Baiting Olympic Protesters Part II

Part 2 of a 3 part series – to read part 1 please click here

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Olympic Protest Hurts Our Local Community


Miro Cernetig, Vancouver Sun reporter, not only baits, but also trivializes and plays down the effect of Olympic protest. If you want a better understanding of why this is so dangerous, judge for yourself the mental capacity of some of the people commenting on the Vancouver Sun Olympics blog, where lowbrow Sun readers are given free rein to insult and bash Aboriginals and marginalized people. Keep in mind this blog is very heavily moderated, which means they pick and choose the comments readers will see.

Poor bashing is amoral. In other local publications, like this one, or TheTyee.ca for example, poor bashing doesn’t sink to this level because other people who comment on the sites, and website owners, manage racism and prejudice responsibly.

Cernetig writes that protest won’t happen here because according to him, Aboriginals are not organized or motivated enough to get it together, which I suppose, in a convoluted way is why he feels he has to bait them. Cernetig may know something about garden-variety protest, but he doesn’t understand how Olympic protest rolls out. He misleadingly claimed Aboriginal protest in Australia was squelched … wait for it … by Aboriginals.

Here’s what really happened in Australia in the ramp up to the 2000 Olympics. It’s an excerpt from my book Leverage Olympic Momentum published in 2006 that in part predicts the impact the 2010 Olympics will, and is having on Vancouver and Whistler.

“At the Closing Ceremonies of the Sydney Games in 2000, rock alternative band Midnight Oil brazenly challenged Olympic organizations during their performance and brought to light the plight of Aboriginals. Olympic organizations were incensed the Olympic stage was being used for social and political purposes, but there was nothing they could do about it. Midnight Oil wore black t-shirts and pants imprinted with the word "sorry" in large white lettering while they performed “Beds Are Burning” – a song about returning Australian land to Aboriginals. The Aboriginal group Yothu Yindi sang immediately after. The message reverberated around the world.

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