Boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing

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Originally published by the Washington Examiner

Americans fondly look back at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin as a moment during the pre-war era when the United States beat the Nazis on their home turf and refuted their delusional notion of racial supremacy on the field.

Not only did star runner Jesse Owens showcase Herculean performances that brought home four gold medals, but nine other black athletes took home medals as well, dealing a huge blow to Adolf Hitler’s propaganda machine.

Though we should continue to celebrate their groundbreaking success, one can question whether sending athletes to Berlin was worth the millions harmed by an emboldened and legitimized Nazi regime.

By the time Americans sent athletes to Germany, the Nazis had already carried out a number of horrific, authoritarian actions that included the organized nationwide boycotts of Jewish-owned businesses, the banishment of Jews from civil service positions, forced sterilizations of individuals with disabilities, and the passage of the Nuremberg Race Laws.

Despite all this, the world allowed the Nazis to take center stage for Hitler to showcase his vision of a reindustrialized and transformed Germany.

Nearly 85 years later, the U.S. is approaching a similar set of circumstances with the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on the horizon.

One can point to a number of destabilizing and dangerous actions the Chinese Communist Party has carried out in just the last year: its reported cover-up of the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, its repressive crackdown and undermining of freedoms provided to the citizens of Hong Kong, and the Chinese military’s incursion of Taiwanese sovereignty.

But the most vile of actions orchestrated by Communist Party is quite clear: its genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minority populations in the northwest region of Xinjiang.

In an extraordinary move last month, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo determined the Communist Party committed crimes against humanity that included arbitrary imprisonment of more than a million civilians, forced sterilization, torture, forced labor, and restrictions on freedom and religion. Pompeo declared that “the Nuremberg Tribunals at the end of World War II prosecuted perpetrators for crimes against humanity, the same crimes being perpetrated in Xinjiang.”

Earlier this month, the BBC published a bombshell report that detailed the rape and torture Uighur women experienced on a near nightly basis. Other reports have also detailed the thousands of Muslim minorities who are placed in mass internment and are also used to work in forced labor that produce products exported around the world.

This is a reality that needs to be confronted head-on, not brushed aside.

In a recent press conference, Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed with his predecessor’s assessment: “My judgment remains that genocide was committed against the Uighurs, and that hasn’t changed.”

Though there is bipartisan consensus in acknowledging this genocide, what else can we do to rein in the Communist Party’s atrocities in Xinjiang?

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Rep. Michael Waltz
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