Monday, April 7, 2008

Maybe I just don't understand all of the facts.

Did holding the Olympics in Nazi Germany save lives? Did it bring attention to the horrors that would soon escalate to levels no one could have imagined? Ask the Jews who continued to suffer if seeing a black man win a race kept them from marching to their deaths. No one can deny what that moment must have felt like to Jesse Owens, but I think we’d be na├»ve to think that it lessened Hitler’s determination.

The first time I read that the 2008 Olympic Games would be held in China I felt a little ill. While I realize they are meant to celebrate the world’s athletes and unity and be free of politics I don’t think that is possible, or even always wise. I think we fool ourselves when we say things like that. I believe that the Chinese government must see it as a great victory that they are able to continue to treat the citizens of their country in the same way they have for so many years and still be rewarded with such an honor.

This morning I see that, as is so often the case, violence begets violence. The Parisian leg of the torch relay has been severely disrupted by protesters. The torch that should be being proudly carried through the city has had to travel by bus in some areas.

I wonder how I would feel if I were an athlete who had been training for most of my life for this opportunity to compete? Would I boycott? Would I speak out? I hope I would.

I know if I were a Tibetan I would be glad to know that somewhere in the world someone cared enough about my situation to make a ruckus and call some attention to me.

Politics or not, the Olympic Committee owes something to the participants of the games as well as the citizens of whatever nation they select to host the games. Choosing to hold them in China, or any other country that has shown so little regard for basic human rights, seems like a slap in the face to everyone—Except the Chinese government.

Just my 2cents.

1 comment:

blah blah blah said...

You're totally right about the apparent lack of concern for the Tibetan people. But the Olympics are a political event. The Chinese bought the right to have the Olympics, thats how the Olympic Committee decides. We've bought the Olympics, the Germans bought the Olympics, everyone buys it.
The Olympics aren't nearly as pure as their reputation would suggest. Human Rights attrocities are happening else where and will most likely continue. The world doens't really care. America doesn't care, the UN doesn't care, your neighbors don't care, nobody seems to care. And when the Olympics are over Americans and other world citizens will forget about Tibet. It's sad.
Those who speak out are considered noble only briefly, when they become tiresome to the public the media ignores them or labels them as disidents. This world is sad and screwed up and nobody cares. Is the Chinese government any worse than you or I, what have we done. "Men are guilty of all the good things they do not do," I think Mark Twain said that.
We've been taught that we can not change the world, because that makes us happier. If you can't do anything than there is no need to try. I don't know where things are headed, but it worries me what kind of world my kids will inherit from us. I'm going to tell them everyday that they can do anything, and that includes changing the world. That they should feel obligated to do the right thing, and never let it be an inconvience to try to help. Maybe I can help save our species through my children.