'Am I not human?'

9 years ago


Are Darfuris and Tibetans not human?

April 27 marked the beginning a monthly campaign by bloggers to raise awareness around what actress Mia Farrow calls the "genocide Olympics" in an opinion column - written with her son Ronan Farrow, a 19-year-old Yale law student - in The Wall Street Journal a year ago.

Farrow, who has visited Darfur eight times, works with Dream for Darfur, the leader in a coalition of N.G.O.'s committed to ending the continuing violence in Sudan and groups concerned with government abuses inside China and Tibet.

Since China was named host to the summer Olympics back in 2001, the international community has challenged the emerging superpower to fulfill its promise to improve its human rights record.

Amnesty International reports paint a blood-soaked picture of Beijing in the lead-up to the Games. "China is the largest stakeholder in Sudanese oil, purchases 70% of Sudan's exports, and is Sudan's largest supplier of arms," according to the "Am I Not Human" campaign.

"We will no longer idly stand by and watch such blatant hypocrisy as human beings are inhumanely preyed upon," writes blogger Eddie G. Griffin, a campaign organizer.

Are human rights not political?

The Olympics Games celebrate athletic triumph and speak to patriotic hearts of watchers. But does "politicizing" the Beijing Olympics torch this spirit? Are human rights not political?

According to the Olympic Charter, "the goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man,with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity." Since the International Olympic Committee remains "selectively apolitical in its refusal to address the Darfur genocide," Dream for Darfur says politicizing the Games is the only way to protect the legacy of the Olympics.

 Anti-China backlash

Freshman Byran Dai, who has watched pro-Tibet demonstrations in Harvard Square, believes that "it's commendable that these protesters can support such a noble cause. But it saddens me that they would go so far as to condemn China's possession of the Olympics, seen as the pride of the Chinese people and the chance to show off their country's advances and modernization to the world," he wrote in an e-mail to The Journal News in New York. "As an American-born Chinese, I am tired of only hearing one side of the Tibetan incident broadcast in the media."

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