What is racism?

Sat 18 March 2017

With relation to the current affair of kids running on their father on live BBC News there was discussion on our the internal email list of my employer. This is one side comment I made there:

[…] Yes, it is a wrong idea, slightly racist, perhaps, but these thoughts happen.

(Someday I'd like to ask each person what they mean by the word "racist" when they use it … but I'll let you off since it's Friday. :-)

What is racism?

Well, I am Czech and given the effort of others and our own [1], Czechia is one of the most nationally pure countries in Europe. Therefore, we usually fancy ourselves not having problem with racism (“How can we be racists, when there is nobody else than us here?”)

I also grew up in the two-family house with my uncle and aunt’s family, both of which had two sons, so only two women in the whole house were my mom and my aunt.

When I started my post-grad studies in the University of San Francisco School of Law, the most challenging course we had was the Contract Law (thus, promissory estoppel). I was very much ashamed when I found out that I was very surprised that by far the brightest student in the class had been a young Black lady. Yes, for both reasons, that she is a lady and that she is Black.

So, yes, racism is in my opinion using stereotypes of group of people and applying them on individuals (and strengthening such stereotypes). When I believe that girls or Black people cannot be smart, or that Gypsies/Roma (that is the closest equivalent of Blacks in the Central and Eastern Europe) are all lazy and steal. When the article in the Czech newspapers has headline “Gypsy man stole something” (that’s the strengthening part). Or here, that White English professor cannot have Asian lady as anything more than a nanny.

And not funny thing is how much this relying on stereotypes is widespread in this nation, which still believes has no problem with racism. Almost word by word same story as my Black lady in the Contract class I heard from our former Head Rabbi of Czechia, except for him it was a black Jewish student of the Hebrew class (he was forced to emigrate to Israel before 1989). One would expect that somebody who converts to Judaism would be immune. Oh well.

[1]I don’t know how much you know about this. There were 13 million inhabitants of Czechoslovakia before the Second World War, 3 million of them were Germans. Mostly all of them were expelled from here. German colonizers were living in the area of the current Czechia since the twelfth or thirteenth century.

Category: faith Tagged: politics racism

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Láska nebo strach. Vyberte si.

Tue 07 March 2017

Dan Drápal napsal do dnešních (7. února) Lidových novin velice hezký článek „Co chybí Junckerovým scénářům.“ V zásadě mi nezbývá, nežli s ním souhlasit, ale přece jenom bych rád přičinil několik poznámek na jeho okraj.

Jednak je asi třeba zdůraznit, že je velice dobře, že nějaká Bílá kniha vůbec vznikla …

Category: faith Tagged: blogComment czech politics EU

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Nezlořeč králi

Mon 16 January 2017

(původně psáno jako odpověď příteli na podzim 2016, ještě před zvolením pana Trumpa za amerického prezidenta)

V poslední době mnoho lidí zlořečilo zvláště v Praze panu presidentu Miloši Zemanovi. A to nikoliv v soukromí, ale na veřejných shromážděních.

Dovol mi abych se k tomuhle vyslovil, protože si myslím, že tohle …

Category: faith Tagged: czech politics cultureWar Bible

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Missing socialism

Wed 09 November 2016

While listening to the Decline of the West episode I was told about this quotation when John Steinbeck was supposed to describe the political landscape of the US 1930s’:

I guess the trouble was that we didn’t have any self-admitted proletarians. Everyone was a temporarily embarrassed capitalist.

—John Steinbeck …

Category: faith Tagged: politics socialism trump

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The Age of Irresponsibility

Wed 19 October 2016

I was listening to the story on BBC how the British pensioners are forced by the fear of Brexit to move from Spain back to UK, because they are afraid Spanish government would stop paying them their pension when (and if) UK leaves EU. And that’s just because two …

Category: faith Tagged: politics

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Tož tu Evropu už máme, teď potřebujeme ještě nějaké Evropany

Sun 03 July 2016

V tomto okamžiku to vypadá, že absolutně všichni obyvatelé planety Země, zejména pokud žijí někde v blízkosti Evropy, cítí potřebu se vyslovit k příčinám, následkům a všemu možnému ohledně vystoupení Spojeného (zatím :)) Království z Evropské unie. Vzhledem k tomu, že jsem sám spíše zmaten nežli co jiného z celé situace …

Category: faith Tagged: euro EU politics blogComment czech

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Paní Hagenová a právo azylu

Thu 26 September 2013

(odpověď na diskusi na Facebooku)

Nejprve technická poznámka k dlouhým komentářům na Facebooku. Psát je v tomhle okénku Facebooku je utrpení (navíc není možné vložit konec řádku), lepší je to napsat vedle v nějakém normálním textovém editoru a pak copy & paste. Nebo ještě lépší je udělat to, co dělám tady …

Category: faith Tagged: politics

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Odpověď Danu Drápalovi

Wed 18 September 2013

(veřejná odpověď jako reakce na jeho článek)

Ahoj, Dane,

strávil jsem teď pozdněvečerní chvíli čtením Tvých článků duchovních i politických a chtěl bych Ti moc poděkovat. Většina mi jich moc potěšila a i když se vším nesouhlasím na 100 %, tak jsem musel s překvapením konstatovat, že mám pocit, že se …

Category: faith Tagged: czech politics

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