Professor Says Surfing as an Olympic Sport Is Due to ‘Centuries of U.S. Imperialism’

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A Texas professor is claiming surfing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is due to “centuries of U.S. Imperialism,” The College Fix reported.   

Thomas Earle, a liberal studies professor at Texas A&M at Galveston, wrote a piece in The Washington Post, stringing together historical facts with white guilt theory to confirm the hypothesis that Olympic surfing is because of American imperialism.  

Earle starts by accusing American missionaries of forcing their morality and values and onto Hawaiin natives, nearly wiping out centuries of traditions like hula dancing, wearing flowery leis, and even surfing. Though surfing stayed legal, the water sport was declined.  

As the “imperialists” died off around the 20th century, the decedents of missionaries had become influential and powerful business leaders on the island. During this time, a man named Alexander Hume Ford used surfing to “secure Hawaii as an outpost of the American empire,” Earle notes. They capitalized on the love of surfing to lure whites to the tropical island, which “strengthen[ed] America’s imperial grasp.” 

Soon, with the help of American tourists, the sport “became a central part of America’s use of soft power to win hearts and minds.”  

Centuries later, the imperialists’ history of surfing showcased at the Tokyo Olympics, exposes the “international inequities,” the liberal professor claims.  

Earle concludes: “The history of surfing similarly shows that the sport is embedded in a history of imperialism. Surfing, much like the Olympics itself, would not exist as it does independent of how nations use sports as a tool of international relations.” 

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