Eddie Romero: Hero or Douchebag?

20 Comments

The Story

Pastor/Professor Eddie Romero came to Beijing to “speak for those who can’t speak for themselves,” i.e. imprisoned dissidents Hu Jia or Shi Tao and others. He did some guerilla mural painting in a few Beijing hotel rooms, which is pretty ballsy for sure. Check out one of his videos below. Lets be thankful that he’s Christian, otherwise he might have had dynamite strapped to his chest.

A Somewhat Anti-Climactic Surrender

I posted about Eddie’s live-streamed arrest on my own blog, and I’ll cross post it here as well:

This is odd. The latest Olympics protest comes courtesy of bible thumper Eddie Romero. Props to him for making the best use of technology to get his voice heard, as he streamed the audio live to talkshoe. Though he should have spent more time refining his voice, as his attempts to yell and scream in Chinese are pretty unintelligible. He yells some names of dissidents, but that’s about all I can understand. I haven’t managed to listen to the entire thing yet, but it sounds like due to the language barrier he’s having trouble convincing them that he’s arrest-worthy. If anyone else want’s to check it out download the mp3.

Now, this blog has an audience which is fairly knowledgeable about China. Likely far more knowledgeable than Mr. Romero. So, given what you know about China, what are your expert thoughts?

Talk on Eddie Romero: Hero or Douchebag?


20 Comments
  1. If you’re going to protest maybe learn a few key protest phrases in Chinese first. I doubt that most Chinese people would know the dissidents by name.

    J.

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    And what did the hotels do? Were they somehow involved in the imprisonment of Hu Jia? It’s funny because most Chinese that look at this douchebag will not see him for the isolated idiot he is, but rather see him as representing (A) America and (B) Christianity..

    Honestly, what’s with the self-righteous assholes coming to China and thinking everyone’s after them?

    I’m sure the hotels will have a charge or two for him – is that Chinese repression?

    Dumbass.

  3. I completely support what he did for the Chinese people. In retrospect, it probably was stupid of him to vandalize the hotel rooms but it was just the sort of thing that made the message catch wind. Ryan, he’s not a self-righteous A-Hole btw, I know him very well and I know that he thought long and hard about this and met with some of the most well known and respected figures in human rights before he committed to it. My Chinese friends tell me his phrases were good enough to be understood. He goal wasn’t to get the Chinese people to act at that moment, his goal was to get arrested which didn’t happen because of the large amount of media that was present.

    I believe its self-righteous to do nothing about the plight of these people. Say what you want about his method, but to call him self-righteous is off base. In an article released by the AP today, the US embassy is quoted as saying, “While we do not condone Mr. Romero’s method, the U.S. government supports his underlying message that calls for greater freedoms in China,” the statement said.” This speaks volumes to the credibility and courage of Eddie to speak up in light of the negative opinions that have surfaced. It was a selfless act that was made for a people he loves dearly. Say what you will but I for one, support him, and exodus8one.org in their cause for a freer China that embraces the growth and flourishing of a great people.

  4. Correction, he did end up getting arrested after he was moved away form the crowd and is now in custody. The US embassy is in talks with China about his whereabouts & safety.

  5. I remember discovering this quote a few years back and I think it speaks into this situation and time as he has done just this:

    “An individual who breaks a law that conscience tell”s him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.

    -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  6. Protesters who go to China to free the Chinese people of their oppressors are a waste of space. Missionaries and evangelists who go there are worth even less.
    Yes, protest about the injustices which occur in China, vigorously and with tenacity, but do it effectively. This type of stunt achieves nothing other than to make Americans, Christians and almost all other westerners look like idiots and to turn the Chinese people away from us.

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    @克莱夫: Well said.

    @James: Being arrested should be the consequence, not the goal, of protest. When his goal wasn’t being realized, he pushed harder and harder to achieve it – negating any real “purpose” he may have had.

    Between painting hotel rooms and largely failing at being arrested – I’m not entirely clear on what he was doing to empower the people he “loves”.

    Sorry, I still see a egotistical asshat who was going to achieve his self-aggrandizing agenda whether the Chinese authorities wanted to play ball or not.

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    And as to him being arrested “off camera” – of fucking course he was – he committed completely legitimate crimes and completely deserved to be arrested.

  9. James: MLK was referring to people like Rosa Parks and Ghandi. I am sure he did not intend for anyone to go destroy a hotel room owned by a corporation that has nothing to do with repression in China in the name of god. And speaking of…What in god’s name is “unjust” about a law against vandalism? Why didn’t he hike from Tibet to India where people get shot for trying to visit their religious leader? Ya, no sequel possible on Youtube, huh?
    The thing caught wind? It barely had enough oomph to break wind! I only saw 110 people tuned in to the decidedly ridiculous podcast of his begging for arrest. And if you think that sound nibble (not even a whole bite) by the morons at Homeland Security gives credence to illegal activity, you are sorely deluded.
    And Ryan was right: the Chinese don’t have a clue who Hu Jia or the others are. The real human rights activist here are risking their lives to make those causes known. The PSB he was goading likely did not either.
    All that money ill-spent to rent and destroy hotel rooms would have gone a long way toward equipping a rural library, replacing a quake damaged home, feeding an ethnic Tibetan living below the poverty line in the Northwest, providing some defense money for Hu Jia, or buying communication gear so the “voiceless” pcan tell their own stories, in an understandable and translatable tongue, to the world…
    While your grandstanding asshat of a pastor was blathering in bad Chinese there was a real demonstration going on in Tibet. Did you watch? Did you support it?

  10. Last I heard this Eddie guy is on a plane back to California. Strongly suspect he will be greeted as a hero.

    Imagine a chinese tourist paints “free guantanamo prisoners” on a hotel wall. I wonder if US police will be so tolerant.

    Thoughts?

  11. This is mighty serious for Chinese Christians, actually. What better excuse to clamp down than antics such as this? Go home Mr. Romero, stop causing criminal damage and pray for forgiveness.

  12. I agree, stunts like this which are full of western directness and arrogance do nobody any good and probably cause more damage to the people they are trying to stand up for.

    If it is really a mans conviction to change a situation that he believes is wrong then he should first learn about the ways and worldviews of the people who he is trying to get his message across too.

    Clearly Mr Romero didn’t do that

  13. “Lets be thankful that he’s Christian, otherwise he might have had dynamite strapped to his chest.”

    WTF!?

  14. Christian fundamentalist generally let someone else to do their dirty work. Strapping yourself to a bomb is a last act of a desperate man, woman or child.

    Let’s agree on that all religious fundamentalist are big douchebags.

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    Let’s agree on that all religious fundamentalist are big douchebags.

    Couldn’t agree more.

    However, I don’t think its desperation as much as ignorance and religious fervor. The fanatical leaders are not the ones strapping bombs to their chest – they’ve suckered poor folk to do that for them.

  16. This guy goes to Beijing and does something brave
    and we are having enough problems with visas as it is.
    He isn’t going to help the situation.
    As far as I am concerned, China usually tars everyone with the same brush: all laowai’s = bad.

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