August 8, 2008

Some Thoughts on the Olympics

I've been thinking a lot lately about the Beijing Olympics, and I haven't quite yet made up my mind about them. As I write this, the Opening Ceremonies are being broadcast. While I do acknowledge the necessity for China to continue working to improve their human rights record, surely we also should commend them for the progress they have made on the issue. Conditions in China have improved; no they aren't perfect, but if we don't make use of positive encouragement, can we ever expect them to get there.

It is also important to distinguish between China's people and the Chinese government. The Chinese people have worked hard and want to show off their pride in their nation. They cannot and should not be faulted for the actions of the government. The Chinese people deserve a place on the world stage - while it would be preferential for them to do so in a true democracy, this is not the case. Do not punish the people for the actions of their government.

I guess that my position on the Olympics is to enjoy them but not pretend that the problems aren't there. I believe we can simultaneously enjoy the sports while remaining aware of and recognize the progress that has yet to be made.