To the Editor:
Last October, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 296, which recognized the extermination of the Armenian people by the Ottomans from 1915 to 1923 as a genocide. This vote came 100 years too late, but there are times in history when evil people can be stopped in time. That time is now.
The government of China is engaging in a genocide of the Uighur people, an ethnic and religious minority in west China. They are forcing women to be sterilized or to have abortions to gradually eliminate the Uighur population. They are indoctrinating Uighur children and forcing them to worship the same cruel regime that marched their parents into internment camps. In Uighur communities, praying in public is enough to get a person imprisoned and “re-educated.” It’s time to stand up for what is right.
On March 8, 1983, president and Dixon native Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” He risked retaliation by the Soviets. It was bold rhetoric backed by bold action. Naming evil is the first step toward stopping it.
I urge Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who sits on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, to introduce legislation modeled on HR296, recognizing the ongoing genocide of the Uighur population of China.
This is the first step toward combating evil in our own time, and it would be courageous start. If Rep. Kinzinger needs inspiration, I invite him to Dixon’s waterfront to stand in the shadow of President Reagan’s statue. We all need someone to look up to.