Vladislav A. Litosh
Even though Russia is not unknown for producing world famous scientists (e.g. Lomonosov, Mendeleev, Butlerov, Markovnikov, Povpov, Sakharov) and doctors (e.g. Pavlov, Sechin, Mechnikov), these people can hardly represent the Russian Society that is hopelessly stuck in America of 1860, to say the least!
A few days ago, some fellow named Mikhail Shakhnazarov published a filthy article denigrating the Presidents of USA and Ukraine in a major Russian newspaper named “Izvestia” (“News”). The article is entitled “Five Million [dollars] in the Wedding Gift Busket”.[i] The publication is literally drenched with racism and general xenophobia. In particular, the President of the USA is referred to as a “Chocolate King”… Have you ever seen anything like this written in an American or a European newspaper? I can’t speak for Europe, but in the USA there is no analog of one of Russian criminal code laws prohibiting defamation based on race, origin, or religion. The First Amendment to the US Constitution precludes any State, no matter how liberal (like New York, Massachusetts, or California) from any criminal prosecution of slanderers. Yet, not even the most radical outcasts of the American Society dare to resort to such calling colored people racist names in public. Why? Because… they may get fired from their jobs and never find another. They may be denied a loan from a bank or even a service in a restaurant. Most businesses in the USA are private. And what American owner will want to risk his or her business reputation by dealing with such individual? To the contrary, in Russia any racist or chauvinist remark only increases publisher’s popularity among the people!
The author, expectedly, further complains about all the bloodshed in Eastern Ukraine, as if he is unaware who is fueling it; degradingly calls it “a terrorist operation” (instead of anti-terrorist, which it is), as if he is unaware of what the Russian troops were doing in Chechnya in 1994-1996, and then in 1999-2005; alleges that the people of the NATO countries are on the verge of starvation, as if the Russian People live better than anyone else on Earth (this reminds of Soviet Propaganda of 1920s, doesn’t it?); calls the US President “the mistake of the American People”, as if he himself would have been much happier if McCain had won in 2008 or Romney in 2012; and finally, says that Obama hadn’t accomplished a thing (however controversial, the Affordable Health Care Act is the first major advance in the US Economy since Medicare Act, plus classification of gay bashing as hate crimes is also a major achievement in terms of Protection of Human Rights). None of the author’s statements are surprising, of course, and they hardly even deserve being refuted, for when you are arguing with an idiot, s/he is doing the same thing. (For instance, if he says the sky is green, will you bother to try to prove to him it’s actually blue?) What is much more concerning, however, is that the vast majority of Russian population was shocked when Obama had won the US Presidency. Quite predictable in the USA, the outcome of the Presidential Elections of 2008 was a complete surprise in Russia, for almost no one in that country, including even many liberals (or those people in Russia who consider themselves liberal) could believe that a country that once begot the Ku-Klux-Klan was capable of electing a colored man as its leader. All this proves is that the USA is capable of changing, whereas Russia isn’t.
Russian leadership is crying out loud: “We are not Europe!” I’d say to them: “Don’t waste your breath trying to prove it. We know…”
Vladislav A. Litosh, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH 45221