By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Will the Spirit of Tommie Smith Color Beijing’s 2008 Olympics
WILL THE SPIRIT OF TOMMIE SMITH COLOR BEIJING’S 2008 OLYMPICS BUT WHERE’S OBAMA ?? TOMMIE SMITH TODAY
Not since 1968 has an Olympics
has the potential to be more
remembered for Protests
than for Olympic Sports
This may turn into the Olympics from HELL for the Chinese leadership. One gargantuan example of getting what you desperately wanted going very bad. Tommie Smith and John Carlos may well see a rebirth of interest in their heroic gesture at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Which is what that Olympics is most remembered for. Their visual protest against American Racism and the Vietnam War.
It has already started
Even if their names have not been invoked widely yet. PROTESTS are defining the Beijing Olympics long before they begin. First it was Darfur. Then Tibet. Now it is the Torch itself which is the focus of attention as it travels the world before arriving in Beijing in August to begin the 2008 Games. In Paris as you should have heard something that never happens happened. Anti-Chinese protests resulted in the Torch being extinguished.
That all by itself will “curse” these Games
Next the Torch travels to San Francisco where the PROTESTS will be as great if not more than in Paris. But the real issue here in the Box is how should African Americans react now and at the >Olympics most of all. That is why Tommie Smith and John Carlos are relevant and why that famous photo will soon surface again in the media.
While China has transformed itself into an economic powerhouse and while Capitalism flourishes, China advances as a repressive dictatorship without freedoms or elections. With the country so large central control is not all pervasive but every Chinese man, woman and child lives their entire lives in fear of state power.
And at any moment they can be arrested without cause some never to be seen again. As has happened to thousands of human rights activists. Hundreds of millions of Chinese peasants live their lives in depressing poverty without hope or basic services. Subject to the whims of the Communist government that RULES China.
Sound familiar maybe like
Slavery in the United States
followed by the oppression of
“freed” African Americans
for generations after
So the question for all athletes here African American athletes should they go to Beijing, compete and win Medals as thought the China surrounding them does not exist. Should they allow Communist officials read repressive dictators to sit in privileged seats and hear the roar of the crowd bask in the glory as thousands of athletes many from the United States parade before this repressive regime providing priceless credibility it does not deserve.
Which brings us back to
Tommie Smith and John Carlos
They are considered HEROES today in the African American community and outside it among enlightened Americans for having the COURAGE to defy the rules of the International Olympic Committee and sentiment in the United States for symbolically PROTESTING the condition of African Americans in American society and the Vietnam War as one manifestation of that oppression.
HEROES now but
The International Olympic Committee has just issued a decree WARNING athletes against any display of displeasure against the Chinese over Darfur or Tibet or conditions the vast majority of Chinese live under. WHAT ARE AFRICAN AMERICANS ATHLETES TO DO. Most of them as of now are expected to act like sheep and do nothing. Appear and perform at this Olympics as though it were any Olympics BUT IT IS NOT.
These Olympics are an historic opportunity
For many athletes not just two lonely figures as were Tommie Smith and John Carlos – to force the Chinese regime to face itself and how far out of synch it is with the image it wants the world to have of China and how out of touch with the world we want it is in the 21st century. The Chinese communist regime can give all the “excuses” it wants for the kind of society it lords over BUT WE ARE THE FOOLS IF WE ACCEPT IT.
As to be expected one of the most embarrassing Presidents in the entire history of the United States George Bush intends to “proudly” (sic) attend the Opening Ceremonies and with a big smile on his hypocritical face sit side by side with Chinese dictators using athletes from the United States and around the world to further enhance their repressive powers.
At least Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are demanding that Gorge Bush cancel his trip to China for the Olympics. But all we have from Barack Obama so far is SILENCE. SHAME ON HIM. It is the most embarrassing “position” he has taken during his Presidential campaign. Let’s hope by the time you read this Box he wakes up.
But the real question is WHAT
will the athletes do will they
do anything to prevent
the Chinese regime
from using the
TIME TO PUT OUT THE FLAME