Europe and Racism

I’ve mentioned on more than a few occasions that Europe is grappling with issues of racism, which is something of a euphemism for “full fledged white supremacy movements.” What with my repeated references and the major role that this obviously plays on a cultural and political field, I figured it’s high time I actually break it down for ya.

The UK

You’d think that a nation that’s invaded all but 22 countries, maintained the largest empire of all time, and started multiple wars with underdeveloped nations to force them to buy drugs would be a bit more understanding when the people from those countries tried moving to the UK to build better lives for themselves. Instead, the flow of immigrants into Britain has resulted in a massive backlash from the “native” English (you know- the ones descended from Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Norman immigrants). United under the fear that the empty house next door might be rented out by a family with brown skin and funny accents instead of a family with white skin and funny accents, Britain has seen the rise of bigoted groups in both the forms of political parties, such as the “British Nationalist Party” [BNP], to straight up gangs of violent racist thugs, such as the self-proclaimed “English Defense League” or “EDL”. But hey- we’ve got similar problems across the pond- what’s the big deal (other than, you know, the attempts to turn Britain into a whites-only nation, through violence and intimidation if necessary)?

Well, back in 2009, the BNP’s chairman, Holocaust-denier Nick Griffin was elected, along with another fascist colleague, were elected to the European Parliament- something that would be on-par with a pair of leading members of the Klu Klux Klan being elected to the house of representatives.

But even with all that, Britain’s actually pretty decent- compared, at least, to its neighbor across the channel.

France

Although France has similar issues with flagrant racism in both its society and politics (former French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, who favored stripping citizenship from immigrants found guilty of committing crimes, received 18% in the 2012 elections), France has actually gone so far as to establish and enforce racist and bigoted laws. Between 2009 and 2010, France expelled nearly 20,000 Roma (gypsies) from France. Why? Because a 22 year old Roma had been killed fleeing from police after committing a number of crimes. France, you get that just because one young man does some bad stuff, not everyone who shares a rough similarity to his DNA or his lifestyle must be criminals, right?


Perhaps more famous than forcing tens of thousands of people out of a country because they were born to the wrong ethnicity is France’s law banning certain kinds of Islamic dress. Not religious dress, mind you- nuns still get to cover their heads, just not Muslim women.

Hungary

While the Roma find no more refuge in Hungary than they do in France (less, seeing as how neo Nazi gangs have murdered whole Roma families), one of the most notable new stories coming out of Hungary is that of Csanad Szegedi, a member of the fascist party Jobbik and, like Nick Griffin, a member of the European Parliament. In addition to his viciously anti-Roma stances, Szegedi has made something of a name for himself as a notorious anti-Semite. Fortunately for the world, however, Szegedi just recently discovered that his grandparents were victims of the Holocaust and (that’s right) he is himself actually Jewish. That’s got to be some of the most beautiful poetic irony you’ve seen in a long time, eh?

Germany

The last time a German chancellor declared the failure of multiculturalism, some pretty bad stuff happened- though it hasn’t stopped Angela Merkel from saying just that. Her party is calling for a halt to Arab and Turkish immigration (because **** those ethnicities in particular, I guess), and Merkel herself has declared (to quote The Guardian):

…the idea of people from different cultural backgrounds living happily “side by side” did not work.

See Angela, you’ve got it backwards. When I fail to offer my fellow man basic human courtesy and wind up fighting him because his language or clothes or customs differ from mine, the fault lies with me not with decency. Get it straight- multiculturalism didn’t fail Germany, Germany failed multiculturalism. Get your **** together.

Norway

There’s really no way of talking about racism in Europe without bringing up the awful 2011 Utoya Massacre, committed by madman Anders Brevik, attempting to combat the “Islamization” of Norway. Brevik (an atheist, by the way, proving that religious people don’t hold a monopoly on violence) is more representative of his nation than most of his countrymen might care to admit. Members of the Norwegian Parliament have, similar to Merkel, declared the failure of multiculturalism, and liken having to live near a non-European to “An ethnic and cultural self-annihilation….”

Switzerland

While I could go on to list the many, many sins of prejudice of each and every European country, I’ll be finishing up (for now) with Switzerland, who really take the cake in terms of outright racism. If the Swiss poster pictured on the left is any indication of the state the little Alpine country is in, I could say no more, but just for good measure, let’s go a bit further. Switzerland has passed a ban on building minarets (there being a whopping four in the whole country). Not all tall buildings, not religious structures- minarets specifically, showing again just how targeted and shameless this kind of repression of freedom of religion and free speech is. On top of that, a number of Swiss communities serving as asylum to refugees, rather than opening their arms to these people, are actually planning bans to prevent these refugees from using public pools, playgrounds, and other such areas. If this isn’t a play-by-play of American segregation, I don’t know what is.

Perhaps it’s the general demographic unity Europe’s had for so long, perhaps it’s just plain old evil. Whatever the source of this bigotry, it needs to stop. That this sentiment is tolerated, let alone the wholesale violence and yes, even murder perpetrated against those who happen to live or look just a little different than you- it’s psychotic. Europe, there’s no such thing as cultural uniformity. Get it through your heads. People are (oh horror of horrors) going to be different from you no matter what- you start trying to mandate some state-sanctioned “culture” and you not only cut off immigrants, but your own people as well. Different clothing, different values, different music, different food or art- all this goes flying out the window the moment you start cracking down on people for having the gall to be unique. For a continent that’s lead the world for so long in the evolution of art, cinema, and philosophy, you of all people should know better.

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8 responses to “Europe and Racism

  1. Nice Article. Its really a great article. We noticed your entire important points. Thanks

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