State Dept’s new Olympics diversity video is a bit of a FU to Russia

Edgy, that US State Department.  Who knew?

The US State Department just released a video that’s hard not to take as a bit of a FU to the Russian government only one week before the beginning of the 2014 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Sochi, Russia.

The video, titled “Sochi Olympics 2014: We are all athletes,” has a decidedly diverse message, and specifically includes gay athletes in that diversity.

I love the guy on the far left, doing a bit of a "huh?"

From State’s video. I love the guy on the far left, doing a bit of a “huh?”

It’s difficult not take the video as a response to Russia’s recent crackdown on its gay and trans citizens (as part of a larger restriction of freedoms, and suppression of dissent, under Vladimir Putin’s reign).

Specific concerns have arisen about the safety of the Sochi Olympics, not just from the imminent terror attack, but also the safety of gay and trans athletes, media and guests.  The Russian government has made clear, repeatedly, that Olympic athletes, media and guests will be held accountable to Russia’sdraconian new anti-gay “propaganda” law that basically makes it illegal to be openly gay in public.

To make matters worse, Russian President Putin said last week that gay athletes would be safe at the Olympics, so long as they “leave the kids alone,” suggesting that gay Olympians were planning on raping Russian infants between the biathlon and the luge.

You have to understand that in diplomatic circles, this passes for downright edgy.  I’m rather impressed.


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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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