I had the pleasure of being reminded today of the thoughtful organization and website, Russia: Other Points of View.
When I was fresh out of highschool I had two opportunities to visit the Soviet Union. This was an incredible, eye-opening experience.
I grew up in the anxious time of the Cold War between East and West. It was a period colored by a black fear of looming cataclysm. I knew that the world's leaders were playing a terribly dangerous game, and I was sick with anxiety with imagining the end of this beautiful world of ours. I realize now how my youthful nightmares were colored by after-images of the devastation of WWII in Europe, and the shock of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that resonated for decades afterward. How vividly my childhood was affected by fear of something even more catastrophic, and seemingly imminent.
It is a hard history, and this does not make a gentle bear. But I can personally affirm that the way western media has portrayed Russia from the Soviet Era to the present, is embarrassingly slanted. Russia to this day fails to allow honest, open-eyed reportage and critique. But what is our excuse, in the "free" west? Why is our media coverage still so hostile, disrespectful and skewed? Are we so married to the model of "us and them" that we cannot get beyond the knee-jerk reactivity of Cold War days? Those days are long over, to my great relief. I am grateful to Sharon Tennison and the good people behind Russia: Other Points of View for offering an other more rational platform for discourse.