Bigot of the Week Award: August 16, International Olympic Committee

16 Aug

SochiBoycottThanks to my friend and fierce LGBT ally Jennifer Carey for inspiring me to write this article. SJFA readers will remember the story about the violent homophobia in Russia right now, but I fear It Gets Worse. Now all athletes who show any type of solidarity for their LGBT brothers and sisters will be punished by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).  My how very 19th Century of the IOC.  It is as if the history of the persecution of folks with the pink triangle by the Nazis during WWII never happened.

The IOC, in a very Gestapo like manner, declared that anyone trying to make it safe for LGBT athletes, “Any participant who steps out of line may be punished, not by the Russians but by Olympic chiefs themselves.”  The IOC is calling upon Rule 50 from the Olympic Charter which states that the Olympics is not for political or religious propaganda — and here we have the blatant hypocrisy.  All the folks spouting their religious hate are facing no consequences, but those trying to ensure the emotional and physical safety of other human beings are being arrested and punished. How sad that the IOC willfully suffers the delusion that promoting human rights is a “political” agenda.

Do we need to be worried that Putin seems obsessed with us gay folk? Do he and Scott Lively need to finally announce their “love that dare not speak its name.”   I find it ironic that Putin the dictator of Russia is willing to grant political asylum to Edward Snowden, but then tortures LGBT folk.  Yes, for those not reading the newspapers, LGBT teens in Russia are being tortured.

Sadly, the United States cannot approach this issues from a place of innocence. Most part of the southern United States and even parts here in Oregon LGBT folk have to live their lives in fear.  We do not get to claim righteous indignation and moral superiority over Putin and his homophobic merry band of haters and fear mongers, for we have the same closet cases here in our own backyard.

Call to action: Yes, I fully support boycotting the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, but I would also ask that all of us that are committed to social justice stand in solidarity with ALL of our LGBT brothers and sisters around the world: Russia, the United States, Uganda, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe.

17 Responses to “Bigot of the Week Award: August 16, International Olympic Committee”

  1. Central Oregon Coast NOW August 16, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt August 16, 2013 at 7:41 am #

      Nancy, thank you for reblogging this. The amount of homophobia around the world is still quite depressing.

      • Central Oregon Coast NOW August 16, 2013 at 7:56 am #

        I have seen a petition to move the winter Olympics to Vancouver, but have not seen one yet to boycott. Have you? There really needs to be a worldwide boycott and pressure on NBC not to televise and McDonalds (official sponsor) & other sponsors to withdraw sponsorship.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt August 16, 2013 at 8:00 am #

        Nancy, I love that! It makes much more sense to move the Olympics rather than to boycott! Yes, we must put collective pressure on NBC, McDonalds, and Coke to withdraw sponsorship of they do not move the Olympics. As always, you are quite brilliant!

      • Central Oregon Coast NOW August 16, 2013 at 8:16 am #

        I’m angry, outraged…..The US Olympic Committee and Obama need to take a stand NOW and insist the Olympics be moved, and if not moved, that the US will boycott.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt August 16, 2013 at 8:17 am #

        Yes, we should all be angry and outraged. I’m not sure why President Obama is not being stronger here. I love that we either move the Olympics or we boycott them.

  2. dykewriter August 16, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    the committee is anti gay

    that’s why we created the gay games in the first place

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt August 16, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      Nina, how do we influence the committee?

      • dykewriter August 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

        we replace it

        the event is an epic fail

        it doesn’t unite anything

        it is only to sell companies

        there is nothing amateur about it

        especially the men’s hockey

        that’s a joke and

        any event needing an artistic judgement is not a sport

        a ball in a net, a timer or a measuring tape – finsih and goal lines

        that’s sports

  3. penguinlad August 16, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Well, apparently the U.S. Olympic Committee is at least tacitly going along with the IOC on this one. CEO Scott Blackmun tries to find middle ground in a mine field by denigrating the law but telling US Olympians to go along with it anyway. Disgusting!

  4. Jennifer Carey August 16, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    As a connection to this, Nick Symmonds the US track athlete has a stand to criticize Russia and the IOC. It takes immense character to stand up here. I realize that athletes train for years and a shot at the Olympics is often literally once in a lifetime. I’m proud that this representative of my country felt Civil Rights was more important than Olympic medals.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt August 16, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

      Jennifer, thank you for inspiring this story and thank you for the link. We are also grateful for your voice for civil rights and social justice!

  5. Gary Hollander August 18, 2013 at 3:34 am #

    Thanks, Michael. I think that the Olympic Committee media machine has put forth several falsehoods intended to hide the real politics of this issue. The IOC selected Russia on the basis of huge financial promises; the real competition of the Olympics starts a decade before any athlete is on the field — the competition for where the field will be. Next, there are the huge monetary investments in those fields themselves, in the contracts for broadcasting, in the advertising industry to assure that sponsors get their days of glory.

    The OIC and its cronies are obscuring the real politics of the Olympics — greed for money and power of money. The romantic notion that this is about athletes and their years of training that cannot be deferred for even a week is nonsense. If people have not read Hunger Games, I suggest they do. It sheds light on the workings of the OIC. Something their media machine will not do.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt August 18, 2013 at 7:24 am #

      Gary, I suspect you are right in your assessment of the IOC, which makes me exceedingly sad, for it means the Olympics is not about athletic competition and the world coming together as a community, but rather it is exclusively about money. Economic determinism at its worst; this does not say much for humanity.

      • Gary Hollander August 18, 2013 at 10:16 am #

        Hey, Michael, I am still good with humanity, just not with aristocracy — either familial or economic. Just look at OIC members and honorary members ( Not a great representation of the People.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt August 18, 2013 at 10:19 am #

        Gary, thank you for including the link. Wow! Not exactly a list of everyday people. Sadly, their power and privilege afford them the privilege of being able to be oblivious to other people and to humanity in general.

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