The 2008 Olympics actually helping Darfur Conflict?

It looks like it just might. According to this NY Times article,

nongovernmental organizations and other groups appear to have scored a surprising success in an effort to link the Olympics, which the Chinese government holds very dear, to the killings in Darfur, which, until recently, Beijing had not seemed too concerned about.

Nearly any angle that is used to make headway here is worth pursuing in my mind, so this one is no different.

What is interesting here is that this is essentially a play on Chinese Vanity. Again, from the article:

…there is growing concern inside China that Darfur is hurting Beijing’s image.

Why haven’t these sorts of plays on the arrogance of other countries been more effective? I’d argue that the U.S. is just as concerned about it’s image as China in many respects (with the glaring exception being the so-called “War on Terror”).

It has always been thought that the way to get people or governments to act was to appeal to their [economic] self interests. The Olympics do have economic implications for China, but I don’t see that as being the predominant factor here. Perhaps we need to start doing vanity plays more often.

One Love. One II.


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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

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