Just so we know we're not special

In terms of racism and racist rhetoric, I mean, here's a tale about racism from Russia. A Russian Newsweek reporter and blogger, who is ethnically Kazakh, was attacked in Moscow by four young men.Here's an excerpt.

Most likely, it was an accidental attack by the neo-Nazis. Today, it may well be considered a routine crime ), or maybe not. Funny that on this very day I finished a piece on the [United Russia party] members who now have to love the “Russia for the Russians” slogan. A piece with some interesting bits on [the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, the DPNI].

What's most interesting to me are the comments. They sound so very similar to what I hear regularly about Haitians. Most interesting is the go-back-home theme that keeps recurring.

... in your Motherland, an ethnic Russian journalist exposing local nationalists wouldn’t have survived even a couple of publications. And you go on living and exposing. So everything is fair and logical. And then, if you are such a fighter against Nazism, why don’t you do this in your homeland? And we’ll deal with nationalism here ourselves ...No one is keeping you here. You can move and live somewhere in Turkmenistan. Because it doesn’t make any difference whether there are Russians around or not. But to many people it does matter, and the Russian people mainly want to live in a country where there are 80-90 percent Russians, and not 10 percent. […] So 20 million Kyrgyz come to Russia, and 50 million Chinese, and 10 million Azeris. And they multiply. And as a result, only 10 percent of Russians will remain in the country. And this won’t be Russia anymore. All our history will have to be crossed out - what for have we been building the country for? […] The thing is, in a normal state, the state itself would’ve been involved in immigration policies.

Whenever the topic of Haitians in The Bahamas is raised, the rhetoric becomes predictable. It's predictable because it's the very same rhetoric that is used by all racists to justify their perspectives on people they believe don't belong among them. The following comments are usual:

    • "They" should go home to their own country
    • "They" shouldn't complain about what happens to them here because "they" are immigrants (usually the word illegal is added here)
    • "They" are using up all the resources "we" pay for
    • "They" multiply faster and more than "we" do and "they" will soon outnumber "us"

      I'm not debating the truth or lack of it about any of these statements. But I am pointing out that they are not unique to us. They are not special to Haitians. They are remarkably identical to the kinds of statements made anywhere in the world by people whose environments are changing rapidly and whose reaction to that change is to blame the Other, rather than to adapt and move forward. The language, and the rhetoric, is fundamentally racist, and that is true of whether the person who is making the statement is white, black, orange, yellow, or pink.