Shout Out to Xiaobo

July 15, 2017

From Liu Xiaobo’s speech accepting the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, delivered in absentia (it was read by Liv Ullmann):

Liu Xiaobo empty chair

Nobel Peace Prize Committee members Thorbjorn Jagland and Kaci Kullmann Five sit beside empty chair reserved for Liu Xiaobo

Freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights, the source of humanity, and the mother of truth. To strangle freedom of speech is to trample on human rights, stifle humanity, and suppress truth.

Liu Xiaobo passed away this week, still imprisoned by the Chinese government.

In an era when the President of the United States tells untruth after untruth and regularly attacks journalists who publish factually accurate accounts, in an era when speakers are shouted down on college campuses, I stand with Liu Xiaobo. I honor his clarity, his courage and his generosity.

Also from the speech:

But I still want to say to this regime, which is depriving me of my freedom, that I stand by the convictions I expressed in my “June Second Hunger Strike Declaration” twenty years ago ‑ I have no enemies and no hatred.

and

Hatred can rot away at a person’s intelligence and conscience. Enemy mentality will poison the spirit of a nation, incite cruel mortal struggles, destroy a society’s tolerance and humanity, and hinder a nation’s progress toward freedom and democracy. That is why I hope to be able to transcend my personal experiences as I look upon our nation’s development and social change, to counter the regime’s hostility with utmost goodwill, and to dispel hatred with love.

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About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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