Unless you live under a rock somewhere, you’ve no doubt heard about the (mis)adventures occurring in London, Paris and San Francisco as the Olympic torch makes its torturous way toward a Tibet-inspired disaster in Beijing this summer.
My view is pretty simple, we should all do our utmost at home and abroad to make sure these Olympics are a disaster, are boycotted, and more importantly, are a thorough embarrassment to the Chinese government. Embarrassment, and more so, avoiding it and saving face, is a key motivator in China. Humililation works. The world has a real opportunity to shame the current Chinese government into doing something about not only its actions in Tibet, but its human rights/media rights progroms, its treatment of falun gong members, and its shameful environmental policies.
Now, sure, there are people who feel we should be doing something about wrongs that exist within our own borders first before getting all high-and-mighty with China. And sure, Canada should be doing more for its Native Canadians. And sure, America should be doing something about the embarrassment that is Guantanamo Bay. But to operate solely with an inward eye in this day and age is pure folly when faced with the reality the world is a global family. Approaching things with an American protectionist point-of-view may have worked in the 1930s but the world is far too interconnected today to warrant such antiquated approaches.
Others sprout some silliness about the distinction between ‘sport’ and ‘politics’ and their need to be dealt with as separate issues. While the altruistic spirit in me agrees; the reality in this day and age is that governments – and the Chinese government in particular – play a paramount, heavy-handed role in nurturing, financing and supporting sport and the development of their athletes. Heck, the Chinese government handpicks kids at birth to become star athletes. Suggesting ‘sport’ and ‘politics’ are different and distinct does nothing more than demonstrate a woefully inadequate knowledge of the sport machines federal governments throughout much of the world operate.
That said, I will continue to pester local politicans to see the error of their ways. Mayor Miller, whom I’ve met and chatted with at his Not-for-profit CEO roundtables, is wrong to be heading to our sister city in China at this time. I will continue to support and advocate for Canada to boycott the summer games. I will not support Canadian companies that are supporting these Olympics. I will continue to email my elected representatives to make my thoughts clear and seek their support in boycotting these games. And I will continue to support all non-violent actions that champion this cause … including the disruption of the torch relay.
What will you do? …..