CNN anchor Jake Tapper unloaded on the Chinese Communist Party for essentially using a Uyghur Muslim as a human shield to deflect challenges to the government’s long-term systematic abuse of the minority population.
Tapper concluded Sunday morning’s broadcast of “State of the Union” with a comparison — between China’s decision to have a Uyghur Muslim carry the symbolic Olympic torch in Beijing and Nazi Germany’s plan to prop up a fencer of Jewish ancestry in 1936 — and he said that both oppressive regimes were essentially using them to deflect criticism.
“This is Helene Meyer, one of the greatest fencers who ever lived. Though her athletic dreams were compromised after Adolf Hitler came to power in her home country Germany and the anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws were passed in 1935, stripping her of her rights because Meyer’s father was Jewish,” Tapper began. “Meyer got a second chance, however, as a movement spread throughout the world to boycott the international Olympic Games in 1936 because of host country Germany’s religious persecution of Jews.”
Tapper went on to explain that Meyer was selected to represent her home country of Germany — despite essentially being forced to flee oppression there a year earlier —leaving her new home in California to represent Germany in Berlin’s 1936 games.
“Here is an Associated Press story from March 1936 that shows the successful results of his plan. Quote, ‘Despite a tendency in some quarters to rock the boat, official Germany has banned racial or religious discrimination in athletics, the famous girl fencer of Jewish extraction, Helene Meyer, has been welcomed back home and named to represent Germany in the Olympics. Visiting Jews, whether athletes or spectators, will be safer from indignities here than they would be on any New York subway during rush hour,’ unquote,” Tapper read. “Then you see the subhead there, ‘No anti-Semitism.’ Yes, I’m talking about Germany in 1936.”
“I tell you about Helene Meyer and how she served as the way the Nazi German government could pretend in 1936 to be something other than the monsters they were because the Chinese government seems to have learned from her example,” Tapper continued. “On Friday the torch for the Beijing Olympic Games was lit by two athletes, one of whom was a cross-country skier for the Chinese team, a woman whom the Chinese government says has ancestral roots in the ethnic Muslim minority, the Uyghurs.”
"Let the shames begin." Amid the Winter Olympics in Beijing, @JakeTapper calls out corporations and nations from around the world for continuing to fight for Chinese money while ignoring China's human rights violations against the Uyghur population. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/PWoOBxIHCZ
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) February 6, 2022
Tapper noted that the oppression of Uyghurs is now common knowledge worldwide and includes forced sterilization, torture, forced labor, and internment — among other things.
“It’s an accusation the Chinese government denies, of course, despite clear evidence of their atrocities, so clear that the U.S. and other countries are currently diplomatically boycotting the Beijing Olympic Games,” Tapper continued. “So Helene Meyer in 1936 and this athlete in 2022 are being used to serve the same purpose. Now, the governments are not fooling anyone who is paying attention, but their roles in the Olympics allow the folks who are willing to put their morality on hold … to pretend otherwise.”
“We’ve seen this play out before. The embarrassing double standard that the NBA and Hollywood, for example, regularly display when righteously calling out injustices here in the U.S. while self-censoring about Chinese government atrocities,” Tapper added, noting that major companies like Coca-cola had boycotted the state of Georgia over a voter-integrity law but had nothing to say about China when it came to advertising during the Olympic Games. “We’ve covered this before and we will continue to do so the way American corporations ignore literal genocide and forced labor in the pursuit of Chinese cash. It is disgusting.”
Tapper went on to say that the diplomatic boycotts were all well and good, but an unwillingness to take a financial hit by pulling sponsors or making direct accusations was truly what was telling.
“I’m not sure which is worse, ignoring the human rights crimes or as some nations seem to have decided, to care more about China’s investments in their countries than this genocide. Because while the U.S. and a handful of other countries are diplomatically boycotting these games over human rights issues, the vast majority of the world, including majority Muslim countries, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, and the UAE are refusing to boycott the games, taking a stand against the crimes against the Uyghurs,” Tapper concluded, arguing that the real global competition appeared to be among the nations vying to be the best at helping Chinese President Xi “in his desire to pretend the genocide is not going on, to pretend the crimes against humanity are not going on. That’s a competition rivaling the competition among the athletes. Let the shames begin.”