While these are certainly the most extreme types of violence, interviews with African students also reveal pervasive everyday racism in Russian society.If you travel to Russia, you are, quite frankly, playing a numbers game with your life and your well-being.
I can’t imagine my sense of the world outside of my interactions with Russia.
On the other hand, I simply don’t know if I can, in good conscience, advise people of Asian or African descent to travel to Russia in light of the continuing problem of racist violence.
In the past ten days, there have been attacks on Bangladeshi and Chinese students in Moscow, in addition to the earlier assaults this year on citizens of Cameroon and Vietnam.
Last December, a nineteen-year-old African American was stabbed multiple times in Volgograd on his way home from the gym.
A number of factors probably account for my “luck” and I’ll share them with you, both as useful precautions and as information that might give you some insight into life in Russia for those of us of “non-Slavic appearance,” in case you are still considering your travel options even after the warning above.
First and foremost, I had the gift of genetics and a bad disposition–I am over six feet tall and, generally speaking, not of a soothing appearance; when I would hang out with African friends in Russia, they would joke that I was their bodyguard.
To give you a more clear picture, a few years ago my high school students nick-named me “Mr.
I’m leaving this comment because since you have lived in Russia and know much more about what’s going on there than I do, I was wondering if you could answer a question for me.
I was wondering, do you think it would even be smart at this point for a Black student to go to Russia to study?
I was planning on going there after the summer for a year-long study abroad program but after hearing about all the racism I’m thinking that it might not be the right thing to do.
Did you have a lot of close calls when you were over there? On the one hand, I have had amazing experiences in Russia and I have been indelibly marked by the time I have spent with Russian history, literature and contemporary society.