Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Berlin 1936 and Beijing 2022: Legitimizing genocidal totalitarian regimes through sports is a profound immorality with bad outcomes

 "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."- George Santayana


Legitimizing genocidal totalitarian regimes through sports is a profound immorality with bad outcomes

The 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing were a human rights disaster for China with scenes of Tibetan demonstrators gunned down by Chinese soldiers. 

14 years later, and the world has suffered over 5.6 million deaths due to COVID-19, and the Chinese Communist dictatorship of  Xi Jinping bears responsibility. The Chinese government did not reveal for weeks what it knew about COVID-19, allowing it to spread into a worldwide pandemic. The Frontline Documentary "China's COVID Secrets" is required viewing to understand what happened.

#NoBeijing2022 has listed some of the other outrages committed by the ruling Chinese Communist Party in Beijing.  "The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics is set to happen amid one of the world’s worst crackdowns against freedom, democracy, and human rights."

  • At least TWO million Uyghur, Kazakh, and Uzbek Muslims are detained in “re-education camps” undergoing systematic torture, rape, and political re-education.
  • 80% of Tibetan children – as young as 4 – are forced away from their parents and housed in China’s colonial boarding schools, cut off from their families they face intense political indoctrination.
  • In Hong Kong, the Chinese government has implemented a draconian National Security Bill that effectively criminalises protest and curtails any remaining human rights.
  • Protests by Southern Mongolians, whose rights, language and culture being eradicated, are put down with force
  • Detention & disappearance of countless Chinese lawyers, feminists & activists
  • Intimidation and geopolitical bullying of Taiwan and aggression and expansion across borders – in the South China Sea and India-Tibet border – present a clear threat to regional and global security.

A second Frontline Documentary from April 2020, "China Undercover" examined the systematic crackdown on Chinese Muslims.

Despite this the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose China once again to host the Olympics in 2022 in the midst of the historic crimes of the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship.  

As was the case in the lead up to the 2008 Olympics friends of a free China need to increase scrutiny on the Chinese regime and boycott these Olympics. The consequences of  the IOC legitimizing such a regime cannot be overstated. If you are in the Washington DC area on Thursday, February 3rd at 12 noon please join the #NoBeijing2022 Rally at Union Square 3rd Street SW.

The 1936 Olympics held in Berlin and hosted by the Nazi Third Reich with the ceremonies formally opened by Adolph Hitler should serve as a cautionary example. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum described the impact of the games as follows:

On August 1, 1936, Hitler opened the XIth Olympiad. Musical fanfares directed by the famous composer Richard Strauss announced the dictator's arrival to the largely German crowd. Hundreds of athletes in opening day regalia marched into the stadium, team by team in alphabetical order. Inaugurating a new Olympic ritual, a lone runner arrived bearing a torch carried by relay from the site of the ancient Games in Olympia, Greece.
[...] Concerted propaganda efforts continued well after the Olympics with the international release in 1938 of "Olympia," the controversial documentary directed by German film maker and Nazi sympathizer Leni Riefenstahl. She was commissioned by the Nazi regime to produce this film about the 1936 Summer Games. Germany emerged victorious from the XIth Olympiad. German athletes captured the most medals, and German hospitality and organization won the praises of visitors. Most newspaper accounts echoed the New York Times report that the Games put Germans "back in the fold of nations," and even made them "more human again." Some even found reason to hope that this peaceable interlude would endure. 

The 1936 Olympics whitewashed the brutality of the Nazi regime in Germany and led to acceptance of Hitler's criminal regime. The 2008 Olympics whitewashed the brutality of the Communist regime in China further legitimizing that criminal regime.

In 2022,  returning the Olympics to China and making this decision in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the destruction of Hong Kong's democracy, threats against Taiwan, and the Uyghur genocide creates a historic moral hazard.

This is why I will not watch the Olympics, and encourage others to join me in this boycott, instead I will stand with Hong Kong, and Taiwan, share documentaries and films that reveal the facts of the genocidal regime in Beijing, and calls to nonviolent protests against the Chinese Communist dictatorship, and their enablers.

Below is a documentary about the 2019-2020 protests in Hong Kong titled "Do Not Split." Please share it with others.

1 comment:

  1. Even though you rightly note that the People's Republic of China will be the first ever authoritarian political entity to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics, bear in mind that Berlin was chosen to host the 1936 Summer Olympics long before Hitler's rise to power, in which case the Nazi seizure of power allowed for Hitler to tout the 1936 Summer Olympics as putting to the test his belief that Aryans were superior to other races of man, in sharp contrast to Beijing refusing to bring up any racist themes when advertising its Olympic Games. I remember that Jesse Owens' stunning performance in the 1936 Summer Olympics was a big PR disaster for Hitler when it came to his belief in the alleged superiority of Aryans over black people, because when Max Schmeling
    defeating African American boxer Joe Louis at a boxing match in St. Louis in June 1936, the victory of Schmeling over Louis was feted by Joseph Goebbels as a propaganda victory for Aryan superiority.