Discrimination in the West

Throughout Western history, racism has always been a problem.  The movie Circus took this into account, and criticizes the West for being discriminating and racist against black people, namely against the black baby that the woman in the circus belongs to.  It’s undeniable that there was such discrimination in the West, especially against black people (in the US) and against other minorities such as Jews throughout Europe.  However, that’s not to say that the USSR wasn’t any better.  Even though the USSR certainly may have stamped out discrimination legally, that’s not to say that the Russian people themselves weren’t racist, and didn’t discriminate against people of other ethnicities.  Rather than by ethnicity, the USSR categorized people according to what country they were from.  In a country with 180 languages, it’s hard to imagine that there wasn’t any discrimination.

A second thing that comes to mind is that at the end of the movie, the woman who stayed in the USSR was happy in the arms of the Soviet people.  However, in a country with a horrible totalitarian government and a ruined economy in which people starved to death, it’s hard to imagine that anyone could possible be happy.  Were this movie real life, that woman would soon be miserable and regret her decision.

One thought on “Discrimination in the West

  1. It’s interesting that you bring up the point that the Soviet Union discriminated against people due to their nationality and not necessarily their race, particularly considering the scene in which the black baby is passed around to various nationalities represented in the Soviet Union. There certainly is a pervasive image of the Soviet Union celebrating difference, both in the mass acceptance of a baby of another race, and in the baby being accepted and celebrated by every nationality present. This huge show of open-mindedness and celebration is a bit ridiculous, to be sure. However, I fear it is a bit overly-broad to state that no one could possibly be happy in the Soviet Union. It is important to keep in mind that the Soviet Union spanned a long period (1920s to 1990!), encompassing varying degrees of repression and freedom as well as relatively prosperous and struggling periods. Life in the Soviet Union was not consistently terrible for every single person of every socio-economic class all the time; Some people must have done okay. The Soviet Union had an impressive amount of faults, faults that were apparently brushed over in order to produce socialist propaganda, such as “Circus”. That said, I am uncomfortable stating that everyone regretted living in the Soviet Union.

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