Relations with Russia should be put on ice until the Russians’ cold hearts thaw

Nein Olympics for you!

I have mixed feelings, but mostly negative feelings, about Russia.

Vladimir Putin strikes me as a thuggish, retrograde fucktard, replete with his shirtless photo-ops to “prove” how “manly” he is, but at the same time, I am pleased that Russia has given asylum to the brave patriot Edward Snowden.

That said, I hope that Snowden leaves Russia as soon as he can. Russia’s homophobia is unpardonable.

Russians have the right to be homophobic, the mantra goes. It’s their nation, and they can do as they please!

Really? Did Nazi Germany have the “right” to be anti-Semitic?

Seriously — how many would argue, with a straight face, in polite company, that the Germans had the right, since it was their own nation, to round up and exterminate the Jews (as well as non-heterosexuals and other relatively powerless minority groups) who were on German soil?

Did the Jews not have universal human rights that no nation on Earth had the right to violate? Do all human beings not have certain universal human rights that no nation on Earth has the right to violate?

Does a nation own the human beings who are on its soil? Are those human beings chattel, with whom the nations’ governments may do whatsoever they please?

Comparison of Russia’s rampant homophobia to the oppression of the Jews by the Nazis is ridiculously over the top, many if not most would argue, but let’s remind ourselves that Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews began with “little” things.

The Nazi Germans blamed Jews for the nation’s problems post-World War I — as the Putin regime blames non-heterosexuals for Russia’s problems post-Cold War — and the Hitler regime began with such official government policies as banning certain forms of speech and by removing Jews from civil-service jobs, university jobs, court jobs and other public jobs, and by banning Jews from public facilities, such as public schools and theaters. Eventually, of course, the Nazis then stole the Jews’ wealth and rounded the Jews up into concentration camps, and you know the rest of the story; in a nutshell, once the Nazis realized that they could get away with those “little” things, step by step, those “little” things grew into the Holocaust, in which about two-thirds of Europe’s Jews (about six million of them) were murdered by the Nazi regime.

Banning pro-homosexual speech, as Russia has done — and the ban is broad (even simply displaying the rainbow flag, even as a pin, is verboten in Putin’s Russia) — is the first salvo in the increased, systematic oppression of an already oppressed group of people.

One wonders what, exactly, we are waiting for in Russia — another Holocaust?

Then could we compare Vladimir Putin’s Russia to Adolf Hitler’s Germany?

Should we wait for it to progress to that point?

I support a full boycott of Everything Russian, including, of course, the 2014 winter Olympics.

The Olympics should not be held in Russia while Russia — like Nazi Germany did — deems it not only acceptable, but necessary, to persecute, by law, any minority group that is singled out for such special, official persecution.

Nor should the Olympic games be held in any nation that violates the universal rights of human beings. China, whose government does not allow its citizens free speech, should not have been allowed to host of the 2008 summer games. As a non-heterosexual, it’s not only the persecution of non-heterosexuals that I reject.

To support Russia in the 2014 winter Olympics is to give tacit approval of the Russian government’s official persecution of non-heterosexuals.

As others have, I will point out that the winter and summer 1936 Olympics were held in Adolf Hitler’s Germany. (Hitler ruled from 1933 to his death in 1945. His official policies against Jews began in 1933, so the 1936 Olympics were held in Germany after the Hitler regime’s persecution of the Jews already had begun, including the stripping of Jews of German citizenship and banning marriages between Jews and non-Jews in Germany.)

Then, the 1940 and 1944 Olympics were cancelled because of World War II.

Yeah, it was a great idea to give Germany the 1936 Olympics, and it’s a great idea to give Russia the winter 2014 Olympics.

This can only end well!

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

4 responses to “Relations with Russia should be put on ice until the Russians’ cold hearts thaw

  1. John

    First of all, moving or cancelling the Sochi Games are not feasible options. The first presents major logistical challenges, while the second – along with a boycott – would be unfair to the athletes who’ve trained for most of their lives for this event. What is needed is a boycott of the sponsors’ products and services.

    I went to a movie last night and, like I always do, went to get popcorn and a drink. Since the chain sells only Coca-Cola products, I made a choice then and there to start my own personal boycott of sponsors of the 2014 games.

    I call on people who care about gay rights specifically, and human rights in general, to commit to boycott products and services provided by Olympic sponsors and contact the various corporations to let them know what you are doing and why you are doing it.

    Our local gay film festival – the Vancouver Queer Film Festival (http://www.queerfilmfestival.ca/) – shows almost half of its films in a complex that contains a McDonald’s (people often pop-down for a quick lunch between films) and at a cinema that sells only Coca-Cola products. I’ve sent an E-Mail asking about their thoughts on a boycott of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. I asked to have a response well before the end of the festival (the 25th of August 2013).

    Put pressure where it will have an impact. Russia and the IOC don’t give a rat’s ass! The sponsors, though huge, will feel an impact if we grow this large enough and if we are vocal!

    • Robert

      I don’t believe in punishing athletes for the sins of politicians, but at the same time, yeah, it sure would have been a good idea to shut down the 1936 Olympics, wouldn’t it have been? I mean, it only gave Hitler more inspiration to expand the Nazi empire, didn’t it? And it gave him the veneer of legitimacy, too — no?

      Anyway, since the 2014 winter Olympics aren’t going to be shut down, and since, yes, logistically it very probably is too late to move the 2014 winter games elsewhere, we don’t even need to have the discussion of how unfair to the athletes it would be to cancel the games.

      Since the corporate sponsors pour so much money into the games and into the athletes, isn’t boycotting the corporate sponsors at least indirectly affecting the athletes? It’s all connected, it seems to me.

      And whether or not one wishes to boycott the 2014 winter games themselves, whether it’s to not attend (although, of course, only a tiny percentage of humanity would be attending the games in person anyway [one wonders if Ann Romney will be there in a mink parka…]) or even just to not watch any of the events on television, is up to that individual and his or her conscience.

      I, for one, in good conscience cannot support the 2014 winter games in any way. I’m sorry that any athlete should have to suffer for that, but the non-heterosexuals who live in Russia and elsewhere — and there are far more of them (us) than there are Olympic athletes — also shouldn’t have to suffer.

      • John

        I’ve thought things over and you’re right, we cannot support the Winter Olympic Games in any way, shape or form; that means that all countries should boycott. The response on the part of the IOC has been so inadequate that it’s a joke. Nothing short of harsh criticism and the threat of sanctions (if the law is not struck-down) should be acceptable at this point.

        Living in Vancouver, the last city to host the Olympic Winter Games, I’m going to enquire of our local Green Party City Councillor to see about ensuring that the City of Vancouver puts whatever pressure it can on corporate sponsors. (My big concern there is that they’ve likely signed some deal preventing them from switching out Coke machines in favour of Pepsi, etc. I guess we’ll see.)

        While boycotting corporate sponsors might have a slight effect on the athletes themselves, I doubt that it would be significant … I’m sure that little of the corporate largesse falls from the hands of the IOC whores into the pockets of the little people below. So, I do think that a sponsor boycott could be effective. (Most gay bars here have started boycotting Russian vodka; now’s the time for them to boycott Coca-Cola products and stop taking Visa, etc.)

      • Robert

        In the IOC’s defense, Russia adopted its draconian anti-gay law at the end of June, and the IOC’s selection of Russia for the 2014 winter games was long ago, I’m sure. I’m guessing that the IOC wouldn’t have made the same decision had it known what the sociopolitical climate in Russia would be today.

        Given the contractual obligations and the logistics involved, I don’t expect the 2014 winter games to be moved, but if they were, that would, of course, be great. And I support any nation’s decision to boycott the games should they end up being held in Sochi, as the U.S. boycotted the Moscow games in 1980 (although Jimmy Carter sure took shit for that…). Again, I am not into disappointing the athletes, but there are more LGBTs than there are Olympic athletes in the world, and the needs of the many outweigh the wants of the few…

        But minimally, by doing our best to cripple the 2014 winter games, by doing our best to ensure that it’s the least popular winter games ever, even if all that we can accomplish is to spook some corporate sponsors, we can send a message to Russia and to the world that it’s NOT acceptable for any nation to single out one minority group for special persecution.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s