Monday, August 12, 2013

Hope & Hostility - An Open Letter

What I will always fail to understand, is how minds at the top of the political ladder feel it justifiable to let hatred be their compass, and I will wonder what blatant idiocy let this misguided garp become policy.

For a second, let's stand back and ignore the rest of the world exists. If that's so, you still shouldn't be able to make such decisions. The fact that you would ever let your opinions become more than your own quiet thoughts is one problem. But the world does exist outside your borders, and now you are faced with some very hard questions.

What role does that play in advancing your country? What role does that play in advancing human kind? What signal does that give to the rest of the modern world, and what does it say about your own citizens, of whom many disagree but (now, like in the comparatively recent past) have no voice?

To my readers, I understand that many of you out there feel this doesn't impact you, or you may find it insignificant. Some may feel that because of the large natural gas and oil dependancies from this country, that, following the startling silence of the UN, the IOC and most of the world powers, nobody can say anything about it - but that is even more reason to do so.

If you and your girlfriend, wife, boyfriend or husband were jeered at in the street, or wrenched apart and bludgeoned, had tomatoes thrown, or urine tipped over your heads publicly, how indeed would you feel? If you comitted suicide, and this wasn't horrible enough, but your memory was then smeared by those left behind simply because hating is encouraged - would you recognise it as agony? If this happened to that friend you were just sending a message to on Facebook, or your mum or dad, brother or sister, what then?

As this is written, individuals and couples alike are being beaten, kidnapped, raped, and publicly humilated just for being themselves. In some cases, these actions are being filmed and distributed online. The Russian government has ratified it, and this ignorant, backward mindset backed by law gives people an excuse to carry it out, essentially free from judgement and reprehension.

I personally fail to see how I, walking down the street holding hands with the one I love, differs in any way from you, walking down the street holding the hands of the one you love. Or them, walking down the street with someone they love. I fail to understand how my life is 'wrong' because I like green instead of blue.

If your argument is that I am an abomination in the eyes of God, I would respond that I, as well as you and all things wild and wonderful, are His creations, and he is supposed to "love them all". Is a message of compassion and tolerance not what the Church is for? What else it is meant to propagate?

If you side with hate because you feel it's wrong or uncomfortable, I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone, and see that love is just love. Blind, deaf, and as simple as you or I - which is to say, complex to the extreme. It can only be understood by experiencing it, and we all should go out of our way to do so. But it is never something to be judged, or hated, even though at times jealousy or personal lack leads some to do so.

I am overwhelmed with disappointment for the leaders of Russia - and pained to think of its citizens, but I feel more than ever that it is time to voice out in whatever way I can, because I am - quite honestly - getting tired of being disappointed, and tired of hearing of the repercussions of one power-obsessed bigot's choices.

Hate has never done one useful thing for humanity. We are capable of so much more, and it shows when we come together that incredible things can be accomplished. It shows equally, what disasters lie in misguidance. Haven't we learnt enough from the past yet? How many times must we repeat things just to become a better civilisation? The world is now making some huge bounds forward in terms of rights, but every now and then, someone stumbles and staggers that process. In today's world, this kind of hate is one such stumble, and it should not exist. It's time for us to start working together, and realising that we are all born on this planet together, and that in this one life of ours we can do something wonderful - or we will repeat these problems over, and over, and over.

Stephen Fry, Nick Symmonds, celebrities and media worldwide are condemning Russia's behaviour right now, and I ride wholeheartedly with them. I don't speak out about many things, but this ridiculousness must stop.

The winter Olympic Games are once again approaching, and to host them, Russia will have to do so much better. At current I boycott them entirely - on the ground of blatant hypocracy: Russia's government is spreading unfairness, discrimination and ignorance instead of the values of which those very games stand for, and it would be a mockery to watch them under such circumstances.

Last week a petition which I, along with 330,000 others signed was delivered to the IOC headquarters in Switzerland, and it got attention. But this should just be the beginning. Much more needs to be done to show Putin that his behaviour right now is unacceptable.

Sometimes all it takes to show family, friends, leaders, goverments or countries which is the correct path, is the voice of a few. Perhaps this issue will summon the voice of many.

I can't stress enough how much I want this effort to succeed.



  1. Thank you for your hard, accurate and totally moving article.

    To all the readers:
    Together we can change the situation. The change starts in your hearts and goes on in the demonstrations all around the world (like Berlin, 31st August)


  2. Great post! I get the feeling lots of people wants to do something about this but don't know how. I certainly don't know what the answer is. If the governments etc aren't going to do anything (although i do appreciate the efforts of the Netherlands and some other countries.) I suspect the best effect could be to target the money connected to the olympics. Boycott watching the games and boycott brands that sponsor the games. They have so much money on the line, it might encourage the IOC to act - or at least think more carefully about what countries host games in the future.

  3. Thanks Juan, much appreciated!

    And I agree Luke. As well as that, just making a big noise sometimes helps. ;) Here are a couple of links for some petitions currently running:

    Petition going to IOC headquarters in Switzerland:

    Petition to stop brands sponsoring the games:

    Jimzip :D