Boycotting the 2022 Beijing Olympics is a good call

The Olympics cannot be an excuse to gloss over China’s human rights violations

The Beijing Olympics logo. ( Edited by Kristen Frier)

The Beijing Olympics logo. ( Edited by Kristen Frier)

Things are looking better nowadays. Theatres are opening up, masks are no longer mandatory, vaccination rates are rising, and the promise of normalcy is starting to emerge. However, through these uplifting moments, we can’t allow the uglier realities of the world to get swept away.

Some are worried that China’s hosting the 2022 Olympics in Beijing could serve to gloss over the human rights abuses perpetrated and backed by its government. Some people aren’t falling for it, some are calling to boycott the event, and I’m all for that. 

China is notorious for censoring everything. The nation is ruled by communism and it seems as though anyone who speaks up against its government within the nation is never heard from again. 

In China there is a system called the ‘social credit score’ and it’s exactly as it sounds. Your behavior is tallied up with a type of rating system, and that the higher your score, the more perks and allowances you get in society. 

Take for instance public transit. If you have a high enough score, then you are able to ride buses and trains, but if your score is low then you have to walk or hitchhike to your destination. 

China’s place in the world is that of huge significance. Almost every household in the west has at least one object that was made in China. That being said, China’s massive amount of power has been achieved through the use of propaganda, fear-tactics, and social pressure on protesters and those who ‘step out of line.’ If you are a Chinese citizen, becoming a political target of the Chinese government can also pressure your friends and companions to dissociate from you.

Boycotting the Olympics sends a message that the world will not condone the government’s treatment of its people, and only those who live outside the influence of the government have the freedom and power to do so.

The Chinese government has also been recognized internationally for violating the rights of its Uyghur Muslim community. Many are held in internment, forced into forgetting their culture through obligated indoctrination. 

Canadians detained in the nation are held in isolation chambers without human contact of any kind. The list of horrific, de-humanizing atrocities committed by China goes on. 

This brings us back to the Beijing Olympics. 

Yes, there are people that have trained for the sport and yes, the time they have devoted to training for this moment is admirable, but China’s crimes against humanity must be addressed before the world can accept that the Olympics should be held by their country.

To willfully overlook the human rights violations committed against the Muslim community for the sake of sports and the acquiring of a medal is tone-deaf. I’m not opposed to the Olympics as a whole, but when it’s can be used asa way to draw attention away from genocide, that’s just unacceptable.