NOT a few times, there have been comments on my columns castigating me for referring to the “the Yellows” or “Dilawans,” saying that this is an unfair labeling of those who don’t agree with my views.
To be honest, I think the term is fitting to this political group, “Yellow” being a synonym for cowardice (“yellow-bellied”), duplicity (“yellow unions”), or the worst kind of media (“Yellow tabloids”). Even its translation “Dilawan” rolls in the tongue as a term for the hateful as much as “kawatan.”
However, I use the term with some precision, as shorthand for a set of beliefs now held by, well, going by the recent Pulse Asia survey, 3 percent of Filipinos. (That is, the percent that mistrusts President Duterte, the nemesis of the Yellows, with 5 percent disapproving of his performance.)
The Yellow tag is as convenient, I think, as labels such as Democrat (with a capital “D”), or liberal democrat, or Marxist — although one has to provide specific, strong arguments why such persons’ views on a particular issue are wrong. The labels simply help in explaining why they have such particular views.
For example, if I label somebody as a Marxist in the course of discussing his view of higher tax rates for the rich, it is helpful to explain that he is of the view that the State must find a way of channeling capitalist profits (“surplus value”) into funds to uplift the conditions of the rest of the population, mainly workers.
The Yellow mind is unique but distinctive that it deserves an anatomy. I consider Yellow a person who embraces at least two of the following ideas, and the more of these he believes in, the deeper is his yellowness.
1. The Marcos era was a totally dark period of our history, with nothing good whatsoever in it. He was simply a dictator who relished one-man rule, nothing more. His record on human rights and kleptocracy is the worst of any Philippine president ever.
2. Cory Aquino was a saint of democracy who with God’s (or the Virgin Mary’s) help rescued the country from dictatorship and ushered in a democratic regime.
3. Her son Benigno Aquino 3rd was as upright as she, and his administration was one of the best in Philippine history.
4. Duterte’s is an authoritarian regime, nearly a fascist one. He is the political reincarnation of Marcos, and his administration is a bad one, even the worst.
Try using this schema in judging the politics of mainstream newspapers. The Philippine Daily Inquirer and Rappler are deep Yellow, while the Philippine Star appears to me as embracing only No. 2 in the above list in recent years. The Manila Bulletin (because of its silence) and this newspaper aren’t, although one or two columnists seem to embrace No. 1 and No. 4.
Our editorial page cartoonist, I’m starting to believe, is Yellow. US media’s default framework is Yellow, mainly because they really don’t bother to do research on what they think is the most unimportant country in Asia.
Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University and, of course, the University of the Philippines — purportedly our most advanced academic institutions — are deep Yellow, or at least their leadership are. This is such a tragedy, as they have the intellectual and research tools to determine that the Yellow beliefs are false, the usual product of a situation in which the ruling elite has control of media.
I don’t think there’s a similar situation in other countries’ academic world, a testament to their universities’ intellectual rigor. Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology aren’t labeled as Democratic or Republican, nor Oxford and Cambridge as Conservative or Labor.
China-haters Albert del Rosario and Antonio Carpio are undoubtedly Yellow. Only a president as reckless, stupid, or malleable as Aquino 3rd would have allowed the Philippines to be used by the US to file a suit against the American rival for hegemony.
Carpio in his long e-book or in any of his many speeches couldn’t even get himself to point out that we are in the Spratlys because of Marcos who annexed that huge territory in the South China Sea as part of the Philippines, called the Kalayaan Island Group.
Their project of demonizing China through the arbitration suit is a Yellow project. Enough of it.
I don’t include the following false beliefs as elements of the Yellow ideology, although Yellows usually subscribe to the following beliefs:
a) The US has been and will be our big brother, while China is the new Evil Empire, plotting to dominate Asia.
b) The Communist Party, the New People’s Army and its fronts are fighting against the masses’ exploitation by the ruling elites. Paradoxically though, most Yellows are worshipers of capitalism, as if it has been and always been the Supreme Deity.
c) Defending “human rights” is the most important duty of the State, more important than liberating the masses from poverty, and ensuring their security and well-being.
What is strange is that the oligarch-backed Yellow thinking is also that of the Communist Party, using my schema described above. Or maybe not so strange: the Yellow martyr Benigno Aquino, Jr. coddled Communist Party founder Jose Ma. Sison. His widow Cory freed him without even a formal pardon of his conviction for murder and subversion by a court, even if it was a military court had not been challenged for its legitimacy.
I have started to believe that Sison’s Marxism is only for show: His ideology is really, and in practice, the Yellow framework. That Marcos was a bloody fascist dictator is an overarching dogma in Sison’s mind, especially if it was during martial law when the communists reached its peak of political and military strength. He was even quick to ignore the US plot to isolate China in Asia by going on an anti-Chinese tack after the Aquino regime filed the case against China.
The NPA is nothing but an armed Yellow force.
The Yellow mind has gone deep into our national psyche, as it was disseminated intensely and widely by Presidents Cory, Ramos and Aquino 3rd, and employing such powerful media as the two biggest newspapers PDI and Star and of course ABS-CBN Corp. as well as the three universities.
We would have been stuck with that false thinking if not for Duterte, who has now practically erased it from the masses’ minds, going by the recent Pulse Asia poll, that is.