The Tiananmen Square Massacre, according to WikiLeaks

Diplomatic cables chronicle China’s quashing of pro-democracy movement

U.S. government documents posted online by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks offer a window on the events of 1989 at Tiananmen Square in China.

The documents are “diplomatic cables,” or memos, filed by U.S. State Department personnel all over the world. Chelsea Manning (who previously went by the name Bradley Manning), a U.S. soldier with access to the electronic files, gave WikiLeaks more than 250,000 cables in 2010. A database of the material has been posted on various websites.

The Chinese government has blocked access to most of the sites containing the so-called “Cablegate” database. However, one site has remained available in China:

Students in the data journalism class at Northeast Normal University searched that site for references to the 1989 demonstrations at Tiananmen Square. About 300 cables mention the incident. Most of these cables (about 200) originated from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing or from U.S. consulates in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai or Shenyang.

The first cable on the subject was dated April 19, 1989, in the early days of the demonstrations at Tiananmen Square. The last cable, dated Feb. 17, 2010, was a memo from the U.S. secretary of state urging the European Union to retain its arms embargo against China; the embargo had been imposed “following the violent suppression of protestors at Tiananmen Square in 1989,” the cable noted.

Here is a chronology of the diplomatic cables sent during and shortly after the Tiananmen Square demonstrations. We have provided summaries of key cables. Unless otherwise specified, the cables came from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

Date: 1989, April 19

Subject: Pro-democracy Demonstrators Flood Tiananmen Square in Second Night of Demonstrations

Summary: “Thousands of students from Beijing universities flooded Tiananmen Square in central Beijing for a second night on April 18. They crowded around the base of the Martyrs’ Monument at the center of the square chanting pro-democracy slogans and singing patriotic songs. Ten to fifteen thousand peaceful but sympathetic onlookers surrounded the core of student demonstrators. Late in the evening between two and three thousand students marched to the Zhongnanhai Leadership Compound several blocks from the square and sat at the gate. Although Poloff [political officer] at the square witnessed no violence, the Xinhua News Agency reported on April 19 that a police officer sustained a minor injury when a small number of students attempted to force their way into Zhongnanhai in the early morning hours.

“Last night’s demonstration was among the largest unofficial gatherings at the square since hundreds of thousands of Beijingers flooded Tiananmen to commemorate the death of Zhou Enlai and protest the Gang of Four in April, 1976. Tiananmen was also the scene of pro-democracy student gatherings in late 1985 and late 1986. A student attempt to demonstrate there fizzled in mid-1988. This time students appeared better organized than in the past, as evidenced by the prevalence of students wearing dark mourning clothes, coordination of the Zhongnanhai march, and slogans apparently agreed upon in advance.”

Date: 1989, May 21

Subject: Sitrep No. 6: The Scene on Tiananmen, the Military Situation, Possible Central Committee Meeting, Chinese Press Play

Date: 1989, May 21

Subject: Sitrep No. 8: Tiananmen Square Crowds Grow to 300,000 or More on the Evening of May 21; Government Denies Li Peng Has Ordered the PLA to Attack Students Early on May 22

Summary: “Activists and onlookers returned to Tiananmen Square in large numbers on the evening of May 21 amid widespread rumors that PLA troops would attack the square in the early hours of May 22. By 2100 (local time), the crowd had grown to over 300,000. There were at least 50,000 activists in the square, with more arriving every minute. The government denied claims by students that Premier Li Peng had ordered the Army to move into the square at 0500 on May 22 and kill or capture all the students there. Students had a bus in position to block the possible emergence of troops from the west exit of the train station, and were using large contingents of activists to block major intersections near Tiananmen Square.”

Date: 1989, May 22

Subject: Sitrep No. 9: Tiananmen Square on May 22: The Long Vigil to Morning

Summary: “On May 21, once again students and their supporters went all out to block an expected entrance by PLA troops into Beijing. Once again, roadblocks were set up at all major intersections and manned by hundreds of thousands of demonstrators. And once again, the Army did not show. The sense of victory which the weary demonstrators celebrated at daybreak appeared larger than just one more night of defiance, the ninth night of the Tiananmen occupation. A widespread view among demonstrators was that after this night and forty-eight surreal hours of non-enforced martial law, the proverbial ‘mandate’ — political legitimacy — of the current leadership has been lost. It remains to be seen, of course, whether the leadership agrees.”

Date: 1989, May 22

Subject: Sitrep No. 10: View of Tiananmen Square

Date: 1989, June 2

Subject: Back To School — Northeast China Streets Are Quiet As Students and Their Movement Return to Campuses

Origin: Consulate Shenyang (China)

Summary: “Life in the Northeast has been drifting back to normal. There has not been a public student demonstration since Monday, May 29, when small bands of Shenyang and Changchun students staged funeral marches (wearing white headbands and carrying wreaths). Hard core groups of more committed activists continue the struggle at Shenyang’s Northeast University of Technology and Changchun’s Jilin University. The majority of the students are turning their attention to classes while waiting for signals from Beijing students.”

Date: 1989, June 3

Subject: Sitrep No. 28: Ten to Fifteen Thousand Armed Troops Stopped at City Perimeter by Human and Bus Barrricades

Summary: “Ten to fifteen thousand helmeted, armed troops moved toward Beijing during the late afternoon/early evening hours of June 3. As of 1930, large convoys have been stopped as before by bus and human barricades. The largest concentration of troop trucks is on the western side of the city in front of the new World Trade Center, about 5-6 kilometers from Tiananmen Square. Emboffs [Embassy officers] saw at least twenty trucks there, but more than one hundred had been seen heading toward the city on that route, so we estimate that there are one hundred plus troop trucks at that location. The troops are helmeted and are carrying automatic weapons. Most of them seem to be staying in their trucks for the time being. More than 35 trucks filled with helmeted, armed troops are stopped at the Second Ring Road overpass, directly in front of the Jianguomenwai diplomatic housing compound. There are reportedly 82 trucks blocked by four large dump trucks along the road to capital airport. We also have reports of twenty six trucks stopped and surrounded by city residents between the Lido hotel and the Great Wall Hotel in the northeastern suburbs. There are about two thousand troops just west of the Great Hall of the People in a standoff with city residents which has been going on since early afternoon. The population appears hostile to PLA movements into the city. …

“The troops have obviously not yet been given orders permitting them to use force. Their large numbers, the fact that they are helmeted, and the automatic weapons they are carrying suggest that the force option is real.”

Date: 1989, June 3

Subject: Sitrep No. 29: Article Justifies Martial Law; PLA to Use Any and All Means to Enforce Martial Law; Defense Minister Appears, So Does Li Peng; Tension on Tiananmen Square

Summary: “The June 3 edition of the People’s Daily carried a front page article indicting ‘a small group of people’ who allegedly incited the present turmoil in Beijing and justified martial law. The article was issued by the Beijing Municipal Party Committee …

“The evening television news on June 3 broadcast a sternly worded Martial Law Headquarters announcement stating that troops will use any and all means to enforce martial law in Beijing. As this cable is drafted, the Martial Law HQ is warning Beijing citizens to stay off the streets in repeated television broadcasts.”

Date: 1989, June 3

Subject: Sitrep No. 31: Tiananmen at 0245 on June 4: Gunfire on the Square, Two APC’s Burning on the North Side of the Square

Summary: “Emboff saw tracers being fired over the square. ABC journalists said that two armored personnel carriers were on fire at the northeast and northwest corners of the square. A barricade near the intersection of Fuxingmen and the Second Ring Road was breached as troops advanced on the square from the west. As of 0250, the situation in the center of the city was very confused. Troops appear to be attempting to clear the square from west to east. We have no accurate count of dead and wounded, but casualties no doubt will be high.

“Demonstrator who laid down in front of an advancing APC [Armored Personnel Carrier] and was run over. Unconfirmed accounts cite seventy dead and many wounded. Given the aggressive PLA moves reported by ABC News reporters, we expect final counts of dead and injured to be very high.”

Date: 1989, June 4

Subject: Northeast China Students React To Beijing Massacres

Origin: Consulate Shenyang (China)

Summary: “Northeast students today responded to news of the People’s Liberation Army’s firing on pro- democracy demonstrators in Beijing by organizing orderly funeral processions and protest marches to spread the word to stunned and sympathetic citizens. The students attacked the use of brutal force, mourned the dead, and carried banners demanding the strangling of Li Peng. Some Shenyang students paraded through an industrial district, but no workers joined in the marches.”

Date: 1989, June 5

Subject: Taiwan Reactions to the Tiananmen Massacre

Origin: American Institute Taiwan, Taipei (Taiwan)

Date: 1989, July 12

Subject: Latin American Diplomat Eyewitness Account of June 3-4 Events on Tiananmen Square

Summary: “During a recent meeting, a Latin American diplomat and his wife provided Poloff an account of their movements on June 3-4 and their eyewitness account of events at Tiananmen Square. Although their account generally follows those previously reported, their unique experiences provide additional insight and corroboration of events in the square. They were able to enter and leave the square several times and were not harassed by troops. Remaining with students by the Monument to the People’s Heroes until the final withdrawal, the diplomat said there were no mass shootings of students in the square or at the monument.”

Date: 1989, Aug. 9

Subject: PRC Goals After Tiananmen: The Official View from the Ministry of Justice

Date: 1990, March 26

Subject: Blood and Bitterness: A Soldier’s Tale of Tiananmen

Origin: Consulate Shanghai (China)

Summary: “A soldier attached to the 38th Army reportedly told villagers in his hometown he was tricked into firing on unarmed demonstrators on June 4, 1989, in Beijing. We report this story, told to us third-hand, as an example of the type of Tiananmen tale circulating in rural East China nearly ten months after the Beijing massacre.”

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X marks the spot

10 reasons to visit Xiamen, China

In the West, it is known as Amoy. But in China, it’s called Xiamen — and widely considered one of the country’s most beautiful cities.

A group of journalism students at Xiamen University recently brainstormed what makes Xiamen such an attractive hotspot for tourists. The reasons include:

Temperate climate — On most days in Xiamen, you can enjoy the blue sky and fresh air. Moreover, you don’t need to bring a snowsuit with you even in the most chilling winter.

Spectacular views — When you open your eyes, the blue of the sea and the green of the trees will jump into your sight.

Slower lifestyle — The people of Xiamen enjoy life; they’re not as stressed out as workaholics.

Manageable traffic and excellent roads — The traffic in Xiamen isn’t as heavy as in Beijing or Shanghai.

Intriguing architecture — Xiamen features buildings of different styles, including the very modern ones and the old-fashioned ones. One typical example is Xiamen University, where you can see both styles of architecture.

Cleanliness — As a coastal city in southern China, it often rains, which helps to clean the city’s roads. And the nice sea wind helps to blow polluted air away. Besides, the local government and people make a great effort to protect the environment.

Cost of living — Salaries for locals are not as high as in big cities like Beijing or Shanghai; thus, the cost of living is comparatively lower. It makes Xiamen a good choice for tourists in China and around the world to come to pay a visit.

Friendly people — People living in Xiamen are very friendly. When visitors ask for help, locals are glad to do them a favor.

Delicious food — Xiamen is famous for its seafood food. Shacha noodles also are very popular; visitors often come to Xiamen to have a taste of shacha noodles.

The enchanting ambiance of Gulangyu Island — Gulangyu is a romantic island just a short ferry ride from Xiamen. Known as “The Island of Music,” it features a Piano Museum as well as lush gardens and other sites.

This article emerged from a workshop at Xiamen University on June 6, 2014, on “Websites for Publishing Your News and Views.” Workshop participants who collaborated on the article included Yang Xia, Li Dexia, Fang Zhikun, Fan Fen, Wang Yirong, Li Jieyun, George Paul, Allen, Joe Yeh, Bonnie, and @dongzefei.

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7 things to do in Beijing

(that you might not find in a tour book)

Ah, the listicle — a lazy writer’s last resort, clickbait for Buzzfeed. But it can be an effective vehicle for people learning a language, like the students who attended my writing workshops today at Beijing Institute of Technology. After all, no need for elegant transitions or dynamic character development. Just brainstorm, focus and fire when ready, Xiansheng Gridley.

I gave two presentations at BIT:

¶ “Websites for Publishing Your News and Views

¶ “Direct and Concise: How to Write Briefly” (advice I’ll probably ignore as I blow out this draft)

In the first session, I guided students through a tour of 10 citizen-journalism sites. As I lost my voice, I noticed that a disturbing number of these sites had “Voice” in their name: Yahoo! Voices, All Voices, Global Voices, International Student Voice Magazine. We also discussed Ground Report, The-Latest, Wikinews, CNN iReport (for photos and videos) and UPI Next (UPI’s site to mentor college journalists.) And I highlighted Medium as the shiny new toy, a status validated by this week’s story in The New York Times.

I explained to the students that for the most part, people in China can access these sites without having to “jump the wall” — i.e., use a VPN, Go Agent, Freegate or other tool to circumvent censors.

There were a few exceptions: The government has blocked Global Voices Online, which should be a feather in the cap of the nonprofit, free-speech platform. Medium is in a category all its own: You can access Medium and read the content without any obstacles. But to log in to Medium for the first time, you must allow it to access your Twitter account. And since Twitter is blocked, you must activate your VPN for that initial handshake. Afterward, Medium remembers who you are and ushers you in without a VPN, says the guy who spent way too much time figuring this out.

Let me digress for a sec to address censorship in China. From my perspective, the issue is widely misunderstood in the West. Government control of the Internet is bad, and often random (no on Facebook, yes on Flicker, sometimes on Tumblr). But for technologically savvy individuals (“give me a T; what does it spell? B-I-T!”), censorship is more of an inconvenience than a door perpetually slammed in one’s face. I’ve yet to meet a college student who didn’t know how to get around or over the Great Firewall, though it may require persistence.

At any rate, back to our workshop, and our listicle. At the end of the session, the students coagulated into groups of two or three. Their mission: Come up with “things to do in Beijing that you won’t find in a tour book” — sites or activities beyond the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Great Wall and other staples for visitors.

Each group scribbled its ideas on a sheet a paper, and students read and discussed them before class broke up. I agreed to compile the thoughts and post them on one of the websites we had just studied.

Our end product is not news and we don’t have video; so forgive me, Medium, but you win by default. (On the other hand, you’re helping foster international relations. Maybe you can take a tax write-off.)

With that, our list of “things to do in Beijing that you might not find in a tour book.” Drumroll, please.

1. Take a tour of Beijing by riding one of the city’s double-decker buses. The student who offered this idea wasn’t talking about a $50-a-head hop-on, hop-off sightseeing service. Rather, he noted that Beijing operates several double-decker bus routes around the city center; tickets are just 3 RMB. Grab a seat on the top level, and get a (low-flying) bird’s-eye view of street life and tourist attractions as the bus rambles down the road.

2. Watch square dancing in the park or on the sidewalk. Beijingers will grab a partner and do si do at the drop of a hat; it doesn’t even have to be a 10-gallon hat. They’ve taken to square dancing like a Texan to Lone Star Beer, and indeed, the craze supposedly was introduced years ago by a Texas ex-pat. (Can we blame George W.? Please?)

3. Ride a bicycle to Xiangshan Park, a.k.a. Fragrant Hills Park, with friends. It’s an imperial garden at the foot of the Western Mountains in northwest Beijing. The park features a pine forest, maple and persimmon trees, and traditional architecture.

4. “Take taxis and talk with the drivers. They will tell you a lot of interesting things about China.” Of course, they’ll tell you these things in Chinese, so you probably won’t understand.

5. At night, hang out at malls like The Place, which features an open-air plaza covered by what they say is the biggest LED screen in Asia. The pixelated shark on the ceiling looks like it just might drop down and chomp your head off.

6. Practice bargaining at Sanlitun Yashow Clothing Market or Xiushui Market (a.k.a. Silk Alley). Offer 10 percent of whatever price the seller is asking: “300 RMB for a jacket? Will you take 30?”

7. Roam around the universities — Tsinghua, Peking, Remnin, BIT. Compare student life here to your campus back home.

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How Rubik’s Cube saved my lecture and my face

The Snowden case is not black and white; it’s green, orange, yellow, red and blue

I’m on a Fulbright this semester in China, teaching data journalism and social and mobile media at Northeast Normal University in Changchun, in the country’s northeast corner once known as Manchuria. It’s a school not unlike my own in the States — Virginia Commonwealth: not at the top, not at the bottom, regressed toward the mean, or maybe the 65th percentile.

The Fulbright program encourages us to visit universities beyond our host institutions and give guest lectures. I’ve lined up several. One was Friday at Jilin University — convenient for a couple of reasons: It’s just across town in Changchun; and the university invited me to participate in a panel discussion on a topic I had been shopping around (Snowden, WikiLeaks and freedom vs. security).

The flier for the event said it would be a round-table discussion about the “Edward Snowden Accident.” OK — accident, incident, affair; close enough.

When I arrived at Jilin, I found that one panelist — a history professor and the dean of Jilin’s School of International Affairs — had a conflict and had to cancel.

The other advertised panelist was Dr. Daniel Druckman, a professor of political psychology at George Mason University. (I came 6,740 miles to meet somebody who works 150 miles up I-95? What are the odds?) Druckman, a scholar of international negotiations, spends half the year in Australia and was in China for a lecture tour.

But when Druckman showed up at Jilin University’s Friendship Guesthouse, he said he wasn’t planning to talk about Snowden; he thought he was speaking on conflict resolution.

So that left me with two hours to fill. And I had maybe 10 minutes of talking points, mostly cribbed from the Vanity Fair article I had read about Snowden the night before.

Ah, but I had one surprise (well, make it two): a Rubik’s Cube I bought at a campus shop at Northeast Normal U.

I figured I’d kick off the discussion by asking if anyone knew the significance of the cube and its relationship to the Snowden affair. (Snowden was holding one when he met reporters Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras in Hong Kong to leak them the National Security Administration documents he had downloaded. It was Snowden’s tipoff that he was their Deep Throat.)

But more poignantly, Rubik’s Cube seemed like an apt metaphor for the Snowden/NSA controversy and the privacy/security conundrum: These are complex issues; there’s more than meets the eye; what we have here is a puzzle difficult to solve.

The Chinese love metaphors and analogies; I like them because they eat up time.

I bobbed and weaved through my lecture, along the way hitting Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers, prior restraint, the My Lai Massacre, Ron Ridenhour (the soldier who triggered the investigation that led to William Calley’s conviction; Snowden was awarded this year’s Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling), Bradley/Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks. The history and ethics of whistle blowing. Governments spying on their own people. Governments trying to prevent terrorism. The ideal of objective, independent reporting, and the rise of advocacy journalists. The need for a public debate over the trade-offs between safeguarding individual liberties and protecting the public against bad guys.

Thank you so much for inviting me. I welcome your comments and questions.

And there were some. The audience consisted of about 50 graduate students from Africa, Europe and India as well as from China. The discussion Ping-Ponged from one side of the room to the other. I moderated, nodded my head, pensively screwed up my face while I thoughtfully twisted the faces of my Rubik’s Cube.

One of my Rubik’s Cubes. The other was in a side pocket of my backpack on the floor, under the table, at my feet.

When you buy a Rubik’s Cube, it comes “solved”: One side has nine red squares, another nine blue squares, and so forth. I guess they’re trying to show you that it can be done.

The cube in my backpack was pristine, unspoiled, un-manipulated. I had been careful not to shift any of the blocks to one of the other 43,252,003,274,489,855,999 possible positions.

I kept the cube I was playing with mostly on top of the table in the seminar room. But occasionally, I’d drop it to my lap and give it an especially tortuous twist.

The discussion was winding down. Time for one last question. Yes, the woman in the back, please. It was a student from Russia. How perfect is that.

While all eyes turned to the Russian speaker, I saw and seized my chance. I dropped my hopelessly messed-up Rubik’s Cube into the unzipped pocket of my backpack and pulled out the virgin cube.

“… And that is why President Putin gave Snowden asylum,” the student from Russia said.

Time to wrap things up. “Thank you for your comments, and your attention,” I told the group. “I think we’ve made some progress today working through the Edward Snowden puzzle.”

I held up the perfect Rubik’s Cube. “With hard work, these things can be solved.”

Everyone in the room gasped, then stood up and applauded. I tossed the cube to the Russian student. The seminar broke up; the students went off to dinner or another class.

In Chinese culture, there is a strong sociological concept called “face,” as in “saving face” — to protect one’s reputation, maintain a sense of honor, avoid embarrassment, give the appearance that you’ve got your act together.

Why are Chinese so Concerned About Saving Face?” the website eChinaCities asks. A site by Mike Lin, a well-traveled American who goes by China-Mike, answers the question this way:

“Of all the idiosyncrasies of Chinese culture, the concept of ‘Face’ is perhaps most difficult for Westerns to fully grasp. And because ‘saving face’ is such a strong motivating force in China, it’s also one of the most important concepts in understanding the Chinese Mind.”

For me, the lecturer without a lecture, I managed to save face thanks to a six-sided toy and a sly sleight of hand. Thank you, Ernő Rubik, for the cube you invented 40 years ago.

Next Story — Será que a Bel Pesce aprendeu mesmo a lição?
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Será que a Bel Pesce aprendeu mesmo a lição?

Nos últimos dias a menina do vale aprendeu muito sobre a vida e sobre os negócios, a mesma disse isso há pouco em seu Facebook.

Mas será que ela aprendeu a seguinte lição?

Não construa uma imagem insólita sem embasamento, o tempo é implacável e a verdade hora ou outra vem à tona

Quando decidi escrever e buscar ser uma referência sobre empreendedorismo, conversei com um amigo e ele foi duro comigo — agradeço — dizendo que eu não deveria falar de algo que eu nunca tive grandes êxitos. Por questões de autoridade, eu não deveria querer ser uma referência, antes de ser uma, mesmo tendo uma faculdade de administração e um MBA em gestão estratégica de empresas, alguns negócios testados, tendo passado e contribuído em mais de 250 empresas, eu não tinha um respaldo para solidificar minha fala. Foi ali que eu mudei o discurso de “faça isso”, para “eu tento fazer isso.” E isso não garante nada, falar de empreendedorismo e inovação sem ter nada (ainda) grandioso para mostrar a respeito é frágil demais.

E aqui entra o marketing.

Bel Pesce fez seu nome por ter estudado no MIT, trabalhado no Google e Microsoft e ter ajudado a construir uma empresa, a Lemon no Vale do Silício. Brilhante né?! Seria, se o trabalho no Google e na Microsoft não fossem um estágio de 3 meses de verão, se ela fosse co-founder da empresa citada ou alguma coisa mais efetiva por lá.

Eu conheço muita gente nessa vida, meu DataEu é bem sofisticado, gente de todo canto, de diversas áreas, rico, pobre, gente que passou por variadas situações e tem muita divergência de opinião e visão de mundo. Tem gente que trabalha (trabalha mesmo) no Google, pra Amazon, startups brasileiras incríveis, empreendedores que são reis no Vale do Silício, que estudam ou estudaram no MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Erasmus de Rotterdam (considerada a melhor escola de empreendedorismo do mundo), gente que representa o governo francês na União Européia, diretor de multinacional, vice-presidente de multinacional, milionário, multimilionário — infelizmente não conheço nenhum bilionário -, etc. O que quero dizer com isso?

Conheço no mínimo umas 50 pessoas 10 vezes mais importante e com história que realmente vale a pena ser explorada, mas não são, ou por opção, ou por falta de oportunidade.

Quando eu conheci a Bel Pesce, eu realmente fiquei empolgada para ouvir o que ela tinha para falar. Eu amo gente foda, gente que fez coisas que nunca fiz, que consegue cativar e ser reconhecida, enfim, eu gosto de gente brilhante.

Li o livro dela, achei bacana, bem escrito, nada glorioso, primoroso ou fora de série, mas atende bem a proposta. Comecei a ver os vídeos, a segui-la no twitter, a acompanhar no Periscope e foi ali, bem no meio daquela vontade de consumir um mundo o qual não tive a oportunidade de conhecer, que tive uma frustração bem grande.

O conhecimento que ela passava era tão profundo quanto um discurso da Dilma, mais raso que o nível que chegou a Cantareira. Algo como: “Essa empresa é top, é show, o que eles fazem é muito 10!”, “Empreender só depende de você”, “vá atrás dos seus sonhos”, “faça meta do dia”, sobre o negócio dela: “um negócio disruptivo, inovador, disuptamente novo”. Foi ali que fui atrás para entender quem era e porque ela tinha se tornado quem era. Essa conta não fechava. Deixei pra lá, não sou obrigada a consumir o que não quero e quem quiser que consuma. Ponto final!

Segui a vida… até que no início desse ano fiz um post questionando os “empreendedores motivacionais”, porque de repente eles se multiplicaram na internet. Eu não aguentava mais meta do dia, frases motivacionais, usei a expressão “essa geração Bel Pesce é legal mas a gente precisa mais no nosso dia a dia”. A crítica não era a ela, mas ao modelo replicado exaustivamente por diversas outras pessoas que se inspiraram nela.

Foi uma muvuca só. Aparentemente as pessoas tinham muito para falar sobre isso.

Conheci muita gente incrível por causa disso, inclusive uma das pessoas que me ajudaram a estruturar o atual projeto que estou trabalhando. Até brinquei que se desse certo, eu faria um post “Como a Bel Pesce me ajudou a ganhar meus primeiros milhões”.

Eu fui chamada de invejosa, diversas vezes, e coisa pior. Vieram dizer que a conheciam, que ela é um doce, e que era muito feio falar publicamente de uma pessoa. — ? Mesmo essa pessoa sendo uma pessoa pública?! Ué?! — O Murilo Gun, outra pessoa questionável, me chamou de “Bruna alguma coisa” em seu podcast e assim por diante.

Foi nesse momento que percebi que a Menina do Vale tinha virado, graças a ela mesma e sua constante autopromoção, um mito. E como todo famoso fruto da internet, de suas legiões incontáveis de fanáticos seguidores, é praticamente impossível questionar sem que os fãs da pessoa venham argumentar que você esteja criticando porque está com inveja. \_(o.O)

Recomendo a leitura do texto do Rob Gordon sobre isso.

Vi no Facebook de uma Amigo

A Bel vende e sempre vendeu o produto que ela construiu chamado “Bel Pesce”, todas as suas empresas são para fomentar esse mesmo produto. E ela faz isso de forma magistral.

Há mérito nesse imbróglio todo, nunca foi isso a ser questionado, o ponto que muita gente sempre levantou e que nos próximos meses ainda vão levantar é como uma pessoa pode se vender como suprassumo do empreendedorismo e inovação se o grande feito dela seja apenas e justamente ter feito sucesso por ensinar outras pessoas a empreenderem, e só.

É o mesmo que eu vender cursos caríssimos para ensinar outras pessoas a ficarem ricas, contando que fiquei rica, ensinando outras pessoas a ficarem rica e esse ciclo não tem fim.

E vou além, por que cargas d’água a gente escolhe líderes médios que tentam vender ilusões, fazem desserviço ao empreendedorismo dizendo que são e acontecem e que empreender só depende de você, cobrando e cobrando caro por cursos, palestras, chaveiro, hamburguer e passeio no Peru?

Enquanto a maioria dos empreendedores brasileiros abrem hamburgueria com R$15 mil reais num trailer com o dinheiro que passaram os últimos 65 anos juntando.

Se o problema for falta de referência, posso fazer uma lista de dezenas de pessoas realmente interessantes de serem admiradas por empreender honestamente e inovar disruptamente (existem grandes projetos no Brasil inteiro, principalmente no Norte e Nordeste).

Agora, não sei se a Bel aprendeu essa lição. Mas aprendemos, todos juntos, que estudar no MIT e estagiar no Google não ensina a abrir hamburgueria através de financiamento coletivo.

Hamburgueria ‘Zebeléo’ não vai ter mais financiamento coletivo, anuncia Bel Pesce

Obs.: Um dia ainda quero ter a oportunidade de me redimir da inveja que sinto, até lá, vou continuar questionando processos, ações e pessoas que estejam em desacordo com as minhas crenças, valores e princípios.

Obs².: Fiquem tranquilos que me policio diariamente para ser melhor que minhas próprias críticas.

Obs³.: Ofensas serão deletadas.

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