Sham tokenism at the Olympics

Opened my morning paper to find this column by Jim Litke.  In this emperor-has-no-clothes account, Litke describes the inclusion of utterly unqualified token Arab women at the Olympics as the sham that it is.  I was struck by two things.  First, the contrast between this account and NBC’s craven coverage of these tokens as major breakthroughs (It is not important that she did not finish; what is important is that she is here at all.  It is not important she did not win; she will inspire little girls in her country to take up judo.  Yada, yada, yada.).  Second, Litke writes for the AP.  Who would have thought the AP would allow such non-PC comments to appear under its banner?

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  • jj

    Very surprising for the AP, though in a refreshing burst of continuity I notice they still don’t have any editors who know the difference between a transitive and an intransitive verb.  I was worried there, for a second.

  • lee

    An architect I know was working on a woman’s college in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi officials wanted LEED certification. One long-hanging fruit credit for providing bicycle parking and showeres for bicycling to work. The Saudis kept saying it wasn’t necessary since women are not allowed to bicycle. The architects kept saying they need it for the LEED credit. What are farce!
     (More disturbing to me, though, was tht this architect is Jewish. What the hell was he thinking!? I quit a job once rather than work on a project I found morally repugnant–which was, admittedly, after already working on about four or five I found morally repugnent. After awhile, you HAVE to do SOMETHING in order to look at yourself in the mirror each day. An here, years later, I am still disgusted with myself.)

  • 11B40


    I’m not sure if this would be included in your conception of “tokenism”, by my most egregious interview seen (so far) was of a female archer(ess) who failed to medal in the competition but was thought worthy of a personal interview because she was now competing for her third different country, the USofA, which had been preceded by both Russia and the Ukraine. 

    Now I’ll certainly admit, that being a “No man can serve two masters” kind of guy and having had a Psychology professor who was studying “dual” citizenship (which through the miracle of modern progressivism has apparently morphed into “multiple” citizenships), that this is a particular sore spot for myself and one of the reasons that I find fewer and fewer reasons to actually watch the Olympics.

  • Call me Lennie

    It’s even a bigger sham than the author realizes. Wejdan (the actual spelling of her name; the author is correct about that) was a blue belt in judo.  I’m sure Bookie understands how incomprehensibly ludicrous it is for a blue belt top be in the Olympics, but let me spell it out for the others.
    I did judo for ten years as a kid, starting at the age of 8.  I had earned my blue belt at the age of eleven That achievement marked me as the second best 11 year old at my dojo. I was basically qualified to fight another 11 year old from a rival dojo, which I must tell you is a far cry from the Olympics.  Basically, the minimum rank you would need to be to qualify for the Olympics would be sandan, or third degree black belt. That was probably the rank of the woman who was denied that last slot in the heavyweight division so that Wejdan could “break down barriers”  Funny how they never get around to talking about that side of the story
    Furthermore, judo rules prohibit using arm bars on any contestant under the rank of black belt and judo style choking techniques on anyone under the rank of purple belt.  So, aside from the complete absurdity of the spectacle, it was also a violation of International Judo Federation rules