If the 1994 Olympics were held in Rwanda, would the United States participate?
While hypothetical, it’s a relevant question, considering President Franklin Roosevelt sent athletes to Germany in 1936 as Nazis already were engaging in fascistic actions, such as boycotts of Jewish-owned businesses, banning Jews from civil service roles, forced sterilizations of the disabled, and passage of the Nuremberg Laws. The world still allowed Adolph Hitler a global stage to showcase his nationalist propaganda.
Nearly a century later, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics present a similar time for choosing.
In the last 16 months, Chinese Communists covered up the worst global pandemic of our lifetimes; violently undermined the autonomy of Hong Kong; militarily threatened our Taiwanese allies; and perhaps most notoriously, Chinese supremacists are committing genocide on over 10 million Uyghurs and other minority populations in the Xinjiang region. Wealthy Sinophiles like Mike Bloomberg, Tom Friedman and Bill Gates can bury their heads, but the cold reality is nearly 90% of Americans now see China as a competitor or enemy.
Just before leaving office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained the ChiComs committed “crimes against humanity;” these horrors included imprisonment of more than a million civilians, forced sterilization, torture, and restrictions on freedom and religion. Pompeo declared “the Nuremberg Tribunals at the end of World War II prosecuted perpetrators for crimes against humanity, the same crimes being perpetrated in Xinjiang.”
Last month, the BBC published a harrowing report that detailed crimes Uyghur women experience every day at the hands of Chinese monsters.
In a recent press conference, Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed, noting, “My judgment remains that genocide was committed against the Uyghurs, and that hasn’t changed.”
Writing last week, former UN Ambassador and likely 2024 presidential candidate Nikki Haley recommended:
“If United States boycotts the Winter Olympics, it will send an unmistakable message that China’s tyranny and threats are unacceptable. It will show that actions have consequences. President Biden should choose America’s principles. We know what Communist China is doing. The leader of the free world should not hand that evil regime a powerful symbolic victory. Nor should the freest nation in human history.”
When there’s bipartisan consensus acknowledging anything these days, it should be noted.
I dislike boycotts because they’re frequently abused by fatuous cancel culture types, but stopping Xi Jinping’s second chance to “sportswash” China’s international image is worth it.
That slippery slope example is readily available. Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea just days after NBC performed its bootlicking duties at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Should China receive the Olympics’ economic benefits and showcase their Potemkin Villages, while simultaneously disrupting our defense industry, imprisoning millions, and unleashing a pandemic on the world that’s killed over 2.6 million?
Like any global sports body, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will avoid tackling evil, but U.S. companies like Apple, Coca-Cola, Disney, Google, Nike and others are also suspected of using Uyghur labor; these rogue corporations — who couldn’t wait to bash America last summer since “social justice” applies here but not in international relations — should be shunned, not benefit.
Following the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow; it was the correct choice, and 65 other nations followed. Now nearly 200 human rights groups understand totalitarian countries and dictators can’t be appeased.
Athletes have undeniably worked hard for next winter, but individual glory should fall way below upholding America’s guiding principles. If the IOC acts soon enough, rather than outright canceling, we can still simply relocate the games.
Earlier this month, resolutions in both the House and Senate called on the IOC to take the Games away from China unless the regime “addresses its egregious and numerous violations of human rights.”
Do I think it’ll occur? It’s unlikely, since legacy media, chicken-livered corporations, and supposedly compassionate Democrats seemingly value ideology and money more than human dignity. Being “woke” means fighting invisible battles and avoiding real ones. Maybe vainglorious left-wing athletes of privilege like LeBron James and Megan Rapinoe should read about China’s unparalleled pollution or firsthand accounts of China’s ongoing atrocities. The Chinese are not woke.
Sports leagues, corporations and celebrities may prefer to whitewash genocide and embolden evil, but I don’t. Nor should the increasingly inept Biden administration.
Let’s follow Jimmy Carter’s lead.
A.J. Kaufman is an Alpha News columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Israel National News, Orange County Register, St. Cloud Times, Star-Tribune, and across AIM Media Midwest and the Internet. Kaufman previously worked as a school teacher and military historian.