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Il Fatto Quotidiano, Italy

Putin’s Racism, Obama’s Civil Rights

By Angela Vitaliano

Translated By Micaela Bester

26 January 2013

Edited by Natalie Clager

Italy - Il Fatto Quotidiano - Original Article (Italian)

Vladimir Putin, a person whom spending any words on would be futile if he weren’t — ahem — at the head of a country that has weight in the happenings of the world, has explicitly declared war on gays. He does so with Nazi, fascist and racist attitudes and with the indifference of a land destroyed through years of bad government and civil oppression.

I imagine what it would mean today for “one of my gay brothers or sisters” to wake up in Russia. I imagine also what it would mean for one of my gay brothers or sisters to wake up today, anywhere, and read of another inhuman act committed against them, an act without any respect. There is no respect for tolerance because gays are not tolerated, not for being different, but because of a principle of equality of human beings. Because I will also hold that same embarrassment, pain, disgust and contempt (toward Putin) as a human being who believes in the absolute, incontestable, unshakeable and untouchable equality of living beings. Furthermore, for me to attack, crudely, the rights of men and women labeled for one of their individualities, whether sexual preference, skin color, race, religion or anything else, is inhuman and should be condemned without hesitation, without distinction and without uncertainty.

Barack Obama, last Monday, while taking the oath of office as president of the United States, said, without beating around the bush, that the course of a people is not complete as long as even one gay brother or sister is not able to see their rights respected like those of everyone else — same for blacks, women, Jews, Muslims, Asians or Hispanics, and same for immigrants. Like women, the immigrant, as part of the band of the less well-off, has been welcomed. Deeply.

And there are those, obviously, who are ready to remember that Guantanamo is still open. Those for whom there is always “something else,” as though the rights of millions of gays, women, immigrants and members of ethnic minorities are of secondary value — less important. As though to begin by addressing those would not pave the way, truly, toward a better future.



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