And you are lynching Negroes

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1930 print in Bezbozhnik, the Soviet magazine, showing a Black American being lynched, hanging from the Statue of Liberty

"And you are lynching Negroes" (Russian: "А у вас негров линчуют"), and the later "And you are hanging blacks" (Russian: "А у вас негров вешают") are anecdotal counter-argument catchphrases, which epitomize "whataboutism" arguments used by the Soviet Union in response to allegations that it had violated human rights[1] and other criticisms.

The use of the phrase is traced to a Russian political joke, about a dispute between an American and a Soviet man.[2] In a 1962 version, an American and a Soviet car salesman argue which country makes better cars. Finally, the American asks: "How many decades does it take an average Soviet man to earn enough money to buy a Soviet car?" After a thoughtful pause, the Soviet replies: "And you are lynching Negroes!"[3][4]

Variants[edit]

Similar phrases are used in the languages of Eastern Europe, in different variants.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lucas, Edward (2009). The New Cold War: How the Kremlin Menaces Both Russia and the West. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 307. ISBN 9780747596363. Castigated for the plight of Soviet Jews, they would complain with treacly sincerity about discrimination against American Blacks. (footnote: the accusation 'and you are lynching negroes' became a catchphrase epitomizing Soviet propaganda based on this principle.) 
  2. ^ (Russian) Стреляный, Анатолий (2001-03-28). "Ваши письма". Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 2015-11-26. 
  3. ^ Dobson, Michael (2011-06-11). "Pot, Meet Kettle (Fallacies, Part 3)". The Sideways Institute. 
  4. ^ (Russian)Shturman, Dora; Tiktin, Sergei (1985). "Sovetskii Soiuz v zerkale politicheskogo anekdota" (Soviet Union in the Mirror of the Political Joke). Overseas Publications Interchange Ltd. p. 58. ISBN 0-903868-62-8. 
  5. ^ (Czech) "Nepoučitelný Topolánek". Literally, "And, in turn, you beat up blacks!" 
  6. ^ (Hungarian)"A pragmatikus szocializmus évtizedei". 
  7. ^ (Polish)"Gdzie Murzynów biją albo racjonalizm na cenzurowanym". Literally, "And at your place, they beat up Negroes! 
  8. ^ (Romanian)Cazimir, Ștefan (2002). "Acordul de la Peleș". România Literară. Literally, "Yes, but you are lynching Negroes!