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VICTOR JOECKS: Where’s the left’s outrage over anti-Russian bias?

If you substituted “China” or “Islam” for Russia, the national mainstream media would be decrying the racist reaction to the Ukraine war.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, it’s been a bad time to own a business associated with Russia. Or anything else that ignorant people associate with Russia.

Vandals have hit Russian-linked restaurants in New York and Washington, D.C. Other Russian-associated restaurants around the country have been threatened. Some have received a barrage of negative online reviews.

Sveta Savchitz, the owner a restaurant that serves Russian food, received an email that told her, “Go home.” She moved here almost 30 years ago — from Ukraine.

In Vermont, a bartender poured out a bottle of Stolichnaya. Despite the Russian name, that vodka is made in Latvia. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., floated the idea of “kicking every Russian student out of the United States.”

The Montreal Symphony Orchestra canceled a performance by a Russian piano prodigy who opposes the war and has family in Ukraine. An Italian university even halted a lecture series on Fyodor Dostoevsky, before backtracking.

This is absurd. Putin is evil. Russia immigrants aren’t responsible for his atrocities.

In other circumstances, the mainstream media would be tripping over themselves to label this racism and blame it on the president.

Just remember the coverage in 2020 of Donald Trump calling COVID-19 a “Chinese virus.” Many media outlets painted that as racist and then blamed Trump’s rhetoric for fueling anti-Asian acts.

Then, there’s 9/11. A major theme after the attack was the concern that Muslim Americans would face hate crimes. George W. Bush even gave a speech on Sept. 17, 2001, declaring, “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam.”

But on major anniversaries of the attack, media outlets will still run stories on America’s supposed bigotry. “20 years after 9/11, Islamophobia continues to haunt Muslims,” ABC News reported last Sept. 11.

By this flawed standard, the media should be flooded with think pieces on the bigotry unleashed by Biden.

This double standard isn’t just bias, although that plays a part. It’s based on the left’s identity politics worldview, which defines people primarily by the groups to which they belong.

This mindset believes some groups are powerful and oppress other groups. Some groups are weak and oppressed. People can belong to different victim groups depending on their gender, race, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.

Ukraine and Russia are predominantly white countries. According to the left’s worldview, white people can’t experience xenophobia because they’re part of the most powerful racial group. But look around. They are.

Another example. In 2001, one religious group experienced 55.7 percent of hate crimes motivated by religious bias. It was Jews, not Muslims. Yet, 20 years later, the media are still running stories on the surge of anti-Muslim bias, even though Jews experienced more hate crimes. That’s odd unless you remember the intersectionality hierarchy, which places Jews as more privileged than Muslims.

It’s a flawed way to view the world. Judge people based on their individual actions, not group dynamics.

Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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