The 2008 Olympics: One World, Countless Nightmares

Okay, so what’s the real count during these 08 Olympics? I’m not talking about the medal race between China & the US, or how many golds Michael Phelps has rack up. I’m talking about the count of human rights violations. As many people had suspected, the whole “officially sanctioned protest area” thing was a total sham. To date, not a single protest has taken place. The Chinese government has put up so many bureaucratic barriers, most Chinese citizens are deterred from even filing an application. Those who went ahead and persisted with their applications? Well, they were either sentenced to 1 year hard labor (like these two septuagenarian, nearly blind women) or pretty much just up and disappeared like Gao Chuancai. And for these lucky foreign protesters? They only get detained for 10 days with no trial or court hearing.

The 2008 Olympics official slogan should be redubbed from “One World, One Dream” to “One World, Countless Nightmares.” The world should have known it was in for a doozy of a human rights violation fest when the government began rounding up and imprisoning well known human rights advocates and dissidents prior the start of the games.

Shame on the IOC for complicitly sitting by while China makes a mockery of human rights, free speech, and free expression. So unwilling to admit they made a mistake when they selected China as the official host country 6 years ago, they are now turning a blind eye to the repeated offenses made by the Chinese government. Dude, you’re the f*cking International Olympics Committee – do or say something! I love how the IOC admitted just weeks prior to the start of the game that they knew China would not allow full internet access to the journalists and media traveling to Beijing. Who is going to hold the IOC accountable for sanctioning the Chinese governments human rights violations through their inaction?

The thing that is most incensing is that except for a few media outlets, everyone seems to be pandering to the PR machine created by the Chinese government. NBC’s coverage of the Olympics presents a shiny happy image of China that makes it look like the next eden. China is being portrayed as some sort of responsible global citizen. Does no one remember that just weeks prior to the start of the Olympics, China voted against UN sanctions against Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe. And they continue to invest and sell small arms to the Sudanese government.

I realize I am now probably barred from ever entering China.

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About Bo

A 30something, 1.5 generation Korean-American/New Yorker who spends her day as an HR exec. specializing in corporate diversity & inclusion. I get to think about ways to make "The Man" less male, white, and straight. It's the best job in the world! When I'm not trying to change corporate America, I teach yoga and dabble in holistic health counseling. I have an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business and my undergraduate from the University of Michigan. Lesser known facts about me: I enjoy b&w film photography, training for endurance races, and making homemade jam. Other mindless observations can be found at
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