Sochi Olympics will test gay rights

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Sugar, Feb 7, 2013.

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  1. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    This very excellent book has a somewhat different take on the issue. No, a boycott wouldn't have stopped what went on later in the world, but there were a lot of events around the Olympics that were very representative of what happened later on a larger scale, and a boycott might have brought that to the world's attention sooner.
    http://www.amazon.ca/books/dp/0060874139
     
  2. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

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    Lol! I tried but you dont accept and reject all articles.

    The issue is NBC coverage of Russia being whitewashed and nothing indicates that. American writers about African runners? You are not even close to what I am taking about. Not even close!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  3. PRlady

    PRlady Smoking

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    And I respectfully and strongly disagree. Please look through the most comprehensive exhibition ever done on the Nazi Olympics at http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/olympics/*

    "Germany emerged victorious from the XIth Olympiad. Its athletes captured the most medals overall, and German hospitality and organization won the praises of visitors. Most newspaper accounts echoed a report in the New York Times that the Games put Germans "back in the fold of nations," and even made them "more human again." Some even found reason to hope that this peaceable interlude would endure. Only a few reporters, such as William Shirer, regarded the Berlin glitter as merely hiding a racist, militaristic regime. As the post-Games reports were filed, Hitler pressed on with grandiose plans for German expansion. These included taking over the Olympics forever."

    As the exhibition explains, there was quite a lot of argument over a proposed boycott; most African-American athletes opposed it pointing out American hypocrisy on the racial issue and that many black athletes only had this chance to compete. But the Nazis used it for propaganda purposes to a fare-thee-well, and it helped convince them they could get away with whatever they wanted, no-one would call them on it. Obviously that's only one strand in the history but it's there nevertheless.

    I understand that a proposed boycott of Sochi is very controversial and I surely understand why the athletes would oppose it. That said, if a major nation like Russia was actually punished and boycotted because of this kind of human rights abuse, would it send the right message to other countries that not only persecute gays but women and racial and religious minorities? I think it would. I would like to see us good Western liberals put our money where our mouths are, or at least seriously debate the possibility.

    * Full disclosure, I'm pretty well-acquainted with the curator of that exhibition.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  4. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    In that case, you should start lobbying now for a boycott of the summer Os in Brazil. They have a horrible record of human rights abuse. They are a leading country in organ trafficking. Look at Nancy Scheper-Hughes years of research on the abuse of women and children in the slums. The rounding up and murder of child gangs so they don't offend the tourists to say nothing of what has happened and is happening to the various native tribes in the Amazon. Frankly, I think this is much more of a human rights issue than the possibility that gays won't be able to be public in Sochi. Where do you draw the line?
     
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  5. PRlady

    PRlady Smoking

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    I am personally and very embarrassedly ignorant of Latin America. And you might be right. But an important line is between state-sponsored persecution and bad crap happening in society....is the Brazilian government behind the organ trafficking? Who's rounding up the gangs and at what level? And so on.

    I really don't know the answers, just pointing out that boycotts usually are tools against governments that have a clear policy of persecution.
     
  6. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea what you are talking about, but this does nothing to make your original points any more valid.
     
  7. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    Again, this is a distraction. Start a thread about the human rights abuses there and we can discuss it.

    Do you really think this is just about "gays won't be able to be public in Sochi"? Really? You think THAT'S what people are upset about?
     
  8. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I also don't know why that in itself isn't enough and instead is used to try to minimize the impact of the law or trivialize the very real concern about the law.
     
  9. DaveRocks

    DaveRocks Well-Known Member

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    THIS. Thank you, PrincessLeppard. :respec:
     
  10. Really

    Really No longer just a "well-known member" Yay!

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    As I've read through this thread, particularly posts from those who don't appear to feel there is much to be anxious about regarding this law that targets a select group of people, I can't help but think of the following text by Martin-Niemöller:

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

    Then they came for the socialists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for me,
    and there was no one left to speak for me


    Insert a stanza about LGBT in there, and I think you get why so many people are so upset.
     
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  11. Eyre

    Eyre New Member

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    People die everyday from gun violence in US. Should foreigners come to US and protest for US gun laws?:shuffle:
     
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  12. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Sure. People do it all the time. In fact, it's a very popular platform at the moment for many American politicians. Of course, people die from gun violence even in places with the strictest gun laws. But of course the issues of gun control and state-sanctioned grand discrimination are incredibly distinguishable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  13. Eyre

    Eyre New Member

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    People do it all the time? Where? Which country's people come to US and protested publicly about US laws, any US laws?

    Yes, they are very distingguishable. But they are all the laws of their respective country's.
     
  14. Sugar

    Sugar Well-Known Member

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    Will Sochi haunt the Olympic movement?
    http://www.samesame.com.au/features/10072/Will_Sochi_haunt_the_Olympic_movement
     
  15. PRlady

    PRlady Smoking

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    Again, state-sponsored persecution is the issue here. Every country has bad laws, certainly including the U.S. But bad gun laws are not government persecution of a minority or a human rights abuse as defined by international law.

    It should also be pointed out that human rights activists in Russia are themselves being thrown into jail as are political opponents of the Putin regime. That's not happening in Brazil, for example. Russian human rights NGOs can no longer receive funding from outside Russia and are being shut down on various pretexts. When voices inside the country are muted or silenced by an authoritarian regime, it is more incumbent upon people outside the country to do what they can.
     
  16. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    To add what PRlady said, I just want to say that gun control is a hot-button issue in which American citizens and media pundits constantly debate about. Many individual states and cities have passed strict gun control laws (or loosened up their laws) depending on where public opinion goes (or how the perception is shaped). Many disagree and have protested or publicly brought attention to the issue of gun control. Again, politicians use it on their platform to garner support. No matter what position they are in, nobody has been persecuted or censored or repressed due to their position on gun control.

    I'm sure there are people out there who have refused to go to the U.S. or support the U.S. because of a variety of different issues. I mean the U.S. is a popular global punching bag and is often criticized quite openly. However, whatever problems people have with the U.S., it has not tended to inspire such condemnation on the scale that Russia's anti-gay laws have inspired, at least recently. So the question becomes why is it such a strong narrative now? Obviously, it's because the developed world's idea of human rights and dignity have evolved in a way where many can no longer accept such explicit, state-sponsored discrimination against one group of people solely on the basis of animosity. I mean you can argue that it's based on old cold-war mentality and Russia being a victim to it, but that does nothing to negate the fact that Putin did sign a law that's contrary to many people's understanding, the EU's understanding, and the IOC's understanding of human rights.

    I do think you understand all of this as this really was discussed many times throughout the thread, and yet you keep bringing up the same argument.
     
  17. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    In short, the answer is yes, these are state sponsored problems and much of the problem is quiet except for anthropologists who've spent decades trying to tell the truth. If you're really interested, I'll send you to their publications. I already mentioned Scheper-Hughes. She's at Berkeley. I don't dismiss the issue in Russia. I disagree that a boycott of the Olympic games is an answer any more than a boycott of the games in Brazil would solve the problems there. But, I think the point of boycott is moot anyway and it's not going to happen. Again, if an FSU poster who lives in Russia and is directly impacted by what happens in Russia posted they think this would be a good idea, I might have a different opinion.
     
  18. Gil-Galad

    Gil-Galad Well-Known Member

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    Excellent article, thanks for posting the link. Here a quote from the article
    Déjà-vu much? Internal matters, cultural differences, domestic matters, disrespect - blah, blah, blah... It's fascinating how certain patterns never ever seem to change. Even blaming the press for everything was already en-vogue back then.
     
  19. allezfred

    allezfred Old and Immature Admin Staff Member

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    Well, it's obviously the strand the US Holocaust Memorial Museum is going to pick in fairness. I was well-acquainted with the content of the exhibition.* ;)

    I would have thought that letting the Nazis occupy other countries and territories showed them that could get away with what they wanted more than hosting the Olympics though. :shuffle:

    I can only speak for myself, but when I think of the 1936 Olympics the first thing that comes to mind is Jesse Owens creating history by winning four gold medals and simultaneously undermining the Nazi's theory of Aryan superiority at the same time.

    Isn't that what we're doing here? :lol:

    By all means, if individual athletes want to boycott Sochi because of the Russian government's treatment of minorities then that is their prerogative. The bottom line though is that Olympics boycotts historically haven't worked at all. Ever.

    The best that those of us living in countries where we are fortunate to have fought for and achieved significant rights for our LGBT citizens is to continue to strengthen those rights and lead by example. I don't mean to sound dismissive by saying that, but you aren't going to effect social change in another country, particularly one as large and self-sufficient as Russia, through boycotts. Significantly, I've yet to hear of a single LGBT organisation in Russia who thinks a Sochi boycott is a good idea.

    *Full disclosure, I'm pretty much completely (and scarily) obsessed with anything concerning the Olympics.
     
  20. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    But do you think the Jesse Owens narrative sort of made it ok to have the Olympics there? In that story, Hitler is portrayed as a whiney baby who stormed out after his events and it made Owens seem like the great American hero for making a fool out of Hitler. However, that story is sort of used to ignore the fact that the countries in power refused to acknowledge or take seriously the very real domestic goings on in Nazi Germany that preceded World War II and the concentration/death camps.

    I also read that in actually, Hitler didn't really care about Owens because the Nazis and Hitler had very racist ideas about black people in America (and Africa) that pretty much analogized them to jungle animals (and how Americans depended on them to win medals because they couldn't do it themselves). It's troubling that they didn't consider the African-Americans as Americans, but the way many parts of the U.S. treated them as second-class citizens, I guess they had a point to differentiate them somewhat.
     
  21. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Yes, please.
     
  22. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    :eek:
     
  23. PRlady

    PRlady Smoking

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    Other countries fund NGOs to work against capital punishment in the U.S., certain countries will not allow criminals to be extradited to the U.S. because of our death penalty. Now, that certainly challenges the will of the American people which is pro-capital punishment, although that is changing. But so what?

    Fred, you yelled at us Amerikuns (well, the ones arguing with you, I was shyly on the sidelines) for supporting candidates who were less than supportive of gay marriage, including Obama in the first term. How is it bad for American liberals to support otherwise-preferable candidates who are cowardly on gay rights, but not bad for us to advocate a boycott of a country with such a specifically and pro-actively repressive law?

    And don't answer that the second one prevents us from watching good figure skating. :p
     
  24. Eyre

    Eyre New Member

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    Like many posters and yourself:shuffle:

    I'm disgusted with these Nazi Germany comparasons. There are some lies to intentionally work up people's anger.

    What will happen then?;)
     
  25. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the basilisk's den. :)
     
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  26. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    It's disgusting legislation, so why are you disgusted that it's being described as such? Would you like to argue that people have been lying and there is no anti-gay law in Russia? That Russia doesn't have a history of human rights abuses? No, this isn't up there with Nazi Germany, but it's nasty and ugly and should be criticized in the strongest possible terms. And please, spare me the "it's only about gay propaganda aimed at children" excuse, because we all know that this "propaganda" refers to anything that might suggest that gays are neither evil nor pedophiles.

    This is the sort of stuff Anita Bryant and her pals were campaigning for in the US - in the 1970s. We're in the 21st century now, and there's no excuse to pass such ignorant, hateful legislation, or to support it.
     
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  27. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    alleafred,

    :respec:
     
  28. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    How prevalent was the Jesse Owens narrative of raining on Hitler's parade at the time, compared to the goodwill created towards Germany then and the willingness of people to ignore the increasing malevolence towards Jews, gays, and everyone else on Hitler's list because the Games were so well organized and the German hosts so hospitable during them, and how much of it is in retrospect?
     
  29. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Maybe they are afraid to express their opinion on the issue publicly. Just a thought.
     
  30. allezfred

    allezfred Old and Immature Admin Staff Member

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    It's not bad. It's just futile. And I had a vote in that election too, in any case. ;)

    Whether it's abortion in Ireland, gun control or the death penalty in the US, human rights in China or gay rights in Russia, change isn't going to happen with external pressure. It has to come from within the country itself.


    Are you going to turn your back to the TV when the Olympics is on then? :lol:
     
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