Konnie Huq nearly had the Olympic torch snatched out of her hands, but even that wasn’t enough to make her reconsider what the Olympics in China means.
In a BBC interview Huq says that “taking part in the procession doesn’t mean I condone China in anyway. She goes on to say, “I believe in the Olympic values, the Olympic ideals. I think sporting on a global scale is a brilliant thing. It transcends culture, race, money” It is unclear which Olympic games she’s talking about here, but please pretend that’s true. She continues, “it’s just unfortunate that China …uhm, has such a terrible track record when it comes to human rights” Before finally saying that “the two sort of issues are separate. Taking part in the Olympics doesn’t mean that you condone China. …I understand the cause completely, but you know, this is a platform in which change can occur.” What a tremendous stand Ms. Huq is taking! Thank god we have people like her willing to pay lip service to her conscious.
The fact is that the athletes, corporations, and countries participating in the Olympics are condoning China’s actions in Tibet and in the rest of its country. I was listening to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today and found his words fit well here. He says, “I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal,” and goes on to add that, “Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.” (Why I Oppose the Vietnam War)
I’m not going to demand that people should boycott the Olympics, but they should consider it. It is important in these times that each person consider their own morals and their own convictions. I’ve considered these things about myself and have decided that I will not be able to standby and watch idly as a harm done to people is swept aside in the name of “sporting on a global scale.” Nor will I allow people to make the audacious claim that participating in the Olympics will bring change. If the Olympics has any chance of bring change to China, which it likely does not, it is the opposite that is true. A complete boycott of the Olympics will tell the Chinese government that the world is unhappy with their oppressive and torturous attitude towards its people. A complete boycott will also be a message that even China’s monstrous hope chewing propaganda machine will be unable to silence.