Tag Archives: racism

A Pakistan Immigrant–In Racist Free Sweden?

Nabeel Shehzad, a Palistani engineer, immigrated to Sweden for education and to enjoy what he believed was life in a nation that did not discriminate against those who were different. Here is what he wrote in The Local about his life in Sweden:

“As long as you are a student, you normally mix with international or Swedish students, which itself is a wonderful experience. You normally don’t find discrimination of any kind, probably because your spectrum is not that broad, and you normally don’t meet many working class Swedish people. But once you complete your studies you look for a job and it is from this point on tht you start to see a different side of the picture.” (he obtained a job and moved)

“I soon found that looking for accomodation became a never ending quest. People were willing to rent out their apartments to me as I was earning good money. Everything was fine unless they actually met me and got to kow that I was an immigrant. Then I got the big, no.” (He discovered in Gothenburg most apartment offers were in areas where immigrants lived).

“Then there is discrimination in everyday life. Whenever an immigrant sits on a bus or tram and leaves on empty seat next to him, I have found that the probability of a Swedish person sitting next to him/her is almost zero. When the bus gets absolutely full, most people would prefer to stand than sit next to an immigrant. It’s almost like they think we stink of rotten fish…I am not saying there is nothing good in Sweden. In fact, most things are absolutely wonderful. The system works superbly, but the behavior of Swedish people is really strange.”

Racism On Rise In Lithuania

There is increasing evidence racist attacks are growing in many areas in Lithuania. The Indian singer, Bemeen, who works in the area has encountered examples of people using expressions such as “nigger” in order to describe him or his colleagues. This week, a gang assualted Bemeen, who is black, resulting in a beating that sent her to the hospital. The singer who performs in Lithuania and on local TV notes: “You cannot escape such people because they are everywhere. I worked hard in nine months and I do not plan to run from somebody calling me a ‘nigger.’ This was the first attack of such in my life. I have forgotten things like this. I kow this happens in all parts of the world, not only in Lithuania, but also London, South Africa, America. But it is totally different when it happens in a small country like this.”

Official figures indicate there has been a rise in such attacks, but they still number fewer than fifty nationwide. Obviously, one such incident is one too many, but until the numbers of black skinned people rise in the Baltic nations, these attacks will remain local in nature.

Racist Firing Of Person Of Color– White, That Is

Karen Butler-Lynch worked at a homeless shelter whose clientele mainly consisted of black skinned people. After six years of being evaluated as an excellent worker, Mr. Lynch was fired by the executive director, Roz Roach, who informed her that a white skinned person could not understand issues confronting people of color. Ontario Superior Court Justice Gloria Klowak blasted the firing as ill-conceived and essentially entailed personality conflicts rather than racism. She awarded Ms. Lynch $28,000 in severance pay. Defence lawyer Selwyn Peters was shocked by the decision. “Obviously the judge didn’t get the racist element. I don’t think she understood conceptually the stuff about racism and what racism is and what racism means.”

I beg to differ with the Peter comment. Judge Klowak understands the meaning of racism. A person was fired because of her skin color, that is racism. Ms. Roach claims Ms. Lynch doesn’t understand what it means to be a person of color. I believe Ms. Lynch fully understands how it feels to be told you are fired because of the color of your skin. Unfortunately, neither Peters nor Roach have any understanding of the conceptual meaning of prejudice. Prejudice and hatred have been directed against people whose skin was white as well as against those whose religion differed from that of the majority. Racism knows no skin color, it only knows bigoted minds.

Racial Bigotry In Coast Guard Denounced

The head of the United States Coast guard vigorously denounced examples of racial bigotry that were discovered this summer at the US Coast Guard Academy and on west coast bases. Allen made it clear to everyone that “anybody that is involved in putting symbols of racism in anybody’s workplace or personal equipment, in my view, that is conduct unbecoming to an officer.” Although these incidents occurred the past summer, the Coast Guard made no announcement and it was not until newspaper and other media sources reported the incidents would anyone confirm what had happened. An investigation has been conducted, but no perpetrator discovered.

Historically, the Coast Guard has been the slowest military branch to deal with racism. The failure to vigorously investigate the incidents when they happened simply adds to feelings of many African Americans that senior commanders are not serious in dealing with racism.