Cheap Chinese goods carry a steep human rights price

How do you write a letter regarding, or talk about, victims of persecution without sounding like you belong to some offbeat organization or cult of some sort?

How do you write a letter regarding, or talk about, victims of persecution without sounding like you belong to some offbeat organization or cult of some sort?

The more implausible a situation might appear, the more likely we are to sweep it away and imagine that there is “no way that could be happening.” Or, we accept that something may be taking place and deem it almost as normal, and what can we do about it anyway?

Daily, in China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is committing human rights violations to a degree not seen before in our history.

Imagine for a moment that your mother, or brother, or friend has been picked up by the local police and brought to a cell. The reason given for the arrest is that your friend or relative was meditating, or maybe they were seen going to church on Sunday.

Now, for the crime of participating in a peaceful practice they will be incarcerated and tortured on an ongoing basis, and most likely beaten to the point of death.

Am I starting to sound like someone you’d be uncomfortable talking very long with? “Oh, that’s interesting. Gotta go now!”

There are thousands of people, of all ages, involved in the peaceful Buddhist practice of Falun Gong in China who are wrongfully imprisoned, tortured, put into labour camps, brainwashing centres, and much worse.

I’m uncomfortable writing about this. It doesn’t seem like it can be real. We have a good life over here, in Canada. How can these atrocities occur in today’s world?

The CCP has maintained this reign of violence for over 10 years now. How can you or I support their crimes against humanity?

They are filling their pockets with money and power at the expense of good people. How can we put money in their wallets, knowing the kind of unjust practice we are now indirectly supporting?

As a small example, that soccer ball you purchased at the local store has stamped on it “Made in China.” That ball may have been sewn together by hand in a forced labour camp by a Falun Gong practitioner with torn, aching fingers and hands who does this work for endless hours each day.

By supporting the CCP in our purchasing, we are aiding an organization guilty of the worst human indecencies. I have a child, and I am finding it increasingly difficult to buy her a new toy or sports item that doesn’t have the “Made in China” stamp on it.

Several of our local stores are filled with products from China, and of course all are quite reasonably priced. While I might be saving by purchasing these products, the human price is far too high for me to ignore.

I would encourage all to look at where your store-bought items are coming from and educate yourself on the situation overseas. It does seem inconceivable, and the unfair practices behind these human rights violations will change in the near future as the Chinese are becoming increasingly aware of the propaganda that they have been subjected to for many years.

Let’s keep innocent people from unnecessary harm by supporting peaceful efforts to put an end to this wrongdoing and through our own daily choices. Thanks for reading.

Erik Simanis

Whitehorse

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Jodie Gibson has been named the 2020 Prospector of the Year by the Yukon Prospectors Association. (Submitted)
Jodie Gibson named 2020 Prospector of the Year

Annual award handed out by the Yukon Prospector’s Association

A number 55 is lit in honour of Travis Adams, who died earlier this year, at the Winter Wonderland Walk at Meadow Lakes Golf Club in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
A new take on holiday traditions

Winter Wonderland Walk, virtual Stories with Santa all part of 2020 festive events in Whitehorse

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Most Read