Growing Up under Chairman Mao—Lily Tang Williams

Lily Tang Williams (website | Twitter) met with David Scott on her first ever trip to Scotland to discuss her early life under Mao, her escape from the poverty, fear and control of communist China, her life in America and her subsequent decision to speak out to warn about the creeping authoritarian control now taking over the West.

She describes the nature of Maoist China, the grinding poverty, the collectivism, and the nature of the state religion in which Mao was essentially both high priest and god. She also learned to live in the culture of surveillance where informing on friends and neighbours was ubiquitous. She learned to succeed but to keep her thoughts and her ideas to herself. The first rule of the totalitarian state is "trust no-one".

It was Mao's death that gave Lily the first realisation that she had been lied to. For gods are not meant to die. Her inquisitiveness and love of learning gave her a focus. She sought to resolve her secret questions about the society she had grown up in and the lies she was told. She went to college to study law, looking for insight and answers.

It was at university that Tang found that the law in China was for the preservation of the power and control of the Chinese Communist Party, not for justice. When she met an American student, she was shown a pocket copy of the American constitution. This caused a light to switch on and sparked her ambition to travel to America, to seek a country of liberty. She started to plan her escape.

Her plan required permission from her Communist Party boss at her university, where she was by then a member of the Law School faculty. She needed to appear to be the perfect adherent of communist ideology. So she started to behave in the required manner. After seven applications, she was granted a passport, and when her American visa was issued, people were touching her hair to get some of the good luck to rub off. In 1988, she arrived in America with $100 of borrowed money, no English language skills, and a determination to work hard and to remain in the USA.

Her American sponsor welcomed her the first day she arrived and introduced her to the man who would eventually become her husband, the same day she found she had a job as a research assistant. She built her life in the United States, got her degree, got married, had three children and, in 1995, became an American citizen. Thereafter, she started to become involved in local politics with her homeowners' association and school board.

After the 2008 crisis, she had the courage to go into the real estate market and build her business—but she started to notice that liberty was being lost in America. She started to work politically and, in 2013, had her article Guns Against Tyranny published in the National Review. Subsequently, her concern over the rising tide of totalitarianism has led her to stand for Congress so that she can tell her story and communicate her warning.

Lily Tang Williams realises the last stronghold for liberty is the family and that the state is coming for the children with queer theory, critical race theory and other attacks on the relationship between parents and their children. In response, she raises the alarm and will not be silenced. For 23 years in China, she could not speak the truth. She will not be silenced now.