Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has declared July to be Victims of Communism Remembrance Month and is speaking out against the actions of communist regimes throughout history and the present.
In an interview with Fox News, Ricketts warned that Americans need to remember what communism has wrought, as the Chinese Communist Party is celebrating its success after 100 years in power.
"The Chinese Communist Party is recognizing their 100th anniversary, and they are going to talk about all the things the Chinese Communist Party has done in a very positive light. But it’s also important to remember that whenever communism has been implemented across this world, what he have seen is a lot of human suffering," Ricketts said, noting that communist governments have been responsible for the deaths of nearly 100 million people.
"And China really is no different," he continued, "the Chinese Communist Party we can see till this day continues to oppress people like the Uighurs." Ricketts also recalled Chinese treatment of Tibetans, people in Hong Kong and religious groups like Falun Gong.
Ricketts, a Republican, also pointed to Chinese practices such as intellectual property theft in addition to alleged human rights abuses.
"All these things need to be taken together," he said. "We need to keep putting pressure on the Chinese Communist Party to really play by international norms and to treat their people with respect the way we would expect countries who are part of the world community to behave."
The CCP's centennial may have been one reason for Nebraska to commemorate victims of communism, but it is not the only focus. With segments of the American left proudly identifying as socialists and no longer considering communism to be a bad word, Ricketts said, he wants people to be educated about what communism can lead to.
"For those on the left who don’t think communism’s a bad thing, go look at history," he said. "We can see case after case after case, and it’s one of the reasons I wanted to declare July as victims of communism month to really remind people of the horrible things that have happened under communism everywhere it’s been implemented."
"People need to understand it is really fundamentally against what we stand for here in America," Rickets continued. "In America our aspirations are to uphold the individual and to allow for human flourishing. And that’s not what communism’s about."
To do that, the governor recommended that people learn from those who escaped from communist governments in the Soviet Union or China.
"Those are the people we should be listening to because they know it firsthand," he said.