The damage is done. The Empire State Building was lit read and yellow last night to celebrate the 60th anniversary China’s communist revolution. It is hard to imagine a more inappropriate – indeed, offensive – use of an iconic American symbol. No one begrudges China lifting its people from poverty. But that remarkable achievement has been accomplished only over the last 30 years – after China abandoned its communist moorings and began to embrace free market principles. Until then, the Chinese communist party was responsible only for terrible human tragedy. And unfortunately, even today, it presides over political and religious repression at home, brutally suppresses minorities, stokes a dangerous Han Chinese nationalism, and blocks America’s global interest in liberty at every turn.
But the private owners and operators of the Empire State Building can make amends. Like October 1, October 10 is a foreign holiday. It is Taiwan’s National Day. And if 1949 is a year for the communists to celebrate, it is a year the Nationalists mourn. That is the year they relocated their government to Taiwan. There were two sides to the Chinese Civil War. The Empire State Building last night celebrated the Communist victors. But those on the losing end are still around, too. The free Chinese live on Taiwan.
How about celebrating Taiwan’s democracy and determination to stay free? On October 10, light the Empire State Building red and blue.