Sunday, July 13, 2008

Racism in Europe...will we see it in the US too?

America has a problem with racism. It isn't institutional, but we have yet to achieve Martin Luther King's dream that "little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

However, we are hardly unique. Back in June, the Swiss held a referendum to decide on citizenship by secret ballot. If it had passed, neighbors would have voted by secret ballot on a citizenship applications. An applicant could be rejected for citizenship with no explanation and no recourse for appeal. It was designed specifically to discriminate against recent immigrants (often dark skinned or speaking a different language). Wisely, the Swiss did reject the new citizenship rule.

I know that much will be made of racist claims against Obama, but imagine if any of these posters were ever published by the Democratic or Republican Parties.

UPDATED: In the comments, DC Nemesis asked about the popular support of the two parties below. The Swiss People's Party has grown in support "with the further rise in support from 27% in 2003 to 29% in the 2007 election (62 out of the 200 seats)" and the Lega Nord won 8.3% of the total vote in in the 2008 general election and that was the third highest vote total. Wikipedia adds that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi "is dependent on the Northern League [Lega Nord] for his majorities in both houses of parliament."

A poster used by the Swiss People's Party during this referendum
Translation: Inevitably, who is the last one? For your rights to home, work
and health. Vote Lega Nord (Italian political party)
For more security - Swiss People's Party
On the left: They had immediate immigration and now they live on a reserve.
On the right: Grow Padano with the Lega Nord against the Roman thieves