Tag Archives: Russian

The Unbearable Whiteness Of Being (Part I)

FACT: All Asian Americans are Asian by definition, but not all Asians are Asian Americans. The truth is that most Asians aren’t. While they may share an ethnic heritage, as well as many cultural similarities, Asian people who were born and raised in and reside in an Asian country have vastly different wants and needs and priorities than those who were born and raised in and reside in North America [and other non-Asian countries].

I wanted to start out with that quote for two reasons.

First, because it’s stolen from my co-writer’s post last Friday, which was a really good post you should read.

Second, because I think it does a good job of establishing the complicated and sometimes uncomfortable nuance that goes into addressing identity politics. Which is what we’re going to be talking about today and in the weeks to follow.

More specifically, we’re gonna be talking about White people.

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We’ll probably cover my use of this specific gif sometime later…

Before we dive in, I just wanna make something clear.

Race is a social construct – a series of categories that we’ve made up and ones we’ve made up only very recently in the scope of history. The fact of the matter is that there’s no actual place you can draw a dividing line when it comes to human beings and there’s no good reason you’d want to.

Not that it’s ever stopped us.

For better or worse, we have divided the world up into so many arbitrary categories, and those divisions have played and continue to play a major role in today’s culture. In spite of what some folks might suggest, ignoring racism doesn’t make it go away, and if we want to end the unspeakable hassle that is identity politics, we’re going to need to start by actually addressing them.

And here at Culture War Reporters, I think we’ve done a decent job. Continue reading

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Boycott Russia

2014 will see the XXII Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia. Or at least, such is the current proposal of the Russian state and the Olympic committee. Personally, I’d like to keep that from happening.

Here’s why:

Russia isn’t exactly a beacon of freedom and human rights today (or since 1929, for that matter). In spite of having the basic decency to offer former-NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden something of a safe haven, the modern Russian Federation has more than a few dents in its reputation.

And its cars…

While massive corruption has been an issue for a long time, and while Russia is no more free from the ugly face of white supremacism than any of its fellow European nations, a few recent events stand out as especially damning. Continue reading

Fame Day: Vasili Arkhipov

This Fame Day, I’ll be continuing my past line of praising men and women who have shaped our world and yet remained largely uncredited. There is perhaps no man more deserving of our admiration and respect in this regard than Vasili Arkhipov (1928-1998): “the man who saved the world.”

Arkhipov, born to a peasant family in what was then the USSR, joined the navy, participating in World War II, and further earning distinction as being a survivor of the K-19 submarine. Yeah, as in K-19: The Widowmaker.


The Widowmaker (also called The Hiroshima), for anyone who doesn’t know, was a nuclear submarine created by the USSR. Midway through it’s maiden voyage, The Widowmaker‘s nuclear safeguards failed, forcing the crew to heroically sacrifice their lives as they took shifts to rectify the problem, Vasili among them (the crew, not the problem). This event also inspired a movie.

Now the fact that he willingly exposed himself to radiation to help save his crew mates is a feat in and of itself, however, Arkhipov’s true claim to fame was to come a year later, in October of 1962.

This was the height of Cuban Missile Crisis, and Arkhipov was serving as second-in-command on a Soviet nuclear submarine bound for Cuba. While in international waters, the submarine came into contact with a number of American vessels, which began dropping depth charges in an attempt to scare the submarine off. The submarine captain, having been without any contact from Russia for days and suspecting that a war between the US and USSR may have already started, ordered the launch of a nuclear torpedo. Arkhiphov stood up the captain, and after a heated debate, convinced him, along with the other submarines they were traveling with, to stand down. The simple result of Arkhipov’s refusal to let this torpedo be launched was the prevention of a nuclear holocaust and the saving of billions of lives. Without this man, it is almost certain that none of us would be alive today.

So here’s to Vasili Arkhipov, one of the unsung heroes of human history to whom we all owe an unimaginable debt. Thanks for being the sole barrier between mankind and its own bloody self-annihilation!