Wednesday, August 07, 2013
The Sochi Hate Games and the 404 Kids
I was glad to see that Russia's oppressed LGBT people were not forgotten at Vancouver's recent Pride parade.
Nor was their degenerate fascist oppressor.
But I must admit I still can't decide what's the best way to put pressure on his corrupt regime. To boycott the Sochi games or not.
I'd like to believe that this would be the best way.
Imagine this: it’s the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. A huge television event, watched the world over. The American Olympians join the proud march of nations. They’re our emissaries, our exemplars. And as the television cameras zoom in on Team U.S.A., one of its members quietly pulls out a rainbow flag, no bigger than a handkerchief, and holds it up. Not ostentatiously high, but just high enough that it can’t be mistaken.
Another American follows suit. Then another, and another. Within minutes the flags are everywhere in the American delegation, subtly recurring bursts of color and of honor, a gay-rights motif with a message: we’re here in Russia to compete, but we’re not here in Russia to assent. We have gay sisters. Gay brothers. Gay neighbors and friends and fans and probably teammates, and we reject the laws of a land that deems it O.K. to arrest them for speaking their truth or us for speaking up for them.
But when I see how the Russian regime is reacting.
The IOC told R-Sport this month that it had received assurances at "the highest level" of the Russian government that Olympic athletes and visitors would not be affected. However, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko subsequently told R-Sport that anyone - athlete or otherwise - found to be “propagandizing” gay relationships in Sochi would be “held accountable.”
And then I see this disgusting scene of bullying and cowardice.
Just the latest act of violence in a country that has seen so many.
I'm with Stephen Fry.
I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler's anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian "correctively" raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself.
"All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing," so wrote Edmund Burke. Are you, the men and women of the IOC going to be those "good" who allow evil to triumph?
For there to be a Russian Winter Olympics would stain the movement forever and wipe away any of that glory. The Five Rings would finally be forever smeared, besmirched and ruined in the eyes of the civilised world.
So I'm going to have to go back to the drawing board and rethink my own position. To boycott or not boycott, or beam them to Vancouver.
And in the meantime, it's a consolation to see what some Russian teenagers are doing.
On the Internet, sometimes you see the “404 – Page Not Found” error message. Likewise, our society thinks that homosexual teens don’t exist in nature, as if gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders fly in from Mars as adults. Meanwhile, in every twentieth Russian family, an LGBT child is growing up. These 404–Kids are invisible to society. … Stop, people! Hear them! These are your children. Who knows: Maybe you’ll see the letter of your own child here?
For they are truly Russia's hope and our hope for the future. And I am with them all the way.
Standing up for human rights.
And for those who must not be forgotten...
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