Daily Archives: September 25, 2006

Understanding Russian Racism

Last night yet another dark-skinned foreign student fell victim to race violence in St. Petersburg, supposedly Russia’s most enlightened, Western-leaning city. The International Herald Tribune reports:

A group of attackers stabbed an Indian medical student to death in St. Petersburg, the city prosecutor’s office said Monday. The sixth-year student from the St. Petersburg Mechnikov Medical Academy died Sunday night after he was stabbed seven times in the chest, said Yelena Ordynskaya, spokeswoman for the prosecutor. Nassor Ali, spokesman for the African Unity group, which represents foreign students in the city, said that Nitesh Kumar Singh had been attacked near the dormitory where he lived. “We are afraid the murder was committed on the grounds of national hatred. There have been similar attacks near that dormitory before, but never with such tragic consequences,” Ali said, adding that Singh had been alone. At least six foreigners have been targeted in racially motivated slayings in St. Petersburg over the past year, Ali said. “Our organization wants to protest this situation, when national minorities suffer such attacks,” he said. Ordynskaya said prosecutors had opened a murder investigation but had not yet determined possible motives. Russia has seen a marked rise in hate crimes in recent years, which rights groups say is fueled in part by the authorities’ reluctance to crack down on hate crimes and tackle growing nationalism. Prosecutions are rare, with many hate crimes treated as hooliganism, an offense that brings only short sentences. Last year alone, 31 murders and 382 assaults were race-connected, according to the Moscow-based Sova human rights center.

What do Russians think about violence of this kind? Here’s what a Russian recently had to say about the issue of race violence in Russia:

“Racism and xenophobia are natural residents of the human psyche. (Xenophobia is even necessary, as is the immune system.)”

Who said this? Was it a crazed Russian skinhead? No, it was Alexei of The Russian Dilettante.

Yes, that’s right, even supposedly “enlightened” Russians believe that everyone in the world is biologically programmed to be racist, it’s perfectly normal. As Alexei puts it: “Blaming ethnic violence on ‘latent racism’ is like blaming a famine riot on the human need to eat every day.” In other words, people need to hate based on race just like they need to eat. Hard to get your mind around a whole country thinking like that, isn’t it? But that’s what we’re faced with.

The Rogers & Hammerstein musical “South Pacific” contains the famous song “You Have to Be Carefully Taught” which runs as follows:

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

But “South Pacific” never had a run in Russia, and Russia doesn’t have songs like that. Instead, Russians are just carefully taught, just like poor Alexei, from year to year that racism is normal and unavoidable. So the “solution” Alexei proposes is: “To prevent violence, society should at least be able to openly discuss [their] grievances [against the racial minorities].” That’s right, deluded little Alexei thinks that Russian race violence is the result of repressed Slavic majority members being unable to fully and publicly vent their view that dark-skinned people are biologically inferior and yet conspiring to steal food out of the mouths of their helpless Slavic victims.

In other words, it has nothing to do with the fact that those Slavs aren’t being forced to face the reality of, and take responsibility for, their own failiure. The Slavs are the true victims in Russian race violence, not the dark-skinned people. The root cause of the problem is that the dark-skinned people don’t understand THEM, not that they have freely elected a proud KGB spy to rule over them.

And it has nothing to do with the fact that Russians live in a world of total isolation, deprived of real information about how other kinds of people think about things, infused with crazed propaganda from the totalitarians state they have enabled (and even voted for), to the point where they think everyone in the world thinks just like a Slavic Russian. Alexei and those like him really believe they’re part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Annals of Cold War II: Now, Russia Sells Missiles to Iran

It’s not enough for Russia to sell Iran nuclear technology. Now Russia is selling a missile defense system to be used in shooting down Israeli or American bombers if they try to take out an Iranian facility that is discovered to be producing nuclear weapons. The Moscow News reports:

Russia, pledging to complete the Bushehr reactor, has offered to sell a range of surface-to-air missile systems to protect Iran’s nuclear facilities, the Middle East Newsline reports.Russian diplomatic and industry sources said Moscow has been negotiating to sell Iran a range of anti-aircraft systems to protect Bushehr from Israeli or U.S. air strikes. The sources said contracts could be signed when Bushehr was ready to begin operations in a move expected to take place in late 2007.“Russia has already installed and manned SAM systems around Bushehr,” a diplomatic source said. “The current talks regard an air defense umbrella that would protect all strategic sites in Iran.”In November 2005, Russia reached agreement for the sale of 29 TOR-M1 short-range anti-aircraft systems to Iran in a deal valued at more than $700 million. The sources said Iran has also sought the strategic S-300PMU SAM system, capable of detecting and intercepting enemy aircraft at a distance of 300 and 150 kilometers, respectively.

At the same time, Russia is blocking international action to prevent Iran from using Russian nuclear technology to acquire atomic weapons. This brazen display of Cold War intentions, including nuclear brinksmanship, clearly demonstrates how far detached from reality, and therefore how dangerous, the Kremlin has become.