Prejudice against Russians in USA?

I actually think that’s why Russian face prejudice. There are so few of them and they tend to (from what I’ve seen) isolate themselves. Basically, the lack of them and they’re desire not to assimalate is what causes the negative notions/behaviors about them (if there are any). Just from what I’ve seen, though.

Yakov Smirnoff always seems very chipper.

I dunno about the FOB thing. I just used it so, apparently some people still use the term. One of them was in America for a month, another for some unknown time, but all the rest came straight from Russia. All the guys I hired very limited ability to speak English. The first guy had previously worked for a consulting company in town so I was able to get a good local reference, and he spoke computer well enough for me to realize he was the best candidate by a long shot. All the subsequent guys were recommended by him.

I’m still curious as to where this Russian lived in the US.

Yeah, I wonder that, too.

There are certainly negative stereotypes about Russia and Russians today, as noted earlier, but I’ve noticed no particular anti-Russian prejudice these days myself.

It may just be me, but it seems like the broad Russian stereotype always has an “accent” that is really just poor English, like he does not speak it very well rather than simply having a strange pronunciation. Other nationalities like German or Mexican are often shown speaking properly (or at least as properly as a native English speaker), but pronoucing it differently. “Zis” for “this” for Germans or “joo” for “you” for Mexicans even though their phrasings are correct. So it seems like Russians are stereotyped as somewhat crude people when portrayed broadly. Doesn’t really match the great Russian literary tradition.

I see what you mean. :stuck_out_tongue:

A couple of my former housemate’s friends were Russian, very nice people who liked to party. Several of my dad’s colleagues and grad/post-doc students are Russian, also very nice people.
My neighbors across the street are both Russian and they’re wonderful friends.

I’ve certainly never had any bad views of any of them.

I’ve worked with Russian women on several occasions. Most, I’ve had no problem with. A couple of them offered little humor and little patience, like some others I have worked with but they were intelligent, capable and produced good work. No partying and vodka for them.

I did once meet a Russian engineer who was very frustrated with the US. He held 2 doctorates and 3 master’s degrees and could not figure out why he couldn’t get hired. He was sure it was discrimination. No, his job-hunting network said, your resume is intimidating. Try not to mention all your education. He is working in his field and teaching college last I heard. I hope he is doing well.

Mrs. Slug, who grew up in Russia, doesn’t feel like she is discriminated against. She just hates getting questions about every possible Russian sterotype.

She is actually the only person I know who openly discriminates against Russians. Doesn’t want to deal with any Russian medical professional because she thinks they’re incompetent. Wouldn’t deal with a Russian lawyer or banker because she doesn’t trust them. Doesn’t matter that some of those people have likely lived in the States longer than she has.

I think this is the root of the issue. People look at Russians and think the mindsets are kinda-sorta liberal democratic Europeanish, and they are not. They come from authoritarian societies and their world view is VERY different from ours. They like our economic freedoms, but a number of them have serious reservations about western society in general.

More anecdote …

I work with and am friends with a couple of unrelated Russian women. They’re in their 30s & 40s; born there and came over here as kids shortly after the Soviet Union came unglued. Their husbands are both ordinary 'Merkins.

They seem mostly like native-born Americans with an accent. Scratch a little deeper & you see they’re from a different cultural baseline as noted by others above. Different, but not much off-putting to typical 'Merkin tastes / expectations. I doubt they perceive any discrimination against themselves.

Their parents however, all fell from grace. Now aged 60-something, they were in their 30s when they emigrated. Each had a pretty nice high-status job in the Soviet Union. Medical doctor, professor, climbing middle manager, etc. They’ve all been reduced to doing low-end jobs; retail or factory, etc. I don’t know the parents well enough to say for sure, but my co-workers tell me the parents feel pretty mistreated by reality here.

Is it prejudice? Do they think it’s prejudice? My guesses ares “Yes, a little.” and Yes, a lot." The fact they don’t speak English well at all certainly doesn’t help.

I’ve known some older Russians that had mild persecution complexes, but because they grew up in Soviet Russia, not because they were being discriminated against here. I got the feeling they left Russian when Communism fell, lest they end up on the wrong end of a firing squad. This was also a dozen years ago, they’ve hopefully mellowed out some.

Uh, LSLGuy, you know what a merkin is, right?

Yes I do. 'Merkin as short for American has been one of the SDMB in-jokes for several years now. You see quite a few people here use it. I think most folks who use it get the joke. But you never know for sure with some people.

I see that at least some in the reading audience don’t get it.

It never even crossed my mind until reading this thread that Russians could be discriminated against. I only know one Russian guy, though, so I guess my opinion doesn’t matter much.

Round here, there are Russian gangs that steal things like air bags and catalytic converters from cars. There are also lots of Russian immigrant-owned shady auto repair places. I went to one and the guy assured me that they would be putting in “new oil” which I thought was funny, because it never occurred to me that someone would even think of putting in old oil. Russians seem to have a very abrupt manner. I’m sure it’s just a cultural thing, but it stands out in Portland which is so low key. That said, it’s not the sort of thing that carries over to someone just because they have a Russian name, it’s more directed at recent immigrants who are not yet assimilated.

I wouldn’t have gotten it save for the apostrophe.

There is as much prejudice to Russians in the US as there is to other ethnic groups. If someone doesn’t know a lot of Russians, and sees a Russian do something strange here (but customary in Russia), then they’ll naturally be put off.

It’s hard for me to describe how I feel about Russians, since there are many different types of Russians. Some are stupid drunks. Some are assholes. A startling number of them are racist. But many others are the most kindest and smartest people I know.

Since I spend a lot of time thinking about this, I’ll do my best to clear up some of the stereotypes against Russian people. I was born in what’s now Belarus, but I grew up in the US since I was three years old.

Are all Russians Criminals? No. But Russians do have less respect for the rule of law than Americans do. That’s because they lived in a country where all the laws were designed to screw them over, and to enrich government officials. The only way to run a successful business in Russia is by bribing government officials or by breaking the law.

A defense attorney once told me that every once in a while they would get a Russian arrested for bribing the police. He had to explain to the prosecutors that they did nothing wrong because that is how a ticket gets paid in Russia.

That’s why you might see Russians disproportionately engaging in insurance fraud. I’ve had less insurance problems with Russian doctors because I suspect they ignore most insurance regulations. If you are ever having red tape problems with your insurance, I suggest you see a friendly Russian doctor.

Are Russians all drunks? No, but drinking is ingrained in our culture a lot more than it is in America. Most Russian food is designed to go along with vodka as well. This means there is less of a stigma to drinking, and no one will bat an eyelash if you start drinking at a party.

If you think Russians drink a lot, then you have to understand that most of it is done responsibly. My parents never had a problem with me drinking at parties. But they would definitely say something if I started drinking alone, or if I was drinking and driving. Whenever my parents would go to a party, they never drove back home by themselves. They either took a cab, or I was on call to pick them up.

Are Russians racist? Unfortunately, a lot are. There is no diversity in Russia. They just haven’t had the same amount of practice dealing with different ethnic groups as other nationalities have.

Grab bag of other Russian oddities. Russians don’t have the same business grace that Americans do. The service industry in Russia is incredibly rude compared to what it is in America. Everyone expects the customer to know exactly what to do, and you don’t, then they’ll make fun of you. I stopped going to a Russian pharmacy because of this. The pharmacist at the American pharmacy down the block was just so much nicer.

Religion was outlawed in the USSR. That’s why you might find that Russians believe in all sorts of weird nonsense. They’re just replacing the void that was left by organized religion.

Russians don’t smile because life is hard. A lot of Americans smile on default, no matter how bad things are. Russians believe you have to earn a smile. I remember one of my Russian friends telling me that only idiots smile when there is nothing to smile about. It’s a different perspective.

It’s not just SDMB. It’s been in common use in many other places, for quite a while before I joined.

Two doctorates? Are the doctorates the equivalent of US ones in terms of time spent and function?