Russians in U.S. Should Form ‘Slavic Lives Matter’ Movement, Some Americans and Russians Say

United States Map, adapted from image at epa.gov

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Jan. 2, 2021)

Sociologists at the University of Portland and activists from the Coalition of Communities of Color have concluded that immigrants to the U.S. from Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Poland and other Slavic countries are treated on a daily basis like non-Whites and thus must organize to demand their rights.

Some in both countries, echoing these findings, including a Vladivostok blogger (aleks070565.livejournal.com/7750397.html), are now suggesting that these immigrant communities need to work to form a “Slavic Lives Matter” organization on the model of the Black Lives Matter movement (newizv.ru/article/general/02-01-2021/belye-no-vtorogo-sorta-sotsiologi-ssha-priznali-slavyan-ugnetaemoy-etnicheskoy-gruppoy and mosmonitor.ru/articles/society/russkih_v_ssha_uravnyali_v_problemah_s_afroamerikantsami_priznali_tsvetnyim_menshinstvom).

Among the recommendations of the Portland sociologists is that such a movement seek to have Slavs reclassified for purposes of the US census as people of “the colored” group rather than as now as members of “the white group.” That was unacceptable to the Coalition of Communities of Color which took the article off its website.

Although the Slavic Lives Matter group already has its own presence on the Internet (twitter.com/hashtag/slaviclivesmatter?lang=en), the group does not appear likely to take off not only because of opposition from the Coalition but also because the experiences of many Slavic individuals and groups in the United States contradicts the Portland conclusions.

But it is important to take note of for two reasons. On the one hand, such reporting will only deepen the divides between the US and the Slavic world, playing into the Kremlin narrative that Americans hate and despise Russians and other related groups as people rather than just opposed to the policies of their governments.

And on the other, the whole idea of “Slavic Lives Matter” is something that the Russian government itself may exploit in the US to further divide Americans and that Russian nationalists within the Russian Federation are likely to exploit to deepen divides between ethnic Russians and other groups.

[article also appeared at windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2021/01/russians-in-us-should-form-slavic-lives.html]