Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Washington Post Either Lying or Stupid

The Washington Post has published an article describing how Americans around the world are feeling waves of love and affection from furriners, now that Obama has been elected president.

I have no illusions that the outgoing Mr. Bush has record low approval ratings both here and abroad, but at least one part of this article is absurd:

David St. Onge, 57, a John McCain supporter who works in the pharmaceutical industry and was in Moscow this week, said he has noticed a change in how his Russian clients treat him.

"They seemed to think better of Americans because we elected a black man as president," he said as he walked through Red Square. "They think we're more enlightened now."

Mr. St. Ogne's clients are unusual, and its either pig-ignorant or deliberately deceptive for the Post to let them stand in for the entire Russian population.

With a few notable exceptions, the Russians are the most racist people I have ever met. And just for the record, I'm comparing them to the South Africans. I spent 4 years living in apartheid-era South Africa, where you heard the word 'kaffir' to describe a black person about 10 times a day.

But the Russians blew the South Africans out the water in the racism contest. If there was an Olympic event for racists, the Russians would be guaranteed Gold, Silver Bronze for as long as they hold the games.

At least the South Africans realized why the rest of the world was annoyed with them. But many Russians -- and this just floored me the first couple times I ran into it -- acted as if racism was as natural as breathing.

I heard Russians compare Gypsies to cockroaches, gape with horror when they found that Washington DC was 80% black, advocate building a wall around Chechenya and shooting anyone who came within a mile of it, and call anyone from Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, etc a "black-ass."They're not that crazy about the Chinese, either

African exchange students attending Patrice Lumumba People's Friendship University were routinely beaten up if they were seen with white Russian women, or often for no reason at all.

The street where the school was located was often referred to as "Banana Street" -- Banananski Prospekt - a simple minded way of implying that the African students were banana-eating apes.

And in 2003, if you can believe the students (and I do) some skinheads blocked the doors leading to the fire escapes and set one of the school's dorms on fire. Officials say the fire was an electrical fault.

While the Russians may be happy to see the end of Bush, the liklihood that the majority of the population has independently developed a fondness for the USA while their state run media runs a vicious America-bashing campaign, is vanishingly small.

So please, Washington Post, peddle this crap elsewhere.

H/T to Rachel Lucas, where I saw the link to the WaPo article.

Updated to add: Its amazing what you find in Google:

The Moscow Bureau of Human Rights estimates there have been 110 xenophobic murders in Russia so far this year, compared to 74 last year. That's an increase in race murder of 33% in one year, and amounts to one race murder every three days like clockwork, week in and week out, with the lion's share of the killings occurring in Moscow - supposedly Russia's most advanced and prosperous metropolis. Nearly 400 others have been victimized by race-motivated violence without actually being killed.
Source: American Thinker


Atom Smasher said...

You have a link to the Moscow Bureau of Human Rights. That makes me giggle. I picture a rusty shelf with a lot of Makarovs on it, and a cement floor with a drain hole.

Jack Nutting said...

As you know, I know nothing about Russia. But, just to present a counterpoint: Racial prejudice is not based on logic, and therefore sometimes people's prejudices (and exceptions to the same) can defy rational explanation.

I remember when I was a kid, a young girl from the family living next door to my dad's house in Texas had lots of choice words for black people in general, but was also a big Michael Jackson fan. I pointed this out to her, and she was all, "oh, well he's not like the rest of them". The same girl, many years later, was telling me how disgusted she was about other girls at school who were dating "outside their race". Imagine my surprise when she showed me a picture of her boyfriend, the son of Vietnamese immigrants! Seems that "race" can be a very fuzzily-defined thing, perhaps especially in the mind of a racist.

I don't think my anecdote is unique. It may be the case that there are plenty of Russians (or any other arbitrary grouping, anywhere) who are incredibly racist to anyone "unlike them" on their own turf, but don't extend that animosity to a distant public figure.

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