Call for academic justice to Hong Kong and Condemn Jon Solomon

Call for academic justice to Hong Kong and Condemn Jon Solomon

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Ronald Shum started this petition to President's office of Lyon III University

Thousands of people in Hong Kong took to the streets to protest amid the controversial extradition bill. This is but an outcry against China’s program enhancing its control over the bodies of Hong Kong. To re-occupy the spaces and the lands that have been alienating by CCP state capitalism, these bodies came to rally on these sites despite the danger exercising freedom may have caused. These bodies showed their valiance in these political assembly, and more of that their vulnerability. Thousands were arrested, a large number tortured or sexually abused. Some were even suspected to be killed.

CCP’s authoritarianism seeks to homogenize Hong Kong through establishing its hegemony, not only political, military, economic, but also cultural. China’s propaganda machine, which has been producing mistruths attributing the globe to COVID-19, kept producing discourses in inferiorizing Hong Kong people especially Hong Kong protesters as “cockroaches”. This dehumanizing strategy serves as if a dangerous proclaimation in legitimizing the elimination of an “other species”. In fact, China’s homogenizing program has already taken similar measure on putting more than three million Uyghur muslims into concentration camps. Neglecting China’s babarous behavior in expanding its national hegemonic order, Jon Solomon succeed to produce a masterpiece blaming voices from two Hong Kong professors. Their article was so little a dissent to China’s rhetorical violence, but required so much courage under the threat of political persecution, though in the end they have withdrawn.

With such social resources and privileges as a professor, Solomon was given a sharp knife to challenge global injustice especially in the postcolonial field he has been working on. However, the consequence was that Solomon cleverly stabbed an abused victim of new colonialism in the back. Through their western eyes, Solomon and his supporters has shown their ignorance in comtemporary geopolitical relation, as if China remained to be the colonial victim throughout the late-19th and the early-20th century. His de-contextualized arrogance in commenting on Hong Kong was nothing but a sarcastic parade of his colonial vocabulary.

More than mere mis-reading, what Solomon’s petition did was to call for penalizing a scientist for what have been spoken. The fear of Hong Kong people was growing as pro-China organizations have been crying out for the Article 23, representing a crackdown of free speech. No matter intentionally or not, Solomon was both initiating and legitimizing a smear program to silence dissidents. Therefore, this petition is proved to be unprofessional, unscientific, and extremely inflammatory rhetoric, which served to enhance Beijing’s white terror over currently shrinking ability for Hong Kong people to narrate themselves.

As an economically fragile undergraduate student in CUHK, I felt nothing but shameful to see these fishy vocabularies come from an academic bourgeois. Under the unfair distribution of power in the global academic market of discourses, I did not possess the social resources as these well-educated scholars held. The only thing I could do is to call for this petition. 


Universities have a special responsibility to enlarge public debate about issues of social and scientific concern, with high careful investigation throughout highly diversified geopolitical contexts about what they study. Solomon’s article, though written out of an enthusiasm in criticizing racist languages, without further contextualization, was unable to understand his own Oriental standpoint. More importantly, under contemporary geopolitical power relationship, it produces a new form of violence against Hong Kong people. Therefore, we ask:

1. The President’s Office of Lyon III University should provide a public explanation for the extent and basis of its support for faculty members like Jon Solomon whose public persona outside the university legitimize the resurrection of authoritarian program with oriental perspective.

2. The establishment of a panel of inquiry to investigate and document the living history of de-contextualization and orientalism in this venerable institution with colonial roots.

If need be, pending further investigation, we ask that Lyon III University reconsider its appointment of Professor Solomon.

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