This is a statement the Vienna State Opera issued on March 21, 2022. World-Outlook is publishing it because it addresses an important issue in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as U.S. and NATO sanctions against Russia. We agree with the Vienna opera’s call to reject demands to exclude Russian artists from performing “as well as a world view that classifies people as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ only on the basis of their origin.” We should note that during the long U.S. war against Vietnam 50 years ago, and during many other acts of aggression by Washington since, such a policy against artists from the U.S. would have been wrong for the same reason. It would also have deprived the world of many outstanding voices opposing that aggression. Any denial of the stage to Russian artists today only makes it more difficult for Russian artists to emulate that example now.
Jan. 28, 2021—Following the Jan. 6 rightist mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media companies shut down former U.S. president Donald Trump’s accounts on their platforms. Trump had encouraged the assault on U.S. Congress at a Washington D.C. rally earlier that day in a culminating step to a two-month-long campaign to overturn the results of the November election.