While flags were being waved and athletes marched in Sochi, gay rights activists in St. Petersburg and Moscow were being detained and insulted by authorities. Police have refused to comment on the detainment of 10 LGBT activists who waved rainbow flags and tried to sing a Russian anthem in Red Square as well as four protesters in St. Petersburg. The Russian LGBT community has been put under grave pressure both by widespread neo-Nazi violence against LGBT people and a harsh anti-gay law pushed by the Russian government which criminalizes even vocally supporting gay rights.
The Olympics celebrates the best in what again ?
Oh you didn’t know? – Celebrate Humanity is the name of the advertising campaign used to advertise the Olympic Games it has been in use for both the winter and summer Olympics since in 2000. I don’t mean to spoil all the fun, but the Olympics celebrates humanity than same way televised public executions or lynchings celebrate coming together.
How can we get excited about the Olympics when it’s taking place in the midst of such blatant homophobia? I am willing to go out on a limb here and say that the Olympics are just another front for the global cabal of corporation so hell bent on widening inequality gaps around the world for the sake profits. The competition is just a subtext, it is a smoke screen it is a tool of disinformation. Are the Olympics games so much about the competition we have to suppress the expressions?
It is O.K to use the Olympic Games as a front to sell Coca Cola, and an assortment of other products but you can’t speak about the abuse of gays, human trafficking, the unfair economic policies in place for former European colonies. That says it all doesn’t it?
Olympic Rule number 50 bars athletes from engaging in any type of political demonstration at the games. According to Billie Jean King: “It [Olympic Rule 50] probably came from the fact when John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their arms about civil rights, human rights, back in ’68, I think the rule [inaudible] was written after that, Rule 50. Former Olympic athlete Samantha Retrosi says a lack of government support and sufficient safety protections forces athletes into relying on corporate sponsors and putting themselves in harm’s way. For example, according to Ms Retrosi, “as a U.S. national team athlete, I signed a contract every year with the U.S. Luge Association, and that contract stipulated what I could and couldn’t say, how I should use my media time. Essentially, I was being trained to be a spokesperson for Verizon.”
I mean I could go further down the rabbit hole, but this is already enough to make me angry. To be specific I am referring to
- the buying of our collective silence
- The indirect support of a violent homophobia in Russia
- Reducing our athlete’s to puppets in a sick play
It’s fucking disgusting really. I usually in my rants poke fun at something make some dick jokes, and am too sarcastic for my own good. But this is different. This is blatantly ignoring the farce in front of our eyes. Taiwan withdrew from the Olympic Games in 1974 when Communist China pressured the host country (and trading partner) to deny the Taiwanese the right to compete. In 1980, over 60 nations including West Germany and Japan boycotted the Moscow Games to protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (this was a US led boycott).
At the end of the day the Olympics have been used as chess piece for the global narrative of the time by countries. They cannot be used in a way though that empowers people.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch released this disturbing compilation of attacks on Russian gays before the opening ceremonies, saying that the harsh laws encourage neo-Nazis and fascists to physically torment LGBT people in real life. Warning: The video below is disturbing.