Tag Archives: imperialism

Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression Part 4: A Discussion with Jason Cieply about Russian Perceptions of the West and Sexual Politics

by Erika Lynn Abigail Kreeger, ’16

This is the fourth and final part in a series entitled “Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression.” The first part is entitled “Russian Sexual Politics and the East/West Divide,” the second “Boycotting Boycotts of Russia” and the third “Challenging the Liberal Fascination with Gay, International Violence.”

The morning of August 8th, the day Part 1 of this series was uploaded onto STATIC, I Skype chatted with Stanford Instructor of Slavic Languages and Literature Jason Cieply and discussed, among many other things, Russian perceptions of the West, American and Western imperialism, homosexuality, sexual politics and the growing limitation of personal freedoms in Russia.

Pretty quickly, it stopped feeling like an interview and more of a discussion among colleagues. Instructor Cieply has a wide knowledge of Russian geopolitics, and he helped shed light on a number of issues I had been curious to know more about. Hopefully, this discussion will help provide more context to the last three pieces I’ve written, especially in how Russians view America and American interventions.

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Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression Part 3: Challenging the Liberal Fascination with Gay, International Violence

by Erika Lynn Abigail Kreeger, ’16

This is the third part of a four part in a series entitled “Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression.” The first part is entitled “Russian Sexual Politics and the East/West Divide,” and the second part is entitled “Boycotting Boycotts of Russia.”

The call to boycott the Sochi Games is not the first time there has been a call to boycott the Olympics due to civil rights or social justice abuses. The US boycotted the 1980 Olympics in the SSSR, while the SSSR boycotted the 1984 Olympics in the US, largely due to animosity and suspicion of each other.

Before that, though, there was talk amongst black academics and black athletes in America to boycott participating on the US Olympic team in the 1968 Mexico City Games to protest social conditions of blacks at home. While the boycott was never realized, black and allied athletes found other ways to protest, the most famous being the Black Power Salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos, both African American, after coming in 1st and 3rd, respectively, in the 200 meter sprint.

And over the past few years, there have been calls in parts of Brazil, namely among the favela residents and the younger generation to not attend the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Rio, where  nearly 170,000 people have been forcibly relocated out of the favelas, among other unjust actions. (Note: the word ‘boycott’ generally isn’t used; rather, there are calls to not attend or watch either event on television.)

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Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression Part 2: Boycotting Boycotts of Russia

by Erika Lynn Abigail Kreeger, ’16

This is the second part of a four part series entitled “Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression.” The first part is entitled “Russian Sexual Politics and the East/West Divide.

“You stupid idiots kill people all over the world, Iraq, libya, afganistan, syria etc. You interfere internal politics of many countries. And now you stupid idiots try to teach us how to live? Go fuck yourself and your president and leave us to decide OURSELVES on how to live and rule OUR country. Just understand that you opinion mean nothing here.”

The following is an exact quote from a Buzzfeed post mentioned earlier in Part 1, which reveals an important hypocrisy to understand about modern American and historical Western politics.

America and the West currently and historically tend to view themselves as the world’s watchdog, the big brother, if you will, the more socially advanced sibling who can help their more primitive brothers and sisters advance. In earlier centuries, this phenomenon was mainly exacted through Christian conversion.

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Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression Part 1: Russian Sexual Politics and the East/West Divide

by Erika Lynn Abigail Kreeger, ’16

This is the first of a four part series entitled “Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression.

This is a long post. If you are short on time, read the introduction to the series, and the last two paragraphs (italicized) of the following section entitled “A History of Russian Homosocial and Sexual  Regulations.”

8-8 Gay ImperialismLast December, I wrote a two part series about the oppressive nature of the Olympics and World Cup, how they both have been used as excuses for social cleanups that ultimately displace race and class underprivileged peoples and waste millions, if not billions, of state dollars that could otherwise be spent on social programs aimed at public health and education, among other things. Now, another injustice is becoming known across the US and the world, the horrific oppression of LGBT peoples across Russia, that might also have the potential to influence the upcoming 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

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Our Challenge

by K. Blaqk, ’14

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The title of this piece is “Our Challenge.” Over fall quarter I discovered the “Nu Rainbow,” which replaces the traditional ROYGBIV spectrum with one representing the variety of colors  of human beings. This move felt especially important to me, as I was starting to see the urgency in queer politics taking on an explicitly anti-racist agenda as well. Lumped into queer issues and racism are also structural class inequality, problems of imperialism and militarism. So, “Our Challenge” is first to build a coalition of marginalized and oppressed peoples and then to channel that organization into a form of resistance and way of remaking the world around us. Continue reading

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Stanford Students Protest Gaza Offensive, Demand Student Action & University Divestment

 by a coalition of students concerned about the siege on Gaza

Stanford students, faculty and alumni will gather at White Plaza  Friday, November 16 at noon to sit in solidarity with the residents of Gaza currently under siege by Israeli military forces. They will protest the Israeli assault and economic chokehold on Gaza, and will rally students to demand that the University divest from companies implicated in the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.

A coalition of concerned students have been meeting since  Wednesday, when Israel first commenced the “Pillar of Defense” – a naval, air and artillery offensive on the besieged territory of Gaza. The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated civilian regions in the world.

The coalition has planned a sit-in that will symbolize the Israeli blockade and siege of Gaza. Allied faculty have confirmed their attendance in support.

Given the death of many Palestinian civilians and our complicity in this violence as Stanford students, we have a responsibility to do something about it.

Since  November 8 – when Israel first began violent aggression against Gaza, killing six civilians, including three children – at least 23 more Palestinians have died as a result of Israeli attacks, including another six children. Israeli strikes have injured over 300 Palestinians in this time.  The IDF has attacked over 500 targets in Gaza since the formal Israeli offensive began.

The blockade of Gaza – created by crippling sanctions from Israel and Egypt – limits Palestinian access to the outside world, including access to food and medicine. Such conditions constitute what can only be described as an open air prison.   Continue reading

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Cultural Work in the Philippine National Democratic Movement

by Julian Jaravata and Michael Tayag, ’13

From May 18 to May 20, activists from throughout the country travelled to Chicago to attend the 4th congress of BAYAN-USA, the 2nd congress of Gabriela-USA, and the founding congresses of Anakbayan-USA and the United States Chapter of the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS)—all of which are progressive, anti-imperialist alliances of groups fighting for genuine social change in the Philippines and other countries around the world. Anakbayan-USA (the youth organization to which we belong), Gabriela-USA, and BAYAN-USA are national democratic alliances that work specifically to address the root causes of issues such as forced migration, corruption, and poverty in the Philippines. The movement working for national democracy in the Philippines offers an important example of how peoples subjected to colonialism and imperialism have risen up to reclaim the history, land, and culture that have been taken away from them. Furthermore, the establishment of a US chapter of ILPS highlights the need for international solidarity, especially as a weapon against imperialism. The congress included figures such as Fred Hampton, Jr. and Carlos Montes, who spoke out about the oppression engendered by imperialism. One May 20, the congress attendees mobilized against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the G8, a military alliance and the world’s eight most powerful economic powers, respectively. Continue reading

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IMPERIALIST IDEALS: Facilitating, Not Dominating, China’s Promotion of Human Rights

by Imani Franklin, ‘13 + Holly Fetter, ‘13


Some values are not meant to be universal. Imani’s belief that it is acceptable to begin playing Christmas music in October, for example, needs not be imposed on everyone, everywhere. But what about the more significant values? What about a belief that a right to free speech is dangerous? Or that the state should be allowed to decide how many children a woman will have?

These are the questions we’ve been asking ourselves and each other for the past six weeks that we’ve spent in Beijing. If you know either of us at all, you can imagine the sort of conversations that occur in our room. Each of our heated discussions is particularly informed by two classes that we’ve been fortunate enough to take – the first, a course about the criminal justice system in China; the second, an exploration of Chinese media.

In our class about the criminal justice system, we spend each class learning about the utter lack of laws in this country. Our (unabashedly pro-China) professor dates the beginning of China at 1979, when Deng Xiaoping initiated his famous economic reforms. When we ask him why it is that China has few human rights laws, and even fewer basic civil rights laws, he tells us that we should be patient – China is a new country, and they’re moving slowly toward a robust legal system, complete with fancy Western-style human rights protections. (Nevermind the fact that the Chinese Communist Party has been so quick to promulgate laws that relate to economics and trade, of course).

Then we have our media studies class, in which we read about the government’s blatant control over the content and publication of all forms of Chinese media. We learn about radical thinkers like Liu Binyan who dared to promote the right to free speech and was then expelled from the Party and sent to the United States. We experience first-hand the way that the CCP limits our Internet access while paying people 50 cents to post pro-government propaganda on web forums and news sites.

Our initial instinct is to be mad as hell. Continue reading

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