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...

Click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.


Rene said...

Many liberals and social democrats believed the overthrow of the corrupt Stalinist regime in the Soviet Union and the ensuing no holds barred capitalist development and privatization of state industry would give way to some liberal capitalist democracy. Rather we have witnessed the birth of a regime, which as you state, if not outright fascist certainly is paving the way to fascism in Russia.

It hardly comes as a surprise that our own Reformers, on numerous media discussion blogs, are the most rabid supporters of police and fascist violence against gay civil right protesters. They revel in the violence and dream of inflicting the same on Canadian society, as their media comments on events such as the Vancouver Pride Parade reveal. In spirit they are there with the Russian police and military fascist thugs, inflicting violence on that young protesters in the referenced news article, wishing they could be laying their boots to him as well.

The Russian Police and military serve as a model of how Reformers believe our own should operate, their endless comments in such sense in media blogs display such desires and such appetites. And it should serve as a reminder of why not to indulge in such mindless worship of police and military as Reform are wont to do.

By all means if our athletes compete in the Russian sponsored games, our participation should be combined with protests. but we don't need to go to Russia to protest fascist ambition, mindless bigotry and human rights abusers, any Reform gathering will fit the bill as the authors of such vicious and hateful screeds on media discussion blogs are likely in attendance....

bcwaterboy said...

Simon, I don't see any other way to deal with this than an outright ban on these games. I'm with Stephen Fry that what we're seeing is history repeating itself and lest we forget that south of the border this path was in motion with Bush's ridiculous marriage ban votes through the early 2000's. Human rights trumps any Olympic games and attempts to water it down lets them away with this.

Unknown said...

That's where you lie in the woods doing drugs and end up getting stung by a scorpion, right?

I think I've done that. It was totally "gay
when I did it, though