Saturday, February 16, 2008
Sports Is Too Important
The European Union President Wants Athlete Not to Push Human Rights: This was the headline over an AP article in yesterday's Sun News. The sports minister of Slovenia was quoted: Sports is too important to use it as a political instrument.
Strange set of priorities. Professional sports, as well as the Olympics, makes constant commerical statements for Coca Cola et all. This is appropriate. In fact essential to support all the expense of this grandiose celebration of amateur sports from around the world. However, these athletes should have the common decency to leave their views of human rights and social justice at the gateway to the Beijing Games.
China wanted, desperately, these games. They knew they would be opening themselves to demonstrations. And, IMO, rightfully so. Just one example: a brutal dictatorship still reigns in Tibet where 6000 monasteries and temples were destroyed; one million Tibetans died, and this country which China erroneously claims as having been part of its empire at one time --- is having ethnic Chinese poured into it --- so that it will be more Chinese than Tibetan. First, ethic cleansing through brutality and murder --- then ethnic dilution through a directed immigration scheme. (And we complain about Mexican sneaking across our borders.)
Steven Spielberg though did speak up through his actions and words:
Spielberg, the Oscar-winning director of films such as the holocaust drama Schindler's List and Munich, about the terrorist killings of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Games, withdrew from his unpaid position as artistic adviser to the opening and closing ceremonies in Beijing because of China's backing for the regime in Sudan. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk)
However, it is hoped that the rest of the world will put aside China's past and present record of crimes against humanity --and-- LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!