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George Washington University Reverses Decision to Remove Posters Criticizing Olympics

George Washington University Reverses Decision to Remove Posters Criticizing Olympics

“posters protesting the Beijing Olympics were posted in several locations on the George Washington University campus”

This was the right decision. The university president’s knee-jerk reaction was to be offended, but the posters are criticizing China for human rights abuses.

Axios reports:

U.S. university reverses decision to remove Olympic protest posters

The president of George Washington University in D.C. has reversed his earlier decision to remove campus posters protesting the Beijing Olympics, which Chinese student groups had said “incited racial hatred and ethnic tensions.”

The big picture: Universities in the U.S., Australia and elsewhere are navigating how to protect Chinese students from rising anti-Asian hate crimes, while protecting speech and art that criticizes Chinese government oppression from censorship by some Chinese students on campus who view that criticism as racist.

  • Chinese international student groups sometimes use the language of social justice to silence criticism of the Chinese government’s human rights record.
  • The incident also highlights the fears among Uyghur, Tibetan, Hong Kong and pro-democracy Chinese students in the U.S. that they can’t exercise their right to free speech.
  • “Some Chinese students in the U.S. often don’t realize that it’s possible to be both victim and oppressor at the same time,” Maya Wang, senior China analyst at Human Rights Watch, told Axios.

Details: In early February, posters protesting the Beijing Olympics were posted in several locations on the George Washington University campus, according to a student group statement and photos posted to Twitter.

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