Roll Models: What if?

What if our role models didn’t roll out when we need them?

Where’s John Carlos and Tommie Smith when you need them?  Rather, where is their legacy? In 1968, John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists in solidarity to bring light to the black civil rights movement in the United States.  They were stripped of their medals.  That night, in Mexico City, the world twisted slightly on it’s axis.  Two brothas, shook up the American government.  Two brothas, said FUCK those medals, this is for my people.  What if they took the medals and rolled?  What if they never made that statement?  Thank God we don’t live in that “What if.”

Today, black Olympians sit silent, waiting for an opportunity to wear a gold medal around their neck.  40 years later, as they walk the streets of Beijing with their medals blinging in the Chinese sun, they won’t be able to celebrate with a bottle of champagne at local bars since the Chinese government has “asked” store owners not to serve blacks.  According to an article in the South China Morning Post (7/18/08),

Bar owners near the Workers’ Stadium in central Beijing say they have been forced by Public Security Bureau officials to sign pledges agreeing not to let black people enter their premises.

“Uniformed Public Security Bureau officers came into the bar recently and told me not to serve black people or Mongolians,” said the co-owner of a western-style bar, who asked not to be named.

China is also notorious in it’s dealings with the Sudanese government.  Sudan’s petroleum exports are booming in a large part due to it’s dealings with China.  China consumes a large amount of Sudanese oil through Petrodar, a Chinese-Malaysian-United Arab Emirates oil partnership.  China demonstrated its leverage over Sudan, prevailing upon the regime to allow the African Union force in Darfur to be supplied with better equipment.  However, the Chinese government has taken no stance against the genocide in Darfur Sudan, though the United Nations condemns it.  Will black American athletes say anything during the Beijing games?

Joey Cheek, a white American gold medalist in speedskating, has taken a stance against the genocide.  He’s donated 25k to the cause, and asked his sponsors to do the same.  He is the founder of Team Darfur, a group of 70 athletes whose goal is to raise awareness about Darfur.  He was scheduled to go to the Beijing games to support some of his Team Darfur compadres, but the Chinese government revoked his visa.  Will any of the black athletes over there get their visas revoked? Or will they reach for that bling?

What if the black track runners, & field athletes decided to boycott the 2008 games because of the blatant racism China shows towards people of African decent?  What if Lebron, Kobe and the rest of Team USA basketball decided to boycott the 2008 games because of the blatant racism China shows towards people of African decent??  What if…


4 Responses to “Roll Models: What if?”

  1. From the Beach Says:

  2. From the Beach Says:

  3. Mabecca Howe Says:

    damn wtf.
    Someone told me about this but I thought they meant back in the day. This is happening NOW? That’s fuckin insane. From the beach please stop sending websites as responses dear. Just say how you feel. Ty.

  4. divinefaith Says:

    I have to say I didn’t know, now I do, thank you.

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