Keith Olbermann Is Wrong: There’s No Such Thing As A ‘Stain’ Of Ethnic Heritage

By Andrew Korybko (via One World)

Popular liberal commentator Keith Olbermann dangerously risked lending credibility to the toxic ideology of Neo-Nazi racists after tweeting on Monday that “I’ve lived my entire life with the stain of Russian heritage in my family”.

Olbermann’s Odious Tweet Pushes Neo-Nazi Racist Theories

American liberals began embracing Russophobia, which is unquestionably a form of racism, during the 2016 election after Hillary Clinton ridiculously claimed that the Eurasian Great Power was secretly helping her opponent. This disgusting trend continues in the present day but got much worse than ever before after popular liberal commentator Keith Olbermann told his over one million Twitter followers on Monday that “I’ve lived my entire life with the stain of Russian heritage in my family”. This surprised many observers not only because they had hitherto thought that he was of German ancestry, but also because it dangerously risked lending credibility to the toxic ideology of Neo-Nazi racists who claim that there’s such a thing as a “stain of ethnic heritage”. After all, it was none other than Adolf Hitler himself who notoriously spread such sentiments through his infamous Mein Kampf and subsequent speeches, ultimately going as far as carrying out a genocide against millions of Slavs including Russians due to his belief that they were “subhumans”. 

I’m An American-Pole Who’s Occasionally Abused Because Of My Roots

RT’s Nebojsa Malic wrote an insightful response to this scandal highlighting the liberal media’s double standards towards racism, but some further commentary of a more personal nature is needed in order for readers to better understand just how irresponsible Olbermann’s racist comment is. Those of us who aren’t White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs) have most likely been victimized by bigotry at least once in our lives. I’m An American of Polish-Slovenian descent and am occasionally targeted by online trolls because of my ancestry. The most common attack is to claim that it’s supposedly impossible for me to have any friendly feelings towards Russia because of my Polish roots, which very strongly insinuates the racist theory that all members of a given ethnicity share the exact same political and other views by virtue of their blood. In other words, I’m made to feel as though my Polish heritage is a “stain” which somehow forever prevents me from loving Russia, thus supposedly predisposing me to be its eternal enemy like those trolls think that all Poles are.

Was Olbermann Bullied For His Russian Roots While Growing Up?

It’s not yet clear at this point, but it might have been the case that Olbermann was also victimized by bullies all throughout his life who could have claimed something similar, perhaps telling him that it’s impossible for him to love America because of his Russian roots that he hadn’t previously disclosed in public until now (provided that he told others about them in his personal life or they somehow found out through other means). I very strongly disagree with practically everything that Olbermann supports, but that doesn’t give me nor anyone else the right to abuse him with bigoted language just because of his ethnic roots, the same as it doesn’t give anyone else the right to do the same to me if they disagree with my analyses. Nevertheless, having experienced this quite frequently (more so over the past few years than nowadays thankfully), I understand why he might have been made to feel “guilty” for the way that he was born, but he’s weak and wrong for submitting to that idea. Instead of being ashamed of his heritage and describing it as a “stain”, he should be proud of it. 

Religious And Secular Arguments Against Racist Theories

Nobody should ever feel guilty for their ethnic heritage. If you’re religious, then it’s common to believe that God made you that way for a reason in line with His will, which most faithful folks believe is perfect in its own way even if we humans are incapable of fully understanding it. To believe that the inheritance of a cultural legacy is somehow a “stain” implies the fallibility of God and is arguably blasphemous according to many interpretations. For those of you who aren’t religious, then you probably attribute it to a cosmic coincidence or something along those lines for having you inherit the ethnicity that you did. Even in that case, though, there’s nothing wrong with that. All cultures are unique and precious, and there shouldn’t ever be a so-called “hierarchy” among them. Moreover, being of a certain ethnicity doesn’t mean that someone shares the same political views as their co-ethnics, whether nowadays or all throughout history. After all, political views are formed by one’s own free will and aren’t passed along through genes no matter what some racist theorists claim. 

Political Views ≠ Ethnic Heritage

Olbermann is clearly opposed to the policies of the present Russian government and especially its leader, President Putin, but he must understand that those feelings should be separate from his views about the rich heritage that he shares. It’s entirely possible to criticize some political aspect about Russia today while still being proud of being Russian. The same holds true for me: I constructively criticize Polish foreign policy at times but am immensely proud of my Polish heritage and will never apologize for it or dare to disrespect my co-ethnics by calling it a “stain” no matter how much that would please my racist trolls. All human beings have free will, and it’s impossible for every person of a specific demographic to share the exact same political views as their peers. Claiming otherwise is dangerous because it provokes discriminatory actions and even violence against members of that group out of the mistaken basis that attacking them somehow equates to attacking by proxy the state that they allegedly all support. 

Why Are Racist Ideologies Still So Popular Today?

Russians, Poles, and all others throughout history have at one point or another been victimized by this racist ideology which regrettably continues to survive into the present day. Political radicals sometimes feel powerless to effect the change that they desire so they instead lash out at people who they believe superficially represent the object of their hatred. Those who hate Russia attack Russians, just like those who hate Poland attack Poles, and so on and so forth. In their warped minds, they’ve truly convinced themselves that members of those groups embody everything that they detest about their political representatives. Therefore, they think that they’re justified to do whatever they want against them since “the ends justify the means”, especially if harming innocent people of an ethnic group is expected to somehow harm their government by proxy or at least express “dissent” against it. It can’t be overstated just how dangerous of an ideology this is, and it’s terrible that Olbermann risked granting it legitimacy by talking about the self-described “stain” of his Russian heritage. 

Olbermann’s Wrong, But It’s Equally Wrong To “Cancel” Him

I don’t know Olbermann so I’d like to assume that he was also at one time a victim of bigoted abuse but was too weak to resist the bullies unlike me. Over time, he might have embraced their racism and became a self-hating Russian in order to appease them, just like I could have easily become a self-hating Pole. Either way, while that might explain his racist comment, it certainly doesn’t excuse it. There’s no such thing as a “stain” of ethnic heritage. His political dislike of the current Russian government and perhaps some or even all of its prior ones has nothing to do with the culture that he inherited which is intimately a part of him. Anyone of Russian heritage who feels guilty for being Russian hates themselves, the same as can be said about anyone of any other heritage feeling the same about their own, let alone calling it a “stain”. Having explained all of this, I don’t believe that Olbermann should be “canceled”. I actually support spreading his racist comment far and wide for educational purposes in order to discredit the hateful ideology that he consciously or unwittingly represents. 

An Impassioned Appeal To The Alt-Media Community

All subsequent reporting about his tweet must debunk the implied claim that political views are universally shared by all members of a certain ethnicity and passed down through their genes. I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of such abuse and therefore very passionately believe that it has to stop. Anyone who ever sees someone else embracing this ideology must publicly confront them, especially if they disagree with the victim’s politics. We need to show that we’re in this together and won’t accept the normalization of false racist theories in the Alt-Media Community. Everyone has the right to respectfully express their dissent about whatever it might be, but they mustn’t abuse others who they disagree with, especially not on the basis of their ethnic heritage. Every person is unique, and while there are indeed political trends that some groups tend to embrace (e.g. most Russians are fiercely patriotic and proudly anti-fascist), that’s due to social and other factors, not ethnic ones. Olbermann is dead wrong, but hopefully others can learn from his racist fallacy.

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