I will be watching the Olympics.
My parents were survivors of the Cultural Revolution under Mao's Communist government and were sent to what were essentially labor camps for 10 years. While I do not support the human rights violations committed by the Communist Government, I am extremely angered and offended by the reductive nature of Western coverage of the Olympics and Chinese society. The underlying assumption of many media reports is that the Chinese people are essentially an evil people complicit with the crimes of their government. Bullshit. Chinese people, unlike Americans, cannot democratically vote. Yet despite enormous political challenges, Chinese people have become politically enfranchised by organizing protests, especially those that seek improved environmental conditions.
One of my major misgivings with Western coverage of Chinese society is its extreme hubris. What Western media fails to note is that although the Communist Government engages in trade relations with the government of Sudan, Western societies are also complicit in the genocides and mass violence wrought in Sudan, as well as neighboring countries such as Rwanda, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. Western governments financed and sold arms to Islamic extremists (including Osama bin Laden) during the Cold War, and their organizations are undoubtedly affiliated with the janjaweed, the rogue army responsible for a large part of the Sudanese genocide.
Thus, while the notion that China is "allowing genocide to occur in Darfur" has credence, you must recognize that it is just as much incontrovertible fact that the Bush Administration (democratically elected by the American people) has also allowed the genocide to continue by refusing to send military aid to liberate the Sudanese, at the same time that they continue to kill innocent Iraqi citizens.
Additionally, while I support Tibetan independence, I am stupefied that while American media corporations are quick to castigate not only the Chinese government but even Chinese citizens, they fail to mention that the land of the United States was forcibly obtained through genocide of Native Americans and stolen from the Mexican government. What American media has also failed to note is that there are Chinese citizens who are risking their very lives to fight for Tibetan autonomy.
Finally, when it comes to the environment, I have to say that the awful environmental conditions are hardly due to the Chinese alone. One word: outsourcing. American corporations are essentially outsourcing pollution and wage slavery to the Third World, and in particular, China. It is American textile companies that profit from the pollution of the Yangtze. It is American technology, clothing, and automobile corporations that profit from extortionary labor practices.
However, none of this is to say that the Chinese government is not guilty of crimes against humanity. But I will still be watching the Olympics, and my rationale is this: I support the Chinese people, and the spirit of the Chinese people. Despite all odds--Western oppression resulting from the Opium War, Britain's violent acquisition of Hong Kong, the Rape of Nanking by the Japanese army, and the Cultural Revolution under Mao--China's people have survived. In my opinion, to view the Olympics only in regards to the communist government is reductive; the Olympics are also a celebration of the resilience of the Chinese people.
I understand that people will chose to boycott the Olympics and exercise their power as consumers to consciously choose to express dissent with the Communist Government. I support this, and I applaud this decision. But please recognize and respect that there are viewers who watch the Olympics not because they support the government, but rather because they support the Chinese people.
Any thoughts/comments appreciated (except racist bullshit). Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
I'm refusing to watch the opening/closing ceremonies because those are more about the country. I am going to watch the sports ... the only time I actually watch sports is during the olympics ... because the competition is about the athletes not the country. However, I think what China is doing is terrible and the IOC should never have given China the olympics anyways because they have terrible human rights policies, terrible censorship and are allowing genocide to occur in Darfur.
I refuse to support China's government also, so I will be boycotting this years Olympics and encourage others to do the same. Write and/or email your state representatives to tell them your stance on the human rights offenses of the Chinese government and request that they make a public statement about it. Discontinue any shopping/business transactions with Walmart and all related businesses. They support communist, oppressive governments and financial hardship for local businesses and citizens.
I cannot support the Olympics in China as that government has suppressed human rights and has practiced genocide.
It's just another TV program. I'll watch when I have time; with the remote in my hand.
There is no option for "I like TV and sports, but think the Olympics are incredibly boring. "
what about viewing just some of the events or watching to see what things look like.