Monday, March 31, 2008

China and the Olympics

NPR had an interesting debate between David Kilgour, a human rights activist and former Canadian Parliament member, and Anita DeFrantz, a former Olympic rower who missed the 1980 Moscow Olympics because of the U.S. boycott. Ms. DeFrantz is now a member of the International Olympic Committee and is opposed to a boycott. She believes that because the Olympic games are being held in China, that alone has forced China to be more open about its human rights practices.

In February, Steven Spielberg stepped down as artistic director to the Olympic games in protest to China's human rights practices. Corporate sponsorship discussions for the Olympic games have not really made headlines yet, and may not.

That seems to be the question right now: Should one support the Olympics and encourage interaction and openness with China, or should one boycott some or all of the Olympics in protest to the historic and ongoing human rights abuses so prevalent in that country?