My first reaction to this documentary was that Reggie Yates, a former Radio 1 DJ, was a strange/ if not wrong choice of candidate to document the xenophobic and nationalist outlook of Russia’s far right… However, I was won over.
I think Reggie deserves credit for his role in this documentary, not only for placing himself in a politically hostile situation with the potential for physical violence, but also for confronting face-on the absurdity of Russian racism in the 21st Century. As a white man, I will most probably never experience a racist outburst, or be discriminated against physically within Europe because of my skin color, however, unfortunately this isn’t a security shared by different ethnic or cultural groups as highlighted by some of this footage.
The levels of ignorance held by some of the individuals filmed by Reggie was alarming, and makes me wonder what type of education these people experience. I personally despise the term, but one individual made reference to the negative repercussions of ‘inter-breeding’ between races and the birth defects which occur as a result of this – I am no biologist, but I understand the basis of the X and Y chromosomes to know that this kind of claim has no scientific basis. I had assumed this social Darwinist outlook collapsed along with the era of National Socialism after World War Two, but apparently not.
I think Reggie Yates shows exceptional bravery as a black man, to tackle this racist ignorance full on, and to be threatened with “I’ll send a kill to England” ultimately exemplifies the nature of the individuals he came across.
Looking forward to next week,