Friday, June 26, 2009
尼克松图书博物馆的回复与陈凯的答复 Nixon Library/Museum's Official Response & Kai Chen's Reply
Mao and Zhou statues in Nixon Library/Museum in "World Leaders" display. 毛与周铜像，世界领袖展览，尼克松图书纪念馆
尼克松图书博物馆的回复与陈凯的答复 Nixon Library/Museum's Official Response & Kai Chen's Reply
June 26, 2009
Faxed to: 323-734-3071
Mr. Kai Chen
Los Angeles, CA
Dear Mr. Chen:
I thank you for your letter of June 16 and I appreciated our telephone conversation on June 19. I also received your letter yesterday which was faxed to me and Susan Donius, Deputy Assistant Archivist for Presidential Libraries, and I understand you have conversed on this topic as well with her.
As I mentioned to you on the telephone, the current museum was transferred to the National Archives from the private Richard Nixon Foundation in July 2007. Starting that year we undertook a phased revision of the museum to make its exhibits consistent with the best standards of nonpartisan public history.
From the day I began my tenure as Director of the Richard Nixon Library and Museum, I have been uncomfortable with having the statue of Mao Zedong in a federal museum. When I asked why Richard Nixon would want a statue of Mao in his private museum, I was assured that President Nixon did not identify with Mao’s brutality – after all, he was long a champion of noncommunist Chinese leaders. Mao, I was told, was included in the gallery because of the former president wanted the likenesses of all the formidable international figures he has to deal with in his career.
As we work to change the nature of the museum, we have taken on one gallery at a time and I am just now completing the Watergate gallery. In response to your petition, I am having my museum staff post a notice in the World Leaders gallery that makes clear that President Nixon chose these figures for this gallery because they represented the formidable international figures he dealt with in his career. The US government is not honoring any of them by their presence. I hope that this will, at least, reduce the moral confusion that you perceived. Furthermore, as part of our program to update and revise the museum galleries which were originally conceived and installed by the private Nixon Foundation, we do intend to make changes to the World Leaders gallery in the near future.
Thank you again for raising your concerns to my colleagues and me. I very much appreciate your interest in the transformation of the Nixon Library’s museum.
Director, Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
1705 Victoria Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Mr. Timothy Naftali (Director of Nixon Library/Museum)
Nixon Presidential Library/Museum
18001 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda, CA 92886-3903
Dear Mr. Naftali:
Thank you for a prompt written response. I deeply appreciate it.
I thoroughly understand Mr. Nixon was an anti-communist throughout his dealing with USSR as Vice President in the Eisenhower administration, as well as a President with the Chinese communist regime. As I have indicated in the previous correspondence, I deeply appreciate what President Nixon did with regard to opening the door in China. I would not have met my future wife without his initiatives.
The crucial aspect of this very important issue is to distinguish Nixon's motive which was to defeat USSR to achieve world peace from that of Mao's which was only to maintain his own despotic power in a totalitarian society. To equate Mao with any figures in the "World Leaders" section is a gross perversion of the truth. World Leader? Mao was the world leader in only one respect - he murdered and caused deaths of millions upon millions of innocent lives, domestically and internationally. The number of deaths caused by Mao far exceeds that by any murderous monsters in human history. Even today, his evil shadow still dominates the Chinese and causes bloodshed in many places in the world. Mao is not formidable. He was despicable and diabolical. Only two men in human history can compare, but not surpass, Mao's crime/brutality against humanity - Hitler and Stalin. Today the Chinese despotic communist authorities continue to use Mao to mystify, to confuse, to intimidate and suppress all dissent in the world, from domestic to international, from inside China's society to overseas Chinese communities. Mao's statue, with Zhou's (an accomplice of Mao's atrocities in China and the world), only serves to legitimize a criminal regime. Recognizing China diplomatically must be separated from recognizing Chinese communist moral authority. In this regard, Nixon Library/Museum failed. And I am saddened but very certain because of the display of a world criminal in a heroic and romantic posture inside an American institution, many Chinese and freedom loving people in the world are legitimately (by the rhetoric of the despotic regimes) being tortured, persecuted and murdered. The Nixon Library/Museum must rectify this perversion morally, must come clean in its conscience, must face the moral responsibility and the monstrous consequences of its own action/decision. The Nixon Library must remove Mao's (and Zhou's) statue from the premises of this prestigious American institution. Moral confusion and corruption should not be the message it wants to send to the freedom-loving people in the world.
I deeply appreciate your initial moral concerns when you took over the Nixon Library/Museum operation. The conscience in all of us should be our moral compass to direct us and guide this great country of ours. Recording history must bear a moral purpose in mind - to advance the cause of freedom in the world. Nothing is value-free.
I will continue to collect signatures for the petition to remove Mao's statue from the Nixon Library. I will see it through, with or without your help to question everyone's conscience. Maybe the first step, as I suggest, is to remove the title "World Leaders" from the section of display. The next step is to make a public announcement to remove the Mao statue, along with Zhou's, and to inform the world the moral considerations of your decision. The existence of this great country of ours is not to please anybody. It is to advance human freedom. If we as American citizens lose our sight of our moral purpose for existence, we will be no different from other despotic, nihilistic, purposeless countries. We are not passive recorders and receivers of history. We are the active interpreters and makers of history. The choice is ours.
I thank you again for your attention on this very important issue. If you have any questions or you want to inform me about the changes you intend to make in the Nixon Presidential Library, please don't hesitate to let me know. I will appreciate that.
Best wishes to you. Sincerely, Kai Chen
Attacks on me and this petition begins:
you never really know how the world at a whole evaluates Mao's contribution to the Chinese people and the third-world people. With personal prejudice and hatred, you carry out this petition and will only end up being a laughstock. The former president had has own choice and will to retain Mao's statue there and that is not your choice. Of course you may choose to set your father's statue at your own home or any museum that you donate money no matter whether other people like him or not but you have no right to change the former Present N.'s will. Show respect President N please. On the other hand, I must point out your understanding of great people is of narrow mind. You say that Mao killed a lot of people; my question is which so-called great people, including those forefathers of America, was free of history of killing, and massive killing? Mao was of course formidable to President N.and the formidability existed in the mind of N. but not in yours since you have never been the real rival of Mao. In Mao's days you would have been nothing; today, you are still nothing which can be best exhibited by the response from the people that your letter is addressed to. Cheers with your cause of anti-Mao campaign; but predictably Maoists in world will win. If you want to be great too, be Mao or be Nixon.
June 28, 2009 7:45 AM
Kai Chen said...
Now attack on me begins. Freedom and tyranny now engage in a deadly battle against one another. May your yearning and pursuit for freedom and liberty triumph over your fear of tyranny and moral confusion/corruption.
Best. Kai Chen
June 28, 2009 7:56 AM