Joshua Wong Is Not the Asian David Hogg
Joshua Wong Is Not the Asian David Hogg
Joshua Wong is perhaps Hong Kong’s most prominent activist. He’s also the most unlikely freedom fighter — a skinny, bespectacled, Christian kid who looks more like a stereotypical computer nerd. But he began his activism at merely 14 years old to oppose indoctrination education. Now this natural leader continues his fight in Hong Kong today.
You might think that Joshua Wong sounds a bit like David Hogg, America’s most obnoxious teen. However, there’s one huge difference: Hogg wants to take our freedoms. But Wong wants to gain the freedoms promised to his beloved Hong Kong. Freedom that the Chinese government is chipping away.
I’ve heard many people argue that Hong Kong should not be protesting; after all, “they belong to China.” However, the truth is much more complex — when Great Britain handed Hong Kong over to China in 1997, China promised that “Hong Kongers” would keep the freedoms they enjoyed under the UK. Part of the Joint Declaration reads:
“The current social and economic systems in Hong Kong will remain unchanged, and so will the life-style. Rights and freedoms, including those of the person, of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of travel, of movement, of correspondence, of strike, of choice of occupation, of academic research and of religious belief will be ensured by law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Private property, ownership of enterprises, legitimate right of inheritance and foreign investment will be protected by law.”
But China, especially under current President Xi JinPing, has been working to chip away at those promises. In fact, China boldly claimed that the handover agreement has no “practical significance.” Even worse, Chinese hackers currently work to kill Hong Kongers’ free speech.
Enter teenage Joshua Wong, who launched the pro-democracy student group “Scholarism” in 2012. Scholarism opposed China’s plan to implement a national education curriculum (hello, Common Core!). The “Moral and National Education” curriculum promoted Communism, even ignoring the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Yet amazingly, Wong and his fellow activists forced the government to abandon the indoctrination curriculum.
But that was just the start for Joshua Wong. In 2014, he once again faced off against Beijing in the “Occupy Protests,” opposing China’s finagling with Hong Kong’s democratic elections. China had assured Hong Kong that they could indeed hold their own elections — provided that China supplied the slate of candidates. Of course that did not sit well with Hong Kongers.
The protests lasted over two months, and participation was massive. Police arrested hundreds.
This time the government also arrested Wong. It would not be the last time, either — HK police arrested him in 2015. This time the government charged him with participating in an “unauthorized assembly.”
Screenshot from Twitter.
Joshua Wong created such a stir as a teenager that Netflix even released a documentary about him in 2017. It’s still available, and it’s an inspiring watch.
Now, just shy of his 23rd birthday, Joshua Wong is standing up for his beloved Hong Kong once again. And again, the government arrested him on August 29. He is now free, but on August 31 he and a fellow activist fired back with an opinion piece in the New York Times, writing that “The People of Hong Kong Will Not Be Cowed by China”:
“The protesters are only defending their beloved city, a beacon of liberty, equality and human dignity. In the past months, young students, middle-aged professionals and the elderly have come together and dared to resist the rising Chinese empire. Risking their future, our fellow citizens have braved batons, tear gas, rubber bullets and even slashing. . .”
Now I ask you — has David Hogg ever been arrested? Nope — rather, the media have made him a darling. Harvard granted him admission even though he didn’t have the academic chops. But does Hogg involve himself in local community issues, as does Joshua Wong — who has even captured rats on Hong Kong streets? Forget about it.
Yet as Wong recently said in an interview:
“When I do community work, the sense of satisfaction is actually stronger. . . .”
“For example, when residents face issues such as maintaining their 30-year-old buildings, how do we help with that? I don’t think this is something to which I will bring a significant change after working on it for two years – but at least we will be closer to residents’ lives and we will understand them better.”
Does David Hogg risk becoming one of the “disappeared” — people who run afoul of the Chinese state and suddenly go missing? That’s one of Joshua Wong’s fears, as he expressed in the Netflix documentary.
Oh, but in case David Hogg is assassinated, he wants his minions to dump his body on the steps of the NRA’s Virginia headquarters. Then he wants them to pass his “Peace Plan for a Safer America,” which calls for a buyback of weapons. And if a weapon is a so-called “assault weapon,” that buyback becomes mandatory. In short, Hogg and his minions want to confiscate about one-third of current guns in America.
Joshua Wong wants to preserve freedom, while David Hogg wants to take freedom away. Joshua Wong is an unlikely hero for our age who risks his very life for democracy. David Hogg, however, is an egotistical joke.
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