Beijing Games: Why I’m Tuning Out This Olympics

There are people who will disagree with me. And this is the kind of issue that reasonable and decent people can see in different ways.

I love the Olympics. As a lover of sports, and a fan of the catharsis that watching sports provides, I have spent untold hours in my life cheering my American athletes.

But not this year.

This year, I would feel dirty if I were to tune in.

China is one of the worst offenders of human rights on the planet. It has grown powerful wealthy by exploiting its poor underclass with low pay and subhuman work conditions. This country that tramples upon the human spirit is therefore the worst possible place to celebrate the human spirit.

Beyond its forced annexation of Tibet, and beyond the smog that is literally five times worst than the worst polluted cities in the West, China has proven how unfit it is for the Olympic Games just in obtaining and then preparing for the games.

China made a number of promises to secure the Games – and broke every single one. They were supposed to improve their human rights conditions, but their megalomaniacal determination to control everyone and everything pertaining to the games, they have actually become even worse human rights abusers than they were before.

Journalists are finding that thousands of web sites have been disabled. They would have to look to find the wiretaps that have been planted in Chinese hotel rooms.

In my view, having the Games in Beijing is tantamount to celebrating totalitarian tyranny. It is tantamount to selling out our most noble human values in order to either be “politically correct” or to simply appease evil in the name of “inclusion.”

My parents are planning to watch the Games. On their view, they are supporting the athletes. No way would I call the people who instilled my values “bad people.” Like I said, this is an issue over which decent people can disagree.

On my view, watching the Beijing Olympic Games rewards the Olympic Committee and China. Money and the ratings points that produce more money is all these people care about, and the only way to hurt them and force them to not deprecate the human spirit in the future is to hit them in their wallets. Hence, my decision.

What do you think?

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2 Responses to “Beijing Games: Why I’m Tuning Out This Olympics”

  1. kimbatch Says:

    I don’t support a boycott and I want the Beijing Olympics to be a success.

    But the Games are a chance, while the world is watching, to press China for change.

    Without change China will carry on executing more of its citizens than any other country in the world, it will continue censoring the media and the Internet and it will continue locking up and torturing those who try to stand up for their rights and the rights of others.

    It isn’t political. To stand up for human rights is to stand up for the values enshrined in the Olympic Charter.

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    I actually didn’t call for a boycott.

    And I think this is a personal decision. Whether one decides to support the Beijing Games or oppose it depends on what values one cherishes and how one seeks to advance those values.

    But let me embrace some of your own statements and say this: if a country executes political dissidents and religious followers, should we reward them with a forum which they are clearly using to whitewash their record? Is giving them money and recognition the way to go?

    Kimbatch, I’m glad that you stand with me in denouncing China’s despicable violations of human rights and the human spirit. I hope enough of us can somehow find the will – and the means – to truly leverage China to stop being the worst monster in the world today.

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