Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Spain, staying racist.


  1. I am not patriotic but this is bullshit. It is true that are racist people in Spain but if you knew something about the recent history of Spain you wouldn't say that Spain is a racist country. Until 10 years ago there were very few foreigners in Spain. Now, Spain has become one of the countries with more inmigrants. People from Perú, Bolivia, Morocco, China or Senegal live here and most of them don't think that Spain is a racist country.

    So, please, try to read something more than the sport pages of the newspaper before saying that "Spain is racist".

    By the way. Ask a Senegalese whether he prefers to live in Korea or in Spain.

  2. "A rotten apple spoils the barrel" happens to be one of the proverbs that I take to heart everyday. I really have a hard time buying into your claim that the Spanish are not racist when your sports stars, who I'm sure are highly visible celebrities and popular idols to many, have no qualms about doing idiotic racist poses. What's even more ridiculous is that their government, let alone their respective sports federations, do not even feign shock by these actions or impose any kind of disciplinary actions. Until the Spanish government and people show the rest of the world otherwise, Spain IS racist as long as we keep running into these incidents.

    BTW, what the heck kind of argument is "Ask a Senegalese whether he prefers to live in Korea or in Spain"? No one here claims that the Korean government and its people are not guilty of racial discrimination. What, the more racist Koreans are the less racist the Spanish are? Is this what you're trying to say???

  3. No, I'm just trying to compare two developped countries. The more I know Korea, the more I valuate the integration of inmigrants in my country.

    You know what? Not only Spanish Goverment did nothing about that stupid photo. Chinese asociations supported the national team. Perhaps they are racist too because instead of judging a whole country for the f***ing sports headlines they valuate their experience in Spain. They do know that most of Spanish welcome people that go there to work, no matter what they eyes are.

    By the way: the picture was stupid, not racist. If the games took place in Iceland, they would appear like vikings. That's not racism, it's childish.

    Sorry, but as long as your knowledge of Spain is reduced to the Sports section of newspapers, I think you are not able to judge my country. Anyway, I assure you that most sports fans are as idiot as in the rest of the world. I freak out with supporters of Fernando Alonso: they are as happy when he wons as when Hamilton loses. But in daily life racism is not a social pattern or that's what I think.

  4. @whitard:

    In Korea, the number of immigrants is insignificant compared to countries like Spain. So it's hard to say how Koreans would react if confronted with a large influx of foreigners.

    If you want to indulge yourself in the subject there are several posts in this blog that discuss Korean racism. But replying to "Spain is racist!" with "So is Korea!" is childish, to say the least. The issue in discussion here is racism in Spain, not racism in Korea.

    You claim we can't say "Spain is racist" after reading nothing more than sports pages in newspapers. That's fair enough. Let's then assume that every stupid motherfucking shit done by sports fans in Spain, the players of the basketball national team, the players of the tennis national team and soccer coach Luis Aragonés was caused by some sort of mob mentality and it could have happened anywhere else.

    What about this, this, and this?

    Also, being from Brazil, I know how bad is the treatment given to Brazilian tourists by Spanish authorities. There are some links in Portuguese if you can read and understand the language.

    There are many other examples I could have used, including some stuff that happened to some Filipino friends in their visit to Spain, but I believe I already made my point.

    I'm not saying that Spain has the monopoly of racism in the world. Hate crimes and racist sports fans are everywhere (racism in soccer is very common in Europe). The problem I see with you Spaniards is that you do not acknowledge there is a problem.

    You, for instance, don't see that "slant eyes" pictures as derogatory to Asians. You even make a comparison about dressing in viking costumes if the Games were held in Iceland. Well, since when a viking costume has been used to mock Nordics? No, it's not offensive at all. Hey, there's even a team called Minnesota Vikings in the NFL. But do you think Asians get happy when you mock our appearance with that gesture? Have you ever heard of the Los Angeles Chinks? Or the Seattle Slant Eyes?

    So, whitard, do the opposite of what those basketball players did and open your eyes. Racism is a problem in Spain.

  5. Whitard,

    "By the way: the picture was stupid, not racist. If the games took place in Iceland, they would appear like vikings. That's not racism, it's childish."

    The picture WAS stupid because it WAS racist. And the fact that you cannot distinguish racism even when the rest of the civilized world does makes YOU (and those in Spain that share your views) racist and therefore stupid.

  6. BTW, simply donning a viking costume is in itself not a racist act. If the Spanish basketball team had simply donned a traditional Chinese costume as a friendly gesture, no one would have called them racist. It's the fact that your retarded brethren from the motherland made fun of a physical attribute of the Chinese that makes them racist. See the difference at all? I'm more than willing to see your point of view if you can substantiate it with solid evidence. Can you show me the links to newspaper columns and other articles that highlight Spain's attempt to fight racism and protect the immigrants currently living in Spain. Until you do so, I'll keep reading all these "f**king sports headlines." I am a sucker for evidence.

  7. Look. I seriously think that there must be some kind of misunderstanding here. I don't know: perhaps in other countries that gesture is considered very rude and people justy use it to mock at asiatics. Then, I would understand your position, but you must know that this gesture doesn't mean the same in Spanish.

    For me it's just childish. It's like if you, koreans, put black makeup to make a silly, but not necesarily offensive, joke about Spanish people because our is skin is more black. Or as if you put it fake big noses... Would it be racist? It could be, but that depends on the intention of the photo. That it's not always easy to know, but in this case I think it's clear.

    For me that photo has this exactly meaning: "We are a bunch of bumpkins who are still shoked when we see an asiatic guy on the street."

    Anyway, that was just a fucking stupid photo. It's not serious to judge a county for the behaviour of stars and sport fans. Then England, Grece, Italia and Spain would be the fucking hell. And as I tell you: chinese inmigrants haven't had any serious problem in Spain.

    The Brazillian issue was a diplomatical problem caused by a couple of idiots both in Madrid and Brasilia.

    If you want a link try this report from Pew Center. It's just about muslim inmigrants in Europe but it is shoking that some few months after the 11-M terrorist attack, Spanish people were the more receptive to muslim inmigration among the most advanced countries of Europe.

    But who cares about what 45 million people think when you can judge all of them just for the fucking words of Luis Aragones.

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  9. It is not upto you to decide whether or not your words or actions are offensive to another race and, therefore, racist. Don't presume to tell Asians not to be offended simply because you and your countrymen didn't mean any harm by it. Crap like that doesn't fly in civilized societies with educated people. Everytime you make stupid comments like "For me it's just childish" or ""We are a bunch of bumpkins who are still shoked when we see an asiatic guy on the street," I can't help but think that I'm trying to carry on an intelligent conversation with an ignorant bigot that comes from a socially retarded country. Racism IS stupid and childish. In this day and age of global community, why should you or anyone in your country be "shoked" to see an "asiatic" (It's ASIAN, by the way) guy anywhere??? I expect dumb kids to run up to me and give me the slanted-eye gesture, but I expect more from mature, semi-educated adults. The fact that you defend the words and actions of your people that still engage in these "childish" racist behavior speaks to me volumes about the pathetic state of racial relations in your homeland. I denounce racism anywhere: U.S., Korea, China, Spain, France, etc. Anywhere. I'm not singling out Spain as the epicenter of racism, but I've been running into way too many shocking articles and news regarding racism in your motherland to form a more favorable opinion. I'm still waiting for you to show me any evident to the contrary.

  10. @whitard:

    You know what's funny? Your comments in this thread actually do a lot more damage than good to the image of Spaniards.

    You may not be racist, but you are definitely ignorant and incapable of listening to other people's arguments.

    Here's hoping those 45 million are not like you.

  11. whitard,

    More than anything, the problem seems to be that you simply don't understand what is racist and what is not. The Korean thinks you will benefit from reading this discussion. Link

  12. IATIT,

    the Korean truly appreciates your input, but let's have a civil discussion and not make fun of the person based on his/her spelling, at least in cases when it seems pretty clear that English is not the person's first language. Otherwise, it's a fair game.

  13. Firstly, I don’t defend them. I think that the photo should have never been taken. I understand that you could be offended by the slanted-eye gesture and the company, the national team and the Government should have been more sensitive in that question.

    You are right when you say that it’s not my choice to decide whether my actions are offensive or not. In a global world a local campaign whose message is supposed to say “we are the national basket team and we go to China to try to win the gold medal” can be misunderstood and hurt the feelings of many people, especially when you do that childish photo. However, your position is extremist: you presume not only that the picture had the intention of deride all Asians, but also that racism is a common pattern in Spain.

    So, as you think that Spanish team was racist you give to Spanish people their own medicine? By the way you think, you should consider xenophobic to judge 45 million people by one fucking picture and by the behaviour of some sport fans and stupid stars.

    I understand that somebody can feel hurt by that photo. But if you are so sensitive about racial and social issues you should be equally worried about generalizations and stereotypes about countries.

    I don’t say that in Spain there is not racism. We can discuss that and perhaps I could share your view in some points. But what annoys me about this kind of posts is its superficiality. Really, man, there are lots of reports, polls and papers about the integration of immigrants in Spain and it’s not a picture in black and white (not sure if this expression exists in English).

    If you just see the photo of the team you may think that all the Spanish know about China is that people there have slanted-eyes. In this post, it seems that all you know about the Spanish attitude towards foreigners is what you see in that picture. Me? I consider both attitudes childish, but not racists. I don’t know you well enough to judge you and you don't know 45 million of Spaniards well enough to judge them.

    PS. Sorry about my English. By now I am too busy trying to learn some Korean, but I’ll try to write properly in the future.

  14. Whitard (and the Korean):

    I didn't mean to give you an impression that I was making fun of your grammar or spelling. I was just copying and pasting from your original post. As for correcting the word "asiatic," you may not have meant it but it's considered a derisive word to describe an Asian. Just had to correct you on that one.

    Having said this, I'm not generalizing that the entire Spanish population is racist. If I assumed so, I'd be a terrible bigot myself. What dumbfounds me is the lack of any disciplinary action from the respective governing bodies anytime there's an incident like these. This leads me to believe that the U.S., for all its shortcomings when it comes to dealing with racism, is still way ahead of other countries that I've always considered just as civilized as the U.S., if not more so. How I judge the severity of racism in any society is not by the actions of a foolish few, but by the reaction of the mass to those actions. If an entire squad of the Boston Celtics had posed with slanted eyes before flying to China for an exhibition match, Americans (both Asians and others) would react in a way that would compel the NBA and perhaps the U.S. government to denounce such action and discipline the perpetrators. As for the Spanish national basketball team and the others in question in this blog, I unfortunately have not read/heard anywhere that they've been reprimanded or disciplined in anyway. Hey, I'm always willing to be educated, so feel free to lead me to the sources that would make me think differently about the current racial relations in Spain.

  15. Well... Spain was the only continental Western European country that didn't go through a Renaissance or the Enlightenment Period... if that helps you understand.

    It's been downhill for them ever since the defeat of the Spanish Armada... let them vent.


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