"And you are lynching Negroes
" (А у вас негров линчуют; literally but at your [place they are] lynching negroes
) is a phrase known in several Eastern European
and Southeast European
countries (see below) referring to the use of the rhetorical
device known as Tu quoque
("You, too") in political contexts.
The image of mobs in the United States lynching African American
citizens was a part of the scary image of the United States
propagated in the Soviet Union
The ironic usage of the phrase is traced to a Russian joke from the times of Nikita Khrushchev, about a dispute between an American and a Russian. There were several versions of them. A version dated by 1962 goes as follows: "The Voice of America asks the Soviet radio: 'Is it true that your shops are empty?' In three days the reply is given: And you are lynching negroes."
A similar ironic catch phrase is from a 1964 song by Soviet bard Yuri Vizbor: "And in the area of ballet, we are ahead of the whole planet!" ("А также в области балета мы впереди планеты всей".) The topic of the song is a dispute between a Soviet engineer and an "African prince".
Similar phrases are used in various languages of Eastern Europe, in different variants, often in reference to different jokes, albeit with the same idea.
- А што ви бијете црнце?
- A što vi radite crncima? (Literally, "And what do you do to Negroes?")
- A u was biją Murzynów! (Literally, "And at your place, they beat up Negroes!")
- A vy zase bijete černochy
- A vy zasa bijete černochov
- Amerikában (pedig) verik a négereket (Literally, "And in America, they are beating up negroes")
- А вие защо биете негрите? (Literally, "And why do you beat the Negroes?")
- I vi ubijate crnce.