Have you heard the news? President Obama has taken a stand for something and it is actually pretty admirable of him. The 2014 Winter Olympics are being held in Sochi, Russia in February. Unfortunately, every thing has not been all snowmen and hot cocoa for team U.S.A. Political tensions are high, and many athletes have been under fire for their personal lifestyles. The thing about Russia is that the Russian government has made it illegal to be a homosexual.
As Americans we pride ourselves on at least trying to provide freedom and equality for everyone, regardless of race or sexual orientation. Though clearly not the pinnacle of success even at this point in time, we are doing a better job than Russia at including minorities. We have declared to the world that there are certain undeniable rights that every human is entitled to. American men and women have fought and died for the sake of this equality. Many presidents, including our current president, have built their political platforms on this equality. And now we are just going to let Russia tell us what to do? I do not think so.
Apparently, neither does President Obama. Not only is he not attending the Sochi Olympics or sending any other presidential representative, he has blatantly thumbed his nose at the Russian government. In an act of surprising defiance, the President has deliberately chosen two homosexual former athletes to be a part of the white house delegation at the games. Through this act, he is saying that since Russia clearly does not respect equality among peoples, something America has stood in favor of for centuries, America does not feel obliged to respect Russia with the presence of her leaders during this globally public event.
He is effectually saying that America will honor the rights of her people and all oppressed peoples, even in the face of antagonistic authorities.
True, he could have done this better. He could have chosen to attend the games alongside the rest of the delegation, instead of sulking back in Washington and feeding the lesbians to the dogs. But at least he did not completely ignore this blatant disrespect of basic human rights. He is the leader of a country based on equality, and in this respect, I believe he has begun to act like it.
These games are about the world coming together. They are about celebrating humanity. They are about the fact that each and every one of us is a citizen not just of our country, but also of the world as a whole. They are ultimately about recognizing and celebrating those differences that make one person, a couple or a team, able to stand out from the rest.
We may all live on the same globe, but we are far from identical. And why should we be? There is nothing inherently better about a single set of people that each other set of people cannot enhance and compliment with our differences. And to that I say, Go world.
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