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Freedom Rider: Boycott America, Not Russia

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    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    President Obama’s personal boycott of the Winter Olympics is the height of hypocrisy. Washington provides arms, aid and diplomatic protection to some of the most homophobic regimes on earth. “There are at least ten nations considered American allies that have anti-gay laws far more harsh than Russia’s.”

     

    Freedom Rider: Boycott America, Not Russia

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    If there is a country deserving of boycotts of sports or other events, it is the United States.”

    In 2013 the Russian Federation passed legislation that prohibits the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors." The official bigotry rightly received worldwide condemnation and in anticipation of the Winter Olympic games taking place in Sochi, Russia, spawned calls for official boycotts of the event.

    This columnist is unequivocally opposed to discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, or any other status. But the vehemence with which Russia has been castigated should raise other issues for Americans, who think of themselves as living in the freest, most democratic country on earth. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Russian president Vladimir Putin doesn’t claim the right to kill his citizens without charge or trial but United States president Barack Obama does. Not only does he claim the right to execute any one he wants, but he has perverted the very document he swore to uphold in order to justify his wrong doing. The United States Constitution guarantees a right to due process, but according to the Obama administration that is not true all of the time.

    The chief law enforcement officer of this country, Attorney General Eric Holder, announced that the right to due process is not the same as the right to judicial process, and therefore the president can kill at will. If those words are confusing it is because they are utter nonsense and the hallmark of countries that Americans generally vilify as dictatorships.

    It is the United States that is uniquely inhumane among the world’s nations in its incarceration policies.”

    Of the two countries, which spends more of its resources on the military? Of course the answer is the United States, which not only spends more on defense than any other country but more than the rest of the world combined. Russia ranks 6th in defense expenditures, behind the United States, China, the United Kingdom, France and Japan. So, it is America that uses more of its resources for making war than for benefitting humanity.

    Instead of looking at how their most vulnerable citizens are treated, Americans prefer to look at the rest of the world and condemn whomever their government tells them to. When two of the musician activists in the group Pussy Riot visited New York they were celebrated for enduring two years in prison as a result of protesting against Putin’s government.

    The sentence was inhumane and so are Russian laws against “hooliganism” which can mean anything that government wants it to mean. But it is the United States that is uniquely inhumane among the world’s nations in its incarceration policies. The country with the dubious distinction of being the world’s largest jailer is, of course, the worst at dispensing justice. In the United States there are 3,278 people serving sentences of life imprisonment after being convicted of non-violent offenses. Of these 3,278 people, 65 percent are black, which is further proof of the systemic racism which is still rampant in this country.

    While Barack Obama claims the right to kill anyone he wants, he is simultaneously pretending to be high minded on the issue of the Russian LGBT community. He and other heads of state have announced their own personal boycotts of the Winter Olympics and won’t attend. Obama says he has “no patience” for the Russian law but actively opposed the efforts of 5,000 people imprisoned as a result of draconian drug laws who sought to request resentencing.

    Homosexuality is not illegal in Russia, no one has been imprisoned as a result of the propaganda legislation.”

    Of course Obama doesn’t care about gay people at all. There are at least ten nations considered American allies that have anti-gay laws far more harsh than Russia’s. Saudi Arabia, America’s partner in international crime, actually executes people because they are gay. Homosexuality is not illegal in Russia, no one has been imprisoned as a result of the propaganda legislation and perpetrators of anti-gay hate crimes have been punished. Meanwhile the sorry record of American states and localities choosing not to punish the white people who kill a black person every 28 hours should be worthy of international boycotts.

    The fury directed against Russia is more a result of our government’s propaganda than of any true need for protest. The reaction is also a result of willful ignorance about America’s extreme shortcomings in the treatment of its own citizens.

    Russia has spoken out against U.S. imperialism, given sanctuary to Edward Snowden and prevented a U.S. attack on Syria. That is why our government is angry with Vladimir Putin and why the corporate media follows suits. There is less of an excuse for ordinary citizens to follow along blindly because a president wants free rein in the world. When presidents and the media tell us whom we should hate and vilify, our reaction should be one of skepticism.

    If there is a country deserving of boycotts of sports or other events, it is the United States. There is no other way that the country leading in violence and inhumanity ought to be treated by the civilized world.

    Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

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    Although I disagree with

    Although I disagree with Russia's Homophobic Laws, boycotting the Olympics in any country where we disagree with their laws means there might never be another Olympics. I don't believe in using the Olympics as a political tool, and since our government has nothing to do with our Olympic team, they shouldn't be allowed to boycott the games. Write My Dissertation

    This report raised lot of

    This report raised lot of question in readers for freedom Rider column appears.

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    Is it a big deal?

    I mean how could a Us president think like that? Whats wrong with him? I am a student and i also have got an UK assignment about this issue in my college. I am gonna share my views through it

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    what an absolute joke...

    those pussy riot idiots. Gotta wonder what madison ave. snake oil seller, sleazy record co. exec, or washington neocon/-liberal think-tank propagandist scripted pussy idiots' bullshit antics & bullshit gala. Didn't surprise me to hear democ.now play up a bunch of useless pedestal white gals for yapping loud and sayin' nothing (to paraphrase James Brown). Thank you, Margaret, for exposing this irritating american hypocrisy. It's beyond comical that this sorry-ass country has the "pussy" (pun intended) to point a chiding finger at anyone else, given all the vile, hateful things it does daily, and has done since its wretched inception. (On a different note, I wrongly disparaged Bill McKibben last wk in a comment, but I should've cited a real slick-tongued neolib like tim wise. Bill has so far been doing a decent job of getting the word out re climate change and focusing on the evasive & dismissive rhetoric of obama & other bigwig politicos and lamestream media mouthpieces.)

     

     

    Nobody misses Droneman's

    Nobody misses Droneman's shit-eating grinning face at the Olympics.  They are probably glad he didn't come as security measures would be even more of a freaking hassle and expense than they already are.  I'm more concerned with Russia's horrid treatment of their stray dog population than any anti-gay legislation passed by the govt.  From what I've seen and read via true indy media, the gay population is allowed to live and let live over there; the govt just didn't want this lifestyle pushed on impressionable young children.

    As for P&*^$ Riot, this was a State Dept/CIA covert op created to shine a human rights violating light on Putin.  That was easily recognized once US politricksters like Killary and empire entertainment propagandists like Madonna voiced support for the so-called band.  I'm surprised empire whore Rolling Stone didn't give them a magazine cover.

    See Global Research for an Article Covering this Same Issue-

    Strange Color Revolution: More ‘Gay Protests’ at Russia’s Sochi Olympics [@ www.globalresearch.ca/strange-color-revolution-more-gay-protests-at-russias-sochi-olympics/5368595 ]: The article's Author starts by critiquing NBC Sport's Johnny Weir[d]'s on screen cross-dressing as just a publicity stunt.  

    Then the author offers this critique of the Pussy Riot [some real female publicity stunters] Affair: } 'The Duma's new law against “offending religious feelings”, has received international attention due to the trial of anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot. The band have since become the new darlings of the globalist music circuit, recently appearing alongside Madonna [another {in}Famous publicity wh-re] at Amnesty International’s “Human Rights” concert [IE: the same AI 'Humanitarian' Org that cheer-leaded FUK-NATO's phony 'R2P' bombing assault on Libya]. - What people are quick to forget, is how Pussy Riot actually ended up in their cold Russian jail cells in the first place — for simulating sex acts and defacing the altar at a sacred Christian Orthodox cathedral — Russia’s equivalent of London’s Westminster Abbey, or the National Cathedral in Washington DC. If any artist or band did what they did in the UK or US, it’s pretty much a given that they’d have ended up in a jail cell – just as Pussy Riot did...' { PS: Before their rude / lewd church stunt, the 3 Pussy Rioter gals were involved in a series of lewd juvenile publicity stunts, w a group called 'Voina' {= WAR in Russian} that included: Painting a Giant Penis on a Moscow draw bridge, Literally having a Porn-Orgy in an art museum, One Pussy Rioter went to a super-market & stuffed a frozen chicken up her naked 'Pussy' [riot], & Throwing live cats on workers at a McDonald's restaurant, etc...]

    So these are the type of gals that Billary & the State Dept, are putting forth as heroines??? What's heroic about Paris Hilton & Brittney Spears up-skirting crowds by flashing their naked 'Pussies' [riot] at them, or Justine Timberlake baring Janet Jackson's naked breast by causing her wardrobe to [allegedly] 'mal-function', or 'College Girls Gone Wild' in semi-porn videos??? If it were Black girls pulling these kinds of stunts would they be applauded or cursed & scorned while being called all kinds of dirty [& racist] names [IE: like what happened to Janet Jackson as compared to Justine Timberlake]??? Hell many of these same folks that hype Pussy Riot, Madonna, Pairs Hilton & Brittney Spears, & even [wild & freaky white] College Girls Gone Wild{ing}- have slammed Venus & Serena [often in thinly disguised racist terms] who ain't never pulled the same kind of lewd-rude-crude publicity stunts in public as these [white-gal] Pussy Rioters have!!! 

         Kimberley, as usual, is

         Kimberley, as usual, is cogent and persuasive.  She has an especially  strong point when she notes "Russia has spoken out against U.S. imperialism, given sanctuary to Edward Snowden and prevented a U.S. attack on Syria."

         On one relatively minor point, I have to disagree. The sentence handed to the Pussy Riot provocateurs was hardly "inhumane." These "Me-Too-Yankees" invaded the most revered church in Russia, mocked the parishioners, insulted the priests and called for the overthrow of the government.  Now, as they anticipated, they are reaping the big time in States.

         The USA is not only reeking with racism and world-wide belligerency.  I have my own personal history - minor in comparison, to be sure, but still worth noting.  I was forced out of my country by an FBI-directed terror campaign and now live in Moscow.  Oh, yes, and the "most democratic" US government refuses to pay me my Social Security old-age pension.

         Arnold Lockshin, political exile from the US

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