As I was browsing my newsfeed on facebook, I came across this article: http://www.thegailygrind.com/2013/11/06/russian-neo-nazi-group-kidnaps-tortures-gay-black-south-african-student-latest-attack-video/. I reluctantly decided to read it, even though I knew it would mortify me. And it did. How come we are okay with this? How come the only thing we do about it is say that it's not okay for this to happen? How come we do not act? Why is it okay for any society to threat humans the way LGBT people are treated in Russia?
Don't get me wrong. I am sure that there are people in Russia who fight for gay rights even if they themselves are not gay. I admire that and I hope they will continue to do so. I just find it incredible that the majority of the population threats this group as dirt, tortures them and kills them even just because of who they love. I once spoke with a Russian person who said I don't understand their culture. I have no need to understand a culture when it is filled with hate against a certain group. I have no need to understand why the Russian government is fine with exterminating someone just because of their sexuality. I don't have to understand it because it shouldn't have to be understood. This flaw in the Russian culture should not exist.
This year was supposed to be a year to celebrate the friendship between Russia and the Netherlands. However, it all ended quite badly when a Russian diplomat was arrested in the Netherlands for beating up his children and driving under the influence of alcohol. Russia was very angry, after all, a diplomat can do whatever the fuck he wants, even if he hurts his own flesh and blood in the process. The Netherlands apologised, which I think should not have been necessary, and surprise, a Dutch diplomat was beaten up in Russia. Why are we all okay with Russia doing whatever the fuck they want but other countries have to bow down to its greatness? I don't think so.
Fear is a strong factor in forcing people to remain silent about issues that are dear to them. I understand that many Russians fear speaking up against their government because they don't know what could happen to them. You can't blame anyone apart from the people participating in these hideous crimes and those who cherish these hateful thoughts. But we can't stay silent. And I realise that my words are also just words, but words are powerful. If we all speak up together, we might make a change.
We should not be okay with a country led by a government which decides who someone can or can't love. We should not sit back and say it's fine when people who speak up about it are put into jail and tortured for speaking their mind. We should not be okay with teenagers being humiliated on the internet just for being who they are. It is disgusting. It is sick. These practises remind me of the Second World War. Don't we all remember Hitler hating the jews? Do we all know how that ended? It has to stop now, not tomorrow.
I know that it is a utopia to wish for a world in which we are all united. I know that we live in a world in which the rich and powerful decide who gets to live and who doesn't. But I guess that if we all stand up and let our voices be heard, we can truly make a change.
So speak up now.