By Mary Sanchez

In Sochi Olympic Games, Shades Of 1936

December 23, 2013 12:00 am Category: Memo Pad, Politics, Sports 10 Comments A+ / A-
In Sochi Olympic Games, Shades Of 1936

So who will be the Jesse Owens of the Sochi Winter Olympics?

Who will be the brave athlete who shines in rebuttal to Russia’s crackdown on anything determined to be “gay propaganda”?

Welcome to the new Cold War.

For Owens, the nemesis was Hitler’s ideology of racial superiority that placed Nordic “Aryans” at the pinnacle of humanity.

As a black man in segregated times, Owens identified with being targeted and subjected to second-class citizenship. But instead of boycotting the 1936 games, as he initially intended, Owens stepped up to prove that Hitler’s white dominance doctrine was a bunch of bull.

Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics; in the 100 and 200 meters, the 400-meter relay and the long jump. The Berlin games were a few years before the full horror of the Holocaust unfolded to the world, but Germany had already stripped Jewish citizens of rights and protections.

Keep that context in mind for how hate unchallenged can escalate.

For half a dozen years, Russia has been arching backwards, with regions of the country passing laws that target gays and lesbians, or those who merely speak of them favorably. Gay foreign couples are no longer allowed to adopt Russian children. The premise upholding much of this cultural shift is the nonsensical, anti-scientific belief that a person “chooses” to be gay.

A federal Russian law, passed in June, specifically outlaws “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors” But otherwise the law is vague, giving a convenient and broad pretext to those inclined toward harassing gays.

Hoodlums already seem to have interpreted the law as cover to attack gays and lesbians. The U.S. State Department warns travelers to Russia: “Violence against the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community has increased sharply since the law was passed, including entrapment and torture of young gay men by neo-Nazi gangs and the murder of multiple individuals due to their sexual orientation.”

According to the Council for Global Equality, Russia has been ranked the least protective country in all of Europe for LGBT persons.

But with Sochi hosting a $50 billion extravaganza for the 2014 Winter Olympics, the stage is set for the world’s response.

So far, much of the pushback from the international community has been tepid, diplomatically framed.

President Barack Obama, in citing schedule conflicts, won’t attend the games. Neither will his wife, nor the vice president, nor any sitting cabinet member. Instead, openly gay athletes will be a part of the “diverse” U.S. delegation; tennis great Billie Jean King and Olympic medalists Caitlin Cahow and Brian Boitano.

That’s a start.

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Comments

  • sigrid28

    In an interview today on CNN at 2pm, Russian dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky credits his recent release, after ten years behind bars as a critic of the Kremlin, to the constant efforts of others like him, intent on forcing the Russian government to give up political prisoners. As Sanchez notes above, his release coincides with the upcoming Olympics in Sochi and represents an effort to publicize one instance when Putin has shown leniency. Yet one act widely publicized incident cannot erase the record of an increasingly totalitarian leader and laws resulting in the arrest of thousands within Russia for challenging the emergency of the kind of xenophobia that has not been seen in Europe since World War II.

  • howa4x

    The sad thing is that the evangelicals have more in common with Putin, a shadow despot than the leader of the free world.

    • Independent1

      You mean those pretend Christians who align themselves with America’s largest anti-Christian organization the GOP, and then have the gall to pretend that they really believe in Jesus???

      • howa4x

        yes they are the ones. Gee was it that obvious?

    • Allan Richardson

      Evangelical “Christian” groups such as the National Organization for Marriage, to which many Americans donate to promote anti-gay-marriage laws in states of the US, not expecting any VIOLENCE, just wanting to keep gays from offending their feelings about marriage, are actually using their contribution to lobby FOREIGN lawmakers, as in Russia and Uganda, to enact anti-gay laws that imprison people for being gay and encourage “unofficial” vigilante violence. The law recently passed in Uganda allows for LIFE IN PRISON for being gay. The original proposal, which has been delayed for years by petitions from fair-minded people around the world, called for the DEATH PENALTY for gay sex and life in prison for HELPING gay friends avoid the death penalty. And THIS version was the one the American “Christian” lobbyists PREFERRED.

      The cost to society of losing the creativity and productivity of gay citizens can be illustrated by the case of Alan Turing, the British math genius behind much of the war effort to crack the German Enigma cipher, and potentially capable of accelerating the pace of information technology by DECADES, killed himself shortly after helping WIN the war and SAVE his nation, because his police report of a burglary triggered, instead, his and his partner’s prosecution for homosexuality, which was a felony in Great Britain at the time.

      • howa4x

        I agree The Anti gay Christian movement has noting to do with the teachings of Jesus who said to love thy enemy. Today’s Evangelicals are filled with hatred not only towards gays but anyone that doesn’t follow their Taliban like teachings. They want to turn America into a theocracy instead of a democracy. Right wingers scream about freedom while wearing 3 corner hats but that only equates to owning guns and not buying insurance. Then turn their head around like Linda Blair did in the exorcist and want to suppress the right of people to marry the one they love, and punish young women for pre marital sex.
        These are the right wing groups descended from slave owners, who feel their white Christian beliefs are supreme and everyone else follows Satan.
        The truth is they do.

  • The Roadster

    Much of what unfree countries have today is the result of technologies, ideas, and customs learned, transferred, or stolen from free nations.

  • Socialism: Organized Evil

    Since our minds cannot predict their own advance, civilization’s progress depends upon making the most of the circumstances we face.

  • TresAmigos78

    Well, just keep in mind that that 18 collectivist tendencies imported by Stuart Chase included deficit spending, abandoning gold, and centralized government control of energy resources.

  • Benjamin Dover

    Where common morals and language are used, our social interactions become more predictable and the case for centralized control is weakened.

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