A Russian sports editor, enraged at international criticism of famed Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva - sorry, make that trashy-Monaco’s famed pole vaulter – went off on a racist rant about how proud he was to see “fair-skinned girls massively beat the black-skinned ones.”
Isinbayeva, who had just won the gold medal at the world final in Moscow this past week, got into a bit of trouble for expressing her support for Russia’s draconian new anti-gay law, while at the same time noting that gay Olympians weren’t “normal” like her and other Russians.
Well, didn’t that prompt some Aryan claws to come out. Here’s Sovietsky Sport editor Yury Tsybanev, via AFP:
The depth of anger was shown by a bizarre nationalist eulogy penned Monday by Sovietsky Sport editor Yury Tsybanev about the exploits of the 4×400-metres female quartet who beat the United States for the gold.
“They were standing on top of the pedestal, our four little blondes, four Russian birch trees, and it was as if the blood of our ancestors boiled in my veins,” he said, boasting that our “fair-skinned girls massively beat the black-skinned ones”.
He said the Russian quartet had “genes picked up from Russia’s centuries of historic struggle and upheaval”. He added: “Consider this my answer to those ‘rights activists’ who started pestering and insulting Lena Isinbayeva.”
Imagine an American sports editor getting away with writing about our “fair-skinned victory” over “the black-skinned ones.”
Yes, in addition to being virulently homophobic, Russia is also, reportedly, violently racist.
As I wrote the other day:
In a chilling warning, the New Republic’s “Russia expert,” Julie Ioffe, said yesterday that “there’s quite a bit of violence against people considered to be black” in Russia, raising fresh fears about the safety of Olympic athletes, visitors and media attending the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Ioffe warned that nowhere in Russia is safe for a person of color to visit, outside of Moscow’s city center….
To summarize the Russia expert:
If you’re a person of color – and that means any color other than pure white – and visiting Russia, for the most part you’ll be okay, if…
You don’t mind Russians cracking racist jokes at you all day long.
And you don’t mind staying only in the center of Moscow, and nowhere else in the city, lest someone physically attack you.
And you don’t mind avoiding St. Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city, all together, since it’s “crawling with skinheads.”
And you don’t mind canceling plans to visit any other city in Russia – so in essence, your only safe place, in the entire country of 150 million people and 9 time zones, is the city center of Moscow.
And you’re sure to check in with the US Embassy, just in case case you disappear (and they need to know where to send the body).
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, enjoy the Olympics!
This is the challenge that the Olympics, and the world, face in dealing with Russia. It’s not just a difference of opinion. We’re dealing with hate, in all its ugliness and fury.