Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Whole World is Watching

This phrase "The Whole World is Watching" was made famous in 1968 when student protesters at the Democratic convention in Chicago shouted this as Mayor Daley's police ran wild over them. That 1968 chant comes to mind to me as I watch Olympics coverage from China. The Whole World is certainly watching. But not saying very much.

The Chinese government has gone to great lengths to camouflage Tienanmen Square's history. What is disturbing and disheartening is how well the US press is playing along. The games' bike competitions sent riders past the square, known now to Chinese students too young to remember the 1989 massacre as a spot of honor to Mao and China's history. I listened to reporters on three different networks talk about how large Tienanmen Square is, and that it is a centerpiece of Beijing. In just one of those reports was there a reference to the massacre, and it was one sentence buried in a long loving postcard to the city.

I lived a block from the Chinese embassy in 1989 and was part of a number of demonstrations at that embassy in protest of the attacks. Of course we were ignored by the embassy, that was to be expected. But that our free press is ignoring or pushing aside the history and story of those atrocities in exchange for a happy Olympics face is just disgusting. The Chinese government and Tienanmen Square are steeped more blood than any Olympics can wash away.

2 Comments:

Blogger buckarooskidoo said...

I agree in principle...these totalitarian games are hard to swallow, especially these ostentatious displays of unity in the opening ceremonies, etc.. but i well remember the moscow games which we and others boycotted...the only thing that accomplished was to infuriate the soviet government and deny russian citizens the chance for informal encounters with people from "evil" countries like the us. i think where you can force open a door to let some light in, you definitely go ahead and do it, even though the authorities might think they are scoring some important propaganda victories...

11:01 AM  
Blogger LaPopessa said...

Fortunately there's lots of room between condemnation and boycott. Was pleased to see NBC finally (FINALLY) do a story about one of the students who survived Tienanmen just now.

6:50 PM  

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