Tag Archives: anti-Roma

What To Do About Racist Political Groups?

A democracy inevitably confronts the issue of handling extremists who employ the media to spread hatred and fear of minorities, those who they seek to demonize, and the unknown in all its manifestations. People in the Czech Republic have been subjected to propaganda from racist political parties which seek to use the presence of a Roma minority as their wedge to secure support from the general populace. A recent poll reveals three fourths of the Czech people support the ban of all parties that use racist slogans in their election campaign. A recent anti-Roma video was used by the National Party in its quest for votes and even included a statement about “the final solution to the Roma question” which could have come from any Nazi statement concerning that group.

Over two-thirds of the population supports the request of the Interior Minister to seek a court order to dissolve the National Party. The Czech Radio has refused to play certain statements by the National Party. A strict adherence to democracy would argue the National Party has a right to be racist. Are there times when society has the right to halt speech? We believe there is a difference between “speech” and “action.” Any person has a right to utter words, but no one has the right to instigate violent action against other members of society.

Annual Riot Season In Hungary

It is September and time for a riot in Hungary by neo-Nazis thugs who oppose the democratic nature of their nation. Several days ago, racist and anti-government slogans, shoes, and tear gas filled the air of Budapest as right wing groups clashed with forces of democracy and the government. The occasion was a protest by Roma organizations and that of the Democratic Charta which was directed against forces of racism in their society. The peaceful rally was addressed by government leaders like the prime minister and several founders of the “original” Democratic Charta which took part in the early fight for a democratic Hungary. Even as these groups peacefully expressed their view, right wing groups began assaulting the police and trying to damage a Soviet era memorial. This resulted in violence and the arrest of several people.

Hungary has never been able to reconcile a part of its past when there existed both a communist group and a Fascist group both of which helped to shape the emergence of a modern Hungary. The Soviet Union imposed a horrible era upon the people of Hungary, but it was also the force which ended the Fascist government which then ruled the nation and had allied with Hitler. Perhaps, it is time to confront the past and deal with all its pain in a more directed focus on education.