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How do we stop a modern-day Adolf Hitler?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

“Participation in these games must not be construed to be an endorsement of the policies and practices of the Russian government,” said a leader of the American Olympic Committee and the anti-boycott forces.

“Measures have been adopted to ensure that there will be no violation of the fundamental principles of fair play and sportsmanship, or the Olympic standards of freedom and equality to all,” he added.

LGBT activists in a recent protest of Russia’s anti-gay laws.

“There was some talk about the Olympics being boycotted because of what Putin was doing to the gay people in Russia,” said one athlete. “But it was never discussed amongst the team members. We aren’t interested in politics, you see, at all. We are interested in going and winning.”

We’ve all heard the quotes, right? There are reports of Russia beating up LGBT people — bad — and enacting percussion around them, stripping them of rights and sending them to detention camps.

Now the Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in Russia next winter. What to do, what to do? Boycott the games? Boycott vodka?

What is going on now is not unprecedented. In fact, the quotes above are not about Russia at all; they are real quotes, but they were doctored slightly. I changed a few words. “Russian” and “Russia” should say “German” and “Germany.”

As in Nazi.

Here are the 2013 statements:

“As a sporting organization, what we can do is to continue to work to ensure that the Games can take place without discrimination against athletes, officials, spectators and the media,’ the IOC said in a statement. “To that end, the IOC has received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games.”

“The Olympics are not a political statement, they are a place to let the world shine in peace and let them marvel at their youthful talents… I respect the LGBT community full heartedly, but I implore the world not to boycott the Olympic Games because of Russia’s stance on LGBT rights or lack thereof. I beg the gay athletes not to forget their missions and fight for a chance to dazzle the world.” (Johnny Weir)

Those statements are about Russia now. See any difference? I don’t.

Neither does playwright Harvey Fierstein, who said in a recent Op Ed piece, “Mr. Putin’s campaign against lesbian, gay and bisexual people is one of distraction, a strategy of demonizing a minority for political gain taken straight from the Nazi playbook.”

Harvey is dead on. Putin has been crafting a strategy for years and it parallels the strategy laid out by a man named Joseph Goebbels, the architect of the “Nazi playbook.”

It makes sense, in a horrible, immoral, horrific life-disillusioning way. It is a tale of a former superpower trying to emerge from its own devastation. Russia faces the world as a shell of what it once was. Its people are angry; its economy is in shambles.

In “The Face of the Third Reich,” by Joachim C. Fest, Goebbels’s contribution is described:

“For Hitler’s sombre, complex-determined visions, his initiative, ecstatic relationship with the masses, Goebbels found the techniques of persuasion, the rationalizations, the slogans, myths and images. It was from Goebbels that der Führer, the term by which Hitler appeared as redeemer, demiurge and blessed saviour, received its visionary content. He astutely turned the initially irresolute Adolf Hitler into der Führer and set him on the pillar of religious veneration. With strenuous Byzantinism, consciously mingling the sacred with the profane, he spread around Hitler that messianic aura which so appealed to the emotions of a deeply shaken nation.”

Putin has been putting the same techniques into action.

Before 2008, an organization called Nashi was organized. It was a youth-oriented, pro-Kremlin group meant to go up against street forces who opposed Putin. Nashi based much of their own internal directives on plagiarized writings by Goebbels. The practices are documented in the film “Putin’s Kiss.”

Helle Faber, the producer, stated:

“It was shocking for us to realize that this organization was actually established in Russia … we were shocked about the undemocratic methods they used and we were shocked that this was actually going in on 2008, 2009, when we started doing the film. I think that we really have to be aware of organizations like that, because in my opinion it’s just like the Hitlerjugend in the ‘30s. I thought that the world had become wiser, but we obviously haven’t. So I think it’s very important to put the focus on an issue like this.” Nashi became a political organization in 2013 and now operates under the party name of “SMART Russia.”

So, is Putin on his way to becoming our generation’s Adolf Hitler?

He is behaving that way, and his actions mirror those of the Nazis as described by the site Yad Vashem: “Nazi anti-Jewish policy functioned on two primary levels: legal measures to expel the Jews from society and strip them of their rights and property while simultaneously engaging in campaigns of incitement, abuse, terror and violence of varying proportions. There was one goal: to make the Jews leave Germany.”

As a gay dad, I was terrified and sickened to read further in Fierstein’s piece: “it is rumored that Mr. Putin is about to sign an edict that would remove children from their own families if the parents are either gay or lesbian or suspected of being gay or lesbian. The police would have the authority to remove children from adoptive homes as well as from their own biological parents.”

Unlike those in the United States who continue to leverage homophobia for political gain, Putin has but one single point of leverage: The majority of his people are anti-gay.

For America, the momentum has shifted toward an LGBT-affirming majority, and although homophobic leveraging has not by any stretch been eradicated, it continues to diminish.

This shift can be attributed to the tireless work of LGBT advocates and allies, to educate and inform those whose ignorance make them easy prey for inciting bigotry and hate. Sharing real people with real stories has helped all Americans to begin to see that indeed we are all the same: Love is love, and families are made from love.

In my opinion, that is what we must try to do for Russia. Through information and education, the same methods used for decades in the West, we need to fight homophobia at the core in which it thrives: ignorance.

Here are some strategies I would suggest implementing:

  • Don’t boycott the games—“gay” them up. Ask for all nations supporting marriage equality to carry the rainbow flag with their nations flag. Ask all athletes with LGBT friends, family, or relations to come out and wear a flag, and, most importantly, tell their stories.
  • Don’t boycott vodka, but give the suppliers the chance to run LGBT education programs in Russia. Give them the chance to educate their public and put their money where their mouth is; if they do, buy more vodka.
  • Cull the genius brainpower from Facebook pages like Wipe Out Homophobia, Gay Marriage USA and The Equality Mantra, and formulate ways to distribute the LGBT love and family stories in Russian to Russia, to reach an unaware populace.
  • Restrict the travel privileges of Russian government officials and business people to the West. The LGBT groups in Russia are asking for this, and we should respond.
  • Contact all the U.S. businesses doing commerce in Russia. We need to stop doing business with these entities as well if they do not include LGBT education with their capitalism.
  • President Obama and Secretary John Kerry must be our mouthpieces. They need not only to condemn the actions in Russia, they need to use their bully pulpits to educate.

Hatred and fear are formidable political action motivators. Truth and love are their adversaries, and equally effective, as the past several years of advocacy in America have begun to demonstrate in concrete results.

We need the Russian people to know us. They need to see the gay dads and lesbian moms who have nurtured children, many saved from horrible lives in foster care. They need to see our love stories. They need to understand our humanity.

World War II ended with an atomic bomb. We need to change Russian hearts and minds with an atomic bomb of love, truth, and education.

Let’s drop an LGBT truth nuke on Putin’s ass.

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78 more reader comments:

  1. theres an easy way to do that but who has the balls to send someone in to take him out for good hmmm

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 7:23pm
  2. nuke em, let´s nuke the bastards :-P

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 7:26pm
  3. To support Russia in any way at this time (including the Olympics) is the same as having supported Nazi Germany during the rise of Adolf Hitler. This should not be treated as just another disagreement with another country. Pressure should be put on both our politicians, politicians of other countries, the Olympic Committee, NBC, Comcast and anyone else who will continue to provide support and funding for this dangerous regime. A refrain after the Nazi era is “Never Forget.” Let´s show that we haven´t forgotten.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 7:28pm
  4. nuke innocents?

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 7:28pm
  5. a group of us who supported the Olympics are going to boycott this year, and hope others do the same because They decided to have the games in Russia… A country who tries to dehumanize people who do not deserve it… While criminals are roaming there streets…

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 7:29pm
  6. Send him to prison for life.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 7:31pm
  7. Actor Harvey Fierstein writes on his page, “We need to use Protests, Boycotts, and political pressure not just to react to injustice that has already occurred, but as tools to prevent the persecution from getting worse. Don´t wait for mass arrests or mob attacks to motivate you.” I totally agree.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 7:38pm
  8. There is only ONE way. Take him out.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 7:38pm
  9. beat him on the street for allowing this

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 7:41pm
  10. a population that is complacent in ruining peoples´ lives is not innocent! they are in commitment of a crime! just like the clowns in africa and all the rest of these bozo´s that we support with our tax dollars! and don´t give me the typical conservative response that they are entitled to their beliefs, bullshit, NO THEY ARE NOT ;-P

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 7:46pm
  11. I find the Hitler comparison to be a bit incongruous. Putin may be tyrannical and oppressive but he has yet to call for any systematic killings of certain groups of people. He is however, using some political maneuvers that do resemble some of Hitler´s early tactics, such as extreme censorship and for that reason he should be closely watched. But we also have to bear in mind that Russia has always been extremely oppressive and a nation that was so rooted in tyrannical communism does not change overnight after the fall of that former communist regime. I´m not defending what Russia does by any means so hopefully this doesn´t come across like that. I merely take issue with every time some country or leader takes steps to limit or downright take away the rights of LGBT people people start using the Hitler comparison even if it isn´t entirely correct.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 7:47pm
  12. Go Russian gay guys….go go go…..u have the power….

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 7:48pm
  13. If anyone is interested in contacting the ASSOCIATION OF NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES to protest the Olympics being hosted by Russia:

    Rue du Grand-Chêne 6
    1003 Lausanne, Switzerland
    Phone : + 41 21 321 52 60
    Fax : + 41 21 321 52 61
    E-mail : info@acnolympic.org
    Website : http://www.acnolympic.org

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 7:50pm
  14. This is so fucking crazy. Fucking Europe man! People are fucking crazy on that backwards continent.

    ^Does this comment look eerily familiar to many that you saw on LGBTQ Nation posts with Zimbabwe replaced with “Russia” and Africa replaced with “Europe”?

    Well, that´s because we live in a fucked up racist world. I just had to mention that because so many people seem to be straight up oblivious to it.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 7:58pm
  15. Right wing republicans !

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 8:11pm
  16. During the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the U.S. boycott in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan with the U.S. supporting the Afghan Rebels led by Osama Bin Laden (Deja Vu anyone?), the only ones hurt were the athletes. It did nothing to the Soviets except for the follwing Olympics in 1984 were boycotted by the communist countries and again the only ones suffering were the athletes again. Let the athletes go but tourists should be the ones boycotting, not the athletes.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 8:15pm
  17. @Nikii. Maybe a history lessionis in order. Hitler started his persecution of Artists the mentally Ill, and YES Homosexuals and Jews. Have you ever heard of the Pink Triangle? The Homosexuals were imprisoned before the Jews. They had to wear Pink triangles instead of the Jewish Star. Hitler didn´t kill them at first. They performed medical experiments. Later came the persecution of the Jewish people. You might want to read before making such statements.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 8:21pm
  18. I say pull the event from Russia, let them make their own revenue.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 8:25pm
  19. @Niki, do you think we should wait until the Russians start executing gays? The time to cry out is now, not when (and if) Russia goes down the same path as Hitler did. The hope is that this can be prevented. To assume that because Russia is not at the same point that Hitler ultimately got to and therefore can be ignored, is to give permission to Russia for getting there. Perhaps Russia has no intention to go that far. But why should we wait to find out? They are already on the way.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 8:37pm
  20. Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is really a good example.Russian gays should stay together,and attack neo-nazis. it cant be hard, i mean look at them, nazis. their IQ is probably under 20, you can handle them guys,come ooon.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 8:40pm
  21. I say boycott the olympics and vodka!!!

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 8:44pm
  22. The way you stop violence of any kind, subtle or obvious, is simply to say “I will not allow violence in anyone´s life”. It is the same with bullies in schools…it is both the victim and the bystanders who need to say “no, I will not allow this in anyone´s life”. It is the same mind that allows Rush Limbaugh or the GOP or Pat Robertson to express their intolerant views on mass media, that allows for another Adolf Hitler to arise.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 8:50pm
  23. BOYCOTT

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 8:55pm
  24. IT IS NOT JUST ONE PERSON!!!
    It IS THE MINDSET IN RUSSIA FUELED BY THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH! They are even telling the women that gays will take their men and husbands away from them. It is DISINFORMATION at it´s worst! It´s PROPAGANDA of the WORST KIND.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 8:59pm
  25. Boycott Russian.. olympics, any of their exports, no vacations there, etc. until they get the message that what they are doing is wrong. I say allow all the gay and lesbians in Russia come to America for asylum (sp)

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 9:09pm
  26. What an incredibly racist article. “´Russian´ and ´Russia´ should say ´German´ and ´Germany.´”

    I feel sympathy for people mistreated by these incidents in Russia, but I am honestly disappointed in LGBTQ nation for promoting, or endorsing this article.

    The German people are a wonderful people, as are any other culture. Associating an entire people to an event 70 years ago is both unjust and similar to the very same prejudice LGBT people face today.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 9:12pm
  27. Winchester .308 should suffice

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 9:19pm
  28. Do like what putin does to his citizens…just make him disappear.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 9:43pm
  29. i am so tired of this shit

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 9:46pm
  30. Why is it that every time someone has a different view, most of you go straight boycott? This author even said don´t boycott! Try to show Putin that we are actual people.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 9:49pm
  31. BOYCOTT the Olympics y´all that´s the only way to send a clear message and hurt them financially enough to matter.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 9:50pm
  32. @Emerson, you obviously need to back to college. This time listen, study harder.

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 9:53pm
  33. Ben…who u talking about? or,rather ,making fun off?

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 10:19pm
  34. Instead of a boycott, it sounds like they have decided against any boycott but instead have gay pride on opening day of the Olympics for the world to see

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 10:54pm
  35. BOYCOTT THE RUSSIAN OLYMPIC GAMES!
    BOYCOTT PRODUCTS IMPORTED FROM RUSSIA!

    And while Stolichnaya has come out with a statement declaring that their products are no longer made in Russia, the headquarters and senior executives who profit from the company´s sales are still located IN RUSSIA. BOYCOTT STOLICHNAYA!

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 10:57pm
  36. “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me. ”

    - Martin Niemöller

    Posted on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 11:03pm
  37. @Carmen, I don´t make fun of ignorance, ignorance does that for me. Is your name Emerson?

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 12:03am
  38. We were marked then and now we should all show solidarity in wearing the triangles. We Are Queer We Are Here!

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 12:18am
  39. @Joe in the 80´s is was hip for gays to wear the pink triangle on cloths. It´s faded away. I say bring it back!

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 12:27am
  40. REVOLUTION !!

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 1:38am
  41. We hunt him down and kill him now

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 1:46am
  42. Putin is Adolf Hitler minus wanting jews dead.

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 2:12am
  43. It´s only a matter of time until he builds extermination camps.

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 2:13am
  44. Like I have said, Putin sees his power waning and that´s when people like that are most dangerous.

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 2:16am
  45. Any of the other queer Jews feel REALLY uncomfortable at this comparison? Not as in “oh my god it´s only a matter of time before this happens again” but as in “hey LGBTQ Nation can you not”

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 2:55am
  46. No need to call off the Olympic. We just boycott the host country by not to travel before/during the OLympic. The main reason why Russia wants to host the Winter Olympic that is promoting its tourism to boost up its region´s local economy. So stay home n tune on tv n cheer/support out athletes.

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 3:09am
  47. Still, buy NO products of Russia.

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 3:09am
  48. That includes cancell trade and leisure travel plans and tell straight allies globally to do the same as well as business and corporate travelers!

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 4:02am
  49. First Putin signed the law forbidding any American parents to adopt Russian children, then also he also recently signed the anti-gay laws, and then all of the sudden he and his wife are in the process of getting divorce. I was like what the heck is wrong with Putin? Is there something happens to him lately?

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 4:59am
  50. Yes, a Winchester .308, should suffice, maybe a mishap. Do they do skeet shooting in the Winter? Just aim for the head

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 5:11am
  51. I´m Jewish and I see a direct comparison,J.G. why take G-ds name in vain? And you do not know what is going on over there. Just like a lot of people didnt know our family members were being gassed in Germany. Climb down anyway Stalling killed way more ppl than Hitler during the Great Purge, I seem to recall that was in Russia..whatever..this monster needs to be taken out.

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 5:19am
  52. first, the holocaust not only includes the jews, it also includes LGBT people, slavs, communist, christian democrats, and blacks… russia is doing the same…

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 12:24pm
  53. so I don´t know whether to ´like´ this post to show support to the LGBTQ or if I ´like´ the post if it would support what Russia is doing

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 3:42pm
  54. I wouldn´t call him Hitler just yet, you don´t see him rounding up Jews and putting them in gas chambers. Pro tip, I´m Jewish.

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 4:47pm
  55. And the Olympic committee pick this Country to hold the games

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 4:48pm
  56. …you forget the gays remained in the concentration camps once the jews were released.
    Hitler started somewhere before the concentration camps…

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 4:50pm
  57. The queen of England is fond of lgbt human beings. If this new monster starts genocide then she may stand up to them. Hope there´s no new war but we need to protect innocent folk from monsters…

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 4:51pm
  58. it started with targeting ..beating….harassing….in nazi germany!

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 4:51pm
  59. Here´s a tip @John Conner, it wasn´t just the Jews that Hitler rounded up. Google pink triangle. SMH.

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 4:52pm
  60. Targeted lgbt Jewish the disabled to the gypsies and all non white humans. The Jewish population was focused on more then us yes. But we suffered JUST as much. I´m disabled I am lgbt and I smell trouble ahead for Russian people.

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 4:55pm
  61. Gas him!

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 4:58pm
  62. The world needs to insist that the Olympics be moved! I am a huge fan and try to never miss watching but I will not be tuning in at all if they are held in Russia!

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 5:03pm
  63. He is a horrible man but he´s not a modern day Adolf Hitler. You´re undermining your own credibility with stupid headlines like that.

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 5:09pm
  64. Randy, actually I´m more found of the Holocaust that you might think, I´ve studied it for around 4 years and I know that Hitler didn´t just kill Jews. I think it would be wise enough not to compare Putin to Hitler just yet, see his actions, see what he does.

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 5:18pm
  65. I don´t know why Putin is hating on the gays. Have you seen his shirtless manly pose pictures? I mean those are pretty gay. In all seriousness though everyone should be concerned about him. Slowly through his reign he has consolidated his power and even redefined the office he holds to be more permanent… watch out.

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 5:36pm
  66. A bullet is a great start, right through the head.

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 5:48pm
  67. Fucking UN needs to grow some balls and do something about Russian and Zimbabwe

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 5:51pm
  68. By starving the hand that feeds it,Putin is scum & it seems like no one gives a shit about what he is doing
    Where is Obama,Cameron & the rest of the world leaders speaking out in outrage over his actions
    Oh no they are really showing their true yellow bellied colours & acting like the cowards they truly are

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 5:53pm
  69. What can we do to help?

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 6:37pm
  70. countries lose money during the Olympics. No point of it moving it someplace else…

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 7:24pm
  71. hail Hitler !

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 8:04pm
  72. LGBTQ* activists might just be the first army to successfully invade Russia during the winter. :)

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 8:09pm
  73. i think everyone should just boycott Russia

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 10:51pm
  74. all gay athletes and all LGBTQ allies-buycott em-they will lose a lot of money

    Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 10:53pm
  75. Cut all supplies to them

    Posted on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 12:13am
  76. Put ELENA MIZULINA and VITALY MILONOV on the visa ban list for their role in creating Russia´s ban on “gay propaganda”

    Posted on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 1:22am
  77. Posted on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 1:22am
  78. Kill him now before he gets any more power.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 2:26am