Confronting European Racism


That Europe has jumped to the Right and the Far Right is no longer a matter of debate. Each day sees a a new and closer ‘solution’ to the ‘problem’ of the rejected, the unwanted, the ‘other’ and those variously described as not belonging to Europe. To use an Apartheid term: the Non-Europeans. Each day sees a more outrageous ‘debate’ on what needs to be done to ‘the outsiders’, much of it, more at home in Nazi Germany of the 1930-40s than in the Europe of 2016. History is about to repeat itself, just 70 years on!

No wishful thinking is going to make that disappear. It is here. It is very real and in our faces: threatening, crude and setting up its message in neon lights. It is a message that we dare not ignore. If we do, we could be the victims of ‘the final solution’. Quite simply this means our annihilation in the name of a ‘Caucasian racial purity’, exactly what Hitler did!

There are those who wish the banning of Muslims from having children in Denmark for the next four years, to those like Donald (Duck) Trump who advocates the banning of Muslims entering the USA and the building of a new US Wall of shame to keep out Hispanics/Latinos. The Chinese Great Wall did not succeed thousands of years ago; what makes the Trump brigade believe that in the age of technology that they will succeed? Ask the Romans of more than 2000 years ago, of their failed attempt to keep out the ancestors of the present Europeans/Americans! Yes, they were the Barbarians of the time. Remember the Vandals, the Franks, the Visigoths, the Huns and the Vikings smashing down the walls of Roman civilization?

The European Neo-Nazi movement is a reality. Wishful thinking is not going to make them disappear. The Internet and social media has made it easier for these for peddlers of racial arrogance and bigotry to form linkages stretching from South Africa, the USA/Canada, Argentina and the whole of Europe. They have a common agenda. Remember the Norwegian, Anders Brevik who murdered over 70 of his fellow citizens and his reasons for doing so? Remember the teenage killer of the worshipers in Atlanta, USA? Remember Barend Strejdom, the killer of black South Africans in the 1990s in Pretoria? There are a host of other similar acts of unmitigated hatred. More recent are the spate of killings of black Americans by police across the USA. What are we to make of all of this? Just random killings? Racist judicial killings, or an unwillingness to recognize and accept black humanity?

This is a call for united action across Europe/USA/UK of all those who are excluded, discriminated against and made to feel the outsider, the ‘other’.

I was inspired by the philosophy of South African Black Consciousness leader, Steve Biko who was murdered by the Apartheid Gestapo-like police in 1977. He forcefully articulated the call for struggle in the late 1960s against the abomination of white supremacy, through a unity of those who were discriminated against on the basis of race/colour. His powerful message was explicit: You are not discriminated because you are African, Coloured or Indian. You are discriminated because you are not white.

Now let us extend Biko’s thinking to the present. You are not discriminated against because you are Syrian, Iraqi, Somalian, Turkish, Indian, Bangladeshi, Afghan, Armenian, South African, Sudanese (or more). The bigotry stretches from Sicily, Italy, the northern side of the Mediterranean, and across the whole of Europe, no matter whether you see it as East or West Europe. You are discriminated against because you represent a threat on so many levels.

  • You are not perceived as Caucasian.

  • You are not of the Judaeo-Christian faith. Even if you are such as Ethiopians of Jewish faith in Israel, you will be excluded and the women sterilized.

  • Your colour is not ‘right’ and is therefore unacceptable. I presume ‘right’ is Nordic, Aryan, blond and blue eyed as the Fuhrer suggested.

  • You are perceived as uneducated and simplistic

  • You are prepared to work for slave wages in ungodly conditions.

  • You are too different to be integrated/assimilated into European culture.

  • You are most likely an Islamic terrorist.

  • You represent a sexual threat to the European male, based on the myth of persons of colour being more well endowed and far more sexually active.

  • That you are more likely prone to stealing/fraud.

  • That you do not ‘belong’ here.

    (Perhaps we need to ask: Did you ‘belong’ or had any moral conviction when you enslaved, colonised, indentured, bombed us into submission?)

Biko advocated a coming together of the various peoples who shared a discriminatory existence, so as to form a united front against a common adversary. Individual acts of heroism/bravery were fine as expressions of non-compliance, but failed to dent the monolith of unbridled racism.

His solution was for a coming together of all persons who were marginalized, discriminated and excluded so as to speak with a united, powerful voice. A voice that said: No more! Enough is enough. You have NO right to determine my destiny at any level.

This is exactly my call. Let us unite in the face of the accelerating fascism and Neo-Nazism. The Far Right is organising itself as never before. The present racist contexts are appropriate for the casting off of their masks. It is time for the formation of a European-wide secretariat, with branches in every country. Let us understand and accept that unity is power.

We need to respond with a greater unity right across Europe, the USA, the UK and wherever the horror of Apartheid rears its inhuman head.

Prithiraj Dullay Author, academic, columnist, human rights and environmental activist. Currently based in Denmark.


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