Putin Ally Blames Crisis on Rise of Black U.S. Music Stars He Calls ‘Descendants of African American Slaves’
In a sign of the times for Vladimir Putin’s twisted Russian regime, a regional governor has been backed by the State Duma after saying the “descendants of African-American slaves” are to blame for the country’s growing crisis.
Vadim Shumkov, governor of the Kurgan region, said Russian society was collapsing—as exemplified by the rising rate of suicide and depression among young people—and it can all be traced back to the popularity of Black American stars in the music industry.
In a bizarre rant posted on his official Telegram channel, Shumkov described a gaping hole of emptiness at the center of Russian culture, which he argued was not the result of poverty, war, or rampant corruption, but “an underestimation of the importance of native national culture.”
“Many of our children… are already growing up without knowing or remembering their kindred tribe,” he lamented, claiming that they are instead “singing songs written by the descendants of African-American slaves, often playing the ape and imitating the habits and language, brimming with, frankly, second-rate quasi-cultural vulgarity. Clinging to this secondariness, being proud of it.”
“Hence the growth of overt spiritual emptiness, depression, suicides. The lack of meaning in life,” he wrote.
Though Shumkov did not mention Russia’s war against Ukraine as a possible reason for the bleak mood in the country, he went on to hint at a growing rift between ordinary Russians that he blamed on outside forces, claiming that a “neglect of native culture” has led to a biblical Cain and Abel situation, with brothers pitted against brothers by “foreign ‘well-wishers’” who see them as “expendable.”
While Shumkov’s remarks were simultaneously mocked and criticized on social media, the Russian State Duma found nothing offensive in his argument.
Alexander Sholokhov, the deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Culture, told local media there was nothing inflammatory in his comments because he’d used the term “African-American.”
“I think that depression is connected with the lack of ideology in our country,” Sholokhov said. “I disagree with [allegations of] incitement. He used the word African American. The governor acted more than politically correct, using literally the American version to designate this race, and besides… this same African-American culture occupies a significant part of show business and variety shows.”