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 | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Badgerite

    This makes me so angry I could spit up blood.

  • jomicur

    In even better news, the UK’s Channel 4 will be airing a documentary this week that exposes the anti-gay gangs of thugs and terrorists that are roaming Russia unfettered. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/01/russia-anti-gay-gang-violence-homophobic-olympics Somehow, I don’t think NBC will be picking this up. But I imagine it will show up online; we should all disseminate it as widely as we can.

  • judybrowni

    Umm, where are the figure skaters?

  • Thom Allen

    Of course. Beating up and sodomizing male children and young men who are thought to be gay us just good, clean Russki hijinks. But a support group? No, that’s veritable pornography that would infect straight Russian babies.

    And, look! The Russians are using cossacks as pseudo-police. They “enforce” law and order (and taunt and bash immigrants, get people to think “correctly,” support Vladyboy, maybe get a little physical (with gays and immigrants, not neonazis.) The cossacks were so effective in beating Jews and keeping them confined to ghettos in the late 1800s to early 1900s, that I’m sure that they could reprise that role today, first with immigrants and gays, then with Jews.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/roads/2014/01/cossacks_will_patrol_the_sochi_olympics_vladimir_putin_is_drafting_these.html

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Meanwhile, the Russian government files charges against the owner of an online site where young LGBT people were able to post letters about their experiences.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/online-support-group-for-russian-lgbt-teens-charged-with-vio

    Russian authorities reportedly filed charges on Friday against the head of an online support group for LGBT teens, for violating the law prohibiting “the promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships to minors.”

    The case is being brought against Elena Klimova, who runs Children-404, which posts stories from Russian LGBT teens on the Russian social networking site VKontakte. This is the fifth case reported in which Russian authorities have invoked the propaganda law passed in June. It follows the conviction on Thursday of the editor of a Russian newspaper for its reporting on the firing of a gay teacher, for which he was fined the equivalent of about $1,400.

    So — apparently it’s perfectly fine for neo-Nazis and thugs to post videos of themselves kidnapping, assaulting, and sexually abusing young gays, and to post it to Vkontakte. But a support group for LGBT teens — on the same damned website — is subject to criminal charges.

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