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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Russian MP's insult to America

Russian MP Irina Rodnina, who had the honour of lighting the Olympic flame, has shamed her country and her party - Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party - by posting an image of the Obamas on Twitter, photoshopped to include a banana.

The sad thing about this offensive tweet is that she doesn't see anything wrong with it.  Rodnina, a triple Olympic champion figure skater who spent many years living in the US has taken down the photo but refused to apologise.  She wrote "Freedom of speech is freedom of speech and you should answer for your own hangups."  

The US Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul was mortified and said she had brought shame to her Parliament and her country. 

Black footballers in Russia suffer the same fate as black footballers in Australia.  Brazilian Roberto Carlos, playing for a Russian team, left the pitch when someone threw a banana at him from the stands.

In Australia, an Aboriginal player left the field after a young girl yelled out "monkey" loud enough for him to hear.  You expect that sort of behaviour from uneducated, ignorant people, but not from a member of the Russian Parliament.

A pro-Kremlin television presenter Vladimir Soloviev said "What Irina Konstantinova put on Twitter is her business, it's her personal space - this is not a big scandal."  Oh really?  He claims the reaction was oversensitive and the photo was not racist.  "I advise everyone who attacked her that the next time they go for a coffee, they should not call it black coffee but an African-American coffee."

So there we have it - the Russian mindset in action.  Nuff said.

Edit 11 February 2014.  Yesterday Rodnina tweeted:  I respect the Obama family and apologize for not clearly stating earlier that I don't support the tweeted photo or racism in any form.