On this one I need hardly lift a finger. Actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein did my work for me.
What follows is an excerpt from his column titled “Russia’s Anti-Gay Crackdown,” as it appeared on July 22nd in the New York Times. The piece speaks for itself. But notice that Fierstein points his finger not only at Putin, but also at us. He wonders aloud if the world will continue to stay silent while Putin continues to punish what he deems “pro-gay.”
“Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, has declared war on homosexuals. [His] 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. Can we allow this war against human rights to go unanswered?…
With Russia about to hold the [Olympic] Winter Games in Sochi, the country is open to pressure. American and world leaders must speak out against Mr. Putin’s attacks and the violence they foster. The Olympic Committee must demand the retraction of these [anti-homosexual] laws under the threat of boycott.”
While I agree with Fierstein’s every sentiment – I would offer a friendly amendment. If we wait for “world leaders” actually to lead, we will wait indefinitely. If we really want them to stand up and be counted, to stand up to Russia’s strong man, we ourselves will have to get out front. We followers will have to lead the fight for human rights in the future, as always we have in the past.