US Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Olympics

Has it really been such a big surprise to China that the United States has chosen to diplomatically boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics? What has been more surprising is China’s reaction to the diplomatic boycott- as if they didn’t think the United States wouldn’t take a stance against their blatant human rights abuses which include: ● Mass detention camps and forced sterilization campaigns against Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in the country’s western province● Development of hypersonic and nuclear weapons● Menacing Taiwan and labeling it as a “breakaway” and unruly province● Violent crackdowns on democracy in Hong Kong● Censoring of Chinese tennis star, Peng Shuai, who disappeared for 2 weeks after taking to social media to accuse former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of coercing her into sex at his home Furthermore, the United States is not the only country that has diplomatically boycotted the Beijing Winter Olympics. Australia, New Zealand, and Lithuania have announced too that their officials will not be attending the Games in China which are set to start on February 4th of 2022. Liu Pengyu, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., tweeted in response to the White House’s diplomatic boycott announcement, saying that “politicians calling for [a] boycott … are doing so for their own political interests and posturing.” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “The athletes on Team USA have our full support. We will be behind the 100 percent, as we cheer them on from home, but the administration didn’t think “it was the right step to penalize athletes who have been training, preparing for this moment.” The United States boycotting the Olympics isn’t anything exactly new. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter completely boycotted altogether the 1980 Moscow Olympics to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. The Soviet Union retaliated by boycotting the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. So what is there for the United States to lose by diplomatically boycotting the Beijing Olympics? Of course, one can only expect China to continue their trade war by putting higher tariffs on their exported goods. But, these types of economic fear tactics shouldn’t ever make the US or any country waiver on pushing China to have a better human rights record. Having our American athletes participating in the Beijing Winter Olympics not only gives them the opportunity to showcase all their hard work and training, but it also gives them the platform to be public influencers who can express their opinions on advocating human rights everywhere. One great example of an American athlete who transcended his own era and brought to light positive change was Jesse Owens. Owens nearly didn’t get the chance to make Olympic history. With American decision-makers aware of Hitler’s discriminatory policies against Jews – but not yet prepared for the acts of genocide to follow – a fierce debate raged in the USA about whether to boycott the 1936 games. Amateur Athletic Union president Jeremiah Mahoney argued that American athlete participation equated to support of the Third Reich, but Mahoney’s argument was defeated at the hands of American Olympic Committee head Avery Brundage, who insisted that the Games were for the athletes and not the politicians. In preparation for the Summer Olympics, Germany made sure to put away antisemitic sentiments in Berlin under orders from Hitler’s minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. As the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported in April 1936, the last of the “red-painted signs announcing that ‘Jews Are Our Misfortune — Whoever Buys From Jews Is A Traitor’ were removed today from all public places in Berlin” — part of a strategy to rid all public displays of antisemitism during the international competition. The United States ended up sending many competitors, including 18 Black athletes. A leading Nazi newspaper referred to them as America’s “Black auxiliaries”. However, the Nazy regime was on its “best behavior” during the Games. Jesse Owens had emerged as a track and field sensation in the United States. He tied the world record in the 100-yard dash while still in high school, and his performance at the 1935 Big Ten Championships, in which he established three world records and matched a fourth over a span of 45 minutes, remains one of the most extraordinary accomplishments in collegiate sports history. And, it was Owens’ decision to participate in the Berlin Olympics that drew condemnation from African American publications and NAACP head Walter White. Yet Owen’s determination just grew stronger in that resistance. After setting an Olympic record in the 200-meter dash, Owens ignited the opening leg of a record-shattering U.S. 4×100 relay performance. He became the first American of any race to win four gold medals in track and field in a single Olympics, an achievement that wasn’t repeated until Carl Lewis did so 48 years later in 1984. Hitler, no shock, refused to shake Owens’ hand after he received his gold medals. But Hitler didn’t want to shake any winner’s hand if that hand didn’t belong to a German. Hitler was taken aback that Americans would lower their own reputations to allow African-Americans to compete in the Olympics. Owens returned to the cold reality of being a Black man in Great Depression-era America. He was forced to race against horses, motorcycles, and cars and take on other demeaning jobs for years such as a playground janitor. Owens finally caught a break in the 1950s when he became government ambassador and began touring the country delivering inspirational speeches. He earned good money and was finally seen to the public as what he always was: An American folk hero. He settled down in Phoenix, where most mornings he walked two miles to the downtown YMCA for swimming and weightlifting. What’s surprising is how President Franklin Roosevelt is still considered a progressive leader for his time period. Yet, it was FDR who invited only white medal winners to the White House and never acknowledged Jesse Owens’ success in Berlin. A month after returning to America triumphant, Owens spoke to a

Liar Liar, Aaron Rogers

For Green Bay Packers star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, who once hosted Jeopardy for 2 weeks, the answer to this question should be obvious: What is the best way to protect yourself and others from contracting COVID-19? Yet, Aaron Rodgers has twiddled his thumbs on the podium, given his smuggish smile, and provided conservative talk show hosts like Joe Rogan the doctor scrubs and medical credentials to provide him Covid consultation. Wait- now Rodgers has his answer: What is building your monoclonal antibodies and ivermectin? Wrong, Aaron, wrong. Maybe you should’ve never joined your team in the first place after sitting out on his teammates most of the off-season. First off, ivermectin is a treatment for parasitic worms, headlice, and skin conditions such as rosacea, that is not approved for use against Covid-19. Secondly, according to the FDA, Even the levels of ivermectin for approved human uses can interact with other medications, like blood-thinners. You can also overdose on ivermectin, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (problems with balance), seizures, coma, and even death. Thirdly, Rodgers hasn’t thought this through as some people will actually pursue his advice, what will be his talking points then, when he’s contributed to more patient hospitalizations in the United States? Allergies to the Covid Vaccine? Rodgers came under fire recently when he said he has an “allergy to an ingredient that’s in the mRNA vaccines” found in Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Yet, Rodgers could not detail the allergy and has yet refused to come forth. The number of people who’ve gotten allergic reactions to Covid vaccines is about 2-5 cases per million doses, according to Dr. Niraj Patel of Atlanta, chair of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force. Rodgers’ claim could have validity if it was actually backed by truth and medical records- but it’s not – as was his claim that a licensed NFL doctor told him “it’s impossible for a vaccinated person to get COVID or spread COVID”. What it all boils down to is Rodgers thinks he is somehow more informed than the Dr. Fauci’s of the world, the leading doctors across hospitals who till this day plead for people to get the vaccine if they haven’t. Every night these doctors have to try to go to sleep knowing tomorrow that they’re going to see another patient rolled into the emergency room diagnosed with COVID- another patient who will have to rely on a ventilator to keep them going. Aaron Rodgers with all his money and stardom doesn’t have to worry about who’s next. Why? Because he’s fallen into the same sad statistics of people who use fake excuses that the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine harbor negative side effects, or that somehow the vaccine is preventing their body from doing its own natural immunity response. These types of people fail to understand that the mRNA vaccine is giving their body the intelligent blueprint to be prepared to recognize and combat the virus- they fail to care about protecting the immunocompromised, elderly, and youth from exposure to COVID.  I feel bad for all the Green Bay Packer kids and fans out there- kids who might have looked up to Rodgers and thought of him as their team’s leader. They’re just going to have to find a new role model to look up to. It makes me truly disgusted that a professional athlete of Aaron Rodgers’ caliber can even defend his choice to not get the vaccine by evoking the great Martin Luther King, Jr.  Rodgers recently paraphrased Dr. King by saying  ‘You have a moral obligation to object to unjust rules and rules that make no sense.” MLK said these words at a time period where black people were hung, beaten, and harassed for wanting to be treated equally – for wanting to take a sip out of the same water fountain as whites, sit at the same restaurant as whites, and go to the same school as whites. These were just some of the many unjust rules MLK pointed out. Rodgers should feel utter shame and remorse for trying to put his own childish rebellion to not get vaccinated in the same light as MLK tried to shine. If MLK were alive today, one could only imagine he’d tell Rodgers to wake up and in MLK’s own words tell him: “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” After contracting Covid, Rodgers said: “There’s a lot to natural immunity, and natural immunity has not been part of the conversation”, adding: “If you’ve gotten Covid, and recovered from it, that’s the best boost to immunity that we can have.” Trust the Science and Medical Community Studies have shown that immunity from Covid does continue for several months after recovery, but it is unclear for how long. To ensure longer-term immunity and protection against variants of the virus, the medical experts continue to say the same thing: get vaccinated.  Being from Pennsylvania, I follow Geisinger Medical Center who in 2020 joined among 39 U.S. employers that received 2020 Best Employers: Excellence in Health & Well-Being awards presented at the business group’s virtual Workforce Strategy 2020 Conference. This is one of their more recent infographics which disproves Rodgers’ claim that those who opt against receiving the vaccine are just as safe as those who do get the vaccine. This is the type of data Rodgers needs to see- maybe it needs to be pasted into his own weekly playbook when he gets the chance to flip that open again. Look, I’m not a Rodgers’ hater or Packers hater. I have no vendetta against the Packers, and in fact, I always thought the organization was special as the Packers are the only publicly-owned, not-for-profit, major league professional team in the United States. Rather than having a single wealthy owner, or multiple partners, the Packers are owned by fans — 360,760 shareholders owning a total