The Olympics are a symbol of World Unity developed to create a level playing field so that the best athletes in the World can represent their country in competition. Even a cursory look at China’s recent human rights record shows that their national policy is not in line with the spirit of the games. If you haven’t been paying attention to human rights in China, here are a couple examples from the US State Department Archive:
- A Decades Long Effort to Eradicate Tibetan Culture
From the State Department Archive
“The PRC is continuing its decades-long campaign to eradicate Tibet’s unique religious, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic identity. Tibetans live in a virtual police state and face severe restrictions of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion or belief. The PRC interferes in the selection, education, and veneration of Tibetan Buddhist religious leaders and has evicted thousands of monks and nuns from religious institutions while destroying their dwellings. The PRC government has refused repeated requests to hold a meaningful and direct dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions. Instead, it has cut off the Tibetan community from the rest of the world, including by systematically impeding access to the region for foreign diplomats, journalists, and tourists.”
- Restriction of Democratic Processes and Human Rights in Hong Kong
From A Joint Statement on the Erosion of Rights in Hong Kong Aug. 9, 2020
“We the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, and the United States Secretary of State are gravely concerned by the Hong Kong government’s unjust disqualification of candidates and disproportionate postponement of Legislative Council elections. These moves have undermined the democratic process that has been fundamental to Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity.
We express deep concern at Beijing’s imposition of the new National Security Law, which is eroding the Hong Kong people’s fundamental rights and liberties.”
- Forced Labor (slavery) is Common and State Sponsored
From the State Department Archive
“In the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, state-sponsored forced labor remains a significant part of the CCP’s campaign of repression against Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minority groups. The PRC subsidizes Chinese companies to set up factories near detention camps in Xinjiang and transfers camp victims and others from rural areas to factories in other parts of Xinjiang and throughout China to work as forced labor under the guise of “vocational training” and “poverty alleviation” programs.”
These are not accusations from human rights groups or fringe organizers. These statements are taken from documents published on the United States Department of State website. The US government is enacting a diplomatic boycott of the Olympic games in Beijing, but Americans are still competing and American companies are still profiting from the Chinese effort to use the Olympics as a venue to showcase themselves as something other than the authoritarian state they are.
We’re asking Americans who value their freedom to oppose the Chinese attempt to showcase themselves. Here are two ways that you can take action.
- Turn off the TV and Connect Directly with Your Favorite Athletes
According to The Guardian NBC paid $7.75 billion dollars for their Olympic contract which runs until 2032. The only reason they would put out that kind of money is if they expected to make money on the deal. If ratings dropped drastically it would send a statement to NBC and its advertisers that Americans will not support a product that showcase human rights abusers.
Instead of flipping on the TV, get your results directly from the athletes via social media. Showing your support directly to the athletes increases their reach and allows them to negotiate for better sponsorship deals for themselves.
- Support the Resurgence of American Manufacturing
China’s rise as an economic super power was fueled largely by their ability and willingness to provide cheap labor and bottom dollar manufacturing of goods sold in the United States and the rest of the Western World. According to USTR.gov the trade deficit with China for goods was $310 billion in 2020. The fastest way to begin to erase this deficit and limit American support for the Chinese government is for Americans to choose to buy American products instead of the cheaper Chinese alternative.
Originmaine.com is a company led in part by retired Navy Seal Jocko Willink that is “rediscovering” American manufacturing. They produce high quality boots, jeans, martial arts equipment, fitness gear and more entirely in the USA. Their gear is not cheap and takes a bit longer to arrive at your door, but it is a statement in support of US manufacturing and will help pave the way for other companies to follow their lead.
The Olympics are an amazing event that have defined the human athletic experience for 100s of years. In recent years it has become an enormous economic endeavor as well. It’s important as humans that we demand that our athletic experience be representative with our vision of the planet we want to live in. There is no excuse for using our games to support oppression. Please take some small action. Together we can use the gears of capitalism to change the World.