Moscow’s actions in Ukraine have exposed a deep-seated latent racism toward the Russian people that a number of Western institutions – not least Hollywood and the legacy mainstream media – have been cultivating for far too long.
Of all the major military operations that have been undertaken since the start of the millennium – in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen, to name but some of the broken places – Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine already stands apart for a very peculiar reason, and that is the ugly backlash it has generated against ordinary Russian citizens.
By now, many people will have heard the stories circulating online of Russians enduring discrimination in Western capitals – from famed conductor Valery Gergiev losing his job at the Munich Philharmonic, to children being bullied in school, to families being denied service in cafés and restaurants. Not even medical facilities are immune from the lunacy. Last week, the Iatros Clinic in Munich, Germany, announced it would no longer treat Russians and Belarusians, and I’m guessing that unspeakable act of cruelty would have included pediatric patients too. Only after experiencing a wave of online criticism, proving that not everyone has lost their mind, did the facility retract its racist decision.
Equally astonishing has been the West’s brutal sanctions regime, which is so vicious and over the top that it could actually succeed in inflicting severe economic pain even on Westerners. This emotionally charged reaction to the events in Ukraine looks like virtue-signaling gone mad – a particularly worrisome development, given the mob seems incapable of differentiating between the actions of the Russian government and those of its citizens, who, as is the case with every country finding itself in such circumstances, have precious little say in matters related to war and peace.
And while it is perfectly natural to loathe war, and to speak out against it, a little consistency would be nice. Since I’ve already explored the question of Western hypocrisy in a previous column, I’ll just touch on it here: Why have the US and its NATO allies never suffered so much as a canceled dentist visit for their illicit military adventures across the Middle East and North Africa?
And that brings us to another question: why has it become so acceptable, even fashionable, for people to embrace their inner Klansman whenever the subject is Russia, the global whipping boy? I believe I speak for the majority of Americans when I say we have been methodically conditioned from birth to believe Russians are inherently ruthless and amoral. Much of this conditioning occurs on the television screen and in the movie theater over the duration of a lifetime. Russians find the clichés so ridiculous as to be amusing.