The Oscars, Chloe Zhao and China

Photo by Nadi Lindsay on

Finally, after much concentrated effort, people with diverse skills and a history of endurance, get to be selected as finalists for the academy awards. And then the winners are announced. But there are no losers once you’ve entered that special circle. They’ve all showed remarkable ability. 

But how does anyone recognize the field that if pursued with tenacity is more likely to bring recognition? 

Is there an answer for everyone? Given that we are all unique, is there a road for each one of us? 

I say there is, and if asked to give a common denominator to all those roads it would be this: a person knows they are on the right path for them if they are growing stronger and wiser as they pursue it. 

Chloe Zhao has just won an Oscar for best director. The first woman ever and the first woman of color to be so honored. What a feat. 

But in her native China, news of her accomplishment was suppressed. Why? 

Apparently, some years back she had made some critical comments about how her native country was being run. 

She was born in Beijing of Chinese parents, having come to this country at a young age. Why wouldn’t all fellow Chinese not be proud of what she has accomplished? 

The government’s decision to devalue one of their own is a sign of what is wrong with that regime, even as China is now reaching heights it had never reached before.  

For China to devalue Chloe Zhao is to say to the world, ‘if you don’t think like us you have accomplished nothing.’ What absurdity. Furthermore, it is a sign of how creativity is and will be hindered by the regime and how it will be self defeating in the end. 

Autocracies, like dictatorships, seed the grounds for their self destruction by suppressing creativity. And so will China. 

For us in the rest of the world, the task is to keep alive systems that enhance it. And that comes with fairness to all and equality of opportunity. 

Adhere to that path and we will grow stronger and wiser, able to resolve our differences and fear nothing as we move confidently into the future. 

Oscar Valdes 

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