China successfully blacks out Darfur in Beijing Olympics
The last day of the Olympics.
As a professed Olympics fanatic, I have watched – and taped – hours upon hours of Olympic competition, watching everything from synchronized swimming, rhythmic gymnastics and kayaking, to volleyball, basketball, and track and field.
And I can’t remember not one mention of the crisis in Darfur.
This, of course, doesn’t mean that no mention was made. Hard as I tried, I wasn’t able to watch every single minute of the two-week-long event. But I can easily say that I watched more than enough of these Beijing Olympics to know that China was wildly successful in their determined effort to squash the Darfur dilemma and keep the spotlight focused on the thrill of the Games. And only on the thrill of the Games.
To be honest, this isn’t much of a surprise. America has little to no interest in Darfur because there isn’t much of anything there that our nation needs. What Darfur does have is a lot of suffering black people, but judging by this nation’s record on dealing with the suffering of black people in America, it shouldn’t come as a shock that our government hasn’t stressed itself out trying to help black folks in Africa. As for the other nations of the world, they don’t have much of a reason to care about Darfur either. At least not enough to fuel a demand for more coverage of the Darfur protests throughout the Olympics.
Consider it a huge global shrug. It’s too bad, so sad, and moving right along.
China, on the other hand, is the world’s most populous nation and also the world’s most rapidly developing economic giant. They are modernizing and growing so fast that the global business community can barely hear the screams of the tortured folk in Darfur over the sound of those cash registers marching merrily to the bank. So, naturally, there is much more concern about keeping China happy than on saving Darfur. Nothing personal, just business.
Like I said, this really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Because something similar will happen in the next Olympics and the Olympics after that and on and on. The suffering of the world’s underprivileged will never stop, and the willingness of the world’s more prosperous nations to step in and lend a hand will always be determined by politics and money. That will never change.
Having said all that – and this may sound perverted and misguided to some – yes, I did enjoy the Olympics. Very much. As I always do. Because although the Olympics were held in China, and China’s hands are dripping with blood, the Olympics do not belong to China or to any one nation. The Olympics are about human-to-human competition in the field of sport.
Because of the sheer size of the Olympics, and because individual teams represent entire nations, politics will always intrude. But politics should never be allowed to shut down one of the few global events the world has to offer where individuals from different nations compete in (somewhat) friendly competition and respect. Warfare and business are about the only two other fields of endeavor where nations go head-to-head in such a direct and confrontational manner.
But with far more deadly consequences.