Author’s note: my writings are usually dry and analytical, but sometimes we are faced with things that can only be confronted in a passionate manner. Rabid racism is one of those things. Below is a passionate response that I wrote to someone accusing my ethnicity, the Russians, of having a genetic need to get together and kill some people every 40 to 50 years. I have never seen bigger bullshit claims in my life. Below is my response to that, titled the Psychology of Fear. Here goes:
Recently there has been an unleashing of anti-Russian rabid racists, worse than Russophobes, (hence I’ll call them rabidly racist Russophobes to denote their true nature,) on the Internet in order to get people to let fear prevent them from facing the facts. These rabidly racist Russophobes will always make this argument, or one that is similar to it, at some point during the debate: “Russians are the type of people who discriminated against others, rounded up and killed them!” They’ll do their very best to paint the political, linguistic and socio-economic conflict in Ukraine in terms of pure ethnicity. That, and that alone, is their goal. They are willing to bring back racism’s ugly head just to preserve Oligarch Rule in Ukraine, or, even worse, to use that as an excuse in order to take out their petty and pathetic personal grudge against Russians. I think that having grudges against entire ethnicities makes one look like an inept moron, and I known that I’m in the majority.
Aside from denouncing all Russians as an ethnicity, they’ll bring up a Baltic State, preferably Estonia, and claim that Russians are out to invade it. The reason that they’re picking Estonia is malevolent, devious and deliberate. Despite there being more Russians in Latvia, number wise and percentage wise, they cannot use Latvia, since the mayor of Latvia’s capital, Riga, Nil Ushakov, is an ethnic Russian who’s largely supported by numerous Latvians, and shows that despite ethnic discrimination, Latvians and Russians can, and do, get along.
Estonia has a similar situation with one exception: the mayor of Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, is ethnically Estonian. That’s it. Ethnicity is the sole reason why Estonia is their target of choice, even though under Edgar Savisaar’s mayorship of Tallinn, Russians and Estonians also get along. Furthermore, prior to the Ukrainian Crisis, the violence against ethnic Russians in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania has been on the decline. In addition to everything else, it would take less than 3 months to fix all of the ethnic problems of the Baltic States, and prevent whatever imaginary war the rabidly racist Russophobes concocted for the rest of us to fear.
Going back to my introductory paragraph, Russia’s just not that interested in countries that lay outside of the former domain of the USSR. It’s not even interested in the Baltic and Central Asian states. Yes, the Russians did round up and kill people; so did every other ethnicity on Stalin’s orders. It’s important to distinguish what Russians did from what Stalin did, since the Period of Stalinism was a major disaster for everyone living in the USSR, including the Russians! Especially the Russians! No group had more casualties as a result of Stalin’s leadership than the Russians.
But that’s something that rabidly racist Russophobes want to omit, because someone in the USSR, or Soviet Satellite States, made them very depressed at some point, and they want to get back at the World by creating tons and tons of anti-Russian racism. According to their absolutely insane logic we should instantly began massacring Germans, since they had Hitler, and some Germans followed his orders too! They’re punishing every single ethnic Russians because Russians were stuck with leaders that we didn’t elect, and those leaders did some very bad things, which, in their crazy little minds with overworked neurons, is more than enough to punish the Russians as an ethnicity.
The point is that outside of Ukraine and Moldova, not much is going to happen, and the Moldovan Dispute can be peacefully settled through a popular plebiscite. It would take just six months for the entire process, i.e. debating, campaigning, voting, and another six months for the necessary reforms, and then, except for Ukraine, Europe would be able to breathe a sigh of peace. That leaves Ukraine. A sane person is not going to want to rekindle the Cold War over Ukraine, a country that has been ruled horrendously since its inception in the 1990s. Thus racism must rear its ugly head. Only by portraying Russians as massacring subhumans, and making Goebbels proud, can these rabidly racist Russophobes achieve their goal.
To their credit neither the US leaders, nor the EU leadership, are accepting this line; nor are most Americans and Europeans. And for this, they must be praised. Nevertheless, these rabidly racist Russophobes must be stopped in their tracks with valid arguments and counterclaims. So let me begin addressing the moronic arguments that said Russophobes make.
Moronic Argument Number One: This is about Russia for Russians! It’s an ethnic conflict!
Russia is a multi-ethnic country, with at least 150 different ethnicities living, working and partying together. One of the major achievements of Putin’s Russia is ending massive ethnic strife in the Caucasus. Reviving it for the sake of getting extra land for the World’s biggest country is phenomenally idiotic. It makes as much sense for the Russians to promote ethnic strife, as it does for Barack Obama to revive the KKK.
Additionally, the conflict in Ukraine is a political, linguistic and socio-economic conflict. Crimea, DonBass and Southern Ukraine were handed over to Kiev like a sack of potatoes, first the DonBass and Southern Ukraine by Lenin, then Crimea by Khrushchev. That is the political aspect. The linguistic aspect is that all of these regions are Russian speaking, whereas Western Ukraine is Ukrainian speaking. The socio-economic aspect is that these three regions want to join the Customs Union, whereas Western Ukraine wants to join the European Union. There are numerous charts proving these aspects, and this is what most of the conflict is about. None of the stuff that I mentioned has any relation to ethnicity.
Moronic Argument Number Two: the Russian and Soviet Colonization came at a detriment to the local population.
This one can be rebutted with ease by facts. Under Post-Stalinist USSR, the native populations of the Baltic States, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, the Caucasian States and the Central Asian States grew. In 1959, Ukraine had 32 million Ukrainians. In 1989, Ukraine had 37 million Ukrainians. That’s a growth rate, on average, of roughly 13,800 a month. The average of post-independent Ukraine is about 900 a month, and that’s with the last census taken in 2001; the situation likely deteriorated. Say what you will, but under the Soviets, the local population grew. Of course this doesn’t mean that everything was super-duper cool; it was still the USSR, but it wasn’t Stalinism, (after Stalin,) nor was it an ethnic hell.
Moronic Argument Number Three: Russia won’t stop after Ukraine; it’ll go after the Baltic States and then NATO, and then the World.
Russia has no incentive to invade the Baltics. Unlike Ukraine, where anti-Russian sentiment has been increasing, anti-Russian sentiment in the Baltics has been decreasing. In 2011, the pro-Russian party had 28 percent of the vote, a plurality. Why would Russia invade and incite racism, if racism can simply go away on its own? Again, this makes as much sense as Barack Obama reviving the KKK; none whatsoever. But senseless arguments are the only arguments that rabidly racist Russophobes can make.
Moronic Argument Number Four: Russians discriminated against the locals, which is why they’re discriminating against the Russians
Yes, that’s an actual argument that they use, even though they phrase it in a sneakier way. It’s moronic on its face, since arguing in favor of discriminating against the Russians of today over what Stalin did in the 1940s, when most of us weren’t even more, is extremely idiotic. Shall we punish all Americans for the Trail of Tears while we’re at it? It makes just as much sense – none whatsoever! If the governments are actually doing that, then maybe, just maybe it’s time for those governments to actually run the country, instead of engaging in the KKK style of governing. Of course the rabidly racist Russophobes should also become more productive, instead of just acting like scumbags and bashing ethnic Russians all of the time. Go out. See a movie. Enjoy a walk in the park. Stop attacking my ethnicity. The extreme majority of the World’s population can grasp this, why can’t they? Probably because they are that deluded in their own rabidly racist ideology.
Moronic Argument Number Five: When the USSR fell apart, Russians left their leaders in charge of critical sectors of the military of other countries to fuck stuff up if the government follows an anti-Russian policy
Spies! Spies everywhere! Halp! In reality, the quality of the armies in the post-Soviet Republics depends on the armies’ finances. If they are well financed, they do their job. If they’re poorly financed, they’re going to fuck up. Not funding your army is not an excuse to blame Russia. I go into detail why Ukraine’s army isn’t performing well here, https://ucgsblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/can-we-all-stop-attacking-ukraines-soldiers/, but the gist of it is that they’re underfunded, underequipped, ineptly led, demoralized, have no clear objectives in sight and are fighting an able opponent. And the reason that they’re ineptly led is the lack of adequate funding and training for the officers of Ukraine’s armed forces over the past two decades.
Moronic Argument Number Six: Putin controlled the Ukrainian Army for the past 20 years
Just point and laugh. Apparently Putin, in 1995, controlled the Ukrainian Army from his perch in St. Petersburg. I’m wondering, did he use the Illuminati, aliens or carrier pigeons to get it done? Considering that it’s 2014, and Putin’s only been in power in the Kremlin since 1999, hmm, I keep on using addition, but it’s just not adding up. Must be the carrier pigeons that are interrupting my thought process, or that rabidly racist Russophobes are wrong yet again.
Moronic Argument Number Seven: Russia depends on involuntary draftees to fight the war
That wasn’t the case during the Ossetian War, where most of the people who fought were contract-based soldiers. Russia has enough contract based soldiers to not have to rely on draftees, and judging by the tactics used in the Ossetian War, the reliance on draftees will be minimal, if any. But one thing that you’ll learn from rabidly racist Russophobes is that their mind is still stuck in the Cold War Era, perhaps even the 1950s. Should we give them a spoiler alert about Cuba?
Moronic Argument Number Eight: Russians used population control in order to ensure that the SSRs will never be independent, by planting Russians in key areas of their countries.
Some arguments are idiotic beyond all common sense and human decency, and that’s one of those arguments. What’s next, anti-Russian eugenics? When you make an argument like that, you blame the people living in the country for the ethnic discrimination that they receive from the government. It’s a call to ethnic cleansing. And it’s horrendously wrong.
The Communists were the ones who created the SSRs in the first place. If they didn’t want to give the locals more autonomy, the solution was very simple: call all of the USSR the Union of Workers and Peasants, and don’t break it up into any subsections. That inept argument also ignores the fact that the DonBass and Southern Ukraine were given to the Ukrainian SSR in the 1920s, by Lenin. Prior to that they belonged to Russia, and were part of the RFSFR. According to that argument, in order to not make these countries able to attain independence, the Russians first gave up a lot of land, and then planted their own people on the land that they gave up… I’m guessing this only makes sense to rabidly racist Russophobes. Additionally, a simple look at the map will show that the Russian minorities weren’t located strategically, but rather settled in areas that had jobs, and engaged in sexual relations with one another, as well as the local population.
Moronic Argument Number Nine: We have to confront Putin!
No you don’t. NATO owes no duty to protect Ukraine. The Ukraine is not an EU member. The Ukraine is not worth another Cold War and the violence of this conflict will end with Ukraine. Don’t get me wrong, if someone genuinely wants to help the Ukrainians, and wants to intervene, I don’t think that’s moronic at all. But claiming that billions of taxpayer dollars should be wasted on Ukraine over a lunatic theory that Russians must get together every 40 or 50 years and whack some people… that’s completely idiotic.
Moronic Argument Number Ten, this one really takes the prize: the fundamental difference between us and the Russians is not one of philosophy or anything else, it comes around the end of WWII, because the Russians are the kind of people who round up groups and they put them in camps and they kill men, women and children, it’s called root debrainage, you kill all your threats…they do it over and over and over again every 40 or 50 years to whichever country they’re occupying… Russian insecurity is based on Russian brutality… the Russians decided to trample on the Jews in the 19th century
This is basically calling for rabid racism towards all Russians. It’s blatant. It’s an argument that only a hopeless racist will make. And it’s deviously misstated, to conform to the rabidly racist and Russophobic standard of arguments.
First, most of those executions were carried out on Stalin’s orders. Second, WWII was a lot more dehumanizing on the Eastern Front than it was on the Western Front. Nazis were killing 90 percent of Slavs, including Russians, in areas under their control. Twice as many Soviet civilians were killed, as Soviet military. On the other hand, twice as many Nazi Germany military men were killed than their civilians, and this includes bombings like Dresden. Third, would you like to guess who killed every Jewish man, woman and child they could get their hands on? Right, Nazi Germans! Not all Germans, just Nazi Germans.
Then comes the 40 or 50 year argument, which, in and of itself, is completely idiotic. It happened to all nationalities during the Russian Civil War and Stalinism, including Russians. He cannot actually find any examples of the Russians doing that outside of Stalinism, so what does he do? Bring up the Jews, even though during that time period quite a few Europeans discriminated against the Jews. Are all European ethnicities whose governments discriminated against the Jews at that time, subhumans? Of course not!
Moronic Argument Number Eleven: Russian population is shrinking and shrinking and shrinking
Actually Russian population is growing, growing and growing, but it’s not like rabidly racist Russophobes live in this reality, so what’re facts? Something that they dismiss when it doesn’t suit their needs. The one thing that I’ll say in conclusion is that no ethnicity deserves to be marginalized for the crimes of their government, imagined or otherwise.
Those who read my blog know that I rarely write these types of passionate posts; but when it comes to spreading ethnic hatred, I simply have no choice but to respond. To quote a German Pastor on Nazi crimes:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
This is the video that spawned my passionate response: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmegJyudud8
I also blame the hosts. The Young Turks claim to be progressive. I don’t remember an actual progressive, Teddy Roosevelt, actively inviting rabid racists to the White House and giving them thousands of views by others. In order to prove my point, I’ll go back to moronic argument number ten and analyze it:
“the fundamental difference between us and the Russians is not one of philosophy or anything else”
STOP! Unless someone is an idiot, a racist, or someone without even a single shred of decency, that right there screams “racist comment coming!” When you segregate the races/ethnicities into us vs them, talk about the “fundamental difference” and say it’s not “philosophy or anything else” – that implies that there’s something severely wrong with the genetic code of the race/ethnicity that you’re comparing your race to. “Us vs them” on ethnic grounds is a comparison that has no place in the modern World, especially not to actual Progressives! It’s what Nazis used to do. But his comparison gets worse!
“it comes around the end of WWII,”
At this point I know where this is going. WWII was absolute hell on the Soviet Front and not quite as hellish on the UK/US/French/Italian Front, because on one of the Fronts Nazis fought a War of Extermination, on the other it was Nazi Business as usual. Paris wasn’t treated like Leningrad. But most people don’t know the extent of that difference, and the racist is using most people’s ignorance to promote his racism, a tactic used by racists for millennia, including Hitler.
“because the Russians are the kind of people who round up groups and they put them in camps and they kill men, women and children, it’s called root debrainage, you kill all your threats”
At this point even Donald Trump would’ve had the decency to call him out. The hosts remained silent.
Here’s why that’s factually misleading: first, most of those executions were carried out on Stalin’s orders. Second, WWII was a lot more dehumanizing on the Eastern Front than it was on the Western Front. Nazis were killing 90 percent of Slavs, including Russians, in areas under their control. When you have that much devastation, vengeance is going to occur, and no matter how nice you are as a people; you cannot stop it. Twice as many Soviet civilians were killed, as Soviet military. On the other hand, twice more Nazi Germany’s military troops were killed than their civilians, and this includes bombings like Dresden. And yet the rabid racist continues to spread his ethnic hatred:
“…they do it over and over and over again every 40 or 50 years to whichever country they’re occupying… Russian insecurity is based on Russian brutality… the Russians decided to trample on the Jews in the 19th century”
Again, this screams “yo, I’m a rabid racist, kill the Russians before they kill their neighbors!” I’m Russian, and I don’t feel insecure. I don’t understand why Russians, who had to survive brutal leader after brutal leader, followed by Stalinism, Hitler’s attempt to exterminate us from the face of the planet, Yeltsin’s Mafia Oligarchy, guess what? We survived. And there are 150 million of us.
Why the fuck should we feel insecure? The worst is behind us. We’re damn proud of who we are, we’re damn proud that we survived these atrocities, especially the Nazi attempt to wipe us off the face of the Earth, and we have nothing to be ashamed of as an ethnicity. It’s true that some of our leaders were so bad that we should be ashamed of them; but our leaders of the past do not make us who we are today, a concept that all decent human beings should be able to grasp.
Additionally, most anti-Jewish discrimination occurred because a group called the “People’s Will”, a very misleading name, assassinated Csar Alexander the Liberator, and his son turned out to be a reactionary, under whose rule the Russians also suffered, but the rabidly racist Russophobe omits that, as that doesn’t fit his propaganda needs, and the hosts refuse to call him out on it. I will. I have a question: why the fuck should I, an outspoken Russian, someone who’s not a fan of Stalinism to put it mildly, be blamed for crimes that were committed before I was born? If you want me to condemn Stalin’s crimes like Solzhenitsyn did – gladly, I’ll condemn them! Not because I feel the need to do so in order to be accepted, but because when a leader commits massive crimes and millions suffer as a direct result of said crimes, he should be condemned.
In conclusion I’ll simply state: if you want to be civil while debating Ukraine, let’s have a nice, civil debate over tea, coffee, soda, wine, I’m up for that. But if you’re going to attack my ethnicity, that’s a personal attack on me. To use modern lingo – that’s trolling. And those who troll on ethnic grounds should expect to be discredited.
If you have a valid argument for why the US/EU should intervene in Ukraine, state it! I’ll listen. But if you are going around spreading ethnic hatred, then any arguments that you made that’s attached to spreading ethnic hatred is poisoned by ethnic hatred’s venomous spit, and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Thankfully the rabidly racist Russophobes remain a minority. To undo their venomous propaganda, I’ll tell you about a very pleasant conversation that I had with a fellow White Russian. No, I’m not referring to the drink. I’m referring to a Russian who would’ve fought for the Whites during the Russian Civil War. Even though we would’ve been on opposite sides during the Russian Civil War and probably shooting to kill each other, he was extremely polite to me and praised me for denouncing Lenin and Stalin.
We were able to speak of Russian politics, despite being on different sides, honestly; share our beliefs without hatred and understand that the civil wars amongst us are a thing of the past. We came to an agreement to have another debate, as the waves coolly washed ashore, making lovely sounds. For that moment, we were both happy. And as Russians, that’s all we really need – simple human kindness and happiness, to share with one another, with our fellow human beings.