Maybe They Have A Point…

27 Apr

Lately I haven’t been to up on what’s going on in the world, but I have heard snippets of the demonstrations surrounding the running of the Olympic torch around the globe. While the torch went through Seoul today, a man tried to light himself on fire to stop the relay (story). In Paris, the last part of the torch relay was canceled due to protests (story). In fact, protesters were so violent, the torch had to be extinguished five times.

The torch, a symbol of unity and friendly competition between nations, has become a site of bitter protest in every international city it approaches (including San Francisco). Groups like Save Darfur and Amnesty International are partially responsible for organizing the protests because they disagree with China’s human rights policy, their enslavement of Tibet, and the recent violence against the Tibetan Buddhist monks.

Even lawmakers are calling for a boycott of the Olympics, urging President Bush to refrain from visiting the opening games in Beijing. However, it looks unlikely that Bush will call off his plans, even though folks from both sides of the aisle are asking him to reconsider.

Now if a man is willing to light himself on fire to communicate a message, does anyone else think we should listen? Sure, he may be a nutter, but even nutters can make good points. It seems that thousands, maybe millions, have a similar message–the Beijing Olympics should be snubbed. The Chinese government has a long history of oppressing its people, and now we’re just bringing commerce into the country like everything is great, like they aren’t cracking down on house churches or imprisoning people unfairly. Some have even compared this situation to the 1936 Summer Olympics which were hosted in Berlin by Hitler. It gave Hitler a platform to showcase Germany to the world so the world would be quick to agree in his wisdom.

Frankly, I probably won’t watch the Summer Olympics anyway. I find spectator sports fairly boring, except for curling (that’s just funny) extreme sports, soccer, and ice skating. Even then, I get bored after a bit. But if I had planned on watching them, I would seriously consider doing so as a form of protest.

I’m just wondering–what do you think about the quagmire that is the Summer Olympics?

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No Responses to “Maybe They Have A Point…”

  1. mike golch April 28, 2008 at 12:19 AM #

    I would like to think that China does care about human rights.In fact actions speak louder that words.They say things have changed,I for one do not believe that.Tibet was a free country and than China took it over. Tiawan and the US had a good relationship in the seventies now a that is not the case.one of the stipulations to doing business with China was to abandon Tiawan.A country that the comunist chienes thnk they own. Thr lradership of China fled there from the comunist take over of China.and China is still under communist control.

  2. mike golch April 28, 2008 at 12:19 AM #

    I would like to think that China does care about human rights.In fact actions speak louder that words.They say things have changed,I for one do not believe that.Tibet was a free country and than China took it over. Tiawan and the US had a good relationship in the seventies now a that is not the case.one of the stipulations to doing business with China was to abandon Tiawan.A country that the comunist chienes thnk they own. Thr lradership of China fled there from the comunist take over of China.and China is still under communist control.

  3. Todd Porter April 28, 2008 at 12:54 AM #

    I would agree with some form of a boycott of the Games as a statement to China regarding their lack of human rights.

  4. Todd Porter April 28, 2008 at 12:54 AM #

    I would agree with some form of a boycott of the Games as a statement to China regarding their lack of human rights.

  5. MB April 28, 2008 at 11:18 AM #

    Where was everyone when China was on the list to be selected – when a unified voice of protest could have actually changed the venue? – before millions were spent on Olympic stadiums? – before thousands of atheletes trained toward this Olympics?

    MB

  6. MB April 28, 2008 at 11:18 AM #

    Where was everyone when China was on the list to be selected – when a unified voice of protest could have actually changed the venue? – before millions were spent on Olympic stadiums? – before thousands of atheletes trained toward this Olympics?

    MB

  7. Amy April 28, 2008 at 2:42 PM #

    Actually people have been protesting all along. I suppose the majority of the media didn’t choose to report it until the Torch Relay. But, yes, human rights groups have been outraged that Beijing was even on the IOC’s list of cities to consider.

  8. Amy April 28, 2008 at 2:42 PM #

    Actually people have been protesting all along. I suppose the majority of the media didn’t choose to report it until the Torch Relay. But, yes, human rights groups have been outraged that Beijing was even on the IOC’s list of cities to consider.

  9. Thad Manning April 29, 2008 at 1:38 AM #

    These protestors live in various countries surrounding China and know that China’s influence reaches beyond its own border. China has a history of establishing and funding regimes that violate the human rights of their citizens. While there are government sanctioned churches in China, they are merely empty shells. True believers are imprisoned and tortured or murdered for practicing their faith. Yet, nearly every consumer good available for purchase in this country is now made in China. Rather than embracing democracy, the Chinese government is taking the money that we send to them and investing it in their military at an alarming rate.
    This does not seem like the ideal place to hold an event like the Olympics.
    Fortunately for me, I prefer the winter Olympics, so I will not be watching it anyway.

  10. Thad Manning April 29, 2008 at 1:38 AM #

    These protestors live in various countries surrounding China and know that China’s influence reaches beyond its own border. China has a history of establishing and funding regimes that violate the human rights of their citizens. While there are government sanctioned churches in China, they are merely empty shells. True believers are imprisoned and tortured or murdered for practicing their faith. Yet, nearly every consumer good available for purchase in this country is now made in China. Rather than embracing democracy, the Chinese government is taking the money that we send to them and investing it in their military at an alarming rate.
    This does not seem like the ideal place to hold an event like the Olympics.
    Fortunately for me, I prefer the winter Olympics, so I will not be watching it anyway.

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