The article itself was a wonderful bit of unanalyzed political propaganda. The "news item" was actually a poll conducted by the Mainlander Association in the Taipei area (~30% mainlander). It's about as representative as conducting a poll about Castro only in Dade County:
To better understand the connection between the 228 Incident and ethnic relations, the Mainlander Association released yesterday the results of a telephone survey the group conducted last month, making 1,000 random phone calls in Taipei City and Taipei County residents.
Even more comical were the results that attributed tensions between the 'ethnic groups' to 'political maneuvering.'
While split over whether talking about the 228 incident helps ethnic relations, the survey showed that more than 80 percent of the respondents agreed that tensions between ethnic groups are a result of political maneuvering. Further, over 50 percent think that ethnic tension is a serious problem in Taiwan.
It's true that jailing one's opponents, suppressing their culture, murdering tens of thousands of people, and sending hundreds of thousands of others into exile is a 'political maneuver.'
In addition, more than 40 percent said that, as an ethnic group, Mainlanders are losing their political influence.
It's interesting that over half said that wasn't the case, also my own impression. From boardrooms to university departments, cliques of mainlanders continue to run Taiwan.
Chief executive director of the association, Huang Luo-fei (黃洛斐), said that characterizing the 228 Incident as a conflict between victims and perpetrators paints Mainlanders as those who are guilty of the massacre.
This is a great bit of doubletalk. If a political massacre isn't an event between perps and their victims, what is?
"In talking about the 228 Incident, it is crucial to focus on the individuals who were involved in the tragedy." Huang said.
I agree! Let's focus on the individuals -- all 100,000 who were killed over the years, and their murderers, many of whom are still at large, unpunished, in positions of privilege.
"Accusing an ethnic group of a historical crime is not the solution to ethnic conflict," Huang added.Mainlanders are not an "ethnic group" but rather a group of disparate cultural backgrounds united by their allegiance to the former ruling party, the KMT, and their own interests, which the KMT furthered. They are a political construction, not an ethnicity, and they were purpose-built as a minority ruling class. Until mainlanders stop thinking of each other as a class with shared interests diametrically opposed to the locals, the "ethnic conflict" -- actually class-based political struggle -- will continue. Bluntly put, this conflict will cease anytime mainlanders give their primary allegiance to Taiwan and not each other.
In other words, mainlanders grousing about "ethnic conflict" are really mainlanders anxious about the rising Taiwanese consciousness and its threat to their hands on the levers of society.