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We're but a few weeks away from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Every 4 yearz, this event bringz up the criticizmz I felt compelled to address in a piece from our R-Kyvz vault, 'Afrikanz in the Olympics?!!?', but this yearz event that honorz the homosexually-charged greecian era harborz an even greater relevance for Afrikan people to be aware of... the ongoing torture and malicious genocide of our kin in Darfur. For what the Olympics is s'posed to represent, it looks good on the surface, but the root of it as well as the wicked poli-tricks behind it puzzles me even further why there hasn't been a roaring call of Afrikanz world-wide to cease from participating permanently! Why you ask? Let's first look at the origin...
THE CULTURAL EVOLUTION OF THE OLYMPICS
Basically, they tried to white-wash a vital period in recorded history and they would've be successful had not the works of James and Cheikh Anta Diop (to name a few) been written. In addition to this crime, the greeks proved to be no different than the colonial european pirates before and after them.
An interesting point is that greece is also believed by many as the place where homosexuality was either born and/or socially accepted as normal. So what we have here is a culture that created a ceremony that happenz every 4 yearz, that honorz their pirating, as well as sexually imbalanced/pedophiliac fore-fatherz. The spread of this fable-laced illusion of greek dominance around the world beginning months before the Ga(y)mes with the Olympic Torch Relay (the torch which is also a symbol of the Illuminati), where a flame-lit torch originates from the first site in Athens... And we Afrikanz as well as everyone else partake/support it willingly unaware.
THE TORCH-URE BEHIND THE FLAME
This sacrilegious crusade has been credited with the death of at least 400,000 Afrikanz with more than 2.5 million having been displaced and/or on the verge of death from disease and starvation. To date, humanitarian aid's been scaled back because of the danger aid workerz face. Without any protection, the delivery of food and medicine has literally ceased.
All of this could be brought to light if the IOC (International Olympic Committee) would step up. But to think that they would, would be showing naivety to the bigger picture... to them, this is a game. Many parties involved have been diligently workin' to keep the situation in Darfur on the low. The simple equation is this, the IOC chose China. China is basically underwriting the genocide in Darfur. And the IOC continues to remain silent.
The IOCs creed demandz "respect for universal fundamental ethical principles," as written in their charter. When they awarded China with the Games, the IOC said it would open up China to the world on human rights issues, when in actuality, we see they've done nothin' but cover it up. In fact, if you look back to when China pitched to have the Olympics in Beijing, they promised to improve its record on human rights issues. Oh, the press covered issues China has with Tibet—largely credited to numerous protests of the Olympic Torch Relay in London and Paris—but no where in 'massa'-media can you find them mention what's been goin' down in Darfur. To date, China has yet to sever ties its mutually beneficial relationship with Khartoum, nor used its leverage to increase security for the people of Darfur. What China has done is condemned anyone who dares to raise this issue—and this included the IOC, the very committee who granted the games to China in the first place. High-ranking Chinese officialz were cited tellin' the IOC to "stay out of politics."
What's worse, addressing Darfur took an even bigger blow with the massive May 12th earthquake in China that took as many as 50,000 lives, leavin' as many as 5 million homeless. There was an immediate shift of sympathy for the few that were aware of their involvement in Darfur; and for the majority, an outcry of sorrow for the people of China. Almost immediately, the world shifted its attention and started sending aid. Here in america, athlete's like the NBAs Yao Ming—a native of China—were put in the spotlight.
THE MIND OF THE ATHLETE vs. THE SPORTS MECHANIZM BEHIND THE GAMES
Not too long ago, ESPNs 'Outside the Line' (OTL) did a piece on athlete's competing in this yearz Olympics and how they'll participate and/or respond to the issue in Darfur. With a large number of athlete's representing the United States bein' of Afrikan descent, you would think the genocide in Darfur would be on the mindz of at least some of them.
This was almost deja vu, where an opportunity for the resurrection of the politically active black athlete we saw of the 1960s (Tommie Smith, Jim Brown, Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to name a few—by the way, what happened to them and the movement??) who brought attention the continued racizm Afrikan people face in this so-called 'Land of the Free', could happen. It also echoed the efforts of one Craig Hodges, who helped the Chicago Bulls win two straight NBA championships in the early 1990s, and was the lone and last black athlete to take a political stance, when he wore a dashiki and handed a letter to then president George Bush, Sr. condemning the treatment of American-Afrikanz in the United States in '91 after the Bulls visit to the White House. The Bulls coincidentally cut him shortly after and he never got another tryout with any other team, thus bringing an abrupt halt to his career.
Imagine what b-ball icon LeBron James would say when approached in Beijing about Darfur. What would he say? Is he educated enough to say somethin' significant? Although Hodges career came to a dead stop, he's currently employed with the Los Angeles Lakers as a shooting coach. In addition to his coaching, he found a player as well as student that took interest on the topic, Lakers reserve forward, Ira Newble. Newble played with LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2003 until he was traded this past season to Seattle, later signing with the Lakers.
Last spring Newble read about Darfur and became vexed at how many hedz were unaware of this in America. "I turned on the TV watching CNN and all I saw was about Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole Smith and things of that [nature] that were dominating the news at the time. I really couldn't believe that I didn't hear anything about what was going on in Sudan, so I decided at that point to get involved."
His father bein' a civil rights worker in the 60s made it only naturual he'd feel compelled to do something. He wrote a letter to the Chinese government asking how it could host the Olympics when it "remains complicit in the terrible suffering and destruction of Sudan."
He circulated this letter to his teammates condemning China for its role in the genocide in Darfur as well as pointing out China buyz oil from and sellz armz to the Sudanese government. He left pamphlets of informational evidence in the locker room and offered continued dialogue with anyone who wanted it. Everyone signed the letter but three—Damon Jones had a shoe contract with a Chinese company, David Wesley was on personal leave and then there was LeBron.
'OTL' wanted LeBron to address why he initially declined to sign the letter. It's reported when Newble presented the letter to him, he said he didn't have enough information to speak on the issue. Newble was sympathetic to James' position, havin' a lot at stake and whatnot. He asked that he conduct his own research and get back to him if he wanted to sign the letter. At the end of the day he decided not to sign the letter.
All this was goin' down just as the NBA Finals were beginnin' with the Cavs facing the San Antonio Spurs. Newz got out about Newble's letter and writerz and columnists characterized him as a greedy athlete who cared more about his business interests in China than the slaughter of Afrikanz who were not arabic in Darfur.
OTL reported there were other NBA playerz who shunned the topic with many sayin' they were focusing on the playoffs. Respectfully, I believe they also feared havin' what happened to Craig Hodges happen to them. Hodges made a point to school Newble on the dangerz and Newble's reply was, "I'm not afraid of anything... I've been playing eight years now so I'm comfortable with my decision... I'm satisfied because when I look at myself in the mirror, I can say, 'Ira, you tried to make a difference.'"
OTL also reported, "China's record human rights issues was, and remains, a sensitive topic, especially for (LeBron) James' employer, the NBA, which has had its eyes on China for more than 20 years. Add then the pressure of James' $90 million contract with Nike, which has its own designs on the vast Chinese market. James is so wildly popular there that he already has two China-only marketed shoes and his own museum in Shanghai, filled with artifacts from his life, including a copy of his birth certificate. And right now, China estimates it has 300 million basketball fans—the same amount as the entire population in the United States."
So gettin' him to speak against China would be like biting the hand that feedz him, sayin' so long to possibly billionz of dollarz in endorsements. How many would do such a thing, or even use those millionz to do somethin' to save our cousinz in Darfur or any other region around the world?!
Not too long ago, Washington Wizards center Etan Thomas claimed to have received a letter from NBA Commissioner David Stern after speaking at an anti-war rally in 2005, tellin' him to be careful, a claim Stern reportedly denies. Whether true or not, we've all seen the potential influence a star athlete can have to a community, need we remember Muhammad Ali's refusal to fight in Vietnam?
Approaching LeBron on political activizm wasn't the first, and certainly will not be the last. Another icon under the Pan-Afrikan microscope is b-ball god, Michael Jordan. Many feel it was Jordan who paved the way for the modern-day athlete to be apolitical, or disinterested in takin' a stance on social/political issues. Back in 1990, he refused to back a Democratic senate candidate who was Black in his home state of North Carolina citing, "Republicans buy sneakers, too," as his reason. We need not even mention his allowance to have his sneakerz priced well above the estimated $7 it takes to be created—which serves as one of the leading contributorz to ill-advised financial decisionz made by mid-to-lower income families throughout the country. If you ask me, no shoe is worth $150-200 to play in!
Mike set the tone for financial success off the court via commercial and endorsement opportunities, proof that slavery and athletics continue to be interwoven. Kinda like Charles Barkley sayin' he's no role model, when in fact they are! Everyone wants to duplicate success... wanna be (rich) like Mike? Then do like Mike! Be that quiet noodle-back negro who cares more about bein' paid than makin' humanitarian decisionz. And you can see there's many willing to follow suit, basically out to get there's, mainly 'cause they never had. By the way, it's funny how hedz won't spend drug dealer money sayin' it has blood on it, yet they'll spend money endorsed by corporationz who run slave-wage production factories makin' 1000% profits.
A year later, LeBron publicly stated, "at the end of the day we're talking about human rights, and people should understand that human rights and people's lives are in jeopardy. We're not talking about contracts here. We're not talking about money. We're talking about people's lives being lost and that means a lot more to me than some money or a contract." A sign of maturity that we hope will become contagious among athlete's—especially of Afrikan descent—the worldover...
For us everyday folk, there is a need to create and keep this topic alive. Let as many hedz know what's goin' down in Darfur and do whateverz possible to free them up!