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RACISM AND XENOPHOBIA (France)
- Subject: RACISM AND XENOPHOBIA (France)
- From: cd@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 01 Apr 1997 15:59:00
hello, these two words sum up the problem here in france, these days,
and sociological studies further indicate that given french travel
habits (despite their fondness for burma, they remain one of the
populations in europe which travel least outside its own country,
preferring to remain, within, french borders, with french friends,
usually given a lifetime the same french persons, numbering less than
ten or so, and french families, in french residences). That is to say,
the French, while posturing a open international attitude, remain
distinctly french, caring little to adapt to nonfrench customs and
styles, and tend not to accept or integrate non-french into their closed
circles, unless, and after long assimilation, they agree to become,
decidedly, and distinctly french. that trend is more common today than
Hardly a very international attitude, in light of the continuing
decolonisation of the French state.
ds, in paris
> From: Dr U Ne Oo <uneoo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> /* posted 31 Mar 6:00am 1997 by drunoo@xxxxxxxxxxxx in igc:reg.burma */
> /* ------------------" Racism and Xenophobia "-------------------- */
> RACISM AND XENOPHOBIA (PP-58, The State of the World Refugees, 1993)
> "There are only 90,000 of them here but they are a disgusting and
> painful abscess on the body of our nation. An ethnic group without
> any culture, moral or religious ideals, a nomad mob only robbing
> and stealing. Dirty, full of lice, they occupy the streets and
> railway stations. Let them pack their dirty tatters and leave
> forever !"
> From a wall poster in Central Europe
> In some countries, incidents of criminal violence committed against
> asylum-seekers have risen by as much as 400 percent in the early 1990s.
> They cannot be treated as a marginal phenomenon. In too many countries it
> is no longer considered unacceptable for political leaders to publicly
> flaunt racist or xenophobic sentiments.
> Racial persecution is a major cause of refugee flight. The number of
> refugees around the world can be seen as a barometer of human intolerance.
> Ironically, these very refugee flows are today being cited as a cause of
> the new xenophobic trend. Racism, and the violence that goes with it, all
> too often haunt refugees even after they have found asylum.
> Equally disturbing, public hostility towards what is seen as an endless
> tide of immigrants has convinced policy makers in many industralized
> nations that their constituencies have reached saturation point. This has
> led many countries to adopt more restrictive approaches to asylum, sparking
> fears that the centuries-old tradition may be crumbling at a time when it
> is needed most.
> Germany has confronted its xenophobia problem more openly than most other
> nations. It recorded 4,587 attacks against foreigners in 1992, compared to
> 2,462 such incidents in 1991. The 1992 figure included 548 incidents or
> arson directed at accommodation centres for foreigners and asylum-seekers.
> Seventeen people died in racially motivated attacks. Anger at the sheer
> number of asylum-seekers - Germany found nearly 440,000 on its doorstep in
> 1992 - led to increased support for far-right fringe parties. An economy in
> recession and massive unemployment fuelled resentment over the generous
> benefits the state accords to those seeking sanctuary, the majority of whom
> are found, after lengthy legal proceedings to have no claim to refugee
> status. The animosity displayed by the extreme right reached such a high
> pitch that Japanese companies in Berlin began giving employees tips on how
> to dress and behave to ensure they would not be mistaken for Asian
> refugees. On the positive side, in an encouraging and heart-felt public
> expression of revulsion at the wave of xenophobia, hundreds of thousands of
> Germans have taken part in a series of massive demonstrations across the
> Germany is most often cited in treatise on xenophobia because of its
> high-profile public debate on the issue and its meticulous record keeping.
> But the problem of xenophobia is widespread throughout Europe and elsewhere.
> The Nordic countries, once considered bastions of tolerance, have not been
> spared xenophobic acts violence. Nor have Belgium or Switzerland. In
> France, a 1992 government survey found that 40 per cent of French people
> admitted they held racist sentiments, while 21.2 per cent characterized
> themselves "very racist". And in Japan, thousands of posters appeared in
> Tokyo in early 1993 urging fellow Japanese to "Get rid of the delinquent
> foreigners who are destroying our nation's culture, tradition and safety."
> The wall poster quoted above could have been found almost anywhere. The
> "ethnic group" it attacks could be one of a hundred. Distributed by the
> rising tide of racism and xenophobia, some governments had human rights
> organizations have joined hands with the media to counter-attack. There
> have been strong manifestations public disgust in response to the racial
> attacks in German and the Nordic countries. Several other nations have
> mounted public awareness campaigns aimed at confronting mounting
> xenophobia head on.
> A total of 76 organizations, including UNHCR, have participated in a
> Spanish campaign organized around the theme "Democracy is Equality". With
> financing from the Ministry of Social Affairs, the campaign used TV spots,
> full-page advertisements in national news-papers and subway posters to
> combat the ignorance that breeds racism. The campaign - which generated
> extensive public debate - with both controversial and courageous in that it
> used racist epithets to fight deep prejudices against refugees, immigrants,
> gypsies and all people of a different race.
> Media initiatives in other countries have included a message broadcast
> between commercials by a Netherlands TV station, which stated "If you too
> think that foreigners must leave the country, then we prefer to do without
> you as viewers of RTL4". Alsoin the Netherlands, RAdio 3, a rock-music
> radio station, launched a concerted campaign against racism and other forms
> of discrimination in early 1993.
> Elsewhere in the world, politicians and local media are often failing to
> combat - and in some cases actively fueling - rabble-rousing attempts to
> blame the ills of society on foreigners or minority groups. While it would
> be simplistic to claim that information campaigns like those cited above
> can, by themselves, cure such deeply ingrained problems as racism and
> xenophobia, they can certainly be useful in encouraging greater tolerance
> and positive humanitarian attitudes towards people in need.
> For the sake of society at large, including refugees and asylum-seekers, it
> is important that certain obvious messages - which are sometimes forgotten
> by the general public and politicians alike, particularly in the context of
> the immigration debate - are broadcast loud and clear. Foreigners do not
> cause economic decline. They do not invite racism. On the contrary, they
> are the principal victims.