Are Muslim, gay, black and Jewish swimmers safe at the FINA World Championship in Budapest?

As an American of Hungarian origin I hope that the USA Swim team will succeed in Budapest at the upcoming 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships. The competition will start this weekend and lasts two weeks. I also wish good luck to the Hungarian team.

To be honest I would have been happier if Hungarian-born Katinka Hosszú would compete in US colors, as she did in the past. She has decided to represent her birth country, Hungary, and that is her choice. I sincerely hope that she won’t become a poster girl of that country’s oppressive regime.

Katinka Hosszú (left) Katie Ledecky (right) at the Rio Olympics.

US swimmers should know that while Hungarian people are not racist, Hungary’s current government and policies are. Prime Minister Orbán’s regime relentlessly attacks Muslims, gays, blacks and Jews. Orbán talks about a „Muslim invasion” of the country and “Christian identity is under threat” from Muslim immigrants. Hungary won’t let them in.

His government also talks about “faggot lobby” and host city Budapest’s mayor, Mr. István Tarlós, has talked about homosexuality as “unnatural and repulsive.” Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Zsolt Semjén has called homosexuality “a deviance” and “an aberration.” Pro-government media labelled Brian Boitano as a gay provocateur because he was part of the US 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics delegation.

Blacks don’t fare much better. Orbán has explained that the “real threat” comes from Africa because the blacks are ready to migrate and threaten Hungary.

And of course the Jews. The Orbán regime praises convicted WWII criminals and organizes anti-Semitic poster campaigns. It is the EU’s first country where anti-Semitism is actual government policy. Now Orbán has ordered to remove the anti-Semitic Soros posters before the FINA World Championship just like Hitler cleaned up Berlin before the 1936 Olympics.

Budapest is gorgeous city but under the surface there is trouble. Hungary’s government is dreaming about a White Christian Hungary and it seems that Hungary’s swim team is just like that – white and Christian.

The Dagály Complex in Budapest, purpose-built for the FINA Championships

What makes sport teams in North America different is diversity. Hungary’s current leaders think that diversity is bad; we in America think that it is an asset and we are proud of it.

Mr. Orbán claims that “ethnic homogeneity” is vital for Hungary’s success. No race mixing in his country! US star swimmer Katie Ledecky who won four gold medals in the 2016 Olympics has Czech, Irish and Jewish heritage. I wonder if Anthony Ervin, four time Olympic medalist and World Championship holder, will be part of the US delegation. Ervin has an African-American father and Jewish mother. Mr. Ervin might want to speak his mind with Mr. Orbán.

It is a shame that FINA’s leadership awarded this Championship to authoritarian and racist Hungary which also happens to be one of Europe’s poorest countries. Yet Mr. Orbán spent over $500 million dollars to stage the event; it is supposed to be a showcase to legitimize his corrupt regime.

György Lázár

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