DOMINIC'S POLITICS: We can't forget the Chechens
Dominic Bordenaro is a freshman political science major and writes "Dominic's Politics" for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Dominic at email@example.com.
The treatment of gays across the world is awful. In some places, it is even deadly. People are being killed and tortured and I think it is not getting the attention that it deserves.
I’m specifically referring to events in Chechnya, where gay men were recently rounded up, tortured and killed by the government. I personally do not think this is getting the attention that it deserves.
The region is denying that it even happened, with the president of the region even saying that there are no gay men in Chechnya, so it could not have happened. A government official shrugged it off as an April Fool’s joke. This was no joke.
Chechnya’s state-run media is covering it up, too. “Chechen state television promised over the weekend to produce a tell-all investigation into reports on the torture of gay men in that Russian republic — not into the question of torture itself, but into how the story saw the light of day. It said that the existence of gays in Chechnya was “invented by opposition media.”
The Trump administration's response is unacceptable. Weeks after the killings, Ambassador Nikki Haley finally condemned the massacre.
That simply took too long. Why has Trump, who is constantly tweeting about the most pointless things, not taken the time to tweet about this? So much for being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community.
I was inspired to write about the treatment of gays around the world after reading a very emotional story of a gay Russian man, Artem Kolesov, who was raised by an extremely religious family and recently came out on YouTube. He says he came out because “it breaks my heart to know how many Russian children and other LGBT youth around the world feel like they’re alone.”
He no longer speaks to his family, and under the current regime, will not be able to go back to Russia. Thankfully, he had the opportunity to leave the country, but many do not. They live in an extremely persecuted world.
Now, in no way am I saying we do not have issues in the U.S. LGBT individuals can be fired from their jobs and kicked out of their homes in many states. Our vice president supports shock therapy for conversion. I will never stop fighting to make sure we all have equal rights. However, we cannot simply ignore the fact that in many places, like Chechnya, one can be killed, even by the government, for being gay.
We do have it better off than most. I am so thankful to wake up every morning feeling safe, surrounded by loving friends and family. Not everyone here has that, but the government is not rounding us up to kill us.
We must do a better job of speaking out against these kinds of crimes. We are all humans, and we need to treat each other as such. Calling yourself an ally is not enough if you’re not speaking out against atrocities such as these.