laupäev, jaanuar 10, 2009

mods, rockers, hippies, and ... skinheads?

I recently received a letter from the University of Tartu alerting me that the Regional Security Officer at the American Embassy in Tallinn would be in town to discuss an "event" that occurred involving an American student; an American student of African heritage.

Of course I didn't go and meet the officer. I had wood to load into the ahi and ice to remove from my windshield. I had a bad feeling though that another student of non-European descent had fallen prey to the skinheads of Tartu.

I have heard several second-hand stories of black or Asian students accosted late at night by purposefully bald-headed gentlemen who feel it is their personal duty to ward off such undesirable persons from their City of Good Thoughts. Usually, nobody gets hurt. The message, though, is clear. You may recall how the efforts of the purposefully bald allegedly caused the Dutch ambassador and his Cubano* male partner to leave Tallinn three years ago.

What to do? In these situations I pity law enforcement. You can't really arrest people for being purposefully bald or listening to message-driven heavy metal music or having tattoos. If you choose to decorate your living room with swastikas, that's your prerogative. The politsei have real business to attend to, like stopping crazy drivers on the Tartu-Tallinn road.

And besides, how do you know the purposefully bald gentleman in question might be a threat to society? He could just be a Hare Krishna. And if you try to track down a perpetrator, who has perhaps fled to the secret lair of the bald, how could you identify him? "What color eyes did he have?" "Blue." "What color hair?" "Skin."

But then students from outside Estonia come to visit the land of free wireless and online voting and they get harassed by some genuinely scary dudes. I once was held up for cash by a very intimidating purposefully bald man dressed in leather in Tallinn. He explained to me in Estonian, then Russian, then Finnish, and finally English (I was too amazed by the tattoo on his face to respond) that I should loan him some money. I obliged him; he seemed threatening, even though our ancestors both come from Europe.

Another time a pack of prematurely bald young men passed me on the street, one gave me the evil eye, to which I answered back a boisterous "tere päevast!" I secretly ponder what is the position of the baldheaded on persons of Mediterranean background. Did we spend too much time in the kiln of the creator or were we baked just right? In any case, we are probably low on the list: I mean, who has time for pestering paesans when there might be an unsuspecting Indian student on the next block?

I really have no idea what the solution is here, and I am not sure the Regional Security Officer at the American Embassy would know either. Without a crime, even a hate crime, there is no criminal. And even if you haul the perpetrator before the court, it's only one person, not an entire way of thought, that is on trial. As a resident of this city, I genuinely empathize for those people who are darker than blue. At the same time, I feel powerless when it comes to finding solutions.

121 kommentaari:

Count of Monte Kopli ütles ...

I like to refer to Tartu as the Potato Salad Capital of Estonia, because it's filled with spud-headed rednecks who look like distant cousins of some howling albino monkeys I once saw on The Discovery Channel.

I know these Phi Beta Kappa chimps must have some kindred souls in Tallinn as well, but either the cops told them to stay out of Kesklinn/Vanalinn to protect their precious tourist industry or they just ceded Old Town to us heathen untermenschen.

Personally, I think they get riled up reading too many stories of black men stealing white women on stormfront and drive themselves into a little frenzy when they see Joel de Luna knocking up an eestlanna every 6 months.

I say you round them all up and send them on involuntary study abroad program for a year to some place like Bahia, Brazil. Once they knock up some thong-wearing mulata and have mewling Obamas running around in diapers, they probably won't be so keen on their former hobby.

Puu ütles ...

The answer is Swedish hip hop!!

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=80496151

Puu ütles ...

swedish hip hop

plasma-jack ütles ...

About 10 years ago (jeez, was it really that long ago!) skins used to hang out in Tallinn's old town and there was constant fighting between them and punks. Now when they got their own bars and the main characters have gotten old, you hardly see a skinhead in Old Town. I wouldn't advise to take your black friends to Tatari street, although I think that a regular Dima or Jürmo in sneakers and sports clothes could be just as hostile... As for the solutions, learning martial arts usually helps.

Rainer ütles ...

There's a world of difference between Tartu Skins and their Tallinn counterparts - the ones in Tallinn seem to have found their "ecological niche", they mostly keep to themselves and seldom bother other people. Tartu Skinheads, however, are still out in the cold...

MCHammer ütles ...

Grab some homeboys from East LA, ideally who served some time at Pelican Bay, and have them go undercover as smiling Erasmus students from Peru at Tartu Ulikool. You could call it 21 Ruutli Tanav.

No need to provide them self-defense training as they'll have plenty of experience turning everyday objects into lethal weapons and concealing it in their baggy pants. Give them directions to Club Tallinn, Zavood, Bikers, and the usual spots.

I think after a semester or two, Tartu's fearsome kartulipea vanguard of the 4th Reich will have miraculously found their "niche" in the ecosystem far, far away.

Kristopher ütles ...

Wasn't the Dutch ambassador's partner Cuban? At the time I remember reflecting that Cuba is a country with a huge institutional racism problem and macho attitudes to boot.

Inner monologue ütles ...

Where were the skins when they were needed? Foreigners were off the hook, rampaging in downtown and dissing your own kind and there was no-one to confront them?

Where was the patriotism?

They are pussies. Next time somebody tries to intimidate you, clock them right between the eyes.

There's your solution.

That and obtaining a concealed weapons license.

Inner monologue ütles ...

I was referring to the pronksiöö, of course.

Wahur ütles ...

I happen to know few people in the "gray area", ie not "prematurely bald" but in good relationship with those. From what I hear KaPo is holding them in quite short leash. This means lots of personal visits and discussions with MIB before every interesting date, miraculously switched-off mobiles etc. Therefore it is no surprise that skins did not show up. Or limited their presence mostly to Rock Cafe cellar.
Solution to Giustinos problem? As long as problem is limited to some foul mouth I do not see it as very serious one. World is full of such foulmouths - someone calling someone else fascist, nigger, tibla, socialist, capitalist, põder, GEP, tšornõj, whatever. There is something for everyone. Just ignore it. If it gets beyon words, get the police.

Giustino ütles ...

Kris,

You are right, Härra Glaubitz's partner was Cuban. I have no idea where South Africa entered into the mix.

Lingüista ütles ...

One does not often hear about Estonian skinheads abroad. I guess one gets the impression Estonians are all mild-mannered, rational people who are just trying to build a better world in which smiling päkapikud offer cookies and drinks (kama?) to peaceful readers of Kaplinsi and Kross...

Puhvis Kukk ütles ...

On somewhat related topic: i get treated the same by blacks here in the states. I am literally fairest one of them all (so white that ppl think I am about to pass out), blond hair and green eyes and not very eager to start a conversation with anyone I don't know. But I've had numerous v. unpleasant incidents w blacks from rude comments to dowright hostile behavior. Don't know why I irritate them so.

n-lane ütles ...

Where were the skins when they were needed? (Inner monologue)

Needed for what? For the kind of thing you need a "weapons license" to protect yourself from, as you suggested? By the way, who stabbed Dmitri Ganin?

Foreigners were off the hook (Inner monologue)

What foreigners? Do you mean the 2 Germans who were severely beaten by the police in the D-Terminal?

dissing your own kind (Inner monologue)

Dissing whom? Skins?

Where was the patriotism? (Inner monologue)

What do they have to do with patriotism?

OMG

Puu ütles ...

I'm with N-lane. Inner monologue gives me the creeps. But everyone should listen to Swedish hip hop.

Andres ütles ...

From what I've heard the guys from IRL who know some of those more radical dudes went to calm them down and encourage them NOT to come out at April 2007. Don't remember where I read or heard it.

egan ütles ...

I remember interviewing some of these prematurely bald kids before the Estonia-Russia game, at the height of the statue nonsense. Some skins were there trying to act hard (as far away from the Russian fans as possible), but they disappeared pretty quickly once some actual Russians (who were really friendly) turned up.

Count of Monte Kopli ütles ...

There's also some false advertisement being made by Tartu Ulikool to international students.

People try to pass off Tartu as some kind of Heidelberg of the Baltics meets Haight-Ashbury, filled with pot-smoking hippie students debating Nietzsche on Pirogov Park, with cheap beer and free love for all flowing joyously through the cozy winter nights.

They neglect to mention all the disgruntled shaved monkeys wandering around town with the combined IQ of the rock sitting outside my house.

I remember meeting a black guy who heard "great things" about Bratislava and ended up getting chased by a couple of skinheads into an alley when he visited. He happened to be a Division I athlete and ended up using a brick on one of their heads before escaping.

As in most small towns throughout Eastern & Central Europe, you're going to find pissed off, mentally deficient goons a-plenty. If Tartu Ulikool doesn't make this clear to their international students before they arrive, then it's all on them.

Inner monologue ütles ...

Foreigners ... the ones who chanted the name of their homeland.

Dissing their own kind ... they are Estonians. Calling Estonians pederasty is kinda offensive and a true skin should not let it slide. Or what is their honor code anyway?

Puu, my old love - I give you creeps by suggesting in a roundabout way that the so called skinheads in Estonia are just a bunch of cowards?

Puu ütles ...

Actually you just give me the creeps by addressing me in any form of endearment. Only sad washed up middle aged men get their jollies off hitting on girls half their age with an interest in eastern european politics.

mpechter ütles ...

Count, I do hope you're not trying to imply that the fraternities have anything to do with harassing foreigners - because you would be seriously mistaken.

Skinheads are almost exclusively from the high school drop-out group.

Doris ütles ...

Skins are a kind of a fraternity group to the rullnokk variety, and sometimes the two groups overlap. and yes, they are usually the high-school dropout variety.

Just as weird and scary as skins though, are the anarchists. When you ask them "ok, so if you get what you want, THEN what?" they just stare at you blankly.

Also, it's not entirely fair to lump all prematurely bald guys who might or might not be wearing camouflage as skins - they might actually be legitimate draftees doing their duty before University. Or, in the case of one of my aquaintances, they might be bald because their girlfriend likes it that way.

plasma-jack ütles ...

Count, I do hope you're not trying to imply that the fraternities have anything to do with harassing foreigners - because you would be seriously mistaken.

Ever heard about Vironia? Dunno about harassing foreigners, but they definitely have members with right-extremist views. Couple of years ago they had a lovely text about WW II where a fraternity member explained that Hitler was forced into the war, later calling German occupation "liberation". His "literary" style and abundance of grammatical errors seemed to suit a skinhead perfectly.

plasma-jack ütles ...

I guess that since the text has been taken down, an excerpt wouldn't hurt.

30.nendate aastate lõpus hakkasid tumedad pilved Euroopa kohal kokku lööma ja oli tunda läheneva sõja vingu, ning kauguses oli kuulda suure ja halastamatu sõjavankri kolinat, mis aina suuremaks ja suuremaks hakkas paisuma. Ja see mida kardeti sai tõeks, 1 september 1939 algas II Maailmasõda, mis oli Suur- Saksamaa kantslerile Adolf Hitlerile peale sunnitud. Ning surm hakkas mööda Euroopat ringi liikuma ja oma vikatit viibutama , mille eest ei olnud kellegi pääsu. [...] Kuid siis 22.juunil 1941 aastal alustas Adolf Hitler plaaniga “Barbarossa” ja tungis kallale NSVL-le ja alustas okupeeritud rahvaste päästmist punase koletise käest[...].

John ütles ...

Count, I do hope you're not trying to imply that the fraternities have anything to do with harassing foreigners - because you would be seriously mistaken.

This is true. I am sure that the harassment, what little there is (though it will probably increase with unemployment), is completely a townie phenomenon.

But Plasma Jack is quite correct, too. I explicitly don't like the vibe that emanates from a certain, more educated subset in Tartu.

I know an M.D. and EÜS member whose MSN handle is a racial epithet. It's an in-joke, but I swear I switched to Skype because I felt uncomfortable seeing the logins and logouts.

Puu, interest in NY politics is one thing, wanting or expecting Eastern Europe to resemble NY is unrealistic. I might be wrong, but you seem to be drawn to certain topics more than others.

Mingus ütles ...

John, did the guy's name happen to be something like "big white master"?

John ütles ...

Matter of fact yeah. What's your take on it?

Puu ütles ...

I'm not asking Estonia to resemble New York ( as if !). I'm asking it to resemble Sweden ( without the middle eastern " banlieu" or however you say it in Swedish... meaning perhaps it could be more integrated). Surely that's not an impossible request. Because really what are the options... Look how well a two state us or them policy works in some other places. Dr. Bronner got it right, it's all one or none, and you have keep pushing that even in the face of preserving your own heritage. It's really a matter of ethics and personal integrity, you can have your own beliefs as long as they don't trample on others.

I have personal reasons for being drawn to certain topics more than others, and it has very little to do with misguided political correctness or to many multicultural classes in university. It actually comes from experience.

Since most people named John in Tallinn and Estonia in general are drunks from Northern England who are seeking the good life ( beautiful beer and cheap women) with perhaps racists undertones tones as well ( Estonia lacks the multiculturalism of not only New York, but also London)... people named John should tread carefully when reading other people's motivations for suggesting Estonia be more open to multiculturalism, least they reveal themselves to be
closet racists whose interest in Estonia is tied to it's refreshing lack of " the American Nightmare" of multiculturalism which some unenlightened Englishmen ( despite the fact of England's status and wealth being gained completely from a multicultural empire) claim is blighting their country. Because defending Estonia's relative cultural homogeneity because you feel unsettled about all the Somalians that have settled in your decaying British former Industrial town or all the Jamaicans that have decided to settle in London, and Eastern Europe in general is a nice cheap place to drink and forget all that urban nastiness exists in your country and maybe one of the last places besides Asia where you can sort of live out watered down colonial fantasies, is sorta on par with the proto- Nazis, like Nietzche's sister that went to Brazil to start utopian societies free of cosmopolitan jewish influence at the turn of the century. You can't escape your fellow man. If you are American or Australian or Austrian, my apologies, but everything I said still applies in general. In the face of this the model of a democratic free city like New York( unless we go under martial law which seems to have already happened with the withholding term limits) or Amsterdam or Stockholm is not a bad one.

Count of Monte Kopli ütles ...

Are you implying that as a gay Zimbabwean-Nigerian immigrant to Estonia, I may not be welcomed with open arms to Korporatsioon Vironia?

As a frail village boy on the streets of Harare, I often looked to the North and dreamed fondly of wearing the stunningly stylish hat of Vironia while marching proudly through Ulikooli tanav in my haute couture.

Now, that dream has been crushed like a beer can on a rullnokk's oversized forehead.

Damn you Tartu, Temple of Intolerance. I shake my fists in rage at you.

Mingus ütles ...

John, I work with the guy and know him personally (he gave me a tour of his frat once, too). He's a racist but otherwise a generally nice, gentle guy.
And my thoughts on this post? Well, racism in general tends to be something learned from others. If you're bitter about the life you have, what better scapegoat than people who are different?
Education would be a good potential answer. You can't make people cease racist beliefs, but with a little luck they won't pass it on to their kids.
I write about Tartu's problems all the time. The people here just seem angry--about everything. And I can't figure out why.

Count of Monte Kopli ütles ...

John just got cyber bitch slapped by Woodgirl like I've rarely seen someone e-clowned before.

John ütles ...

Mingus, I agree with the take on the guy's personality, and I guess it is probably too much information in my comment for so small a country. But what's up with the military history buffs and collecting of Nazi memorabilia? In US culture, that has creepy status.

Since most people named John in Tallinn and Estonia in general are drunks from Northern England

Sorry, I'm actually Yemeni. I'm one of the reasons there's a small but vigorous qat-chewing minority in korp! Ugala.

Minorities are also the reason korp is abbreviated with an exclamation point. It comes from the Latinos on campus -- it was originally ¡korp! ¡Vironia!. They were very emphatic about it.

John ütles ...

Also, name's pronounced the Estonian way -- Yohhn. Don't get me started about the social status of someone whose name is pronounced Puu in the US.

James Graff ütles ...

"Non-European decent" - sounds like someone (the writer) is as ignorant as the vast majority of people of "European decent": almost every "African American" has plenty of European "blood" in them!!

And statements like that will one day be considered "improper" or "impolite": one should never refer to another human being with such "derogatory" terms - as "Non-European" - WTF!

(Why is this whole page in Estonian but all of the writing and creative input on it in English? And a far better question: why do so many people of "European decent" (whatever the hell that even means!) consider themselves superior to other "people" (which I assume includes their culture and mores and...) - who obviously surpass them in so many scientifically and socially demonstrable ways (sports, mathematics, pop culture, sense of humor, "ability to tan"...) .

Oh, and don't even kid yourselves: their is a some kind of "skin-head" in almost every Estonian I have ever met (ask any Estonian a battery of incredibly prying questions - about Nationality or ethnicity for instance or genetics or the cold war...) - we all have our prejudice and ignorance - some places just have WAY, WAY more than others!

James Graff ütles ...

"What to do?" End the ignorance: the whole country - and region - needs to spend time, effort and money on re-educated everyone here!

The prejudice and xenophobia in Estonia is sometimes hideously obvious and most often incredibly well hidden and covered up. Either way the only way to end it is to start extreme efforts to route it out, discuss it - make it a top priority on the educational agenda (like it has been - to varying degrees - in America for over a century - more so in the past fifty years).

All solutions to social ills start with YOU:

Talk to everyone you meet about ONLY the most important topics politics, religion, race, bigotry, sexism, the musician's trade unions in Finland that prevent musician's from other countries from playing their (Estonian's are more successful - much sneakier!) - ONLY the most important topics

Direct ignorant people to sources of superior information (your mouth! - the internet - but only properly selected sites! BOOKS, BOOKS and more BOOKS!)

Always vote the rascals out!! (But first make sure that the whole voting process isn't an enormous scam - like "internet voting" absolutely promises to be!!)

plasma-jack ütles ...

Man, did you just call all (or most) Estonians racists? Talk about prejudice. Maybe it's just the kind of guys you tend to meet :-p Or is the situation really that bad in the hippy mecca and Town of the Good Thoughts as the folks in Tartu portrait their hometown?

Inner monologue ütles ...

Me too. She stomped all over me. It hurt so good.

Giustino ütles ...

Estonians overall have been tolerant of me as a foreigner. I have no complaints.

mpechter ütles ...

Plasma,

Believe me, I have heard about Vironia. I have visited their house many times and I have a couple of good friends there.

The excerpt you quoted here lists some points that are dubious at best. I would still point out that the fact it was removed from the site due to being inappropriate speaks more clearly than its one-time inclusion.

I would also like to point out that those essays are written by member candidates, who are usually first-year students. There are some bad apples, but more often than not they get weeded out – or contained.

By the way, I remember you bringing up the very same point here about a year ago.

John,

Racial epithets can come in different forms. It obviously is a matter of personal sensitivity, but I feel that getting offended over something that is essentially an in-joke is about as sensible as the controversy over Prince Harry calling his friend "raghead".

If you had actually mentioned it to him, I am sure he would have changed it.

martintg ütles ...

Puu ütles...

I'm not asking Estonia to resemble New York ( as if !). I'm asking it to resemble Sweden (without the middle eastern "banlieue").


Holy cow! I didn't know Puu was a closet Swedish ultra-nationalist.

Puu ütles ...

Yeah. I wave those little red horses and trolls around when their are fourth of July Parades..
And I really really like glo:gg.

Inner monologue ütles ...

You don't have complaints because we have not moved your occupation symbol from the center of the town.

Suppose Estonians move McDonalds from Viru Gates to some suburbian mall, you too might go on a rampage and chant U.S.A.-U.S.A while stealing tampons and vodka.

Puu ütles ...

Ummm......


No.

Giustino ütles ...

McDonalds really doesn't belong in Old Town.

Count of Monte Kopli ütles ...

"Giustino ütles...Estonians overall have been tolerant of me as a foreigner. I have no complaints."

What a ridiculous statement. When's the last time you heard of a hate crime against an Italian-American?

I actually like Tartu, mostly because I like to pretend to be a vigorously youthful lad with a gleam in my eye and a bounce to my step.

But if any naive student of color were to ask me about the place, I'd be sure to point out that they should develop a thick skin and keep their eyes open for potatoheads in jeans and sneakers who are likely to hurl insults, rocks, saliva and the occasional fist at them.

Personally, after getting guns and bloody knives waived in my face by favela-dwelling Brazilians a la Cidade de Deus, nothing really fazes me too much.

But I can see how a wide-eyed exchange student could be in for a rude awakening if they get misled by descriptions of Tartu as a warm, fuzzy, glögg-filled winter wonderland.

Andres ütles ...

I know a couple of people who belong to the Tartu convent of the corporation Sakala. They are related, so maybe it runs in the family, but they both also sport racist views and the anecdotes they speak tend to be with topics like nigger, nigger, jew, holocaust, nigger. Admittedly, some of those are quite funny in a really dark humor kind of way and it's not like other people don't tell racist jokes. But I know people from corporations in Tallinn too, and noone has ever made a racist joke in my presence. Of course I have two mildy skinhead-ish guys on my university course. Minority-bashing guaranteed. But I tend to ignore it. What else could I do. Wouldn't it be naive of me to go and correct the world? Certain things are only cured by the grave as a witty Estonian saying goes.

Also, political correctness makes most Estonians itch in a funny way IMO. Thus, it's kind of hopeless to take every little remark and make it into something huge. I hope Estonia never becomes Sweden in the PC kind of way. That'd be extremely boring. Of course, that doesn't justify spicy remarks, but let's be sane with filtering them.

Count of Monte Kopli ütles ...

Andres,

I'd have to agree with you that political correctness should take a backseat to other more pressing issues in Eesti...like this country's bubble economy based on magic vapor (aka foreign money) that's on the verge of collapsing onto itself like a drunk rullnokk outside of Club Atlantis around closing time.

Of course, even with a recovered economy, the boys of Sakala and Vironia will end up as hapless peons in the capitalist machine doing the bidding of 'jews and niggers' anyhow, so really, they might as well flash a fake smile like a waiter at Olde Hansa and get used to the New World Order they're so fearful of. ;-)

Andres ütles ...

One of the grounds of Estonian racism is maybe that the thing you described as the new world order. It isn't that in Estonia. We see people from Holland and America coming and saying how to treat people that actually aren't here. So as reasonable people, we perceive that as odd. The more protective (and arguably, less smart) of us apparently go on a frenzy of "kicking back the guys who are trying to spread it". Of course that reasoning fails pretty hard, but that's probably what they see themselves as.

Giustino ütles ...

What a ridiculous statement. When's the last time you heard of a hate crime against an Italian-American?

1891, apparently.

Doris ütles ...

"Also, political correctness makes most Estonians itch in a funny way IMO."

Estonians tend to dislike PC in all forms (and the racial/gender correctness that comes with it) for mainly two reasons:
1)it reminds Estonians too much of Politspeak of the Communist times ("1984"-style official tongue designed only for pleasantly uncontroversial statements to be delivered in an even tone of voice)
2) they are convinced that it's not the WORD that should make the difference. You can call someone a "shit-headed jack-off" without ever losing the stoic impression on your face or using any harsh language whatsoever.

Rainer ütles ...

Also, the Estonians have never been in the receiving end of PC, if you don't count "Non-German", which was hardly an euphemism. Neither have they been the white Massas to anyone, so what do you expect of them?

Rainer ütles ...

My point is that since PC is a manifestation of BIg White Dude's Post-Colonialist sense of guilt, where do Estonians come in?

Andres ütles ...

Hmm, maybe PC is actually a part of modern-day colonialism. This is probably a long shot but bare with me. If you call an African a "black person" or an "African American" instead of a nigger, you don't have to bring them in on ships again, hell, they're probably more than happy to build a raft out of a dinner table and sail there themselves.

If you call an Estonian a "valuable customer" instead of a "stupid peasant", they will no longer think of ways to steal from their Swedish masters but bring in enormous profit by paying the loan interest at Swedish banks. Also instead of waving a fist at you they will pay you ever-increasing sums for the gas you sell them etc.

By calling the Chinese "beloved partners" they are more than willing to put up with polluting factories you erect on their soil, etc.

It's still colonialism only now it's called "globalisation" and whatnot. And probably like with colonialism in its time, we are now also told that it's "inevitable and for the good of everybody".

Count of Monte Kopli ütles ...

I'm not sure why everyone is sticking their pet peeve agenda against political correctness into a blog post about skinheads who have historically assaulted and behaved badly.

Granted, the down-syndrome posse in Eesti don't stab 9 year old Tajik girls to death like their Russian counterparts do on a regular basis, but hey, I'm sure they hold the Audacity of Hope.

Perhaps all this bitching and whining about political correctness has something to do with the posters having sympathies more in line with the potatoheads who do commit these acts than with the students of color who insolently want to be treated with a little respect?

I do agree that the solution is not to throw these guys into a white room and have them watch re-runs of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

A full disclaimer to the international students about Tartu (not some brochure description written by the marketing department) would be a good start.

Doris ütles ...

"Perhaps all this bitching and whining about political correctness has something to do with the posters having sympathies more in line with the potatoheads who do commit these acts than with the students of color who insolently want to be treated with a little respect?"

I'm sorry, but whenever I hear the word "respect" coming from an anglo-american-type source, I get a gag reflex. Everyone demands respect. and believe you me, they'll HAVE their R-E-S-P-E-C-T on gunpoint if not otherwise. Or on a Dr.Phil show.

It's not about fake respect or tiptoeing around "the foreigners" in painfully PC mode. It's about acceptance and tolerance that goes beyond mere words or mannerisms. and yes, there IS a difference.

Count of Monte Kopli ütles ...

"It's about acceptance and tolerance that goes beyond mere words or mannerisms. and yes, there IS a difference."

And most assuredly, the skinheads of Tartu and the Revenge of the Nerds at Vironia and Sakala are leading the charge towards real acceptance and tolerance throughout the Western world. Someone give these guys a medal.

Oh, and by the way, I'm not Anglo-American and don't particularly like the Anglosphere (U.S./U.K./Australia).

Inner monologue ütles ...

Rainer. I am gonna to use that line. Thanks.

Puu ütles ...

To Doris:

Yes, can we have an Amen?

Amen.

Inner monologue ütles ...

I need a secretary.

Rainer ütles ...

Which line did you have in mind, Inner?

Sérgio Meira ütles ...

From skinheads to PC to the truth about Tartu--wow, that's quite a thread. From all the smart-looking, faux poetic language full of smart references I can barely discern the real picture, besides "it's hard to be black in Tartu". Is that all it boils down to?

I've had quite a lot of experience with favella-dwelling people in Brazil, and it's significantly different from Cidade de Deus. What is Estonia like then anyway? From all descriptions here it still looks like a paradise--if compared with Hell's Kitchen or the Russosphere.

Andres ütles ...

It's probably like most other countries. Only that it's smaller, so if in the US you know that there are certain areas of the country a person with your views is not welcomed, in Estonia those places could be just next door to your warm and fuzzy location. And the anti-racist thing of the 60s etc never happened because we were behind the Iron Curtain. That doesn't mean that people are blood-hungry skinheads. It just means that you should possibly grow a bit fatter skin. If you're confident in yourself, I doubt you'll have any problems. If you're sensitive about what people think of you... well, don't expect it to be all pies and champagne. Which again probably goes for a lot of countries other than Estonia as well.

stockholm slender ütles ...

Well, PC certainly is not that pleasant but neither are outdated and fundamentally aggressive and/or ignorant attitudes towards many minorities. For me gay and lesbian rights are quite a good indicator of a society's level of progress and liberality - and this question does seem to be one of the few areas where large segments of the Estonian and Russian nations seem actually to be in agreement. This is not to say that anywhere in the West it would be perfect, but still, many people have really moved on, finally, and the iron curtain certainly doesn't seem to have been of help in that regard... (We'll see what kind of a storm will this arrogant arch-Nordic comment rise!)

Giustino ütles ...

Stockholm,

The gay-lesbian situation in Estonia is odd. I have met many Estonians that are gay, don't especially go out of their way to hide it, and everyone seems to be tolerant of it, EXCEPT it's not appropriate to talk about it in public. Other than a few activists, nobody "comes out" in Estonia. It's treated as a private matter.

Lingüista ütles ...

Andres, if there was no 60's-like anti-racism/sexism evolution in Estonia, is it the case that Estonians are now (or have been since 1990) coming into contact with such things? (I thought Estonia had at least some access to Finnish/Swedish TV even during Soviet times -- or didn't it?) So can I compare Estonian skinheads to, say, East German skinheads and Neo-Nazis -- since East Germany didn't go through as much soul searching with respect to its Nazi past as West Germany did? (That means one finds more anti-foreign activity in East Germany than in West Germany, for instance.)

How did all that Soviet "druzhba narodov" (friendship of peoples) ideology translate into real attitudes? Did it have much effect on Estonians?

Andres ütles ...

AFAIK Finnish TV was only visible in the Tallinn region and who knows how many people actually watched it on a regular basis. Also, homosexuality was a criminal offence in Soviet times, if I remember correctly. So it was completely taboo. "Družba narodov" has nothing to do with it IMO. There were no black people in the Soviet Union. The friendship of nations was partly Soviet propaganda construct and a partly a cultural thing, I imagine. Of course you'd be better off asking someone who actually lived in those times.

Inner monologue ütles ...

Treated as a private matter? Then ... is it not?

Giustino ütles ...

Treated as a private matter? Then ... is it not?

I mean that Estonia is not like the US, where people feel the need to go on TV and proclaim their sexual orientation to the world.

Lingüista ütles ...

I think in the US sexual orientation has gone political--it's now a question of a minority seeking equal rights, not simply the right to (private) existence. Note all this huge controversy on gay marriage and the convulsions that California's passing of Prop. 8 (banning gay marriage) has sent through the American liberal blogosphere...

I suppose gay marriage is not legal in Estonia? And probably nobody thinks it would be a good idea to let it be legal?

peedu ütles ...

Well, almost.
It's not specifically illegal, like it is in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, which are the only 3 states in EU to define marriage constitutionally as a union between a man and a woman, but it's not exactly legal either.

There is a law called 'registered partnership' or something similar, which gives pretty much the same rights of a marriage, such as inheritance and shared property ownership etc, to any number of individuals, same sex or not.

Wiki says this law is not yet official, but I vaguely remember that it should be by now. Maybe I'm wrong and if that's the case it will anyway be official very soon.

But yes you're right. I wouldn't say "nobody", but at the moment there are indeed still plenty of people in Estonia, who would never support giving gay people any rights at all.
But on the other hand I believe it's just a matter of time when everything changes.
And the reason for that is again the very simple fact that old people die and young people (the new post-soviet generation) will very soon start playing a bigger part in politics.

Besides it's not all that bad, even my 75 year old grandmother thinks gays should have the right to marry.

Andres ütles ...

The thing with old people is that they wouldn't even go on TV to shout about their heterosexuality. So the fact that some gay activist goes on there is even more repulsive because being gay also has an "immoral" touch to it for them.

Inner monologue ütles ...

Marriage is not easy. I say, anyone who wants to marry - go ahead.

We don't ban alpinism or rodeo for example. You wanna to try it, help yourself. Just don't come back to me crying boo-hoo it is so damn hard and see how broke I am.

:-)

John ütles ...

If you leave aside the politicized and semanticized issue of gay marriage, what Giustino describes is actually pretty close to the ideal. Except no one has told the gay community in Estonia that they do have safe status, so no one can really be sure.

In Estonia, you always have your "lists" people who think they're doing everyone a public service to catalog the sexual orientation universe. It's pandering to some sort of sour-grapes jilted male emotion. And as for one Estonian blog, as some have probably figured out, there's a direct correlation between the number of "who's a gay" posts and the number of nights that one of the bloggers doesn't get his rocks off. The detectives with their gaydar never rest even if they have outed someone -- not until they're in the bedroom.

stockholm slender ütles ...

Well, of course it should be a private matter. This sort of a natural thing should not be any sort of a statement made in the face of ignorance and prejudice. I certainly do not think that sexual orientation would be anything particularly interesting: in all essential respects hetero- and homosexuality are interchangeable. But then, it is even harder to understand all this persecution, direct or indirect, that this trivial matter seems to generate in the society. It wasn't long ago when very basic human rights were denied based on this non-essential difference - and some still are. Strange.

John ütles ...

"in all essential respects hetero- and homosexuality are interchangeable"

Possibility of sexual reproduction is a very essential aspect. How would the world be different if the military were historically solely the province of homosexual men? Estonians would probably look like Lapps or at least Finns, for one thing, and that would be just about the least dramatic difference.

Yes in one universal, essential respect they are interchangeable -- love -- but not in all or even many essential respects.

stockholm slender ütles ...

Well, actually there is plenty of heterosexual behaviour around without a remotest thougth of reproduction. And you can moreover raise a family well - or badly - in any combination. The only essential difference is that men can't get pregnant but that is hardly relevant in this particular regard. No, I can't really think of any really profound differences between these orientations (of course, the fundamental cultural and situational fluidity of sexual behaviour is quite another matter - I'm not so sure of how meaningful or accurate is our current Western categorization).

Puu ütles ...

I was about to start describing things that straight people do that are none reproductive, but I do want to keep it a family site. But really reproduction shouldn't be a legalistic fuel of behavior and inheritance.

Giustino ütles ...

Sexual orientation is a fairly personal matter and, in the case of quite a few friends and acquaintances, can seemingly change over night. I think American society is deeply confused over all the questions raised by it.

In Estonia, I don't even see the question being raised. "Gay rights" is seen as a foreign import. And there seems to be no clear metric of achievement other than "more tolerance."

Puu ütles ...

Not to advocate paganism too much, but I think it is culturally significant that Estonia didn't really go Christian until the 1400s. In shamanic and pagan society sexual fluidity and bi-sexuality are much more widely accepted, it has to do with the emphasis on individual autonomy, within the natural world. Native Americans for example were traditionally very ok with same sex partnership and many spiritual leaders were cross dressers.

Inner monologue ütles ...

Yeah. G you're right. America kinda its knickers in a tuss over sexuality.

Take Estonia - we don't even discriminate between sexes. It's so deep that it is built into our grammar. There is no he or she.

And men go to sauna together with no pants on.

The rest of the damn WORLD should take notes when Estonians speak about equality and open mindedness. About normality.

Lingüista ütles ...

Is Christian religion very important for Estonians--as part of their identity, as an ideal in itself, as a cultural element, etc.? Do you see anything in Estonian society that correlates with pre-1400 paganism? (Isn't the Kalevipoeg all based on pagan stories?)

stockholm slender ütles ...

Now there would be an interesting subject for Giustino - though you don't seem to be that interested in religion, or am I wrong? I certainly detect a difference between Finnish and Estonian attitudes towards the Lutheran Church even discounting the Soviet period: in Finland the term "folk church" (kansankirkko) is not that far off the mark (well, rather it didn't used to be), but in the Estonian context I guess it was historically seen as the German church, something that perhaps never really felt completely domestic for ethnic Estonians and maybe they then did retain a stronger connection to the pagan times than Finns did. But this is a subject that I really don't know much about - would be interesting to hear comments from Estonians.

Doris ütles ...

Lutheran reformation is the best thing that ever happened to Estonia simply because it encourages, even requires, people to learn to read (and write) so that they can read the Bible themselves, in their own language. At the same time it emphasizes the individual rights and responsibilities before God as well as society.

That being said, most Estonians (and me among them) would not call themselves particularly religious. If pressed to say something they'll say atheist or agnostic, but then if pressed to pick an actual religion, they'll usually go with Lutheran Cristianity. for a while during the Singing Revolution and early years after the re-independance people went a little crazy about religion (Remember the S6najalg bunch?) but now the frenzy seems to have died down and it has become a private matter - if you want to, you go to church, if you don't want to you don't go and no-one judges you either way. Also, most people who don't go aren't really AGAINST anything, they just aren't FOR either.

One of the nicest things is when they have an important religious holiday (Christmas, Easter) or an important funeral (Lennart Meri) then all the heads of all the churches officially represented in Estonia are sitting right there in the front row and sometimes the ceremony is performed even by several of them. Now THAT is religious plurality and tolerance!

Lingüista ütles ...

No, stockholm, religion is not directly my main interest, but as a part of cultural traditions (I've worked with other peoples--indigenous communities in the Amazon basin--and their religious/spiritual beliefs and myths are an important part of the material I study).

Doris, what you mention sounds to me very similar to Scandinavian practices--or am I wrong, stockholm? (I've never been to a Scandinavian country, I can't judge from direct experience, but the attitudes Doris describes sound to me very scandinavian.)

I note that the religious holidays I see on the calendar are apparently all Christian. Any pagan influences are apparently unofficial.

Giustino ütles ...

I think the Estonian state is modeled on the Lutheran Church to some degree.

When the president gives his annual address from a plain, white lecturn about how the state can help Estonians to self help, it seems to be very reminiscent of a Lutheran service.

Giustino ütles ...

Yeah. G you're right. America kinda its knickers in a tuss over sexuality.

I have friends who have gone from being straight to lesbian back to straight and then back to lesbian. I know guys who were straight in high school who became gay, and, believe it or not, guys who were gay in high school who became straight.

I also have friends who have dated 'former lesbians' only for them to be later dumped in favor of their partner's 'return to lesbianism.'

So this idea of homosexuality being an easily defined category on par with racial identity seems a bit odd. Racial categories are hardly as fluid.

And no wonder Americans are confused. One year, Melissa Etheridge's partner is advocating gay rights. They next year, she has reexamined her sexuality and now lives not with Melissa, but Matthew. Who can figure this stuff out? And what politician wants to risk their career on it?

Doris ütles ...

well, it WAS the Swedes who made Lutheranism mandatory here in the 17th century. Quius regio eius religio and all that. The maarahvas themselves were at the time rather upset at the Jesuits being made to go away.

Doris ütles ...

Oh, and the main pagan influence now is Jaanip2ev or summer solstice. There's also Mihklip2ev, the autumn solstice and Jyrip2ev - the spring solstice. Christmas, of course taking the place of the Winter solstice.

And then there's the significance of Saturday and Thursday as slightly more... let's say "ominous" days. saturday being a day for cleaning and Sauna and Thursday being a day for (beneficial) witchcraft such as getting rid of rats or warts. Especially potent is the Kaduneljap2ev - Lost/losing Thursday, which is the Thursday that falls on the old half-moon. That one is also sometimes known as Ash Thursday - you have to make realllly sure that you clean the house that day because the way your house is by the end of Ash Thursday, it will be for the following year. And then there's Ash Thomas - a kind of a raggedy doll that you could put behind other people's doors to get rid of your own filth and give it to them. They in turn could pass the Thomas on to... whoever. And then Whosoever ends up with the poor Thomas will have a filthy year.

a lot of this is no longer observed, but my mom still makes sure to clean extra carefully on Kaduneljap2ev.

Andres ütles ...

My grandparents who lived in the First Republic were religious. They were baptised, so were their parents who were also very religious. The persecution of the Soviet forces kind of ended that tradition (wasn't it that in the pre-WW2 republic ~90% were religious?). But when a Christmas service is aired on TV, my granny still knows most of the songs by heart because "she used to sing them as a child in church".

peedu ütles ...

Estonia has the highest level of irreligious people in the world, 76% of the whole population states themselves as agnostic/atheist.
But we also have to count in the Russian minority who are highly more religious than Estonians, so actually if we were to talk about only Estonians then they should be pretty much at least 80% agnostic/atheist.

But on the other hand it doesn't mean they aren't spiritual.
Here's a good example, notice the difference:

Europe's belief in god map:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3e/Europe_belief_in_god.png

And Europe's belief in "some" force or spirit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Europe_belief_in_Spirit_Life_Force.png

It shows how Estonians didn't fully accept Christianity and are still believing in something more pagan, but perhaps just can't describe it in words quite yet, because most of the knowledge of our old religion has gone missing.

Here's a cool little webpage about Estonian pagan religions:
http://maavald.ee

Andres ütles ...

Maybe that's why songs by Metsatöll speak to me on a deeper level than songs about Ave Maria :P

plasma-jack ütles ...

better listen to the birds. that's the real stuff.

Puu ütles ...

Actually Tacitus and I think Pliny and some other guys said that Estonians were supposed to be good at wind magic... but I've tried to find out about it and had very little luck. There are some books on Finnish Magic not so much on Estonian. But I think it is stronger( and less ostracized, more part of everyday life than in other parts of the world). Japan is another country like this which is very strongly tied to the old nature religions( under a veneer of consumerism).

Inner monologue ütles ...

Interesting. Music is what creates a certain atmosphere. Metsatöll and Arvo Pärt for dark and gray Estonia, Jimmy Buffett for sunny and careless Florida Keys, Vladimir Vyssotsky for the desperation of Moscow ...

It's like, if you .. if you get the right combination where it all comes together ... it is just so great.

There is a right time and right place for everything. The key is to be there, notice and enjoy it.

All it really takes is an open mind.

n-lane ütles ...

Foreigners ... the ones who chanted the name of their homeland. (Inner monologue)

Foreign-minded perhaps, but nor foreigners, unless you checked their passports and visas, of course, or asked them what their homeland was (I'm afraid you'd have been surprised at the answer).

All it really takes is an open mind. (Inner monologue)

I agree.

Andres ütles ...

Foreign-minded people originating from a foreign country, but NOT foreigners. Maybe I'm too narrow-minded but this concept is really hard to fathom. Okay, I understand that stuff is not so black-and-white like "Your with us or you're against us". But can you really define yourself as not a foreigner in your heart when you act like one and you talk like one. How was the saying.. when you dance the dance, you're it, or something. Or maybe you would care to explain this complicated situation to me?

Andres ütles ...

Ah remembered.. when you talk the talk and you walk the walk.

Inner monologue ütles ...

Another saying goes that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck - it must be a duck.

If we have a situation where we have the whole old town full of chellovecks who are creechating Ro-see-yaa! Ro-see-yaa! Then that means that we have a bunch of effed out of their minds foreigners in you hands. Foreigners!

Passport-huiasport. They all quacked like freaking rooskies to me.

I would have gone medieval on their asses if it was my call. So all be glad that it wasn't. :-)

Puu ütles ...

But, Inner, what are you walking like and quaking like...

stockholm slender ütles ...

I suppose we are now just trying to get the thread over 100 comments...

Lingüista ütles ...

Well, it has happened; this is comment 101. Congratulations!

Lingüista ütles ...

Well, it has happened; this is comment 101. Congratulations!

Giustino ütles ...

If we have a situation where we have the whole old town full of chellovecks who are creechating Ro-see-yaa! Ro-see-yaa! Then that means that we have a bunch of effed out of their minds foreigners in you hands. Foreigners!

They were pretty stupid, actually. They have no understanding of how to do PR. Klenski likes to draw parallels to the American Civil Rights movement, but he should remember that we have no holidays to celebrate the lives of Stokely Carmichael or Huey Newton or even Malcolm X.

Association with domestic violence delegitimizes any social movement. Most people are practical about things. They might be moved by a persuasive argument, but break their shop windows and threaten their ability to go about their business, and they will lose all empathy for you.

Inner monologue ütles ...

The smart thing for russionas to do, is to do what mexianos did in LA. First they took into the streets protesting immigration laws waving mexian flags and shouting viva la rasa, viva la rasa. They got watercannoned. Next time they cam out waving American flags demanding the same things but instead of shouting la rasa they shouted equality and liberty and stuff like that.

Point being - good kicks over thick skulls works well sometimes.

We'll see if rooskies figure that out that if they come out singing Mu Isamaa on minu arm and wave sinimustvalge, they will have good chances for sympathy.


I won't bet on it though. We'll see.

IF TH

n-lane ütles ...

Foreign-minded people originating from a foreign country Andres

Again, why are you insisting on knowing exactly where these people were born?

Maybe I'm too narrow-minded but this concept is really hard to fathom. Andres

The concept is simple: shouting the name of any country in the street is not illegal.
By calling these people foreigners you seem to try to solve the problem by adopting ostrich tactics of burying your head into sand.
The root of the problem as I see it is this: a large group of people (call them tax payers for a more down-to-earth approach) feels discriminated against. And neither of the parties involved in the conflict is going to leave the country.
So the only way to a solution, in my opinion, is compassionate patience on both sides and constructive dialogue.
A lot of mistakes have been made on both sides already. I see no point in making them again and again.

n-lane ütles ...

Passport-huiasport. They all quacked like freaking rooskies to me. (Inner monologue)

Sorry everyone, I'm not going to feed this horrorshow troll anymore. :)

Andres ütles ...

The concept is simple: shouting the name of any country in the street is not illegal.

But this is not an honest argument. Going to a former colony anywhere and shouting the name of the country of the former colonist brings up negative emotions. That's a no-brainer. Pressing on JOKK here is not going to do you any good, it's not a legal issue, it's an emotional one.

Do you really think the local Russians are going to achieve anything by screwing the Estonians in "a perfectly legal way"? It's just going to cause more hate and nothing else.

n-lane ütles ...

The concept is simple: shouting the name of any country in the street is not illegal. (n-lane)

Sorry, I was meaning to say: shouting the name of any country in the street is not an issue of nationality. It's an issue of freedom of thought and free speech.

it's not a legal issue, it's an emotional one (Andres)

There were hurt feelings on both sides.

achieve anything by screwing (Andres)

I don't want any screwing.

Inner monologue ütles ...

Sorry guys, I've had too much Cruzan Pinepple Rum already as I write this ...

but, ... uh

puu ...

if I freak you out ... look I am not even living in Estonia ...

I am nobody for you to worry about ...


Now watch this and reflect upon it.

this is ...

oh well,

never mind

just watch it ...

http://www.delfi.ee/news/paevauudised/eesti/article.php?id=20946432

Andres ütles ...

It's an issue of freedom of thought and free speech.

Sure, but everything has a context. Everything that's legally okay, is not okay in a moral sense. Freedom of speech can be used for both good and bad.

Inner monologue ütles ...

n-lane, my starry droog, you could have said that right into my litso.

Puu ütles ...

Yeah, n-lane,I'm with you, some of this is not horrorshow at all... I'm just going to go listen to Beethovan and read Pema Chodron ( the Clockwork Orange would have been lots different with PC).

Lingüista ütles ...

I'm still wondering about what the average Russian feels like in Estonia. I think the Rossiya-shouting elements are not majoritary, are they? To what extent do Russians really feel disenfranchised in Estonia, and to what extent is this just memory of having been the linguistic upper class in Soviet times? Are there any Russian speakers who read Giustino's blog, for instance?

There indeed are hard feelings on both sides. I'm not saying the Estonians don't have real complaints about what the Soviets did to them; but I'm not saying that the life of an Estonian Russian is just sweet and there's nothing to complain about. (At least I don't know there is. I don't have this experience.)

plasma-jack ütles ...

I would have gone medieval on their asses if it was my call. So all be glad that it wasn't.

Coming from a guy who moved out to avoid his ass being kicked, it sounds pretti ironic.

Inner monologue ütles ...

I know, plasma. It is all coulda-woulda-shoulda. I love to blabber. Just like the next guy.

Let irony rule the day.

James Graff ütles ...

I just received a death threat - as in: "I am going to blow your brains out" from "someEstonian" in response to my Blog - which was highly critical of- and potential immensely helpful to - Estonia and everyone that still chooses to live here.

If you want to read it, now you have to get my permission. I now know why so many bloggers commenting about Estonia are anonymous.

Welcome to wonderful PC Estonia.

And yes, I know that the majority of Estonians - that I have met and spoken to - are racist to some extant - much more so than most places that I have been - perhaps less racist than my almost entirely white, Irish, Roman Catholic home town...

Will I receive a death threat for writing this?...possibly...

free speech...free press...Not in Estonia - where the media is controlled by "outlanders"...

Ignorance and hatred are everywhere...is it getting better? I am afraid - in this economy (because people love there money) - "Godless" places like (30+% non-religious) Estonia (stat.ee) will get much worse before anyone cares enough to make things better!

Which means relations will probably be getting worse between people of "differing" backgrounds - race, religion, economic, sexual preferences, musical preferences (you can use any difference you want!!)

When will the scientific method win out??

Science has debunked all of these stereotypes and myths - but people either can't be convinced or simply aren't reading enough - and they are definitely listening to way too much of the wrong propaganda - if even in the form of a "humorous" racist joke - jokes are only funny if they contain an element of truth for the listeners!

Jens-Olaf ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Jens-Olaf ütles ...

I am a little late here
@Andres:
"There were not black people in the Soviet Union."

Hm one of the first books about old SU was from Michel Ayih.
His story was out in 1960:
Three who went to Moscow

At the very time Nikita Khrushchev was slapping black backs at the U.N. and telling Africa's delegates that the Soviet Union is their world's best friend, three African students decided to tell the world how they had been treated in the Soviet Union. In an open letter to the heads of all African governments, the three youths—all medical students—charged last week that they had been victims of "constant discrimination, threats, restrictions of our freedom, and even brutality," while they studied at Moscow University.

Here is the whole article,
Time, Monday, Oct. 03, 1960

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

And three years later:

"African students in the Soviet Union staged a demonstration in Red Square on December 18, 1963, that became an international incident. Triggered by the mysterious death of a Ghanaian student, the protest aired Africans’ concerns over their security in the USSR. These concerns had crystallized over the previous few years, when the first contingents of African students had experienced racial misunderstanding and harassment alongside official expressions of goodwill. The international climate tended to fuel these concerns as well ; the Western press, to which the students often had access, took up evidence of racial tensions in the Soviet Union with particular zeal. The political, social, and cultural factors that played into the African students’ demonstration and its aftermath offer a new angle on the history of the later Khrushchev years."
Death of an African student in Moscow

Giustino ütles ...

"Non-European decent" - sounds like someone (the writer) is as ignorant as the vast majority of people of "European decent": almost every "African American" has plenty of European "blood" in them!!

The thing is that the local nähkpead aren't just anti-African, they are anti everybody who looks like they aren't from around here. That means Japanese, Chinese, Indians, Malaysians, Lebanese, Egyptians. The best I could come up with is "non-European descent." I know it's wrong, but ... that's all I got.

kissouyin ütles ...

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