On May 14, an 18-year-old white American man gunned down people in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing 10, eight of whom were black.
The perpetrator, a white supremacist, selected an area he knew black people gathered in.
The following day, David Wenwei Chou (周文偉), a 68-year-old Taiwanese-born Chinese-American pro-unification nationalist extremist entered a luncheon for Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in southern California, sealing the entrance with superglue and chains to make sure the Taiwanese congregation would have no means of escape, and began shooting, intent on killing the people trapped inside.
On Tuesday last week, US President Joe Biden, addressing the Buffalo terrorist attack, vowed to tackle racial hatred in the country, to defeat white supremacism and to safeguard the US national spirit of coexistence and mutual respect for all races.
It is not only white supremacist terrorists and organizations that should be punished according to the law; this principle should extend also to pro-unification extremist terrorists and groups that have become increasingly vocal in the past few years.
What form of hatred would make a person living in a country like the US, where people enjoy more freedoms than anywhere else in the world, murder in cold blood people of other races or with different political opinions to their own?
What kind of hatred would drive somebody to conduct an indiscriminate massacre in a church that exists to spread love to the community?
What level of courage does it take to make a doctor, in front of his 92-year-old mother, throw himself at the assailant, blocking with his own body the bullets fired out of hatred, and sacrificing his life to save that of the other parishioners?
In the sanctity of the church, the evil of hate and the heroism of the doctor exemplified the struggle between hatred and compassion.
In a free country such as the US, all political viewpoints must be respected. Liberal beliefs and values are the founding principles of the nation, and nobody has the right to commit violence against others simply because they happen to disagree with them.
Every person in the US should be treated equally, no matter their race or creed, be they white, black, or Chinese or Taiwanese-American, and nobody has the right to commit violence against someone belonging to another group.
Any terrorist act that threatens freedom and equality should be dealt with according to the law. Terrorist groups should be investigated and any organization that disseminates terrorist ideas should be banned.
One might argue that perhaps the 18-year-old, because he was young and did not know better, allowed himself to be indoctrinated by white supremacist groups; a 68-year-old man, incited by pro-Chinese nationalist, pro-unification supremacist groups, to perpetrate indiscriminate murder in their cause, is something else entirely.
US prosecutors and police should not be limiting their investigations to white supremacists and terrorist groups, they should be going after any individuals or organizations that incite hatred as a means to achieve their ends, and this includes the pro-unification groups.
In the same way, Taiwan’s judiciary, police and national security agencies should investigate pro-unification groups preaching hatred and violence, and get them under control, to make sure that this kind of terrorist activity does not happen in Taiwan.
Mike Chang is an accountant based in California.
Translated by Paul Cooper
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