Last night I watched a programme on TV---‘Sunday,’ and it left me feeling very sad. That feeling deepened when I read about an event in NZ that fell not the same category as the situation described in Russia, the difference been that in Russia, the ‘State’ has encouraged such abhorrent behaviours.
I am talking about the manner in which Putin and his Government has acted in ways that ‘allow’ attacks on gay, Bi and transgender people. NO, they do not tell people to identify gay people in the social media or to actually attack people; sometimes hunting in packs to torture, humiliate and even kill their victims. What Putin has done by his ‘announcements’ and lack of response to these vicious and cruel attacks is to justify the behaviours of these ‘haters’ who go out of their way to entrap, capture and ‘deal to’ gay people in Russia. Even those who fight against this terrible state of affairs in Russia are in danger, of losing their jobs and to be harassed by the groups doing this.
The police do nothing and politicians rarely speak out, such is the ‘control’ that Putin now holds over the Russian populace. His cynical stance re the Olympics should have fired warning shots to those seeking a change in attitude. His macho behaviours where he seeks to endear himself to the Russian people does nothing to quell the actions of those nasty haters. Indeed, the signal he is giving is nothing short of a ‘primitive signal’ to those who wish to act in this low and unlawful manner.
Russia has a long history of excluding minorities and this is just a modern day extension of that sad history. Yes, there many who feel angry about this issue, but they fear to speak out, such is the climate in Putin’s Russia. If Russia wants to claim a label as a ‘civilized’ nation then it needs to take a serious look at itself, starting at the top, because in essence, leaders lead and others take note of their words and actions and translate that understanding into their behaviours---this time into a situation that warrants world-wide action. It seems that Russia is determined to return to the old days when it hid behind an iron curtain—now they have let an immoral leader hold sway and for those who disagree or who are ‘different from his ideal of whom a Russian should be---there is little hope.
A few days ago, we saw the same sad behaviours, enacted upon a transgender person, in New Zealand. That should serve as a warning to us all, that we are not exempt from such despicable acts. The difference is of course, that the huge majority of our politicians do not feel bound to the words and actions of our leaders. For that I am thankful, but we must remain vigilant and expose any behaviours that put a group at risk.