I’ve never been all that interested in the Olympics and the politics that surround them until a few years ago. One of my teachers in high school was the personal translator for the President of the International Olympic Committee (Juan Antonio Samaranch). Stories of corruption, drugs, kick backs and all sorts of other indiscretions tarnish the image of what really is an international competition that brings people together more than bringing them apart.
That said, I’m been following the process of China hosting the next summer Olympics with some level of detail. I thought the story on the AP this morning was fitting. The IOC actually had to acknowledge the fact that people are going to boycott the Olympics because of China’s human rights problems, and in particular their oppression of Tibet.
The fact that the IOC has had to consistently defend the Chinese government and their decision to have China host the Olympics brilliantly displays that there is a problem.
I’m not a China fan. They’re screwing with our economy, engage in unfair trade practices, and the human rights issues are atrocious. They treat their citizens like cattle and have no regard for natural law. That said, I try to avoid buying products made in China when I have the option and am vocal about ensuring that the same standards for the environment, trade, labor and respect for the law that we enjoy here in the United States and expect from our international trading parters are applied to China as well.
I respect Steven Spielberg for bowing out of participating in the China Olympics based on his objections to China’s human rights violations, their support of the genocidal regime in Darfur, and the inability of the IOC to persuade them to do otherwise. I will do the same as Spielberg. I’ll donate some money to our US athletic teams competing abroad, but I’m not going to watch the games. I’m not going to support the companies who are sponsoring the Olympics, and there is obviously no way I’m actually going to go spend money there.
I’m putting my money where my mouth is. Sometimes, you just have to take a stand, albeit small, to give precedence of human lives over fame and money. Steven did, and so shall I.
Happy weekend all,