Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

April 10, 2008

San Francisco Olympic Torch Protest

Filed under: culture, politics — Tags: , , — codesmithy @ 7:18 am

I went to San Francisco to see the Olympic torch’s only visit to North America. In the end, I didn’t see the torch. Here is a Reuters article that describes what happened. The first thing that surprised me was the number of China supporters at the event. Maybe I wasn’t considering there is a large Chinese population in San Francisco. However, I saw more supporters than protesters.

There are many complex issues surrounding China. At the end of the day, all I want is more respect for people’s basic human rights in the world. The hypocrisy as American complaining about the human rights abuses of Chinese government is not lost on me. As one protester’s sign put it: do as we say, not as we do.

One important thing to remember is that China is more than just its government. The Olympic Games going to Beijing is an honor to the Chinese people. A recognition that they are coming out of a long dark period and onto the world stage. Although the transition has been brutal, China is emerging as a superpower.

There is no single narrative to the torch protests. It is an aggregation of different hopes and dreams of differing people. The hope of the modern Olympics is to bring the world together in the unity. This seems to be a case where the initial discord is considered too strong to resolve. I don’t think anyone could say for sure what would have happened if the torch had stayed on its original route. Although, I understand why officials thought it was too risky to do. If anything, the incidents prove the Olympic Games are falling short on the ideals they are supposed to inspire.

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