So recently I took up studying the Russian language again. I thought it may be useful if the Russian economy improves, and also as the crackdown on gay rights in the nation increases and asylum seekers enter the U.S.. Although the Sochi Olympics brought a temporary and regionally limited relaxation of the ban on LGBT demonstrations, violence and discrimination has continued against individuals outside of the Olympic area.
Yesterday, in Irtutsk, a group of Russians, who apparently hate gays, attacked a group of students from the local Easy Language School who they believed to be gay demonstrators. Just as an FYI, Irtutsk is one of the largest cities in Siberia, with over 500,000 residents.
So why did these angry individuals think the students were LGBT sympathizers? Well, the students were putting on a St. Patrick’s Day-themed flashmob and dressed in traditional Celtic garb, including kilts. I am guessing these attackers are not intellectually curious enough to have come across kilts before and to be able to distinguish between kilts and skirts.
Multiple students and teachers received injuries, including one teacher involved in the incident received a concussion.
I firmly believe, that like any economically suffering and oppressed populace, the Russian people are looking for a scapegoat and someone to take out their frustrations upon. The real problem is the very small elite, wealthy class living in luxury while a majority of citizens live in poverty. Instead of rebelling against a very powerful class, gays are tortured instead and abandoned by their own government. Sadly, attackers aren’t even getting their facts straight before they go in for the “kill”.
Hopefully, we won’t be seeing this idiocy in Crimea as it has joined the Russian Federation.