Leeches Part IV, Taiwan's Uncle Toms Perpetuate the KMT Superiority Complex

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Monday March 30, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Are there so many Taiwanese that remain brain-washed? Is this the result of nearly a half century of Martial Law, White Terror and forced education? Such questions can and must be asked. Where is Taiwanese pride? Why do the Taiwanese, a majority population, allow the belittling and exploitative behavior of the minority Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) exemplified by people like Kuo Kuan-ying, Diane Lee etc. to still flourish. Bottom line, why are so many Taiwanese "Uncle Toms?"

During the Civil Rights struggles in America, one of the worst things a black person could be called was an "Uncle Tom." That name was given to blacks who accepted or excused the superior attitudes of whites; they were humiliatingly subservient and/or deferential to them and never stood up for their own rights. They openly accepted the biased debasement of the black character by white supremacists and so undermined black efforts to gain equality. Fortunately other blacks did stand up. Thus even though those of African descent were always a minority population of 10 to 12 per cent there, America today has its first minority black president.

In Taiwan however, the Taiwanese have always had a near 80 per cent majority. In 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek was driven from China and as a colonizer took refuge on Taiwan, he brought with him his army and KMT followers. Face it; they were losers, not the elite they pretend to be. The only way a loser minority controls a majority is first by using force; then to continue its control and justify it, it must belittle and denigrate the host culture

The majority Taiwanese had shaken off the colonizer Japan but they found the new colonizers were even worse. The initial many educated elite who knew better were therefore eliminated by the KMT after 2-28. The remaining Taiwanese then had to bow and accept the Uncle Tom character debasement and stereotypes of the KMT. With Martial Law and White Terror, the minority KMT ruled the Taiwanese majority; that minority tortured, killed and imprisoned all who questioned them. This was followed with the indoctrination, and the Sinicization of the Taiwanese culture.

For the minority black Americans, with a history of being brought to America as slaves, Uncle Tomism might be easier to understand. For the majority Taiwanese many of whom came to the island of their own free will for a better opportunity here and intermarried with the aborigines it is more difficult. Blacks overcame their subservience; why did not so many Taiwanese?

Over time, some Taiwanese did stand up along with some Mainlanders who had never accepted Chiang Kai-shek's glorification of the one-party KMT entitlement. Taiwan finally got democracy and the right to choose. But the Uncle Tom attitude has continued among many, why? Some deep soul searching is in order here.

What makes up the Taiwanese Uncle Tom? Many Taiwanese can say they suffered the indoctrination of the KMT education system where the Taiwanese language was forbidden and they had to memorize the geography and history of China better than that of their own island. Others acted out of fear and some even accepted the imposed Confucian hierarchy as their fate.

Yet other Taiwanese like the Biblical Esau, sold out their birthright of self-determination for a mess of pottage. Dividing the Taiwanese with certain privileges to this group and other privileges to that group, the KMT bought off many including those who should know the pain of minority status like the Hakka and aborigines. Similarly the civil servants, teachers and military were bought with certain privileges like the current unsustainable retirement package with 18.5 per cent interest. In accepting this pottage, they did not realize that the KMT not only kept all of the same for themselves but also skimmed the cream off the top in all government positions, property and authority.

The hook that was always there for Taiwanese was that in exchange for these token privileges, they must consider themselves a "tainted race." They were to be tainted in comparison to the superior Mainlanders. In reality, the Mainlanders were losers who would have been totally annihilated if the Korean War did not come along. Yes, this is indeed a time for soul-searching.

Taiwanese have to ask themselves, what their real identity is. They are sons and daughters of aboriginals who populated the vast ocean islands from Madagascar to New Zealand, to Hawaii, to Easter Island. They are the sons and daughters of Europeans who traveled half-way round the globe to trade and establish colonies in Asia. They are the sons and daughters of the expansive Japanese as well. They are also the sons and daughters of those of the deceased Manchu Empire and of the KMT losers driven from the continent. Taiwanese must know their total roots and therein find their pride. They must see that self-respect comes more from the now more than the past, from family, and from personal values. Shake off the Uncle Tom attitudes.

Finally with all this diversity, Taiwanese must then ask themselves why there was never transitional justice. Why does one party, the KMT, with their superior Mainlander attitude still control the state assets? Why does the KMT admit to some 27 billion NT$ in assets as well as claim to need an annual 2 billion NT$ budget when all other parties combined have total assets of less than one billion.

Wake up Taiwan, the debased Uncle Tom attitude remains. See who the real losers were and find your pride.