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Posts Tagged ‘Racism in Europe’

Racism is a global issue and I believe that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”, and shall be treated in that way. And what is reported in media these days are disturbing news. It seems like a storm of racism and xenophobia is blowing through Europe in this time. It seems like World War II and nazism is completely forgotten. But this time it’s not the jews which are the main target of the racism, but the Romani people. In WWII the Romanis were marked for extermination and sentenced to forced labor and imprisonment in concentration camps. But as we know the Jews were the main target. And the thing that made the extermination of certain ethnic groups was the wind of racism which blew through Europe at that time as it does today. But today it’s not Antisemitism but Antiziganism that is going on. Today Romanis often live in ghettos and in low-class areas and sometimes sets up camps to live in. Many people see them as thieves and social parasites and they are often targets of police brutality.

The closest news may be the reports that French authorities demolished at least 51 illegal Roma camps and began the process of repatriating their residents to their countries of origin. But this is not the first time it happens. In the early 1990s, Germany deported tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to Eastern Europe. Sixty percent of some 100,000 Romanian nationals deported under a 1992 treaty were Romani.  In Northern Ireland an anti-racist rally in the city on 15 June, 2009 to support Romani rights was attacked by youths chanting neo-Nazi slogans.

One of these issues seems to be that the Romani Camps are illegal in most of the European countries. And why that is, I can’t answer. Maybe one reason could be Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame which is having a strong, genocidal hatred picture of gypsies in the Disney’s animated adaptation of the story.

In my own country, Sweden which for a few days ago had an election where one new party called the Sweden Democrats were elected into the parliament. They were founded in 1988 and is a Swedish political party that describes itself as a nationalist movement. It has its roots in the nazi movement but was split up in two different party’s during late 90’s. The famous Swedish botanic researcher Carl Von-Linné (Carl Linnaeus) was also a pioneer in race-biology field. He divided humans to races and related behavioural patterns and claimed blacks are lazy and slow while Europeans are innovative and smart. Sweden was also the first country in the world to open an institute for race-biology research in the Swedish town of Uppsala. The institute recommended the sterilization by force of the mentally ill, physically disabled, homosexuals and ethnic minorities, which was allowed by Swedish law until 1975.

This all makes me embarrassed to be Swedish and European.

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