Murong Xuecun has seen all his microblogs deleted (May 11), reinstated (May 17), and deleted again (May 18). Anyone who gets jerked around like this has reason to be upset; Murong, more so, considering he had millions of followers and thousands of entries accumulated over three years, and because, as he himself puts it, “to a writer, the words he writes are more important to him than his life.”
Murong initially took his grievance to English-language Guardian on May 15 (we blogged about that here). Yesterday, he went to the Chinese edition of the New York Times (which remains blocked in China). In “Open Letter to a Nameless Censor” — which has been translated and posted to Scribd, and can be read here in full – Murong expresses everything we would want to say to a Chinese censor, only without expletives. Excerpt:
I am writing you this letter because I believe your awesome powers are only temporary. You can delete my words, you can delete my name but you cannot snatch the pen from my hand. In the years to come this pen of mine will fight a long war of resistance, and continue to write for as long as it takes for me to see the light of a new dawn. I believe you will not be able to hide in the shadows forever because the light of a new dawn will also expose the place where you are hiding. Dear Nameless Censor, when that time comes, the whole world will know who you are.
For far too long, you and your colleagues have devoted all your efforts to suppressing freedom of speech in China. You have created a never-ending list of sensitive words, deleted countless articles, and closed down thousands of microblog accounts. You have constructed the Great Firewall of China and kept the rest of the world at bay behind a wall of ignorance, turning China into an information prison.
You censor articles and delete words. You treat literature as poison, free speech as a crime, and independent thinkers as your enemy. Thanks to your efforts, this great nation of 1.3 billion people does not have a single newspaper that can express objective views, nor a single TV station that broadcasts objective programs, or even the smallest space where people can speak freely.
He points out that “true stability is based in the happiness and freedom of the people and not derived from obedience enforced down the barrel of a gun,” and utterly shames his nameless censor with a compendious list of those who have been silenced in the name of stability. “This, is your legacy, dear Nameless Censor.”
I am fully aware this letter will cause me nothing but grief: I may not be able to publish my writings in China, my words may be expunged and deleted, and my future path may become even more difficult, but I must tell you: I once had fear, but from now on, I am no longer afraid. I will be here waiting for sunlight to brighten the world, to brighten people’s hearts, and light up the place you where you hide. That is the difference between you and me, dear Nameless Censor—I believe in the future, while all you have is the present.
The long night is almost over; I wish you peace. Sincerely yours,
Yes times a thousand fucks.