Thursday, April 17, 2008

2008 Olympics and the Threat of a Boycott; Chinese Respond in Defense of Country

2008 Boycott Olympics

By Norman (Otis) Richmond

Even the Dalai Lama does not support a boycott of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. His Holiness made this crystal clear on a recent television show. The exiled spiritual leader’s home of Tibet has received increased world wide attention since the Peoples Republic of China’s opposition to dissident monks became instant news.

In an interview with NBC News, the Dalai Lama said he does not want to punish China as a whole for the actions of its government. President George W. Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper have also spoken out against boycotting the 2008 Olympics.

Democratic candidate Sen., D-NY Hillary Clinton has hypocritically called on President George W. Bush to boycott the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Sen. Clinton feels the United States should protest China's record on human rights. She is speaking specifically of China’s role in Tibet and Darfur. Unfortunately, the other Democratic candidate en.

Barack Obama, D-Ill has chosen to say ditto to Ms. Clinton proposal. It appears that both the Democratic and Republican Parties have joined in the anti-China campaign. Death row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal often talks of a Repubicratic party. Senators Clinton and Obama make Mumia’s point.

It is interesting that neither President Bush nor Prime Minister Harper
has talked of boycotting the opening ceremonies. "I would note that even the Dalai Lama has not called for such a boycott," Harper recently said.

Pro-Tibet demonstrators attempted to stop the Olympic torch in London, Paris, and San Francisco. However, nothing of that nature took place in Tanzania. The mayor of Dar es Salaam, the capital of this East African nation received the torch from a Chinese official and assured him its run through his country would be smooth.

Students of the modern Olympics understand the torch was introduced in the 1936 Berlin Games, an Olympics awash in the propaganda of Adolph Hitler’s Nazi regime.

The United States has less than a stellar record on human rights. China watcher, H.Williams has pointed out, “The recent spate of attacks on China for alleged human rights violation leaves one aghast by the hypocrisy of the Governments leading these attacks that are given extensive publicity by the corporate press."

Experience has shown time and time again that the country that is invariably behind such subversive activities is none other than the United States of America aided and abetted by one or more European states of similar bent. Many African-American organizations and individuals have charged the United States government with genocide.

For the sake of time and space I will look at only one example. On Dec.17, 1951, Paul Robeson and William L.Patterson, two giants of the international African Liberation Struggle, delivered to the United Nations a petition titled, “We Charge Genocide”: The Crime of Government Against the Negro People.”

Robeson Paul presented the document to the UN in New York on December 17, 1951. Patterson who is an executive director of the Civil Rights Congress delivered copies of the drafted petition to the UN delegates that were meeting in Paris on the same day. Many feel that this act helped spark the modern civil rights and black power movements.

Among the other signers were George Crockett Jr., later a distinguished judge in Detroit who went on to serve many terms in the U.S. Congress, New York City Communist councilman Benjamin J. Davis, Jr., Ferdinand Smith, Black leader of the National Maritime Union, Charlotta Bass, publisher of the California Eagle newspaper, Dr. Oakley C. Johnson of Louisiana, Aubrey Grossman, the labor and civil rights lawyer, and Claudia Jones, a Communist leader in Harlem later deported under the witch-hunt Walter-McCarran Act.

Also signing were family members of the victims of legal lynching: Rosalee McGee, mother of Willie McGee, framed up on rape charges, and Josephine Grayson, whose husband, Francis Grayson, was one of the Martinsville Seven, framed and executed on false rape charges in Virginia.

The great El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) was talking about an
updated version of what Robeson, Patterson, Dr. W.E.B.Dubois, and others had started in 1951 before his assassination on Feb. 21, 1965.

Other Western powers cannot lay all the blame on the racist United States. Recall, the African continent was craved up like a Thanksgiving turkey at the Berlin Conference, which took place in Germany in 1884/85.

Mr. Williams once again called out these colonial powers. Says Williams, “We cannot omit another prominent member of the choir, Great Britain whose history of murder, pillage and every imaginable human rights violation perpetrated in the colonies that constituted the Empire on which the sun never set. Their record in dealing with the so-called Mau Mau rebellion is not old enough to have faded from our memories and more recently one cannot forget that they were a member of the “Coalition of the willing” that now occupies Iraq and as a member of NATO is active in Afghanistan.”

African people and their allies must not fall for the imperialist
propaganda coming from Washington, Ottawa, Paris and London. The United States, Canada, France and the United Kingdom all can be called on their human rights records. Chuck D and Public Enemy words should be heeded: “Don’t Believe the Hype!”

Norman (Otis) Richmond can be contacted Richmond can be heard every Saturday on Saturday Morning Live, 10am to 1pm and Diasporic Music every Thursday from t 8pm to 10pm. CKLN-FM can be heard on the World Wide Web

This is Richmond’s 25th year at CKLN-FM 88.1.

Chinese vent anti-Western fury online

Bloggers are now calling for boycotts and stoking death threats over perceived insults from Westerners who have criticized China's human rights record ahead of this summer's Olympic Games.

By Peter Ford
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
From the April 17, 2008 edition

Reporter Peter Ford discusses China's perception that it is being too harshly judged by the west leading up to this summer's Olympics.

Beijing - A violent storm of nationalist indignation is roiling the Chinese internet, as bloggers vent their anger at perceived Western insults in the wake of the Tibetan uprising last month.

Simmering resentment at the way the Olympic torch relay was treated by pro-Tibet demonstrators in London and Paris has boiled over this week into invective against a CNN commentator, a French supermarket chain, and Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives.

The government, which keeps a close eye on Internet debate through censors who delete unapproved comment, has given the campaign free rein. Indeed it has added its voice to the angry chorus, which some observers say echoes ancient resentments.

"This has deep historical resonance," says Kenneth Lieberthal, a political science professor at the University of Michigan. Now that China has regained the international stature it ceded 150 years ago to Western powers, he says, the country's leaders harbor suspicions that "the West is trying to humiliate them again."

CNN apologized Wednesday to Chinese citizens who felt that commentator Jack Cafferty had called them a "bunch of goons and thugs" during an edition of "The Situation Room" last week. Mr. Cafferty had previously explained that he had been referring to the Chinese government, not to the Chinese people.

The clarification and apology came too late, however, to stem a tide of outraged posts across the Chinese blogosphere, where a Chinese translation of Cafferty's derogatory comments had been widely disseminated.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu took up their cause Tuesday, saying Beijing was "shocked to hear the malicious attacks … against the Chinese people." She demanded an apology.

The wave of anti-Western sentiment – unmatched since US planes bombed China's embassy in Belgrade in 1999 –has been fueled by bloggers complaining about biased Western media coverage of the Tibet issue and posting examples.

Demonstrations in Europe that disrupted the international Olympic torch relay fanned the flames: The torch is seen here as a symbol of the summer Olympic Games, which are a source of intense national pride.

The Chinese government has also instilled a sense of pride in the country's achievements over the past three decades. "They have pulled themselves up and they are beginning to command global respect," says Mr. Lieberthal. "They have economic achievements to show, and they have advanced without wars, and without upsetting the international apple cart."

Most Chinese are baffled by the Western outcry over Tibet, he points out, since they believe that Tibet has always been part of China and that Tibetans have benefited from the country's growing prosperity.

"They think that Tibet cannot be the real reason" for Western criticism of China, Lieberthal adds. "They think that the real reason must be that no matter what they do … the West will give them no credit."

The tone of the Internet debate has grown increasingly heated. "Don't think all Westerners are arrogant and ignorant, but right now most of them are" was among the most moderate postings Wednesday on a discussion thread.

A campaign to boycott Carrefour, the popular French supermarket chain, has gathered pace in recent days through text messages and e-mail chain letters. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has indicated he may not attend the Olympic opening ceremony if Beijing does not open talks with the Dalai Lama.

"Boycott Carrefour. Slap them in the face. Let the beast disappear from Chinese territory," reads one chat-room post urging people to shop elsewhere.

Another campaign spreading like wildfire through the Chinese MSN instant message network calls on users to put "I heart China" in front of their usernames. "Let's show the whole world how united we are," one instant message suggests.

On, a Chinese version of, enterprising merchants have seized on the mood to offer T-shirts emblazoned with "Shut Up CNN" or "I Love China."

Chinese students abroad have taken up the cudgels, planning big demonstrations in Europe and Australia. Chinese students at Duke University have assailed one of their compatriots, Grace Wang, who attended a pro-Tibet demonstration on campus, with hate mail and death threats; others have carried the campaign to her parents' home in Qingdao, upending a bucket of feces by their front door.

Officials have also joined the fray. The official Xinhua news agency carried an unusually harsh commentary last weekend attacking Ms. Pelosi – a longstanding critic of the Chinese government – as "disgusting" and "detested by the Chinese people."

Government-run newspapers have run a series of articles condemning what authorities say is unfair foreign press coverage of Tibet-related issues. On Tuesday, China Daily published an editorial arguing that "Westerners have been blaming Chinese authorities for cultivating nationalist sentiments through patriotic education. No patriotic education could possibly be as effective as the Western media's distortion of facts and Western politicians' brazen disregard of the truth."

In an opinion piece published in the same paper, China's ambassador to London, Fu Ying, complained of "the media's attempt to demonize China" and warned that "we all know that demonization feeds a counter-reaction.

"I am concerned that mutual perceptions between the people of China and the West are quickly drifting in opposite directions," she wrote.

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