Sunday, December 04, 2016

American white supremacists are ignorant about Russia (shocking, I know)

White supremacists who revere Putin seem to be unaware of just how diverse a country Russia is. Putting aside racial diversity (do they really think the locals in the Russian far East are white people right up to the Chinese, Mongolian and Korean border?) Islam is an officially recognized religion in Russia and has the second largest number of adherents in the country after Orthodox Christianity. Putin personally has made plenty of statements that are supportive of Islam, and he has even effectively allowed strict Gulf-Arab style Shariah to be imposed within Russian territory. The far-right have spread false stories about alleged shariah enclaves in the U.S. where American law does not apply, but Chechnya is the real deal.

Sure, Putin is into Russian nationalism. But it is a mistake to confuse that with White Christian nationalism. Lots of Russian citizens are not white and not Christian. (Also, the Richard Spencer quote in the Times piece, that there is "'an understanding' between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin [that] might bring together Slavic and American Caucasians and eventually 'foretell a unified white world.'" is ironic, because to Mr. Putin, "Caucasians" are not slavic, not predominantly Christian, and not "white").