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View Diary: Mayor of Sochi--"There Are No Gay People In Our City" (29 comments)

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  •  Please remove Jesse Owens reference (1+ / 0-)
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    To a large extent it is irrelevant and your comment that he made Hitler appear a fool is just wrong. If you had bothered to look at the link you gave you will find that at that point in the games Hitler did not recognize any of the victors after being told off by the IOC for only acknowledging German ones. Jesse Owens nevertheless is on record as saying while going for an interview he waved at Hitler and he waved back.

    So Hitler did not specifically ignore Jesse Owens but FDR did and Owens had to sneak into a New York hotel by a back entrance to attend a function for US athletes on their return from Berlin.

    We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:51:42 AM PST

    •  It's not irrelevant. (7+ / 0-)

      He made Hitler's ideal of Aryan supremacy look foolish.

      My commentary isn't wrong.  Owens' participation is viewed historically in that context. I can't think of how many times the instance of his participation has been cited as a thumb in the eye to Hitler's ideals.  The facts of his acknowledgement or lack thereof of Owens are what is irrelevant.  

      •  But the reason the US considered boycotting (6+ / 0-)

        the 1936 games wasn't because of black athletes it was because of the discrimination against Jews. And the US failed miserably in that regard:

        American sprinters Sam Stoller and Marty Glickman, the only two Jews on the U.S. Olympic team, were pulled from the 4 × 100 relay team on the day of the competition, leading to speculation that U.S. Olympic committee leader Avery Brundage did not want to add to the embarrassment of Hitler by having two Jews win gold medals.
        Sixty-two years later, in 1998, the then-president of the U.S. Olympic Committee, William J. Hybl, honored Glickman and the memory of Sam Stoller, who had died in 1983, by presenting Glickman with a plaque “in lieu of the gold medals they didn’t win” in Berlin. Hybl noted that although there was no written proof that anti-Semitism had been at play during the 1936 Olympics, it was clearly the case. "I was a prosecutor," Hybl said. "I'm used to looking at evidence. The evidence was there."
        Owen's success was definitely a thumb in the eye of Hitler but the US still caved to Germany's influence when it came to the participation of Jews. Thankfully this time around the stance of the US regarding LGBT athletes participating at Sochi is much more encouraging.
        •  I understand what you're saying (4+ / 0-)

          about the fact that Jews were pulled from the Games.   And that it was anti-semitism driving Hitler, not anti-black people specifically. But because Owens' participation is seen historically as being a refutation of Hitler's ideology, I think it's easy to analogize the view that we should include as many gay people as we can to compete, because that will somehow "teach Putin a lesson" when they end up winning. Even though that wasn't the intent of the U.S. or Owens--to make some sort of statement--that is how it ended up being viewed historically. The point I was trying to make is that is that although Owens' actions were seen (after the fact)  as an antidote to Hitler's bigotry, it didn't "teach" Hitler anything.  

          Also had not the IOC been led by an Anti-Semite and had the full-extent of Hitler's plans for the Jews been comprehended, we might very well have boycotted those Games.  I think we should have.

          •  Hindsight (2+ / 0-)
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            Dartagnan, jayden

            I think your point is the more relevant which is why I suggested that the Owens incident is a distraction.  (It would also be interesting to see when the story of Hitler "snubbing" Owens and him making a point started. I suspect not much was known about it until about 1968 with the Black Power salutes at Mexico)

            The BBC tonight is showing a documentary that puts another light on Sochi which will likely have more effect than the rather silly posturing about gays Putin is making for electoral reasons.

            The cost of the Winter Olympics in Russia has quadrupled to a record-breaking £30 billion following allegations of massive corruption. Reporter John Sweeney investigates claims that lucrative contracts have been handed to President Putin's friends, and that billions have been embezzled by fraudsters and corrupt officials.

            Despite the huge cost of the games, thousands of Olympic workers say they have not been paid, and some claim they were tortured by the police when they tried to protest. The games in Sochi are supposed to be a showcase for modern Russia, but what do they really reveal about President Putin's state?

            Incidentally BBC radios "Now Show" made fun of Putin commenting that with his habit of posing topless on horseback, with construction workers, in army uniforms and on motorbike he is becoming a one man Village People.

            We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

            by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 10:28:05 AM PST

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          •  The goal isn't to "teach Putin a lesson" (0+ / 0-)

            so much as to stand proud in the face of discrimination, bigotry, and hate.

            The Olympics are unique in that they only take place every four years. Some athletes only have one or two shots in their careers to achieve Olympic greatness. It's not like musicians or tourists who can boycott a country for a few years and then decide to start going there again once things change.

            It's very doubtful that would Hitler have been influenced by the US boycotting the 1936 Games any more than he was by Owen's success. But the US could have been proud to support all of our athletes who traveled to the lion's den of anti-Semitism and persecution but that didn't happen in 1936. Times have changed for the better because Amercican athletes have our full support this time around in Sochi.

            Boycotting the Olympic games solves nothing.

      •  Agree, Dartagnan (1+ / 0-)
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        He made Hitler's ideal of Aryan supremacy look foolish.

        "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

        by Diana in NoVa on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 10:30:09 AM PST

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    •  THIS could not be more irrelevant. (1+ / 0-)
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      ...he waved at Hitler and he waved back.
      That doesn't mean jack shit.

      -4.38, -7.64 Voyager 1: proof that what goes up never comes down.

      by pat bunny on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 09:10:32 AM PST

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      •  Sorry about the hostility, but I'm upset about the (3+ / 0-)
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        jayden, Dartagnan, vcmvo2

        venue of the Olympics. Will Putin wave at Billie Jean King? Will Putin wave at Caitlin Cahow? What difference does that make?

        -4.38, -7.64 Voyager 1: proof that what goes up never comes down.

        by pat bunny on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 09:21:04 AM PST

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        •  The point is (1+ / 0-)
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          that the Owens incident was a myth, in part to cover up the racism prevalent in the USA at the time which meant he did not get any recognition from his own President and was forced to comply with the Jim Crow rules.

          The Nazis had a fairly flexible approach to "untermensch" - they later recruited black and slavic fighting units when it was appropriate. Jews were particularly targeted because they were a large presence in Germany. The initial race laws, current at the time of the Berlin Olympics, were designed to make the country "Juden-frei", the "final solution" was to come later.

          I should also remind you that the eugenics laws were used to target gays, the disabled and other minority groups as well as Jews. In context it is appropriate to note that these were no the reason for the boycott proposed in the USA in 1936.

          We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

          by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 10:14:55 AM PST

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