the US was at the height of Mccathyism and Stuart was not given permission to talk to the communists and had to leave.

          Then Stalin started the Korean war to force Mao to his side.

          Mao himself was crazy, and may not have been a good partnet for the US. But on the other hand, US had other crazy dictators on their payrolls too, like Noriega.

          •  thank you for the details; I apologize for my (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xgz, NancyWH

            memory but it has been years since I read about this.  Ho also approached the US and was rebuffed.  Had the US been more tolerant of nationalist movements instead of labeling them all Communists, the map of the world would be very different indeed.  For example, had we told the French to go and peddle their papers and dealt with Ho, the entire VN war may have never have happened

            •  The Vietnamese communists were more nationalist (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              entlord, NancyWH

              than communist. The Chinese communists were more communist than nationalist. So while you may be right about Vietnam, but who knows about China. After all, it was Mao who produced Pol Pot. When I was in China, I could not understand why Vietnam would invade Cambodia. Only after coming to the US did I realize that the invasion was humanitarian - there are even humanitarians among Viet Cong. And to think that the Chinese fought the border war with Vietnam, with the US support (US provided intelligence) to stop Vietnam's liberation of Cambodia!

  •  Aren't these articles and comments (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xgz, Andrew F Cockburn

    about the Chinese and not Chinese-Americans? I don't really get what you're trying to say.

    •  This book is in English and is only sold in the US (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NancyWH, gustynpip, Andrew F Cockburn

      Chinese haven't seen this book yet. So far the reaction is coming from Chinese Americans. Many of us have experienced the Cultural Revolution and know what she described in the book are just plain wrong. Since it's a particularly painful experience for us (our version of the holocaust), we cannot allow anyone to exploit it by lying and making money off the lies. That's why there is such a strong negative reaction to it.

      •  Okay, but I still don't understand where your (0+ / 0-)

        charge of racism comes into it.

        •  They do not address the concerns raised by (0+ / 0-)

          her critics, but attack the critics based on their ethnicity. That fits the classical definition of racism.

          •  What attacks? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bontemps2012

            I read it a few times to make sure I wasn't missing anything. I didn't see any attacks being made against anybody's ethnicity. I mean, the chief critic named in the article is Chinese. That's not a slur.

            •  Are you talking about the Guardian article? (0+ / 0-)

              The racism in the other examples are so obvious I don't think you are questioning those. The Guardian article is more subtle. I read it again, and it is even more biased than my first impression. Why do you think it is so biased? Just because the reporter is buddies with Ms Fu?

              It's because there is an inherent arrogance in the reporter, who made certain assumptions about the critics. The article did not say this outright but it is there. Those unspoken assumptions are very much racist. For example, this part after saying that "Chinese readers" flagged up a number of inconsistencies, it inserted this before going into the details of the inconsistencies:
              "I am shocked and saddened by the things that have been said," Fu told the Guardian. "It is very, very hurtful because it brings me right back to what happened to me when I was eight years old."

              You see, that's what "Chinese readers" do to the author. "We Americans/Brits" would never be like that. It's very subtle but the message is pretty clear. But what are the words that have been said that shocked and saddened the author? Guardian never let us know.

  •  I'm a little confused here (8+ / 0-)

    The Guardian article appears to be a well balanced story about the whole situation. The first lead notes that there is doubt about her story; the second notes that she accuses her doubters of a smear campaign. The article does not state that the smear campaign is a matter of fact, rather it states that the author Ping Fu alleges that her critics' actions amount to a smear campaign.  I will admit here that I am a fan of Ed Pilkington's work for the Guardian, so maybe I'm biased against finding something, but I don't see it.

    Yes, I agree, the Daily Beast article is a POS.  I guess it's supposed to be a scary story about the Chinese government's actions against a righteous dissident, but it's no better than a bad Lord Haw Haw propaganda broadcast.  It's very poor journalism - I would put it down to the fact that back in January the author of the article did a review of the book and an interview with Ping Fu, and now she's being defensive about it, not wanting to look like an idiot for not doing her homework on the book review.

    As to this racist commenter "X", yup, very racist.  Rather strange he'd be reading the Daily Beast, comes across more as a Faux News idiot.  LMAO - I couldn't find you in the phone book for Seattle, so you mustn't really live there.

    As to your question, well, Ignorance is the mother of bigotry, and closed-mindedness it's father.  The 47% of West Virginians that voted for Raese in the last election despite his "Mr. Cho, Mr. Chung, Mr. Chow Mein, whatever" racist insult of Energy Secretary John Chu, and the 47% that voted for George "Maccaca" Allen here in Virginia are a testimony to the fact that Ignorance and Closed-mindedness breed like rabbits.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:57:30 AM PST

    •  But the errors in that article are obvious. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew F Cockburn, NancyWH

      The negative reactions are mostly from Chinese Americans, not Chinese. This he could have easily found out by simply noting the addresses of those reviewers on Amazon - they all live in the US. Also he did scant work trying to figure out the issues, but merely copy-and-pasted the words from both sides. As we all know, giving equal treatment to both sides is by no means fair treatment, when one side is clearly lying. That's not just sloppy journalism, that's derelition of journalist duties. Also the bias in the article is quite clear. The title expressed it clearly. It devotes the entire last two paragraphs in the defense of Fu. It is probably as much as one can lean towards one side for a Guardian article.

    •  The Guardian article only interviews (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xgz, NancyWH

      Fu and her publisher. It doesn't seem like Fu's critics were interviewed at all.

      "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

      by randomfacts on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:44:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are plenty of racists in any country. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xgz, NancyWH

    US is no exception. Fortunately, in US they are not the majority.

    Also, some of it just seems like bad journalism, not necessarily racism. Comments are quite bad but offensive comments are extremely common. Please don't take it personally.

    •  Right. Its not racist, it is just a stereotypical (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xgz

      of understanding.

    •  By saying ststereotypical understanding, I mean, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xgz, FG, koNko

      when you point out that someone, who seems to be attacking CCP, but with lies not truth, you will be regarded as pro-ccp, even though in fact you are not defending the CCP, you are only defending the truth. There were so many bad things Culture Revolution and CCP did that made people suffer. There is no need for any lies. Truth is much more powerful than lies. Lies can only damage China's democratic movement; lies will only benefit the liar herself.

      •  It's complicated (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xgz

        Sometimes I find stating facts that seem to support CCP position or policy (by coincidence or perhaps by design) earn one the label of a sycophant or 五毛党 from "China Experts" on Western Blogs. Amusing.

        Yes, truth complicates matters.

        Racism is universal, if not dominant, but something people get very defensive about.

        There was a fair amount of China-bashing in the past 3 US electoral cycles from both parties, and although some of the underlying reasons such as economic and trade tensions are obvious and "understandable", that does not quite justify it or negate the effects.

        So I found that when speaking to that, it's worth noting (a) the world is not so simple and (b) Chinese, and Asian Americans in general, are the second most inclined to vote Democratic, after African Americans and before Latinos, so why would Dems want to play that card and alienate them?

        Fortunately, Mr. Romney played that card the wrong way at the wrong time and I thank him for that.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:08:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You misdiagnose the problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xgz, bontemps2012

    It's not racism at all. It's a combination of reflexive sympathy and inability to process complexity, a combination that's roughly as American as racism.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 01:25:23 PM PST

  •  "As shills of the Chinese government" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xgz, bontemps2012

    is not so much racism as much as the same tactic certain parties make to discredit others without backing up their own claims.

    You try to discredit your criticizers in order to keep face.

    Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

    by Future Gazer on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 01:29:29 PM PST

    •  "China's Paid Trolls" is a well-documented (0+ / 0-)

      phenomenon. Communist Party of China and other organizations there pay the shills.

      A typical fee is 8-cents a posting. The Chinese "dollar" (the juan) is 16-cents. Half a juan is 8-cents.

      In February 2011, Ai Weiwei tweeted that he would like to conduct an interview with an “online commentator”. Commentators are hired by the Chinese government or the Communist Party of China to post comments favourable towards party policies and to shape public opinion on internet message boards and forums. The commentators are known as the 50-Cent Party, as they are said to be paid 50 cents for every post that steers a discussion away from anti-party content or that advances the Communist Party line.
      That's Chinese "cents" off the juan, the Chinese "dollar."

      Here at New Stateman you get the transcript of Ai WeiWei’s interview with an online commentator.

      This hoard of paid typists can also be observed at the "Bend, Not Break" listing at Amazon. By the hundreds. A hoot.

      -- Bend, Not Break at Amazon

      Funny fake reviews. They're not allowed to read the book and it shows. They read the one review from Fang Zhouzi !

      By the way, imagine making a living like that. 10,000 postings at dkos gets you $800.

      "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

      by bontemps2012 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 02:27:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can you address specific allegations of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hailanzhiguang

        lying? I read the book, and in my previous diaries I have pointed out exactly why she was lying. Can you answer those allegations?

        Personal attacks of this kind will not deter us.

        •  Trolls are paid by the posting. (0+ / 0-)

          8 cents, per.

          The Red Guards were mass murderers. Trying to cover up for them and for the crimes of the "Cultural Revolution" is a big fail.

          Do draw attention to this controversy. Go for it !!

          "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

          by bontemps2012 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 03:13:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are attacking the wrong people (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hailanzhiguang

            Ping Fu was a Red Guard. I was a victim. Why are you defending her?

            •  Ping Fu says and photographs confirm (0+ / 0-)

              that she was not in the Red Guards.

              Even if she had been, she would have been between 8 and 12 years old. Hardly one of the teens and twenty-somethings doing the crimes.

              Attacking Ping Fu is nothing but an effort to cover up for the crimes of the Red Guards.

              "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

              by bontemps2012 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 04:56:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Have you ever considered the possibility that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hailanzhiguang

                what Ping Fu said were not true? In that case, why pointing out the lies would be covering up for the crimes of the Red Guards?

                She claimed that she was a victim of the Red Guards, and denied that she ever joined the Red Guards. So your "even if she had been" defense does not work for her.

                •  You understand "photograph." (0+ / 0-)

                  Same for classmate statements.

                  Attacking Ping Fu is an effort to cover up for CPC officials' crimes when they were Red Guards. Murder and theft of property were commonplace, together with less common localized rape gangs in a number of areas.

                  Now the criminals are older, in their seventies mostly. They are rolling into top positions in the Communist Party.

                  They will always be murderers.

                  "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

                  by bontemps2012 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:02:51 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There is a general assumption in the west (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    hailanzhiguang

                    that whenever there is chaos and white horror, rapes and gang rapes would occur - because rape is one tool they employ to intimidate the masses.

                    But this was not true of the red horror that was the Cultural Revolution. You have to be there to know it. There are several reasons for this. We can go into the details if you want to have a discussion. The west is wrong in this regard. Your refusal to discuss this on an intellectual level and repeated attempt to label the other side as the bad guys just shows the intellectual laziness on your part.

                    Ping Fu's fabricated tale was intended for consumption by people like you. It appeals to you because it fits your expectation of how things should be, not how things really are. It is the same type of stuff that Fox News does.

                  •  BTW, the photo clearly shows that she was a (0+ / 0-)

                    Red Guard. There was a character on her arm that says "红"(red) which is the part of the "Red Guard" label.

          •  Do you read Chinese? (0+ / 0-)

            If you do msg me.

        •  Sorry, I did not make myself clear. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xgz, hailanzhiguang

          You and others are the party who is criticizing Ping Fu and rather legitimately... because her writings/stories are contradicting with facts, times and experiences of many others who had to go through that period in China. She even contradicts herself. I am not calling you a paid troll by any stretch of the imagination.

          The people who respond to you by calling you "the shills of the Chinese government are merely trying to discredit you" because they cannot back anything Ping Fu says up.... and perhaps they really think the lies are the truth.

          It is not a counter criticism, a counter to the criticism or a discussion at all. it's just name calling.

          Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

          by Future Gazer on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 03:35:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  One of the key figures in the camp of the critics (0+ / 0-)

        is Dr. Eddie Cheng, the author of Standoff at Tiananmen.
        http://www.amazon.com/...
        Can you see his Amazon page? Do you see any "Chinese spams" on this page? Or do you consider Eddie Cheng himself to be a shill for the Chinese government?

        As of now, Eddie is discussing the book with other critics on a web forum hosted by Fang Zhouzi, the main critic cited by several news reports.

  •  Ping Fu has written a solid attack (0+ / 0-)

    on the extremists who collaborated with Mao and his Gang of Four to murder 3 million people and tear apart millions of families back in the 1960s.

    Now, many of the high ranking collaborators from the Red Guards have taken high positions in the Communist Party of China.

    She replies to various complaints, mostly related to an article that summarized her work with several minor inaccuracies on the ForbesChina.com web site. The attacks on Ping Fu range over quite list:

    -- Why did you say you were in a labor camp during the Cultural Revolution?
    -- Suzhou University did not reopen until 1982. How could you go there in 1977?
    -- In a 2010 NPR interview, you say you saw Red Guards execute one teacher by tying each limb to a separate horse and dismembering her by having each horse run simultaneously in a separate outward direction. During the Cultural Revolution, dismemberment using four horses was unheard of and would have been quite difficult. This was a legend from several hundred years ago.
    -- You claim you were brutally gang-raped. Gang rape doesn't happen in China.
    -- In the Forbes piece, you say you wrote your undergrad thesis at Suzhou University on the practice of female infanticide in rural China. Your research received nationwide press coverage at the time, and you were sentenced to exile as a result.
    -- In the 2005 Inc. Magazine article, you explained that your findings on female infanticide were later covered by Shanghai's Wen Hui Bao newspaper and later then by People's Daily, resulting in condemnation from around the world, sanctions imposed by the UN, and you getting tossed into prison. People's Daily archives for the period when your research would've been published have nothing regarding female infanticide in rural China.
    -- Why does nobody else in China know that the UN placed sanctions on China in 1981? And how do you know that?
    -- You say you were walking on campus when a black bag was suddenly thrown over your head and you were stuffed into a car before being arrested?
    -- You said you were held three days and narrowly avoided being sentenced to reform through labor when authorities decided instead to send you into exile.
    -- Why would you, an unknown, be deported/expelled to study in the U.S., a treatment reserved for very prominent dissidents?
    -- According to Inc., you arrived at Suzhou University wanting to study engineering or business, but the Party assigned you to study English.
    -- Forbes said you arrived in the United States knowing only three words of English, yet there are different sets of those first three words: Inc.: Please, thank you, help; Bend, Not Break: Thank you, hello, help; NPR: Thank you, help, excuse me.
    -- In the Fast Company story image, you and other kids are wearing Red Guard armbands under the Red Guard flag, yet you claim you were not a Red Guard.
    -- You weren't in a labor camp.
    -- You did not go to college in 1977.
    -- How can the labor camp be 10 years long for you?
    -- You did not publish your research and it was never published.
    She answers these questions straightforwardly.

    Clarifying the Facts in Bend, Not Break at Huffington Post

    This effort using the "xgz" account to accuse Ping Fu of "dispicable display of ignorance, prejudice, jounalistic irresponsibility, and deep-rooted racism" is so strangely structured as to appear humorous.

    Ping Fu nails the excesses of the Red Guard from the point of view of a child who is snatched away from her parents at 8-years of age. She was not the only child kidnapped. She was one of millions.

    The Red Guards went on a rampage of killing, theft of goods and real estate, kidnapping, and destruction. They had Mao instead of Pol Pot, but the slaughter was similar in the blood spilled to what happened in Cambodia.

    Their crimes fell off after 5 years. But they were one of the worst criminal gangs of the 20th century. China returned, more or less to normal after a decade. Now covering up for Red Guard crimes is a mini-industry for CPC.

    The book is first rate. "xgz"'s campaign here at dkos ??? Not so much. This is part of the cover up for Red Guards 3,000,000 murders.

    "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

    by bontemps2012 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 02:56:52 PM PST

    •  Her answers conflict with her book (0+ / 0-)

      or her previous interviews. Did you not read my previous diaries?

      Are you able to defend her from reason, rather than personal attacks?

      •  Try reading the book. (0+ / 0-)

        Your diaries effectively defend the Red Guard by attacking their critic.

        Asserting that she is a racist ??? Bizarre.

        "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

        by bontemps2012 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 03:10:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You have bizarre logic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hailanzhiguang

          Where did I defend the Red Guard? Ping Fu was a Red Guard herself. I am simply exposing her lies.

        •  Please read the Red Scarf Girl. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xgz

          Here is another book, Red Scarf Girl, which is a memoir. My son read it 2 years ago when he was 9. He recommends it to you who want to know what really happened back then.  He told me the red guards were bad, but not bad at the way Fuping said.The red guards were kids and revolutionaries. Sex was not a part of the revolution.
          Fuping was a red guard herself. She just wants to make use of Culture Revolution to gain her own benefits.
          Like me,XGZ wants China to be democracy, but we hate liars.

    •  "gang rape doesn't happen in china" ?!? WTF n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bontemps2012
      •  Who said that? (0+ / 0-)

        What is the context? Why are you so brief?

        •  it was one of the questions asked of ping fu (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bontemps2012

          held up as proof that her account was inaccurate, blockquoted in the comment above that you and i just responded to. it's an utterly absurd assertion, and i'm responding incredulously to it.

          •  I don't think anyone asked that kind of question (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hailanzhiguang

            This guy edited it to make it sound stupid.

            The real context is, that the Red Guards were all teenagers and they did not know anything about sex (given the type of education they had). During the worst period of the Cultural Revolution, these Red Guards were running around beating people up and killing them. But rape was not one of those things that they did. They were simply incapable of doing it.

            That's another sign that Ping Fu was lying. It fits the American taste but it doesn't fit the reality.

            •  that is an absurd assertion (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bontemps2012

              there is copious evidence of rape as a form of terrorization in the cultural revolution, as was common in other waves of mass action (mao himself chose to illustrate his famous quote about revolution not being a dinner party with an anecdote about raping the landlord's wife). to claim that red guards could not possibly have done so because they were teenagers, and to use that as proof of a memoir's falsity, is startlingly ridiculous. i have not read ping fu's book, and have no opinion on it as such, but this assertion calls the credibility of those who make it into serious question, in my opinion.

              •  Were you there during the Cultural Revolution? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hailanzhiguang

                Do you know what China was like at that time?

                "There is copious evidence of rape as a form of terrorization in the cultural revolution"? Can you give a source? This is where the western media loses its credibility in the eyes of people who were there during that period.

                You have no idea what Cultural Revolution was like.

                •  most accounts of rape in the cultural revolution (0+ / 0-)

                  are oral histories, done as interviews with women who recount it as part of their experiences. as a historian of china, i have studied under several historians of modern chinese history who have done this sort of research, most notably gail hershatter and emily honig, but there are many others. the most common scenario for rape was when youth were sent-down to the countryside, but it was also committed by red guards in the cities, as is common in periods of revolution, upheaval, and violence, in china as elsewhere in the world (it was if anything far more prevalent a tactic during the land reform movement in the early PRC). while the official rhetoric of the cultural revolution was indeed puritanical, those teenagers were hardly as innocent of sex and sexuality as you claim, and in fact there is a growing body of scholarship on the ways in which the freedom from parental supervision during the cultural revolution led to expanded opportunities for sex (not all or even most of it rape, obviously). and that's not even getting into accounts of rape in cultural revolution memoirs, or in the genre of "wounded literature" that emerged in the 80s.

                  your rhetorical recourse to insider authenticity - if you weren't there, you cannot possibly understand - is ironic given that you're essentially accusing a woman who claimed to have been raped in her memoirs to be lying, denying her very experience by recourse to your own. it is doubly ironic that you make this claim that westerners don't understand china, or chinese history, in a diary in which you accuse american journalists of being racists for referring to chinese-american online critics of ping fu as chinese.

                  again, i haven't read ping fu's book, and i don't have an opinion as to the accuracy of events she describes there, or elsewhere. it's not my fight. my point was that the claims - that you have now defended - that a woman cannot have been raped by red guards because the cultural revolution wasn't like that, and shut up if you weren't there, is laughable on the face of it, and contrary to the lived experience of many chinese women at the time.

                  frankly, this whole exchange reminds me far too much of the sort of fenqing vitriol i have found elsewhere on the web, and i am done with it. have fun continuing your multi-diary rant against this memoir.

                  •  I asked you for sources to back up your (0+ / 0-)

                    assertion and you failed to provide any. You merely repeated your assertion not backed up by any evidence. You agreed with my point that rapes occurred when youth were sent to the countryside. But this assertion:

                    but it was also committed by red guards in the cities, as is common in periods of revolution, upheaval, and violence, in china as elsewhere in the world (it was if anything far more prevalent a tactic during the land reform movement in the early PRC).
                    is quite crafty. You know that the first part is on shaky ground, so you try to support it by claiming that it always happens (my puritanic argument notwithstanding), then you say it happened during the land reform movement anyway. But here it really exposes the problem in your argument. Land reform movement was an entirely different period, different movement, carried out by different people. They are not comparable to Cultural Revolution and the Red Guards.

                    Your sloppy treatment of this topic demonstrates clearly the wrong attitude western scholars have towards this part of the Chinese history. You want to justify what you believe to be true by bending facts in your favor and ignoring other evidence. This is how you lose credibility. The fact is, westerners indeed do not understand Chinese history, as you have given a clear example here.

                    I did not write a diary about the rape precisely because it is hard to prove that it did not happen. If not for your faux outrage, I would not have discussed this question at all.

                    •  have fun trolling (0+ / 0-)

                      i am not going to take this bait.

                      •  This is not trolling (0+ / 0-)

                        The outrage in the Chinese American community is real.

                        •  no, what you are doing here is trolling (0+ / 0-)

                          as in: engaging in vitriol and personal attacks with the point of disrupting discussion on a given topic, and scaring off dissenting opinion. speaking for an entire community so as to borrow the authority of unanimity, and to badger anyone who doesn't concede a given point into worrying about appearing racist if they disagree is also a familiar trolling tactic.

                          i'm done here. there's no actual discussion going on, so it's not worth the time investment.

                          •  I was simply asking you to source your (0+ / 0-)

                            assertion. You failed to produce any but accused me of trolling instead.

                            Using a false strawman such as " "gang rape doesn't happen in china" ?!? WTF n/t" is not trolling?

              •  BTW, you should watch the movie (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hailanzhiguang

                "To Live". It's a much more believable portrayal of the Cultural Revolution than Ping Fu's fiction.

            •  My, my. Party Line diverges from fact. (0+ / 0-)

              Red Guard was mainly twenty-somethings in the leadership positions with large numbers of teens and children clothed in the uniform.

              Soldier were integrated into Red Guards.

              Rape was anything but rare. Google [ rape cultural revolution ] and you get 1,790,000 web pages. Reports of personal experience with rapes are common. It's part of the rape culture anomaly that frequently presents in societies that have experienced anarchy after a revolution.

              Mao spoke of raping the landowner's wife.

              He liked rape. No question, Mao encouraged it. So now the Party Line has to deny any and all such things. But the world knows. In the democracies any Party Line fails in the long run to the arc of justice.

              Government of the people, by the people and for the people --.

              "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

              by bontemps2012 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:16:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  What a mess here, hehe (0+ / 0-)

                You are totally confused. There were many episodes in communist China, and you mangled them altogether. You don't even know why there was a Cultural Revolution.

                "Soldier were integrated into Red Guards." This is just laughable. Please read some serious history before discussing this further. Your ignorance of China is too painful to watch.

              •  My previous post was a bit too rude (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hailanzhiguang

                Let me say it in a different way:

                "I don't think anyone asked that kind of question", meaning, I don't think anyone would deny that rape happened in China, as everywhere else in the world. However, one has to look at the context of the story told by Ping Fu, to see if the kind the gang rape described by her fits the period of China. It doesn't.

                In 1966, the Red Guards were all middle school and high school students. All of them were born after the communists took over China in 1949. They were the first generation that had an entire education under communism. They were so heavily indoctrinated that even the most independent thinking students would not question Mao. There is a famous dissident who was 16 years old in 1966. She was one of the Red Guards. She saw the chaos of the Cultural Revolution and was heart broken. So she attempted to commit suicide outside the Soviet embassy to draw international attention. But before she went, she wrote a long letter to Mao proclaiming her loyalty to him. That was the kind of mindset these people had.

                These Red Guards had an education that was completely puritan, with no mention of sex whatsoever even outside school. When Mao stirred them up to rebel against the party apparatus, they considered themselves as revolutionaries, not gangsters, and acted like revolutionaries. They were brutal, ruthless, and killed people at will. But they did not rape. They wouldn't even know how to. Anything related to sex was considered shameful by them.

                Large number of rapes happened later with the Red Guards themselves as the victims, when Mao decided that these Red Guards had exhausted their value, and forced them to go to the countryside for "re-education". These Red Guards went to the countryside with their revolutionary ethusiasm, and met a miserable reality. The girls were taken advantage of by the local party leaders. There were tens of thousands of rapes that happened during that time. There were Chinese movies about this period that depicted realistically the sufferings of these women.

                The problem with Ping Fu's gang rape story is that it did not fit the time. It was obviously transplanted from some other periods, if not entirely fabricated.

                •  Red Guards was dominated by young soldiers (0+ / 0-)

                  and twenty somethings.

                  And if you want to argue that 17, 18, 19-year olds can't commit rape, good luck with that.

                  Mao openly encouraged rape. His idea of class warfare approximated the forces of Attila or Genghis Khan ravaging civilized cities.

                  "If you're going to rape, pillage and burn, be sure to do things in that order." That's Attila, but Mao surely had thoughts on the subject.

                  "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

                  by bontemps2012 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:40:47 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't know where you got your information (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    hailanzhiguang

                    but it's wrong.

                    Repeating it doesn't make it right. I was hoping that you could read Chinese so I can point you to some reliable Chinese sources. But since you don't so I don't know what to do. The so-called western scholars may not understand more than you do.

                    The Red Guards were middle school students. That's a fact that every Chinese of that time knew. They were not soldiers. In fact, at the end Mao used the army to put down the more radical factions of the Red Guards because they were considered to be rebelious.

                    "And if you want to argue that 17, 18, 19-year olds can't commit rape, good luck with that." That is not what I am arguing. There is a difference between committing rape and committing gang rape. Gang raping requires a ganster mentality. This would not be possible in a group where almost all members of the group considered themselves revolutionaries. They would regard anyone in the group who make sexual advances on the "bad guys" to be traiters of the revolution. This was on top of the education they received which taught them that sex was shameful. They were so thoroughly indoctrinated that committing sex crimes in front of others would not be thinkable.

                    •  Party Line sucks. (0+ / 0-)

                      "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

                      by bontemps2012 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:45:43 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I guess you only watch Fox (0+ / 0-)
                        •  Fox News has an internal ban on coverage (0+ / 0-)

                          for "Bend, Not Break" and anything else connected with Ping Fu.

                          Rupert Murdoch has business interests in China. Obviously.

                          Murdoch's "The Sun" has also banned coverage.

                          Same for The Times of London.

                          Welcome to censorship, a la Murdoch.

                          Search engine and site search tools confirm the total absence of coverage for all three operations. Murdoch's a bully/chickenshit. Ass-licker to the Communist Party of China. Always has been.

                          Was your comment worth the 8-cents?
                           

                          "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

                          by bontemps2012 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:25:01 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Let me explain it for you (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            evoleidde

                            It is clear that you are a liberal, so I thought that you would get the comment. But obviously you don't.

                            Fox is known to label people who disagree with their position as "communists", "fascists", and "not American". What you are doing is exactly the same thing.

                            Thus my comment "you only watch Fox".

  •  Could you do us a huge favor? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xgz

    Thank you for all the writings regarding Fu's book.

    I failed to find any meaningful reviews based on actual reading of the book on Amazon, and finally landed on your writings.  You appear to have read the book, be very much concerned about it, and have spent quite some time on it.  Many of us are concerned or interested too.  The challenge for us is keeping track of all the points with limited time.   I am wondering if you could do us a huge favor by having a list of all the dubious statements or points of the book.  

    I am half way through the book with mixed feelings.  On the one hand I see problems of the book, on the other hand I see outright lies or misstatements in some of the negative reviews on Amazon.

    Actually your writing made me register at dailykos.

    •  There are numerous problems with the book (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hz10

      And I am not sure I can keep track of all of them. I haven't got time to analyze the part covering her life before the Cultural Revolution. It is pretty clear to me that she made up the part in Shanghai, and she actually lived in Nanjing until she went to college. However, there is a lot of work to do in order to make a convincing case for this argument. There are a lot of problems with her description of the life in Shanghai. But not being a Shanghainese myself, it's harder to pinpoint exactly what's wrong. So this may take awhile.

      The negative reviews on Amazon are mostly based on Forbes and NPR reports. There are also earlier interviews you can find on youtube. All of these interviews and reports have details that are not consistent with the book. But they are all told by Ping Fu herself. She blamed Forbes for the errors in that report, but she has not retracted or corrected anything from the other ones.

      PS. I have several friends who are also friends of Ping Fu. They are not willing to come out to openly criticize her, but are helping me with the analysis.

      •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xgz

        Thank you for the response.

        Fu goes into a lot of details about her life with her adopted family (her biological mother's sister's) in Shanghai as you know. If I am convinced this part is fabricated, I will not waste any time on the other half of the book.  I will check a few places including yours before resuming my reading this weekend.   I wish there were one place that one can go to get the latest status of this matter.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site