jeudi 27 août 2009

Racism in Europe: Polish shame

I'm afraid it's my dismal experience of many eastern Europeans (and Italians) that they are capable of a kind of crude racism that you might have found in Britain in the 'seventies, but which, hopefully, thankfully, as we become less parochial, is dying out.
I was reminded of this a couple of months ago on a Midland train between Sheffield and London, when the Polish tealady served me (white) nicely enough, but was frankly rude to a black lady at the next seat, making all kinds of problems about her change. The tealady's evident distaste for the position she had found herself in--serving a murzyn--was evident in her sneering manner, made all the cruder for her somewhat basic command of English. It was ugly.
More ugliness, this, from Microsoft Poland.
And an orthogonal, but valuable perspective (from UK football fans).
But what to do? One could google. An excellent page; but the measures described rely on having a minority culture to interact with. Hence the eastern/southern european hideousness, derived from their lifelong inhabitation of monoethnic cultures. Take a lot to break that; better get started.

Update 3/09/09: Another example of the phenomenon with illuminating discussion.

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