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View Full Version : Change coming to Russia? "Russian Obama" emerges... well...


Marshmallow
Aug 31st, 2009, 11:56 AM
Just saw it on the news here, found an article:

Black candidates stir up local elections in Russia
Joaquim Crima is a new face of Vladimir Putin's modernisation plans

He grows watermelons, loves Vladimir Putin and is widely respected in his small rural community in southern Russia.

But Joaquim Crima – an aspiring politician standing in local council elections in October – differs from his Russian neighbours in one crucial respect: he's black.

In a country notorious for its deep-seated racism and skinheads, Crima's decision to run for his local council has prompted a storm of interest in the Russian media, with some rather predictably comparing him to Barack Obama.

It also appears to have rattled the local authorities. They have come up with a second candidate of African descent, Filipp Kondratyev, in an apparent attempt to split the pro-Crima vote.

Born in Guinea-Bissau, Crima told the Russian daily Kommersant he had dreamed of travelling to Russia since childhood, after meeting a Soviet military adviser who told him about the Russian cosmonaut and first man in outer space, Yuri Gagarin. Crima arrived in the Soviet Union 20 years ago, to study. He married an Armenian woman, and settled in Srednyaya Akhtuba district, near Volgograd.

He is building his own house, on the proceeds of his watermelon business. His neighbours speak highly of him, referring to him respectfully by his Russian patronymic, Vasily Ivanovich.

"I'm a Russian eagle, but with a suntan," Crima told Kommersant. After posing for campaign photos hoeing his garden, he said that he was keen to implement Putin's plan to modernise Russia by 2020.

Experts are sceptical, however, that Crima has much chance of success in a country where elections are fixed in advance. An independent, he has lambasted local officials, complaining that residents do not have water or gas.

Few believe his candidacy marks a breakthrough in race relations. Last year 102 people were killed in racial attacks in Russia, and 450 beaten or wounded.

"The level of racism in Russia is pretty monstrous," said Galina Kozhevnikva, deputy director of Sova, which monitors xenophobic incidents. "We don't have data from Volgograd, but all anecdotal evidence suggests things are not good."

She added: "During the US presidential election the Russian media was overwhelmingly in favour of McCain, simply because he was white and not a woman." Asked whether Russia would ever see a non-Slav president, she said: "Nyet."


Initial impressions:

1. I don't know what to make of this statement: "I'm a Russian eagle, but with a suntan,"

2. The bold text makes me worry for his safety, and confirms why I always feel uneasy when Venus or Serena are entered for Moscow. :scared:

3. But I found the news story a little heart-warming. Plenty of people were offering support... well, a few. Amended my view of Russia a little. ^.^

Scotso
Aug 31st, 2009, 12:38 PM
1. I don't know what to make of this statement: "I'm a Russian eagle, but with a suntan,"

Clearly he wishes he were white. Further evidenced by the fact that he "loves" Putin. Sad.

Just an attempt by Putin to shake off the growing view that Russia has devolved into a harsh despotism. Epic fail.

KournikovaFan91
Aug 31st, 2009, 06:27 PM
Last time they had a non slavic leader it was Stalin - go figure :rolleyes:

Also why SHOULD they have a leader who isn't slavic, most countries leaders have all come from the same ethnic group, the ethnic group that is the largest in the country.


I don't exactly see black candidates doing well in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland or any of the rest of the slavic region anyway.

Unlike Europe Slavic countries haven't had black people until recently so you can't immediatly expect them to accept something completly alien to them when black people only got full rights in the USA not that long ago :rolleyes:

^I remeber Kelle from ANTM cycle 3 who called herself a "white girl with a tan", its not just Russian blacks who want to be white.

Marshmallow
Aug 31st, 2009, 08:38 PM
Thanx you guys for the replies, interesting stuff.

Clearly he wishes he were white. Further evidenced by the fact that he "loves" Putin. Sad.

^I remeber Kelle from ANTM cycle 3 who called herself a "white girl with a tan", its not just Russian blacks who want to be white.

Hmm... Well, call me naďve – but there’s room for the possibility that he doesn’t actually want to be white. After I thought about it a little, the quote could simply mean ‘I might look different but I hold Russian values’, stated in a attempted mildly humorous way. But could be wrong of course.

Just an attempt by Putin to shake off the growing view that Russia has devolved into a harsh despotism. Epic fail.

Interesting. It makes sense and I wouldn't be surprised if this was indeed the case.

Last time they had a non slavic leader it was Stalin - go figure :rolleyes:

Also why SHOULD they have a leader who isn't slavic, most countries leaders have all come from the same ethnic group, the ethnic group that is the largest in the country.


I don't exactly see black candidates doing well in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland or any of the rest of the slavic region anyway.

Unlike Europe Slavic countries haven't had black people until recently so you can't immediatly expect them to accept something completly alien to them when black people only got full rights in the USA not that long ago :rolleyes:

You seem pretty passionate (*mild swoon*) about this. I can feel your intensity radiating through the screen!

For arguments sake I just want to say, the thing that should ideally matter most to the electorate is the person’s values, policies and visions relative to the whatever cultural group a person is choosing to be elected as leader for – more so than sub-cultural population figures. In other words, they don’t need to elect him in a sort of affirtmative action move, but likewise I see no good reason why they can’t/shouldn’t elect a black/asian/hispanic leader provided that person can demonstrate that they understand and or are in touch with local culture, and have a vision and policies in line with what the people desire. From what I could see this guy did.

But all that said, I doubt he will be elected. A good few Russians in the news segment I saw expressed strong disapproval for the idea that a black person should get elected.

Apoleb
Aug 31st, 2009, 08:53 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8230158.stm

moby
Aug 31st, 2009, 09:10 PM
I was considering doing a semester in Moscow, but now I have serious doubts.
Racism is rife that, this I know, but the extent of violent crime is :unsure:

KournikovaFan91
Aug 31st, 2009, 09:20 PM
For arguments sake I just want to say, the thing that should ideally matter most to the electorate is the person’s values, policies and visions relative to the whatever cultural group a person is choosing to be elected as leader for – more so than sub-cultural population figures. In other words, they don’t need to elect him in a sort of affirtmative action move, but likewise I see no good reason why they can’t/shouldn’t elect a black/asian/hispanic leader provided that person can demonstrate that they understand and or are in touch with local culture, and have a vision and policies in line with what the people desire. From what I could see this guy did.

Yeah everyone should be elected on merit, but some people always seem to assume certain ethnic groups and sometimes women SHOULD be elected, no matter how poor their policies are.


With regards the above poster 500+ racial crimes in ALL of Russia isn't that many when you put it in context. I would imagine many countries would have a similar amount, like in Belfast groups of Romanians were recently driven from their homes by mobs.

Also were all racial crimes against black people, some could have been against other groups. Its like Northern Ireland had a high number of sectarian attacks in the past but really it was quite safe to be a different race, although it would have seemed that it was an aggressive place.

moby
Aug 31st, 2009, 09:40 PM
With regards the above poster 500+ racial crimes in ALL of Russia isn't that many when you put it in context. I would imagine many countries would have a similar amount, like in Belfast groups of Romanians were recently driven from their homes by mobs.What context? Is the minority population in Russia that large to begin with? Besides, there are way more that 500+ racial crimes - the original article only cites a very specific subset of the total crimes, i.e. the violent crimes that are reported (beaten, wounded, death) And if the stats are anything to go by, about 20% of those beaten up die. That's a disturbing number.

See Apoleb's link. The study was done on Africans, but I believe that there will be similarly high figures for non-whites.

Scotso
Aug 31st, 2009, 10:44 PM
What context? Is the minority population in Russia that large to begin with? Besides, there are way more that 500+ racial crimes - the original article only cites a very specific subset of the total crimes, i.e. the violent crimes that are reported (beaten, wounded, death) And if the stats are anything to go by, about 20% of those beaten up die. That's a disturbing number.

See Apoleb's link. The study was done on Africans, but I believe that there will be similarly high figures for non-whites.

It's typical of human history that when things are going badly, people like to pick out a scapegoat. It used to be the Jews in Russia, now it seems to be blacks (though any non-white person isn't loved there by the majority of people). The standard of living in Russia is plummeting, people aren't happy and want someone to blame/take out their frustrations on.