The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Olympic Hypocrites

Feb 14, 2022

When the 2022 Olympic Games opened in February in Beijing, the athlete lighting the torch at the ceremony came from the Uighur minority.

The Biden administration announced it would boycott the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, although U.S. athletes were allowed to compete. The reason given was “genocide and crimes against humanity,” referring to the Chinese government’s treatment of the Uighur people. Uighurs, pronounced Wee-gurs, are a minority in China who practice the Islamic religion. The treatment of this minority has included death and detention in so-called re-education camps.

But, coming from the United States government, these words are more than a little hypocritical. The U.S. has a 400-year history of abuse against one of its minorities, black people, who first suffered slavery, then Jim Crow and lynchings.

To this day, the black population still experiences mass incarceration and murder by police out of all proportion to their numbers in the U.S. population.

Let us remember how a black man, one of the best in his sport, was treated 55 years ago by the U.S. government. Muhammad Ali was stripped of his World Boxing Association heavyweight championship title in 1967 when he protested the Vietnam war by refusing induction into the U.S. Army. Then, when that memory was decades in the past, who lit the Olympic torch at the 1996 Olympic Games? It was Muhammad Ali!