“Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr
Legendary rocker Debbie Harry has spoken for the first time about Blondie rejecting an offer to perform at the Winter Olympics in protest at Russia’s human rights record. The band posted an image of the official request to perform on Twitter with the words, “Pass. Human Rights” scribbled on it earlier this month. Now Debbie, 68, has told how it was the band’s “moral duty” to stand up to President Putin and represent the gay community.
She told the NME: “Rejecting the offer wasn’t an easy decision. We wanted to go but it didn’t feel proper, especially in light of the crazy new legislation banning “homosexual propaganda” and the climate of anti-gay abuse. We’re from New York and it’s a very mixed culture here. Whatever anybody’s sexual orientation or choice is a really personal matter, not something that the government has to take part in. “While it is not illegal to be gay in Russia, it is clearly very dangerous. “I mean we’ve already seen it with Pussy Riot – jailed for speaking out and defending minorities. “With the Olympics it became very apparent that it was something we shouldn’t do. It’s a tragedy the regime is like this…there’s just been such public denial from Putin that it’s become an international issue. And rightly so. “Blondie has a long relationship with the gay community. Back in the 70s’, we played the first gay rights parade in New York. These are our friends and neighbors, so to take a stand and represent them feels natural to us. “Artists have a moral duty to boycott places with poor human rights records. Not many people are aware, but years ago we turned down a gig in Sun City because we opposed the South African policy of Apartheid.
“It’s difficult, because even with this – although most people seem to be behind us – there’s a few voices yelling, ‘just make music, don’t get political. Debbie called on Putin to modernize his views citing American President Barack Obama – who used the word ‘gay’ in a speech in January last year – as an example to follow. She continued: “Let’s face it, communism really isn’t dead in Russia. But as times change, these things change. For example, for Obama to use the word ‘gay’ in a speech is unprecedented in America; we never even had a president address the fact that gay people existed before.” The singer also told how the band are standing by Russian protest group Pussy Riot.
She said: “We recently played an Amnesty International show with Pussy Riot, who are cloaked in the idea of being a band, but are clearly more politically motivated. “You can’t fail to be impressed by them. They’re bright, clever, and – my God – brave. As long as there’s people like them around to take a stand in the face of the powers that be, there will be hope.”
We need to start seeing more of this, because it’s not only just Russia’s problem now, “it is a International problem” also I want to personally say Thank you very very much to “Blondie” for the support….hugs and all my Luv to you Madame Harry, I have also added throughout the post some of my favorite tunes from back in the day, and yes I had all your record’s.. 🙂