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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Lezaic: Hit Utah Where It Hurts

Join the Collective Action to Take Away Utah’s Olympic Hosting Privileges
Brenda Payan Medina
(Design by Brenda Payan Medina | The Daily Utah Chronicle)


Year after infuriating year, the Utah State Legislature votes on new bills targeting trans people and DEI efforts, bills like H.B. 257 and H.B. 261 being their newest forms of terrorization. Meanwhile, they do nothing to improve Utahns’ quality of life, completely ignoring pressing issues like the drying Great Salt Lake and the conditions of our unsheltered community members.

And each year, the legislature runs those with skin in the game ragged as they attend protests, contact legislators and organize tirelessly to defend their rights.

Now, however, Utahns have a chance to be listened to this year. As the preferred host for the 2034 Olympic Winter Games, our state officials have something that can be taken away as easily as the rights they try to take away from others.

Join the collective action to take away Utah’s hosting privileges if it continues to enact its transphobic and racist attacks.

Why the Olympics? 

Utah attempted to win the bid for the games four times before in 1995 they were selected to host the 2002 games. It has spent the last ten years begging for the Olympics to come back.

The last time Utah hosted the Olympics, the games put the state on the world’s radar. Since then, it has profited off this attention, bringing in companies, tourism and a wave of new residents. Utah organizers knew this would be the case, considering they bribed International Olympic Committee officials in an international scandal.

The LDS church even minimized its presence and involvement for once, going so far as to send out edicts to its members to cease promoting their views during the games. The church quieted down to improve Utah’s public image — and it worked. It received so much undeserved positive global coverage.

It stands to reason that a lot hinges on events like the Olympics. But Utah and the church are not the only ones getting a second chance to prove themselves. It’s time to expose just how over-involved and harmful the church truly is, particularly in state politics.

The Strategy

“Much would have to go wrong for the Olympics not to come to Utah after the Olympic committee announcement,” wrote The Salt Lake Tribune. Well, much has gone wrong, and the International Olympic Committee should know about it.

The Black Menaces, a Utah-based activist group, released a video calling for Utahns and non-Utahns alike to put pressure on the Olympics to threaten withdrawal. With the Olympics’ dedication to DEI, particularly under its new president, bringing Utah’s hostility toward trans people and people of color to the attention of the IOC could be a viable form of action.

To do so, people can submit a request using this link to express their concerns regarding Utah’s hostile culture and request the Olympics to put pressure on Utah.

As Mohammad N. of Arabs in Utah said, “If Utah state is gonna pass any laws or bills that are going to impact or discriminate against any group of people, either based on gender or based on sexual orientation or any kind of feature, I don’t think Utah deserves to host the Olympics.”

Ermiya Fanaeian of Armed Queers SLC expressed a similar sentiment.

“I don’t think anywhere in America does,” Fanaeian said. “I think so long as America is funding a genocide, so long as America does nothing about these anti-trans attacks … then they need to be held accountable. They need to face consequences for doing so. I think America should feel a lot of shame at this moment. And I think the world should hold it to account to feel that shame.”

Hit Them Where It Hurts

One of the most attention-grabbing protests for Palestinian liberation was the disruption of the iconic Sundance film festival, organized by several community grassroots organizers like Arabs in Utah and Armed Queers SLC. The protest made headlines in prominent newspapers like Variety, the Los Angeles Times and Teen Vogue, and according to Mohammad N., received international attention.

“It got the highest media attention of all our rallies and protests,” he said.

It’s clear that to make our legislators pay even an ounce of attention to any meaningful issue, we must make their pockets hurt — or at least inconvenience their ability to load them up further. Public image matters to them.

If the Black Menaces’ campaign to rightfully tarnish Utah’s public image proved successful, this wouldn’t be the first time the state found itself in hot water with the IOC. The Olympics had to radically change the way they ran the Olympic bid process due to Utah’s scandalous behavior in the 90s. There’s no better way to ensure Utah receives the global attention it so craves a second time than causing a ruckus about its disgustingly transphobic and racist legislature.

Utah officials will spend the next ten years sweeping problems under the rug just like they did last time. Even now, they’re putting off any solutions for the Great Salt Lake. And, if the NBA All-Stars game is anything to go by, they’re just going to further push aside unhoused Utahns to fake that sparkly Utah image. It’s insulting, and the public cannot allow them to get away with these false pretenses again.

Utah must hold itself accountable, or risk losing its coveted position as a host.


[email protected]


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About the Contributors
Angela Lezaic, Opinion Writer
Angela Lezaic is a Serbian-American writer for the opinion desk at the Daily Utah Chronicle. She is a sociology major and greatly values community building and human connection. Much of her writing is influenced by her experiences as a daughter of a working-class refugee family, and she hopes her narrative resonates with those who share this experience. In her free time, she enjoys listening to angry girl bands and lovingly bullying her friends.
Brenda Payan Medina, Copy Director, Design Contributor
Brenda is a rising senior close to finishing her materials science and engineering degree. She has spent most of her life in Utah, and enjoys editing for the Chronicle because she gets to learn about different events and people within the community that she would not otherwise have known about.

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  • P

    PyroknightFeb 3, 2024 at 9:51 am

    When you graduate, feel free to head on out of Utah if you don’t like the values of the people who live here. This is a conservative state. Vegas is only a few hours away and California is just beyond that. You have the right to interstate travel. You should exercise that right and stop condemning Utahns for our beliefs.

  • J

    John HedbergFeb 2, 2024 at 4:20 pm

    I think the Prophets of Equity need to apologize for the harm they cause by teaching everyone that if you’re straight, you therefore hate people who are not, and if you’re pale, you therefore hate people who are not, and if you’re Christian, you therefore hate people who are not, and if you’re male, you therefore hate people who are not. This is actual hate-speech coming from the lying crowd who protests endlessly that hate is wrong, except that they are hate-targeting every person who might identify with these groups, which is itself the ground zero of bigotry.

    The ideal of civil/human rights is supposed to mean that everyone, no matter how they look or identify, is supposed to be lovable and accepted for being human, which is the real identity we all share equally, and so how you were born or what ideas you find beautiful at the moment have absolutely no bearing on your worth as a person or your value as a member of society. The Equity ‘constern-iks’ have not only failed us all in this mission, but they preach the opposite: anyone who doesn’t agree with Equity’s hatreds must therefore be an awful person; anyone who doesn’t agree with Equity’s picked preferences must also be atrocious. These hatreds and preferences have a name: prejudice.

    So, when the Equity yokels preach about diversity and inclusion, they only mean inclusion of diversity which agrees with their prejudices and feelings, and to heck with everyone else, no matter how they look or identify. That’s racism, misogyny/misandry, homo/hetero-phobia, religious bigotry, ethnic stereotyping, and transphobia all rolled together, because if any diverse person from any group has an opinion or experience that doesn’t agree with the hatreds or prejudices of the Equity Red Guard, those transgender people are dehumanized, those LGBTQ+ folks are dismissed and excluded, those BIPOC & intersectional persons are demeaned and defamed falsely as haters, and so all individuals no matter how they look or identify are called bigots just for being themselves, for having their own lived experience and their own opinions based on that experience, and for having compassion for any whom the Equity “screw-loose gurus” don’t have compassion for (their transphobic attacks to silence marginalized voices like Chloe Cole immediately come to mind as someone whom they suppressed and dehumanized, but there are plenty of examples).

    When is the Church of Equity going to apologize for perjuring, abusing, and harassing all the folks (on campus and off) who have zero problem with anyone else’s diversity, as long as we can get equal respect for our own individuality, people who just want to be ourselves and interact, to earn and learn alongside everyone else, but who don’t share the pet hatreds of the Equity defamers and pathological narcissists?

    Diversity, EQUALITY, and Inclusion, never Equity.

    Equity appears to believe that hatred against human groups or individuals is “kosher” as long as those hatreds conform to whatever “Equity” feels at the moment. For 75 years, Jewish people have been among the most solid on the side of civil and human rights, and yet Equity has decided to hate-label Jewish people as “genocidal” for no cause, except that they decided to defend themselves from atrocities committed against them by another group which “Equity” goofballs happen to favor this week.

    That’s all it takes: disagree with the Prophets of Equity about who deserves their equity (discrimination) the most, and suddenly you’re a racist even if you accept everyone and belong to a group that’s poly-racial, or you’re a colonist even if you’re defending your own ancestral lands against the people who dispossessed you. According to Equity’s priesthood, the best thing women and children and grandparents deserve for defending life and Love and heritage is to be swept out of existence “from the River to the Sea”, as if Auschwitz wasn’t bad enough for everyone to learn that hatred itself, against any people, is wrong: this is the line where human rights begin, but Equity’s hatred has no boundaries to keep human beings safe and whole, because to Equity, human worth isn’t sacred.

    Being treated with Equality is to treat every human being with Love as children in God’s eyes (By Whatever Name), all equally fallible and forgivable, equally beloved, the way a good parent Loves every child, which is how Dr. King preached the Gospel. Equity is nothing more than hatred looking for an excuse to vent itself, any excuse (clearly), but Equality is Loving everyone despite our inevitable errors and goofy imperfections, since children fall down constantly as we learn and grow into “a more perfect union” of habits, truths, attitudes, and culture which ever greater reflect the Love we receive as we mature, learn responsibilities which go along with this lived-Loved experience, and find common purpose in sharing the griefs as well as the joys of our transformative evolution in the way that God exemplifies it as a parent, through unfailing Love.

    We’re all fine, or we should be, by being and becoming exactly who we were created to be in this life. The Equity religion’s “clown car” owes us all an open apology for the endless empty fear, division, and hate-filled ugliness they rain on the rest of us, for all the needless hypocrisy and suffering they cause by their preferred discrimination and hatreds, and for never giving their “permission” for everyone to simply Love each person for who we are, which means their “church” would no longer have a reason for being. How sad! 😋

    How many of you out there are BIPOC but have at least one grandparent who’s some North or West European ethnicity? The reason the governor is discontinuing DEI is because during the pandemic, the CDC and Utah DEI-infected health authorities colluded to introduce a policy in which life-saving COVID therapeutics (like monoclonal antibodies and other life-saving treatments) were rationed according to how people looked or identified, just like the Nazi’s did 75 years ago, but this time, if you were pale-skinned, and not enough People Of Color (POC) were taking antibodies (for instance), the CDC and the State of Utah Equity “gurus” recommended denying lifesaving treatments to dying people with lethal co-morbidities if not enough People Of Color also happened to be dying at the same time.

    First of all, the Nuremburg Trials after World War 2 declared that denying or rationing medical treatment based on race or identity is a crime against humanity. Medical care should always go to whichever person needs it, and that’s how human beings prioritize.

    Second, the US was a lot paler 2 generations ago, and most of the people at risk of dying with COVID comorbidities were over the age of 65, so that means a higher percentage of pale people were at risk of dying from COVID. Therefore, if you ration monoclonal antibodies based on a person’s melanin content, a lot of those people most vulnerable to COVID death are left to die for no reason.

    Third, Utah doctors then attempted to ration life-saving medicines by racial appearance and tried to deny care, even though there was enough medicine on hand to help everyone who needed it, because a higher proportion of people with qualifying co-morbidities were pale than were in the general population, and they were being told by the Equity Priesthood to ration life-saving medicine according to strict demographic percentages: if you were pale and dying, even though there was no Person Of Color who needed the antibodies at the time, Utah medical doctors attempted to deny life-saving medicine to sick people who would most likely die without it.

    I personally know someone who identified to the doctors as pale, tested positive for COVID, took a medical survey of comorbidities that showed they were at the highest qualification level for monoclonal antibodies, but doctors still tried to deny this life-saving medicine when they saw how this person looked, even though nobody else needed the antibodies: they would have expired by themselves in 24 hours’ time, anyway~!

    So, I’m BIPOC (descended from immigrants of 3 Latino countries), but I have a Swedish grandparent, which is what makes family reunions so interesting in the US: I have siblings and cousins with light hair and dark hair, lighter skin and darker skin, lighter eyes and darker eyes, and just my family alone ties into at least 10 different ethnicities. I’m not unusual in this ‘Great American Melting Pot’: tens of millions of us are also multi-racial and/or poly-ethnic, and you can no longer tell anyone’s ancestry just by looking at them or by hearing their last name. After generations of intermarriage, that era is long gone.

    Quite a few Utahn BIPOC students have at least one pale grandparent whose life the CDC, and Utah Equity’s “Crime Against Humanity health experts”, decided wasn’t worth saving, not because there wasn’t enough medicine, but simply because they looked wrong in the eyes of racist Equity serial hypocrites who didn’t care if people died, as long as they could say with grand false virtue that they kept a certain ration of COVID medicine aside for POC, like the grandchildren of the people they were needlessly condemning to death (murdering) for no reason.

    Reference articles:
    1. “Utah Was Warned Racial Rationing of COVID Drugs Was Illegal. It Did It Anyway” by the Washington Free Beacon, 09 May 2022
    2. “Race-Based Rationing Is Real – And Dangerous” by The Atlantic, 30 January 2022

    Equity is a hate-religion, a church “of discrimination, by discrimination, and for discrimination” which constantly seeks to dehumanize, marginalize, and eliminate any group of human beings that happen to offend this Equity priesthood’s feelings at the moment, all while chanting and having continual meltdowns about how marginalizing and dehumanizing people by race, gender, or other identity is wrong… just not when they do it!! They just tried to murder Utahn grandparents because of their race. Who’s next on their Equity hit list, after they’re done plowing under the Jewish people “from the River to the Sea”? 🤪

    Kindly, with that Love we all share equally in God’s eyes (By Whichever Name)~