To the editor:
The expression "putting lipstick on a pig" has become more popular than usual lately because of the current election campaign. Its appeal is its simplicity; by means of vivid imagery it depicts a situation in which someone tries to deceive others by saying that something is not what it actually is.
"Putting lipstick on pigs" is not new. Twenty-five hundred years ago, the Chinese sage Confucius criticized the practice. In his words, "If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success."
For Confucius, using the gift of language to speak truth was an essential element of his philosophy. I believe he would be deeply offended by the way KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway, Professor William M. Tsutsui, and Sheree Willis, executive director of the Confucius Institute at the KU Edwards Campus, continue to distort and dissimulate the reality of their so-called Confucius Institute.
As reported in the Journal-World on Oct. 18, they were even able to convince the Kansas City International Relations Council to give their Confucius Institute something called the 2008 Award for Academic Leadership. This is quite amazing. A Chinese-government-funded enterprise that devotes itself to pursuing Chinese government public relations objectives was given an academic award.
Striving to make the Chinese government more pleased with the return it receives from its purchase of the KU brand name was cited as an example of leadership. This is not using language to speak truth. This is putting loads of lipstick on a pig.