Past Interviews

Ep 4: Teddy Talks about Race

Teddy had few “official” meetings in the USSR. A factory here. A collective farm there. Maybe a school or two. And there was one question Teddy’s hosts always asked: “Why are you still lynching Blacks?” American racism was a global issue during the Cold War. And pointing to it was a strike at America’s Achilles heel. Soviet media devoted a lot of time to the Civil Rights Movement. And Teddy arrived in the USSR just when Martin Luther King was assassinated. So, just what was this Soviet concern for American Blacks? Was it merely a whataboutism, a way to deflect American criticism of Soviet life? Or was there something more to it?