October 14, 2007

"We Own the Night"

I haven't seen this new crime thriller flick with Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix about the NYPD battling all the "Russian mafia" crack importers who operated in the Outer Boroughs in 1988, but for anybody who has seen it, here's a question: Does the movie ever explain how all these Russian immigrants got to New York City by 1988 to set up their own mafia? Wasn't it kind of hard to get out of Russia back then? I vaguely recall there was a Berlin Fence or something like that and it not coming down until 1989. There are a lot of articles on Google News about the movie being about "Russian" mobsters, but I haven't found any that see fit to explain this little conundrum.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

22 comments:

brooklyn boy said...

We had open immagration for russian jews starting in the 70's. This was actually a really good policy, because we gained a ton of scientist and engineers. Letting in high achieving groups should be our model for future immegration. Like other immegratnt groups that came before them they created a little mafia. These people growing up in that soviet hell-hole were more brutal then anyone could expect.

Anonymous said...

The Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which went into effect in January of 1975?

tommy said...

Two words: Russian Jews.

tommy said...

In case that was too vague. This should make it a little clearer.

beowulf said...

"a large percentage of the Russian mobsters were Soviet Jews who immigrated to the United States, chiefly to the Brighton Beach area, in the 1970s.

Ironically, whereas President Jimmy Carter thought he was championing human rights by supporting the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which withheld most-favoured-nation status from socialist countries that restricted Jewish emigration, he was actually welcoming in hardened criminals the Kremlin was only too happy to purge from the USSR.

Lacking access to immigrants' criminal records, United States immigration officials even now continue to allow citizens from Eastern Europe and Eurasia with shady backgrounds to settle in the United States.

http://tinyurl.com/38uvoh

tommy said...

The Jewish Virtual Encyclopedia has an article on Jewish gangsters The article claims no one should condone the behavior of these men but the article is chalk full of "buts," "howevers," "althoughs," and "despites."

Toward the beginning of the article:

There are few excuses for the behavior of Jewish gangsters in the 1920s and 1930s. [But don't worry, we'll try and excuse 'em anyway.] The best known Jewish gangsters – Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, Longy Zwillman, Moe Dalitz — were involved in the numbers rackets, illegal drug dealing, prostitution, gambling and loan sharking. They were not nice men. During the rise of American Nazism in the 1930s and when Israel was being founded between 1945 and 1948, however, they proved staunch defenders of the Jewish people.

Few of these men were religiously observant. [Jewishness is a religion not a race, you see? At least when we want it to be that way - when we don't, then it isn't.] They rarely attended services, although they did support congregations financially. They did not keep kosher or send their children to day schools. However, at crucial moments they protected other Jews, in America and around the world [mostly from harmless fascist emulators in the U.S.].


The end of the article:

No one should paint gangsters as heroes. They committed acts of great evil.....[s]ome have observed that, despite their disreputable behavior, they could be good to their people, too.

The article is essentially a celebration of Jewish thugs trying to silence a bunch of obnoxious but otherwise harmless Nazi wannabes through violence. The best line of the article:

Berman took the microphone and announced, "This is a warning. Anybody who says anything against Jews gets the same treatment. Only next time it will be worse."

Can I get that on a t-shrit?

One of my ex-girlfriends was a Hungarian Jew. Her older brother had been a member of one of the Russian mob's Eastern European satellite organizations and was serving a long prison sentence for a murder back in her home country.

Anonymous said...

Richard Perle: It all started in the Spring of Nineteen Seventy-two, when the Soviet Regime imposed a prohibitive tax on immigration. It affected principally Jewish immigration, but it was aimed at all immigrants, and the tax was so high that nobody could afford to pay it, and it looked as though they were about to close the door on the trickle of immigration that had been permitted, and Scoop looked around for some way to counter this. At about that time, Richard Nixon had proposed a new trading arrangement with the Soviet Union in which, among other things, the Soviets would be accorded what used to be called “Most Favored Nation Status.” That is to say their products would be treated as well as the products of our closest friends and allies.
Ben Wattenberg: And most every country has most favored nation status?
Richard Perle: Most countries did, but very few Communist countries. In fact, at that point non at all. So Scoop got behind the idea of an amendment, which I had the privilege of actually drafting, that said to the Soviet Union if you want most favored nation status, you have to let people immigrate. Scoop believed that immigration was in some ways the most powerful of all the human rights because if people could vote with their feet, governments would have to acknowledge that and governments would have to make for their citizens a life that would keep them there. If you can imprison people you can do anything, but if people have the right to leave, you’d have to create a decent society, so that was the seminal human right for Scoop. And this legislation which ultimately passed, well, it was the first time I think in history that the United States or any other country had made its trading relationship contingent upon adherence to a fundamental human right.

source:
http://www.pbs.org/thinktank/transcript1017.html

essex said...

There were lots of Russians in NYC before 1991. When I moved to the city in 1990, Brighton Beach was already known as "Little Odessa" because it was so heavily Russified (and Ukrainified, although at the time non-Ukrainians didn't make much of a distinction). Every day on the F train from Park Slope to Manhattan, I saw people reading the local Russian newspaper. Just the fact that there WAS a local Russian newspaper tells you that there was a significant population of Russians in the city.

On the other hand, I THINK - and hopefully someone else can confirm this - that many, if not most, of the Russians and Ukrainians in New York before 1991 were Jewish refugees, as opposed to ethnic Russians or Ukrainians.

On the third hand, Greenpoint at the time was full of recent (and young) Polish immigrants who were definitely not Jewish - there not being many Jews left in Poland after 1945 ... so apparently it wasn't impossible to get out of Iron Curtain countries even before the fall of the USSR.

Anonymous said...

Could it have been the unintentional result of efforts on the part of the Jewish community in the US to aid 'Soviet Jewry'? My understanding is that while much of the Russian Mob is goy, it probably wouldn't have been too difficult for a significant number of non-jews to pose as jews and expatriate along with them.

Anonymous said...

"When groups such as the far right-wing, ultranationalist Pamyat started publicly propagating anti-Semitism, beginning around 1988, hundreds of thousands of Jews started clamoring to leave Russia. In early 1990, more than ten thousand were leaving Russia monthly" - Jewish Virtual Library

Anonymous said...

Anon says:


Richard Perle: It all started in the Spring of Nineteen Seventy-two, when the Soviet Regime imposed a prohibitive tax on immigration. It affected principally Jewish immigration, but it was aimed at all immigrants


You mean, gasp, that the Soviet Union wanted to tax the few morons who wanted to migrate to the USSR?

Wow, no wonder the USSR fell apart.

Taxing emigrants would have been a better strategy. (One month later, they hit upon "The Other Other Operation." In this, the victim was threatened that if he didn't pay them, they would beat him up. This, for the Piranha brothers, was the turning point.)

Bill said...

There was a network between Russian Jews and American Jews in existence at the time. When I visited Russia in 1987, one of the Jewish girls on the trip with us got stopped at customs for carrying illicit correspondence of some sort. There was even an article in the local paper about it that made a big issue over her discomfort over being held accountable for smuggling. Something about "refuseniks" if I remember correctly, but it seemed to me at the time that these "refuseniks" were treated with kid gloves compared to other Soviets, and the article cast an unduly negative blot on an otherwise positive student exchange.

Frankly, I wasn't too impressed by her; we'd all agreed to follow the law, and for the most part we did, despite plenty of opportunities to take advantage of artificial exchange rates and all. But maybe, because I was only 12 at the time, I was more obedient than I would have been otherwise.

In a funny aside, my 14-year-old roommate and I chased out a Caucasian thief when he entered our hotel room in Leningrad and tried to steal a walkman. Previously, my roommate was a high-school senior Jewish kid who locked me out on the balcony when he went to a party next door. I scaled the outside of the hotel in Tashkent, 8 floors up, and reappeared on the balcony of the partiers. When my cruel roommate saw me he was quite alarmed and chewed me out for not remaining out on the 8th floor balcony where he'd locked me.

I would never have the guts to do anything like that today!

To date the incident, we watched "Platoon" in a movie theater in Helsinki before coming home. It had just been released.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else notice that Hollywood seems to be going back into the past in order to avoid presenting drama with our modern diversity?

I mean how many movies can be based on the pre-nineties when our cities were still relatively white that have not already been done? If Hollywood wanted to make documeturary-worthy dramas, they'd have to have only half a white (and/or Jewish) cast these days for a film set in most metropolitan areas. Here we have another Irish cop vehicle much like Scorcese's latest. The Italian mafia is a mere shell of its former self. New York hasn't looked like many movies that are staged there in quite some time. You'd think that would-be gritty Hollywood would be "down-with" that.

Anonymous said...

Anon-- there is the big-budget Russell Crowe -- Denzel Washington crime drama (Crowe plays the honest cop taking down crime boss Washington).

But yes point taken. Perhaps it will change as more Black actors want to play villains after Training Day.

quo vadis scipio said...

Does anyone else notice that Hollywood seems to be going back into the past in order to avoid presenting drama with our modern diversity?

...sounds like you've identified an underserved market niche. why don't you set up a production company and make dramas that exclusively feature "modern diversity" casting? because a little birdie told me that films and tv shows with darker skinned casts make all the big money in latin america india asia and europe. and since the usa is morphing into a latin american country that should be where future fortunes are made domestically also. go for it, dude.

You'd think that would-be gritty Hollywood would be "down-with" that.

...i'm with you. i can't wait to get whitey off the screen. on the other hand 2007 hollywood box office receipts are boffo. so maybe the revolution is not quite here yet.

damn.

Anonymous said...

" I scaled the outside of the hotel in Tashkent, 8 floors up, and reappeared on the balcony of the partiers. "

Interesting, bill, are you any relation to Spider Man?

Anonymous said...

Good job of parsing that dangereous Jewish Virtual Encyclopedia, tommy. Just think of all the harm they're speading with their mild in-group bias. And all the harmless Nazi wannabes who have suffered! I mean, why would Jews have anything against Nazi wannabes!

Anonymous said...

And Steve, you might want to add a *nudge nudge wink wink* to this blog entry.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. It took me quite a while to catch on to the "russian Mafia" when it first made its appearance.

Needless to say, I never would have understood if I only had access to mainstream media.

L'Emmerdeur said...

Let me guess, the movie never once mentions them as "Russian Jewish mobsters" but only as "Russian mobsters".

For some reason, the low-quality, high-crime emigres of Russian Jewish descent who came here in the 1970s and 1980s get a remarkable pass on bad behavior like no other immigrant group (Jewish and non-Jewish alike) in U.S. history.

I don't believe it is some Zionist conspiracy, though. I just think the U.S. did not want to admit what a huge mistake Carter made in allowing the Russians (and Cubans, by the way) to export all their murderers, rapists and thieves to us. These immigrants were supposed to be a shining example of the oppressed people we wanted to liberate. For every pianist or scientist, we got twenty thugs.

Anonymous said...

Both the Soviets and anti-communists had an incentive to protray escape as an "outrun the guardtower fire" type of thing, but particularly if you were crime inclined and connected to the underground economy, getting out of the USSR probably wasn't all that hard. I had a friend from Poland who just paid his way onto a commercial ship and was let out into freedom back in the late 70s. Apparently, too many people did this to make any sort of penalty or reprisal feasible. A corruptible bureaucracy, a large border, enterprising underground economy types ready to traffic you...

DCThrowback said...

The main Russian bad guy in the movie wears a Star of David, fyi. Mark Wahlberg's character makes a comment about him being "unable to make up his mind."