According to the New York Post, the Space Foundation has canceled a fundraiser that was named after the first man to go into space. It has renamed the event “A Celebration of Space: Discover what's Next”.
In honor of Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the fundraiser was originally called “Yuri's Night”. Gagarin was the first man to orbit Earth in space on April 12, 1961 aboard the Vostok-1 space capsule. Why was the name changed?
“The main purpose of this fundraising event is to honor human achievements in space and inspire the next generation to reach the stars, the focus of which remains the same.”
The current version of the conference can be viewed online The URL still refers to the event as “Yuri's Night.”
This is lunacy.
Gagarin was undoubtedly the first man to orbit Earth, surpassing Alan Shepherd's suborbital flight with the Freedom 7 Mercury capsule by three months (May 5, 1961). Gagarin's feat would not be equaled by John Glenn (February 20, 1962), for nearly a year.
We've witnessed a series of events since the Russian invasion in Ukraine that seem completely disconnected from reality. Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, pianist Alexander Malofeev and violinist Vadim Repin have all had their appearances canceled because they were Russian. Pyotr Tachikovsky, a well-known composer, has also been removed from concert repertoires.
It gets worse.
Although it is impossible for people who aren't under contract to foreign governments to disagree with the fact that Putin's invasion in Ukraine was unprovoked, and totally deserving of the international opprobrium that has been brought on Russian institutions and Russian politicians by the international community, the desire of the fringe American society to feel they are “doing something”, is quickly making the cause of the Ukraine defense difficult.
It's one thing to ban Russian teams and the Bolshoi, but it is another to prohibit them from attending international events. They represent the Russian government. Although perhaps justifiable, it is not well-thought out. “Cultural exchanges” were common even during the Cold War. But, it isn’t right to punish performers, athletes or artists. There should not be any “guilt by the blood” and not every citizen of a country should have to answer for the stupid decisions their government makes. If we try to distinguish between “good Russian people who want to end the war” and “a**hole Putin, who started it,” then making the “good” people suffer doesn't seem to be the right message.
This whole thing stinks of the progressive woke cancel culture that pushes Critical Race Theory and sexual grooming of elementary school children, taking down statues and Thomas Jeffersons, and trying to take away private citizens ability to make a living, because they won’t agree that Lia Thompson isn’t now nor has ever been a female.
It is not possible to ban cats from competition and a world-famous soprano off concert stages in Ukraine. This trivializes a serious issue.