Дата публикации

«Ban on Russians». Doesnʹt history teach anything?!

Restrictions on the free entry to a particular country have enough precedents in history. They are connected first of all with the formation of the migration policy of developed countries in the 19 century. In the context of the current situation and the voiced ideas about the "ban on Russians", we should refer to the practice of the United States in this area.

History repeats itself with special persistence and proves once again that it is extremely difficult to come up with anything new. In 1882, a little-publicized Chinese Exclusion Act was signed in the United States, which lasted 61 years. It clearly stated a ban for a specific ethnic group to enter the United States. It also prohibited granting citizenship to those already residing in America. According to American experts, adopting such a document expressed the deep essence of American public opinion. Fears of the Chinese were limited to the fact that they "could kill Americans in their own beds." The attempt to consolidate such stereotypes in the public consciousness was fairly routine. The main thing was to emphasize a priori that they are different - in food, clothing, traditions, mentality.

Historical facts show that by the time of its collapse, the Kārlis Ulmanis regime had applied the official term "svestautiesi" – "alien", to Jews who had lived in Latvia for centuries and spoke the Latvian language. And already in 1941 they were driven away from their own homes, and one could often see a No Jews and Dogs Allowed signs on the doors of cafes, restaurants and shops.

Amid such retrospective, the "progressive" thesis from the mouth of the Baltic legislators that "entry to the European Union must be a privilege for Russians" sounds nothing but an echo of racism and chauvinism, the roots of which our neighbors have not been able to get rid of over the past decades. In this regard, the logical question arises: today it is the Russians, and who will be next?

Based on the study "European Public Opinion on China in the age of COVID-19", conducted in 2020 in 13 European countries, a negative assessment of China prevails. It is noteworthy that not a single pandemic caused this, but the events of the last three years.

As history teaches us, such precedents are extremely attractive and find fertile ground of political interests of nationally minded legislators. For instance, in 2017, Donald Trump adopted a law that received the loud name "Muslim Ban".

There is another critical aspect in this case. What will happen to those who dare to object to such "innovative legislative initiative" of their country's leadership? And by no means isolated voices of such concerned people from various democratic countries are becoming much more clear...