Opinion

Sochi problems: Think before you laugh

People all over America are laughing at Russia right now, with its two-toilets-per-stall restrooms, broken doorknobs and poor plumbing. Let’s face it: the Winter Olympics is Russia’s big chance to demonstrate its competence and technological capabilities to the world, and the country is blowing it.

Those of us using these circumstances to mock the country are also blowing it.

We The Threefold Advocate ask you to tone your laughter down. It’s demeaning.

Rather than showing concern for a nation whose people drink filthy water, we laugh with the journalists who must deal with their hotel struggles for only two weeks—struggles that likely pale in comparison to what the majority of Russia’s people live with every day.

We should not be so quick to scoff at Sochi’s hastily constructed buildings.

According to the Human Rights Organization, workers preparing for the Olympics earned 55-80 rubles ($1.80 to $2.60) an hour, making an average salary of 14,00-19200 rubles ($455 to $605) each month. Many workers reportedly did not receive any pay whatsoever.

It’s no wonder that Sochi seems somewhat thrust together.

Roughly 884 million people in the world have no access to clean water. Three billion people—nearly half of the world—live on $2.50 a day.

If we shouldn’t laugh at those statistics, how can we justify laughing when we read about the results of these problems in a country as developed as Russia?

Minimum wage, indoor plumbing and human rights are not normalcies. They are privileges.

America is a blessed nation. Let’s not take those blessings for granted, or make fun of a country that does not enjoy the same luxuries.

Yes, Russia has made several mistakes. But let’s not rub the country’s struggles in its face.

**Information was taken from:

http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats

http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/russia0213_ForUpload.pdf