April 29, 2015
Translated from Russian by Kristina Rus
Chief editor of the magazine “New and Newest History” of the Russian Academy of Sciences, doctor of historical sciences, Professor Vladimir Sogrin does not believe that the incident in Baltimore can be described as “second”, “third” or “fourth” wave of riots.
– I assure you, as a historian, if we take into account all these “waves” of racial conflict in the USA, then this one could be the “hundredth” or “two-hundredth” wave. However, these excesses have very deep roots. In the USA there is no problem of multiculturalism as in Western Europe, where a conflict between Muslims and Christians is intensifying. In the USA there is a conflict between the black and white races. Here we must take into account the period of slavery for two and a half centuries. After the liberation and providing political rights, the “white states” soon deprived blacks of political rights. African Americans have accumulated enough distrust and protest to carry out the historical revenge for decades.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s black Americans have achieved the return of all their rights. Then a “Black power” movement was organised as well as other radical movements (such as “Black Muslims”). Blacks have achieved tremendous rights. It was a kind of historical compensation. For all the humiliation they received many benefits.
– Including employment quotas in Federal institutions. Black receive 13% of the seats (which roughly corresponds to their numbers), even if they are inferior or equal in their skills to the whites.
– Yes, they also received this benefit. Apparently, they felt that now they can get even. And then, obviously, black racism emerged. While white racism did not disappear. On the one hand, there is political correctness, which has been legally formalized. But even Bill Clinton said that racism remains deep in the white mentality. The same applies to African Americans. For example, when I was in America, I felt black racism. Incidentally, I also felt the cold shoulder as a representative of the “inferior” Slavic ethnic group from the white Americans. But black racism was much tougher.
– What may be the trigger for a new round of conflict in race relations in the United States? Some experts have attributed this to a possible failure of the acclaimed medical program ObamaCare. Are there other factors aggravating the relations of whites and blacks?
– The program has not been cancelled, but the situation may change, because in 2016, as I believe the President will be a Republican. Given that Republicans have a majority in Congress, the whites will try to take revenge. Naturally, the blacks will answer with a protest.
The boiling point of white and black racism is getting close. But it is still far from the violence and radicalism of blacks that have been observed in the 1960-1970. These are just the “flowers”. Will there be the “berries”? It is very difficult to predict.
In 1970, the politicians were able to go for serious concessions and provided privileges to the blacks, perhaps the time has come for new concessions. But it is clear that black Americans will increasingly assert their rights. They will not back down.
– In light of recent events in the US, can we expect the Obama administration to some extent to switch to internal problems and lower the pressure on Russia on the Ukrainian issue?
– Russia is pedaling the subject of human rights violations in the United States in the context of information warfare. Americans will seek to respond to the accusations of “double standards”. Of course, our diplomacy can play the “black card” at the UN and in other venues. But I would like to draw attention to the fact that the main support of the U.S. are the EU countries. And most of the world is opposed to the US. For example, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, Africa.
Americans for some reason do not take this into account. They believe that if the United States was able to assert their authority in Western and Eastern Europe, then they already rule the world. This is a deception that could prove costly to the United States.