Hong Kong

American Woman Tells Hongkongers 'Safety Is More Important Than Freedom'

Under Chinese authoritarianism, they'll have neither.


Footage went viral this week of a woman, apparently from the United States, telling off some Hong Kong protesters for desecrating their city with protest posters and graffiti.

"Is this OK? Is this respectful?" she asks, pointedly gesturing to a defaced nearby wall, before trailing off with a tone-deaf trump card, "If my mother saw me write this…"

The woman then questions Hongkongers about the aims of their protests, which are now in their 16th week. The protests started over an extradition bill that would have allowed suspected criminals to be sent to mainland China, but they have expanded to embrace broader demands for more liberty and self-government.

Hong Kong is technically part of China, but the city's citizens are allowed far more freedom—including freedom of the press and the right to elect some of their legislators—under the "one country, two systems" policy, which will be sunsetted in 2047. Many Hongkongers fear being placed under authoritarian Chinese rule, knowing that on the mainland censorship is the norm, the Communist Party must be appeased at every twist and turn, and political opponents get disappeared (often before showing up on state-run TV with a tearful coerced confession or histrionic display of remorse).

"Find me one case where violence led to a solution," the woman in the video challenges the Hongkongers. "What a waste of time for everybody," she says of the demonstrations. In fact, the protests have had at least one significant, if tentative, success: Hong Kong's chief executive, Carrie Lam, conceded one of the movement's five demands three weeks ago by withdrawing the bill that set off the protests.

"You guys value freedom more than safety. Do you agree? I think safety is more important than freedom," the American says. "If you have a safe environment, you can communicate."

But it's freedom of speech that lets people be free of legal retribution for the words they say. It's freedom of speech that allows people wide latitude in how they express themselves, and where, and to whom. A "safety" enforced and ensured by an authoritarian police force is a fickle promise if you piss off the people in charge, and it doesn't necessarily mean safety for everyone. Sometimes one person's feeling of safety comes at the expense of other people's freedoms. Hongkongers, attempting to keep Beijing's influence at bay, are keenly aware of this.

"China's thinking is safety is more important than freedom," the woman claims, before beginning to chip away at posters with her nail. "We shouldn't do this! This is my city, too!"

At one point she speaks something that sounds like Cantonese. So she could be an expat living in Hong Kong, concerned about the degree to which the city's been torn apart by civil unrest. But her safetysplaining makes it clear that she either doesn't understand or just doesn't care about how high the stakes are. One gets the impression that she hasn't had her freedom seized for the sake of someone else's safety.

Under full Chinese rule, Hongkongers will get neither freedom nor safety. An authoritarian regime that forces subservience to the party cannot be trusted to provide either one.

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    1. Too tall.

      1. ???? ???? ????!

        1. Apparently I can’t use emojis! Ignore that comment, but my lord, that was funny!

    2. According to Nanny Bloomberg… “China is moving the coal power away from cities, its not contributing to Global Warming. Communists are not dictators dammit. A Global Economic technological socialist governance is not a dictatorship- what is wrong with you people.”
      Bloomie lost it a long time ago.

  1. Safety is an illusion. No form of government or any other social organization can guarantee safety. Believing in unicorns is more rational than believing you’ll be safe if you just obey Big Government.

    1. Total safety is an illusion. But safety itself is not. It is easy to forget that since we live in such a nice country and in such a nice place. But live in a different time and place where there were actual enemies who wanted to and had the ability to kill or enslave you and you would see safety is quite real.

      1. That’s why I said that no government can “guarantee safety”. You have to recognize when pursuing safety has diminishing returns and of course governments that want you to be a slave ALWAYS tell you that it’s for your “safety”.

        Also, I think of safety in broader terms than just violent attacks. Car wrecks, falling down the stairs, hurricanes, etc. are all threats to safety.

        1. The same government that wants to take our weapons and provide US safety is the same government that indiscriminately murders women, children and civilians across the Middle East and Africa. Don’t think your safe under the thumb of these sociopaths.

    2. she looks to be the unicorn hunter type.

      1. go on…

  2. Insert relevant Franklin quote here.

    1. Insert ugly American quote here. It boggles my mind to think how big of a self important bitch this woman has to be to think it was a good idea lecturing these people about how wonderful they have it with the Chinese communist boot on their face. This woman is an early front runner for biggest asshole on the internet 2019.

      1. Dox that bitch! And dox her good!

      2. She’s 2019 version of that professor that told that reporter they couldn’t be there recording that college protest in Missouri.

        1. Yes. The only thing missing is her calling the Hong Kong police to get some muscle in there.

      3. she’s probably okay with antifa protesters setting fire to schools though

        1. What makes you think that?

    2. “You know who else found safety more important than freedom?”

      — Ben Franklin

  3. “”Find me one case where violence led to a solution,”

    Lol she’s an American asking this lololool

    1. Let’s see; The American Revolution, the War of 1812, The Civil War, WWII…?

      Not every war, or act of violence, is good. Many [WWI, Vietnam, Iraq] are not by any stretch of the imagination. But it’s like those who say “violence only begats violence” are oblivious to the necessity of a violent response when you are attacked and your life is threatened. In this case the people of Hong Kong are not unlike American colonials who decided their [out] freedom was worth a fight.

      1. yeah, you wrote what I was thinking. All I’m gonna say is that there’s been a lack of Nazis around ever since my grandfather, grand uncle, and a few other guys decided to participate in some good ole fashioned violence

    2. I know, I love that. World War 2? The American Civil War? Any number of other wars and police actions in history?

    3. “I am sure the City Fathers of Carthage will be glad to know that (violence never solved anything).” – Heinlein

      1. I couldn’t help but think about the Heinlein book ‘Starship Troopers’ when I read this woman’s comments.

        1. Funny, I was thinking of “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” but it’s definitely there in both.


    And what about the value of my condo?

  5. There has never been a more privileged group of people in the history of the world than the modern white female.

    1. White upper middle or upper class western white women. Middle class and poor women and women from outside of the West don’t have it so great. But upper middle class and upper class western white women are as you say the most privileged class of people in human history.

    2. Agreed whole heatedly.

      1. …heartedly

  6. I’d say she’s the most embarrassing person in the West today, but truthfully she represents a huge number of people who do indeed value safety over freedom, and probably would watch the video and not understands what’s wrong. She even added the clanging non-sequiter, “if you have safety, you can communicate.” Not, of course, if your safety comes at the cost of freedom.

    She sounds American. I really, really wish she wasn’t, but she probably is.

    1. And of course a US Citizen who enjoys the protection of the very things she so blithely dismisses. Not likely she will ever have to answer to communist authorities.

      1. Not yet anyways.

    2. Honestly, someone should have told her to call the cops and then kicked her ass while she was waiting for them. She’d learn how much of an illusion “safety” is.

  7. The next AOC.

  8. This tuna boat is the USA’s biggest threat.

  9. Why did you write a story about what some random lady said? Why is her opinion significant enough to comment on? Why has news become stories about videos people take and post online? I’m sure someone in that crowd has opinions worse than hers. There could be a goldmine of journalism if we dig into their social media feeds.
    If interested, I can make deplorable comments about Asians in general and you can write a story about it.

    1. Sure, if that is what you want [as you have the FREEDOM to do so].

    2. Welcome to the internet.

    3. “Why did you write a story about what some random lady said? Why is her opinion significant enough to comment on? Why has news become stories about videos people take and post online?”


    4. “If interested, I can make deplorable comments about Asians in general”

      I berieve you.

    5. Why does anyone do anything?

      1. I do things like shower so I can get laid.
        I doubt the author wrote this to garner someone’s fancy.

  10. I am related to a Hong Kong Chinese businessman – call him Guangxi -who meets regularly with Communist officials to find out who will be getting contracts in future. He makes investments, which make a ton of money, and shares some with those officials. That is how China works.
    The American woman is defending a very old Chinese institution – feudalism – which has a sort of modern face. By the way, don’t believe any economic data out of China. It comes from the Party and serves the Party interests.

    1. That is how China works.

      And most of the world.

    2. “…call him Guangxi -[…]That is how China works…”

      I see what you did there.

  11. In the Soviet Union the streets were pretty safe, but the government could snatch you in the middle of the night for reading the wrong book.

    1. Or per Solzhenitsyn, at any time for no reason at all, if only to fill the NKVD quotas.

    2. So, the streets weren’t safe at all then.

      1. Safe for the lemmings.

  12. “Find me one case where violence led to a solution,” the woman in the video challenges the Hongkongers.

    The American Revolution? Every time a slave killed those chasing him? The Civil War? The Stonewall Riots? WW2. The breaking up of the Bonus Army? China’s very existence.

    Violence *always* provides a solution. Sometimes that solution allows more freedom, sometimes less.

  13. “‘…I think safety is more important than freedom…”

    Wow, isn’t that what some people tried to convince certain Native Americans of, a while back?

  14. What she fails to understand is that she’s defending a facade of peace. She’s offended by writing on a wall but apparently comfortably ignores mass murder and dictatorial governance. You’d think a mfer so offended by graffiti would find totalitarian governance offensive but you know how it goes in this fucked up world.

    1. What’s important is that she is their better, and they need to listen to her and do what she says. She read Thomas Friedman so she super smart and super serial about these things.

    2. “”She’s offended by writing on a wall but apparently comfortably ignores mass murder and dictatorial governance. “”

      Could say the same thing about someone offend by the physical appearance of an AR-15.

  15. How do we know she’s American? Couldn’t she be Canadian?

    1. She didn’t say “aboot”

    2. How do we know she’s American? Couldn’t she be Canadian?
      She’s not wearing yellowface.

  16. The Hong Kongers are better Americans than we are.

    1. Personally I want to make a trade. The Hong Kongers can come to the United States, and in trade we’ll send them our leftists.

  17. Reminds me of how american socialist said he would progsplain to Cubans how good they had it.

    1. Post War (Tony Judt) has JP Sarte traveling east of the Iron Curtain to explain that to the slaves living there.
      He remarks with some humor that they didn’t beat him up.

  18. “Violence breeds violence, do you agree?”

    …Not if you’re violent enough.

    1. Genghis Khan would like to have a conversation with her.

  19. “Why don’t the universities get involved”

    …That’s how China got communism in the first place.

  20. “When you have a safe environment, you can communicate”

    …Like the safe spaces on US campuses where all opinions are welcome.

  21. “If you love…the tranquillity of servitude greater than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” – Sam Adams.

    1. That should replace the poem on the Statue of Liberty.

    2. Excellent

  22. One gets the impression that she hasn’t had her freedom seized for the sake of someone else’s safety.

    She’s had her perceived safety jeopardized for someone else’s quest for freedom.

    1. Perhaps being raised in the post-9/11 security state had an impact.

    2. It’s great to be a favorite expat in an communist country; it’s like being a member of the communist party without all the hassles.

      1. Let’s not forget that most totalitarian regimes were initially supported by women because they promised and seemed able to deliver endless security.

  23. She’s wasting her time in Hong Kong. She should be back home, running for the Democratic presidential nomination. She’s fit right into the Clown Car.

    1. “She’s fit right into the Clown Car.”

      Which should be safe enough for her because it contains more airbags than passengers

  24. “””Find me one case where violence led to a solution,” the woman in the video challenges the Hongkongers. “What a waste of time for everybody,” she says of the demonstrations. “”

    If she doesn’t like it she can leave.

    1. I’d simply point to the American Revolution, or hell even the French revolution. It’s hard to ignore what came after was much better, even if the violence was pretty extreme in the case of the French.

      Hell, you could even point to the Russian revolution or literally any other revolution ever. They all resulted in change that was someone’s idea of a ‘solution’.

  25. Reminds me of Shiksa, among other imports, who come to America and tell us how horrible we are.

  26. Freedom requires safety, especially the freedom to be safe.

    Thus, libertarianism is refuted. QED.

  27. She’s probably the head of Google, Hong Kong division.

  28. Hong Kong is technically part of China, but the city’s citizens are allowed far more freedom—including freedom of the press and the right to elect some of their legislators—under the “one country, two systems” policy, which will be sunsetted in 2047.

    I found the issue. If you are ‘allowed’ freedom then it can obviously be disallowed just as easily. This is quite literally the Progressive view on rights as well, coincidentally. Sadly, that view is essentially the mainstream view these days.

  29. “tone deaf Trump-card”


  30. Apparently history wasn’t her strong suit, nor is doing research. Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

  31. “You guys value freedom more than safety. Do you agree? I think safety is more important than freedom,” the American says. “If you have a safe environment, you can communicate.”

    Where does she teach?

    1. Thanks Diane, you made me crack up 🙂 Reminded me of some people I know…

  32. I would guess an Ivy League school.

  33. How do you say, “Fuck off, Slaver” in Chinese?

  34. My favorite response to this on Twitter was someone commenting about “Hurricane Karen making landfall in Hong Kong” lol.

  35. Ben Franklin, glad he checked out a long time ago.

    The new/old socialist mindset: respect authority. Only the government is to be trusted with guns, because governments have such a good record of taking care of their citizens.

  36. This is why I hate leftards, sanctimonious, neurotic, control freak, preachy assholes who talk down to everybody because they think their better than everybody. I bet you she believes in the “white privilege” nonsense and the femnazi garbage they pour down people’s throats in the universities, again this stuff is to make little and insignificant people like herself feel that she is above everybody else. I wish somebody would’ve thrown sharp chop sticks at her face.

  37. To be fair, under American authoritarianism, she doesn’t really have it either. But at least she has a right to self-defense… for the time being.

  38. Says someone who’s scarcely ever had to worry about anything except the weather.

  39. This “American” is an embarrassment to all who value freedom. She is oblivious to the fact that the freest are the safest. Apparently, so is her mother, who she used as her excuse for her opinion. Yea, mothers are never wrong, so that settles it, forget about all the protesters who have been murdered and arrested.

  40. Nothing is stopping her from renouncing her American citizenship. I’ll bet the PRC would love to have her as a spokesman.

    But for me and mine, I’ll take freedom.

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