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Switzerland - Land Of Chocolate, Cuckoo Clocks, And Bigotry

AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
edited February 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
The Swiss have just proven that it's not just Americans who can discriminate against minorities via referendum.

Specifically, the right wing Swiss People's Party managed to get voted in a referendum that will ban the construction of minarets (Islamic prayer call towers) within the nation. Of course, carillon containing steeples on Christian churches are A-OK. Yeah, to say this is fucked up is putting it mildly. I guess the Swiss aren't really all that big on that whole "religious freedom" thing - then again, we're talking about a nation that has anti-Semitism issues relating to having to give back all of that blood money they stole.

But, this does give further insight to the reason that Europe has an issue with radicalization of their minority subsets, and the US doesn't. While there's been disturbing trends in popular culture here to demonize and persecute Arabs, they still have the protections of the Constitution. Furthermore, thanks to our jus solis birthright laws, families that immigrate here have an easy route to assimilation. The result is that minorities here become enmeshed in the societal structure, and gain a stake in the US.

In Europe, though, governments seem determined to actively write into law the othering of the Muslim minorities in their borders. Actions like this Swiss referendum or French attempts to ban hijab show an inherent hostility to their Muslim population. And the fact that these are governmental actions...well, that's not going to endear the government to these minorities. Finally, Muslim immigrant workers and refugees aren't given any way to become citizens of the countries they're in, nor are their families. The result is a resentful minority with few ties to the country they reside in - a fertile ground for radicalization.

EDIT: Holy fuck:

capt.961e4f9b1fb94bafb49af410a7aa3298.switzerland_minaret_ban_che403.jpg

Those are posters for the ban.

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    shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    You seen the "quality" posters for the pro-ban side?
    http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Swiss-People-Party-Switzerland-Geneva2C-Switzerland/photo//091127/481/961e4f9b1fb94bafb49af410a7aa3298//s%3a%2fap/20091127/ap_on_re_eu/eu_switzerland_minaret_ban

    The xenophobia in the campaign was so blatant, it was sickening.

    Direct Democracy: It never works

    shryke on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    shryke wrote: »
    You seen the "quality" posters for the pro-ban side?
    http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Swiss-People-Party-Switzerland-Geneva2C-Switzerland/photo//091127/481/961e4f9b1fb94bafb49af410a7aa3298//s%3a%2fap/20091127/ap_on_re_eu/eu_switzerland_minaret_ban

    The xenophobia in the campaign was so blatant, it was sickening.

    Direct Democracy: It never works

    It's interesting, most of the drafters of the constitution felt that democracy was something to be dreaded rather than encouraged. The word "democracy" was even used by conservatives to smear political opponents.

    Loren Michael on
    a7iea7nzewtq.jpg
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    yotesyotes Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I would like to apologize on behalf of the 42.5% of Swiss people who are going to be stuck in a permanent facepalm for the rest of the week. I never thought it would pass. Preliminary polls had support for the ban at less than 40 percent leading up to the vote, I don't understand what happened.

    yotes on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    And Tyler Cowen sez:

    I have a few points:

    1. Sooner or later an open referendum process will get even a very smart, well-educated country into trouble.

    2. Given that the referendum came up, it was wise to root for its defeat. The victory of the referendum is a symbol that prejudice can now advance a step.

    3. That said, was there not some other way to sidestep this dilemma? Washington D.C. doesn't allow tall buildings to compete with the Washington Monument, yet no one considers that a restriction on political freedom (though it may be a bad idea for economic reasons). The Swiss cantons could have done the same for their town churches. Note that a restriction on a minaret is not a restriction on a mosque.

    4. I favor greater Muslim immigration into the United States and I think Muslim emigration to Europe is working better than most people think. I am happy to see that Switzerland has become a more cosmopolitan society, in large part by taking in more emigrants, including Muslims. Nonetheless, call me old-fashioned, but I don't think a Swiss town center should look like the photograph above. I guess the Swiss don't either.

    5. I also don't have any problem with Mecca limiting the size of Christian churches in that town, or say if an American billionaire wanted to build a really big cross there. (Oddly Dubai allows it.)

    6. The United States is special and thus it allows a very, very large mosque not so far from Bowling Green, Ohio. I am pleased we have the sort of polity which makes this possible, but I also recognize many other countries cannot inhabit this same political space.

    7. The overall lesson is that knowing how and when to defuse an issue is one very large part of political wisdom. The Swiss usually pass this test but this time they failed it.

    Loren Michael on
    a7iea7nzewtq.jpg
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    dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    yotes wrote: »
    I would like to apologize on behalf of the 42.5% of Swiss people who are going to be stuck in a permanent facepalm for the rest of the week. I never thought it would pass. Preliminary polls had support for the ban at less than 40 percent leading up to the vote, I don't understand what happened.

    this is what happens when you people get comfortable with the lead and decide not to show up to the polls

    see: prop 8 in CA

    dlinfiniti on
    AAAAA!!! PLAAAYGUUU!!!!
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    yotesyotes Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The Swiss People's Party (SVP/UDC) is just so very good with fear, the GOP should take lessons. Here's a perspective, not in the least an exhaustive exposition, on their recent fearmongering.

    1) This is what the other parties have done for us.
    2) Stop the manipulation of popular initiatives (by whom, I'm not sure! Probably ACORN). Unsurprisingly, the ones highlighted are ones that the SVP lost.
    3) Against "Mass naturalization". They're against naturalization because if all the people who are not Swiss citizens but have lived there for 15+ years or were born in Switzerland but to non-native parents (birth does not guarantee citizenship, it's complicated) had an easier path, they couldn't trot out the 22% IMMIGRANTS scare tactics anymore.
    4) Supporting the deportation of "criminal immigrants". It's just a coincidence that the sheep that's getting kicked out is dark-skinned. We just ran out of white paint, guys, we're not racists at all! "My home, our Switzerland" at the bottom is a nice touch as well.
    5) Fear of the EU. Solid foundation of independence bordering on xenophobia through 700+ years of history. Somewhat excusable, I guess.
    6) Tax fearmongering. A 1.7% (I think that was it) raise in VAT will destroy jobs, ruin our country and somehow cripple pensions (which IIRC are partly funded by the VAT but hey!).
    plakat.jpg

    I am struggling to find a way to defend any part of the SVP's agenda or tactics but there's no point. Get your hate on!

    yotes on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Interestingly one of the minarets got pink paint thrown at it. Which is like, fair enough.

    Leitner on
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    RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    dlinfiniti wrote: »
    yotes wrote: »
    I would like to apologize on behalf of the 42.5% of Swiss people who are going to be stuck in a permanent facepalm for the rest of the week. I never thought it would pass. Preliminary polls had support for the ban at less than 40 percent leading up to the vote, I don't understand what happened.

    this is what happens when you people get comfortable with the lead and decide not to show up to the polls

    see: prop 8 in CA

    Yeah, this was my understanding: The Right campaigned hard for this ban, while the Left just scoffed at the Lunacy of it and didn't really do much to persuade people not to vote for it.

    DISCLAIMER: A lot of what I'm about to say is based off my experiences with the Hiberno-Britannic viewpoint, and if I've got it horribly wrong for Continental Europe, I apologise.

    I think stuff like this, along with the French banning of headscarves, is symptomatic of a fear of change in Western Europe. The perception is that these new minorities with radically different cultures are coming over here, and they'll end up eroding and usurping what the natives see as their National Identity and what the country stands for. With horror stories like honour killings and forcing people back to their homeland for arranged marriages, the natives shun them and end up supporting stuff like the Minaret ban. The immigrants feel shunned and resent this, relations between communities become strained and polarized, and we risk creating no-go areas for one group or the other.

    So what is the solution? I'm not sure. Would the best solution be to encourage immigrants to embrace their adopted homeland's identity, while encouraging the natives to get to know their neighbours a little more?

    RMS Oceanic on
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    KastanjKastanj __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2009
    I think different cultures are completely uncontroversial as long as we are talking aesthetics, architecture and depoliticized religious expressions. Those kind of changes should be tolerated, because there will be no willy-nilly arbitration. The problems begin when people give newcomers either unwarranted flak or unwarranted slack. It really makes no sense, and doesn't help anyone.

    As long as there is no annoying chanting from the minarets (I am quite averse to loud talking or noisemakers in general) I think they are completely unassuming. The ban is a counter-productive, vulgar, childish and ineffective statement against some of the less humble, less good-faith and less secular Muslims (because those are the people we are talking about) in Switzerland and the rest of Europe. It's a weak and emotional measure.

    Kastanj on
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    SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The image of the posters in the OP really doesn't do them justice. Note shifty eyes under the burqa.

    SVP%20anti-minaret%20poster.jpg

    Suriko on
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    enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    This is older, from a previous election. But the SVP really has a way with posters.
    1339641587_43216466d1.jpg

    While I'm naturally opposed to nonsense like these bans, it does beg the question:

    How do various Muslim countries regulate (or not) the construction of Christian bell towers?

    enc0re on
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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    enc0re wrote: »
    While I'm naturally opposed to nonsense like these bans, it does beg the question:

    How do various Muslim countries regulate (or not) the construction of Christian bell towers?

    While I don't like it in Muslim countries either, that's probably something you'd have to expect in theocracies.

    KalTorak on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Can someone translate the posters for us? I can pick up on the imagery just fine, but curious minds beg.

    I'm kinda excited that this got banned. Not because I support it, but because of what the reaction could accomplish.This is pretty fucking big; will the Muslim community come out and be all "seriously guys, what the fuck did we do to you? Yea there are some wackos out there really fucking up a lot of shit, and thats not cool, but come on! I thought we were cool!" or will they just say "fuck it, I don't even care any more"?
    Will... will America get blamed for this somehow?

    Improvolone on
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    LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The cheering thing about the Swiss decision to ban minarets is that it demonstrates the idiocy of referendums. What should have been dealt with as a series of local planning decisions turned into a fierce national debate in which only two responses were permitted: either you could vote with the right, some feminists and parts of the left to outlaw minarets in Switzerland, or you could vote with a coalition of government ministers, business leaders and churches to allow them. If you want to make a statement that you don't like conspicuous religious symbols of any sort, Muslim, Christian or anything else, but also dislike the notion of one group being singled out, how on earth would you have voted? I'm sure this conundrum influenced at least some of the 47% of the Swiss electorate who didn't use their vote, producing a relatively low turnout by Swiss standards.

    In the aftermath of the referendum, Swiss politicians are expressing astonishment and dismay over the decision, no doubt with an eye on trade relations with countries with Muslim majorities. They don't seem to have grasped that an argument about ideas has been displaced onto inanimate objects, which is why something most Swiss rarely see in their everyday lives – there are only four mosques with minarets in Switzerland – has become such a contested issue. I don't doubt that some people voted for the ban for racist reasons, but damning them all as "Islamophobes" is an attempt to suppress entirely reasonable arguments about the role of religion in secular modern societies. Tariq Ramadan doesn't use the word in his polemic but he does claim without qualification that "voters were drawn to the cause by a manipulative appeal to popular fears and emotions". Corralling a wide range of people, many of whom disagree profoundly with each other, under one great Islamophobic umbrella is a familiar tactic but it's not conducive to civilised discussion. If the debate about the powers demanded and enjoyed by religion – all of them, not just Islam – pops up in distorted forms in European countries, it is as much the responsibility of religious apologists such as Ramadan as it is the racist right.

    Switzerland is by tradition a Christian country, but many of its citizens are secular in outlook and the church has lost much of its influence over everyday life. The UK I grew up in was (and is) nominally Christian but I never believed in God and made a point of challenging Christian attitudes to gay people and women who had sex outside marriage. Bizarrely, people like me have no place in the current debate about the role of religion in public life, where we are excluded by another false choice: uncritically welcoming Islam or being accused of joining forces with the BNP. This is ridiculous, absurd and a slur on a great number of decent people, but it's what happens when humane principles which challenge a set of ideologies –which is what "faith" is to non-believers – are regularly caricatured as racism.

    Any notion of universal human rights recognises the right of individuals to practise their religion, but that isn't incompatible with believing that religion is divisive and seeks to exercise unelected power. (Look at last week's revelations about the way in which the Catholic church in Ireland protected priests who abused children for decades.) If you take that position, it's perfectly reasonable to believe that public displays of religious symbols should be kept to a minimum, whether they take the form of crucifixes or hijabs. As Ian Traynor reports in today's Guardian, the proposed ban on minarets in Switzerland received "substantial support on the left and among secularists worried about the status of women in Islamic cultures". In other words, the referendum was a proxy for a much wider argument which doesn't divide easily into "for" and "against" camps. Somewhere in all this noisy rhetoric of racists and religious apologists, the reasonable voice of secularism urgently needs to be heard.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/nov/30/switzerland-minaret-ban-islam

    Sums up my feelings.

    Leitner on
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    wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    This is the sort of thing I point to whenever Europeans criticize the US for the status of race relations in our country. I can't read those posters, but I can certainly infer what they're getting at from the pictures. Shit like that wouldn't fly here except for the with the racist fringe and teabaggers. We're not perfect, but Europe is hardly in a position to criticize anyone about race relations

    wwtMask on
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    LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    wwtMask wrote: »
    This is the sort of thing I point to whenever Europeans criticize the US for the status of race relations in our country. I can't read those posters, but I can certainly infer what they're getting at from the pictures. Shit like that wouldn't fly here except for the with the racist fringe and teabaggers. We're not perfect, but Europe is hardly in a position to criticize anyone about race relations

    Europe is a fairly large place shockingly enough. I hear they have differing views and levels of racism.

    Leitner on
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    zerg rushzerg rush Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    French attempts to ban hijab

    I thought the hijab was invented relatively recently as a means to demean and control women? How would banning it be any different than how American cities ban gang colors or Germany bans Nazi symbolism?

    Plus, didn't the French law ban all religious symbols? Perhaps it's my atheist bias, but what little I know of it sounds equal. It shouldn't be a problem unless there's unequal enforcement going on, and in that case people should be complaining about the enforcement, not the law.

    zerg rush on
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    wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Leitner wrote: »
    wwtMask wrote: »
    This is the sort of thing I point to whenever Europeans criticize the US for the status of race relations in our country. I can't read those posters, but I can certainly infer what they're getting at from the pictures. Shit like that wouldn't fly here except for the with the racist fringe and teabaggers. We're not perfect, but Europe is hardly in a position to criticize anyone about race relations

    Europe is a fairly large place shockingly enough. I hear they have differing views and levels of racism.

    Yeah, no kidding. The same goes for the United States, but you'd be surprised at how often I've heard our entire country lambasted for racism that takes place in a small corner of the nation. I've been openly targeted or discriminated against because of my race maybe 3 times in my life here in America. It's happened to me once in the two times I've visited Europe. To be fair though, it was Russia.

    wwtMask on
    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
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    Dis'Dis' Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Suriko wrote: »
    The image of the posters in the OP really doesn't do them justice. Note shifty eyes under the burqa.

    http://www.islamophobia-watch.com/storage/SVP%20anti-minaret%20poster.jpg

    Its funny* that there are more minarets in that poster than there are in the whole of Switzerland (there are 4 apparently).
    I think stuff like this, along with the French banning of headscarves, is symptomatic of a fear of change in Western Europe.

    The French thing is somewhat different and tied up in a) their super-secular policies that descend from the anti-clericism of the 19th century and early 20th century (when the government was essentially battling the Catholic Church for control of the education system) - yarmulkes, Sikh turbans, and excessive Christian symbols** are also not allowed. As well as b) the historic insistance that Cosmopolitian French is the only type of French person you should be (see the marginalisation of Bretons, Gallo, and Occitan) - the pressure to assimilate to an 'ideal citizen' is much much stronger than in most European countries, and rather than fear of ethnic identity loss that smaller countries have its a civic-based anger that the immigrants aren't upholding their end of the contract.

    *Not actually funny.
    **If you have a cross on a necklace you have to keep it under your clothes and so on.

    Dis' on
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    thisisntwallythisisntwally Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Leitner wrote: »
    wwtMask wrote: »
    This is the sort of thing I point to whenever Europeans criticize the US for the status of race relations in our country. I can't read those posters, but I can certainly infer what they're getting at from the pictures. Shit like that wouldn't fly here except for the with the racist fringe and teabaggers. We're not perfect, but Europe is hardly in a position to criticize anyone about race relations

    Europe is a fairly large place shockingly enough. I hear they have differing views and levels of racism.

    I think his point was, so is the US. I have always observed just as much racist shit, no matter which side of the pond I was on. The only thing I might say is that Europeans tend to be a little more upfront in speaking about their racism, whereas it seems to fall into the US's polite company cracks along with religion and politics (perhaps they're related?).

    This is some clearly racist shit going on in CH, but it fails to wow me. I guess suppressing religion is bad, but most religions seem so set on suppressing the others and consider their holier than thou opinions infallible. I can't seem to summon up much pity for the plight of the hypocrites...

    thisisntwally on
    #someshit
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    LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    wwtMask wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    wwtMask wrote: »
    This is the sort of thing I point to whenever Europeans criticize the US for the status of race relations in our country. I can't read those posters, but I can certainly infer what they're getting at from the pictures. Shit like that wouldn't fly here except for the with the racist fringe and teabaggers. We're not perfect, but Europe is hardly in a position to criticize anyone about race relations

    Europe is a fairly large place shockingly enough. I hear they have differing views and levels of racism.

    Yeah, no kidding. The same goes for the United States, but you'd be surprised at how often I've heard our entire country lambasted for racism that takes place in a small corner of the nation. I've been openly targeted or discriminated against because of my race maybe 3 times in my life here in America. It's happened to me once in the two times I've visited Europe. To be fair though, it was Russia.

    Except not only does Europe have three times the population, it has a history going back thousands of years, and is composed of currently around fifty self governing countries at the moment. This makes any comparison of the two, or talk of europe as a cohesive whole rather silly.

    Leitner on
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    Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak is it because you were insulted when I insulted your hair?Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Fun fact, just yesterday I discovered that the state where I live in (Carinthia) has had a similiar law for more then 2 years now. Yeah, I'm not exactly in the position to complain about Switzerland.

    Alfred J. Kwak on
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    Dis'Dis' Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    wwtMask wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    wwtMask wrote: »
    This is the sort of thing I point to whenever Europeans criticize the US for the status of race relations in our country. I can't read those posters, but I can certainly infer what they're getting at from the pictures. Shit like that wouldn't fly here except for the with the racist fringe and teabaggers. We're not perfect, but Europe is hardly in a position to criticize anyone about race relations

    Europe is a fairly large place shockingly enough. I hear they have differing views and levels of racism.

    Yeah, no kidding. The same goes for the United States, but you'd be surprised at how often I've heard our entire country lambasted for racism that takes place in a small corner of the nation. I've been openly targeted or discriminated against because of my race maybe 3 times in my life here in America. It's happened to me once in the two times I've visited Europe. To be fair though, it was Russia.

    Well the thing is the less racist countries of Europe can't really do anything about the more racist ones becuase of the whole 'national sovereignty thing' whilst each individual American can make a slight difference, thanks to the democracy(tm) thing the world keeps hearing about. Also a national narrative of American exceptionalism means it gets held to a higher standard than elsewhere.

    Russia is its own whole mess of problems and when people discuss 'Europe's politics/society' it's almost never intended to include Russia as well.

    Dis' on
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    thisisntwallythisisntwally Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Fun fact, just yesterday I discovered that the state where I live in (Carinthia) has had a similiar law for more then 2 years now. Yeah, I'm not exactly in the position to complain about Switzerland.

    It was interesting, the austrian i knew informed me that it was considered impolite to ask about austria's involvement in ww2 just SECONDS before i was going to ask him. DAMN. we were doing a project comparing austrian culture to that of the US.

    He painted austria as such a generally progressive place, I am a little surprised to hear about such a law.

    then again... hitler? anyone?

    thisisntwally on
    #someshit
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    YallYall Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    If this was scientology I doubt we'd see any outrage. I'm having trouble mustering any myself.

    Yall on
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    wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Dis' wrote: »
    wwtMask wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    wwtMask wrote: »
    This is the sort of thing I point to whenever Europeans criticize the US for the status of race relations in our country. I can't read those posters, but I can certainly infer what they're getting at from the pictures. Shit like that wouldn't fly here except for the with the racist fringe and teabaggers. We're not perfect, but Europe is hardly in a position to criticize anyone about race relations

    Europe is a fairly large place shockingly enough. I hear they have differing views and levels of racism.

    Yeah, no kidding. The same goes for the United States, but you'd be surprised at how often I've heard our entire country lambasted for racism that takes place in a small corner of the nation. I've been openly targeted or discriminated against because of my race maybe 3 times in my life here in America. It's happened to me once in the two times I've visited Europe. To be fair though, it was Russia.

    Well the thing is the less racist countries of Europe can't really do anything about the more racist ones becuase of the whole 'national sovereignty thing' whilst each individual American can make a slight difference, thanks to the democracy(tm) thing the world keeps hearing about. Also a national narrative of American exceptionalism means it gets held to a higher standard than elsewhere.

    Russia is its own whole mess of problems and when people discuss 'Europe's politics/society' it's almost never intended to include Russia as well.

    You'd be hard pressed to find something like this making it into law in the United States. Hell, no one with any sense would propose such a law and the referendum would fail because it's clearly not constitutional. Also, you guys really don't know how shit works here. I and other Floridians have pretty much no control over what people in Montana want to do with their state and local laws. Oh, and American exceptionalism doesn't mean that Europeans can't be held to a high moral standard. Insert adage about glass houses and throwing stones.

    wwtMask on
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    thisisntwallythisisntwally Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Leitner wrote: »
    wwtMask wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    wwtMask wrote: »
    This is the sort of thing I point to whenever Europeans criticize the US for the status of race relations in our country. I can't read those posters, but I can certainly infer what they're getting at from the pictures. Shit like that wouldn't fly here except for the with the racist fringe and teabaggers. We're not perfect, but Europe is hardly in a position to criticize anyone about race relations

    Europe is a fairly large place shockingly enough. I hear they have differing views and levels of racism.

    Yeah, no kidding. The same goes for the United States, but you'd be surprised at how often I've heard our entire country lambasted for racism that takes place in a small corner of the nation. I've been openly targeted or discriminated against because of my race maybe 3 times in my life here in America. It's happened to me once in the two times I've visited Europe. To be fair though, it was Russia.

    Except not only does Europe have three times the population, it has a history going back thousands of years, and is composed of currently around fifty self governing countries at the moment. This makes any comparison of the two, or talk of europe as a cohesive whole rather silly.

    Europe's racism is varied, historic and cultured, why should they be expected to do anything about it?

    The fact that you have extra history and language barriers are the only real differences I see.
    LoLdemocracy is fairly universal. I mean, some of you european types use that right?

    Why is European Racism in say Switzerland or Austria any different from American Racism in Georgia or Texas?

    thisisntwally on
    #someshit
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    LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Europe's racism is varied, historic and cultured, why should they be expected to do anything about it?

    The fact that you have extra history and language barriers are the only real differences I see.
    LoLdemocracy is fairly universal. I mean, some of you european types use that right?

    Why is European Racism in say Switzerland or Austria any different from American Racism in Georgia or Texas?

    Can I hold the USA culpable for what happens in the Americas? That's basically what you're asking. At some point you have to draw the line and it seems 'self governing country' is a fair line. My point was Europe varies so greatly in a way that the States honestly don't at the end of the day. 'But different states are like worlds apart' is akin to me going 'look at Birmingham, they're barely human, you can't judge me a Londoner by their standards!'. Which is to an extent true, but doesn't work on a worldwide scale.

    Leitner on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    wwtMask wrote: »
    Dis' wrote: »
    wwtMask wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    wwtMask wrote: »
    This is the sort of thing I point to whenever Europeans criticize the US for the status of race relations in our country. I can't read those posters, but I can certainly infer what they're getting at from the pictures. Shit like that wouldn't fly here except for the with the racist fringe and teabaggers. We're not perfect, but Europe is hardly in a position to criticize anyone about race relations

    Europe is a fairly large place shockingly enough. I hear they have differing views and levels of racism.

    Yeah, no kidding. The same goes for the United States, but you'd be surprised at how often I've heard our entire country lambasted for racism that takes place in a small corner of the nation. I've been openly targeted or discriminated against because of my race maybe 3 times in my life here in America. It's happened to me once in the two times I've visited Europe. To be fair though, it was Russia.

    Well the thing is the less racist countries of Europe can't really do anything about the more racist ones becuase of the whole 'national sovereignty thing' whilst each individual American can make a slight difference, thanks to the democracy(tm) thing the world keeps hearing about. Also a national narrative of American exceptionalism means it gets held to a higher standard than elsewhere.

    Russia is its own whole mess of problems and when people discuss 'Europe's politics/society' it's almost never intended to include Russia as well.

    You'd be hard pressed to find something like this making it into law in the United States. Hell, no one with any sense would propose such a law and the referendum would fail because it's clearly not constitutional. Also, you guys really don't know how shit works here. I and other Floridians have pretty much no control over what people in Montana want to do with their state and local laws. Oh, and American exceptionalism doesn't mean that Europeans can't be held to a high moral standard. Insert adage about glass houses and throwing stones.

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    thisisntwallythisisntwally Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Leitner wrote: »
    Europe's racism is varied, historic and cultured, why should they be expected to do anything about it?

    The fact that you have extra history and language barriers are the only real differences I see.
    LoLdemocracy is fairly universal. I mean, some of you european types use that right?

    Why is European Racism in say Switzerland or Austria any different from American Racism in Georgia or Texas?

    Can I hold the USA culpable for what happens in the Americas? That's basically what you're asking. At some point you have to draw the line and it seems 'self governing country' is a fair line. My point was Europe varies so greatly in a way that the States honestly don't at the end of the day. 'But different states are like worlds apart' is akin to me going 'look at Birmingham, they're barely human, you can't judge me a Londoner by their standards!'. Which is to an extent true, but doesn't work on a worldwide scale.

    I hold US culpable for nearly as much of what goes on in the americas as what goes on within its borders. I do not claim to be impressed by the US either.

    My point is that your cultural variety in no way exonerates europeans from combating dangerous social issues. you guys are just as bad about this shit.

    thisisntwally on
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    FiarynFiaryn Omnicidal Madman Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Can't we all get along and agree that people in both Europe and the US can be completely terrible in their own unique, special snowflake terrible ways that most of us have absolutely no control over?

    Isn't that the true meaning of Christmas?

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    BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited December 2009
    I don't think anyone is talking about being exonerated from combating dangerous social issues, just that there is a vast difference between talking about Europe as though it's one entity and America as if it's one entity.

    Bogart on
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    thisisntwallythisisntwally Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Bogart wrote: »
    I don't think anyone is talking about being exonerated from combating dangerous social issues, just that there is a vast difference between talking about Europe as though it's one entity and America as if it's one entity.

    and thats why its ok for europeans to criticize racism in the states, but not the other way around?

    so england can criticize swiss racism?

    oregon can criticize alabamian racism?

    Europe can criticize US racism?

    But the US can't criticize racism in Europe? because we be different, yo?

    thisisntwally on
    #someshit
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    LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I hold US culpable for nearly as much of what goes on in the americas as what goes on within its borders. I do not claim to be impressed by the US either.

    My point is that your cultural variety in no way exonerates europeans from combating dangerous social issues. you guys are just as bad about this shit.

    My problem is the use of 'you guys'. Because I'd argue racism isn't as bad in the UK, especially in the South as it is in America. Whereas the Nordic countries are almost inarguably significantly more so. It comes down to, you’re never ever going to solve the problem by treating Europe as a whole, we're a dizzying array of different 'cisms and complicated backgrounds that all need to be looked at and dealt with separately. In a way that the states, for all there hoo hah aren't.

    Leitner on
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    enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    KalTorak wrote: »
    enc0re wrote: »
    While I'm naturally opposed to nonsense like these bans, it does beg the question:

    How do various Muslim countries regulate (or not) the construction of Christian bell towers?

    While I don't like it in Muslim countries either, that's probably something you'd have to expect in theocracies.

    I'm not thinking of the theocracies. They are obviously intolerant as all fuck. But what about say Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Bangladesh, etc. ?

    Also a caveat on the comparisons to the US and France. Those countries are secular / have separation of church and state (of which I'm totally in favor). In Switzerland, on the other hand, most cantons recognize either the Swiss Reformed (yes, I had to wiki that) or the Catholic Church as official. The government even collects taxes on their behalf!

    enc0re on
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    thisisntwallythisisntwally Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Leitner wrote: »
    I hold US culpable for nearly as much of what goes on in the americas as what goes on within its borders. I do not claim to be impressed by the US either.

    My point is that your cultural variety in no way exonerates europeans from combating dangerous social issues. you guys are just as bad about this shit.

    My problem is the use of 'you guys'. Because I'd argue racism isn't as bad in the UK, especially in the South as it is in America. Whereas the Nordic countries are almost inarguably significantly more so. It comes down to, you’re never ever going to solve the problem by treating Europe as a whole, we're a dizzying array of different 'cisms and complicated backgrounds that all need to be looked at and dealt with separately. In a way that the states, for all there hoo hah aren't.

    i can't agree with you implication of american homogeneity.

    thisisntwally on
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    BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited December 2009
    Bogart wrote: »
    I don't think anyone is talking about being exonerated from combating dangerous social issues, just that there is a vast difference between talking about Europe as though it's one entity and America as if it's one entity.

    and thats why its ok for europeans to criticize racism in the states, but not the other way around?

    so england can criticize swiss racism?

    oregon can criticize alabamian racism?

    Europe can criticize US racism?

    But the US can't criticize racism in Europe? because we be different, yo?

    You're missing the point, which is that the term 'European' is about as useful as the term 'African' in describing someone and their culture. You can criticise this Swiss idiocy as much as you like, but using it as a platform to berate every one of those darned Europeans makes about as much sense as someone using an Egyptian fuax-pas as a reason to criticise the whole of Africa.

    Bogart on
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    wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I'm no expert on Britain, but it has its own share of racial problems regarding Arab/Pakistani and Indian immigrants.

    wwtMask on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Leitner wrote: »
    I hold US culpable for nearly as much of what goes on in the americas as what goes on within its borders. I do not claim to be impressed by the US either.

    My point is that your cultural variety in no way exonerates europeans from combating dangerous social issues. you guys are just as bad about this shit.

    My problem is the use of 'you guys'. Because I'd argue racism isn't as bad in the UK, especially in the South as it is in America. Whereas the Nordic countries are almost inarguably significantly more so. It comes down to, you’re never ever going to solve the problem by treating Europe as a whole, we're a dizzying array of different 'cisms and complicated backgrounds that all need to be looked at and dealt with separately. In a way that the states, for all there hoo hah aren't.

    You just don't really get it. There is nothing we can do to convince you that America has such strikingly similar complications. We might be ruled by more of the same laws than Europe is, but the cultural differences and complexities may as well be equivalent. This comes up in every international discussion. The "Is America Really The Greatest Country in the World?" thread was, for lack of a better term, enlightening, at how little Europeans (those were participated in the discussion) seemed to understand about life in America. The big difference of course, is that few Americans (who participated in the thread) tried to claim that they had a great understanding of the European lifestyle.

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    FiarynFiaryn Omnicidal Madman Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    One of these days I'll learn to just say "this entire line of conversation is fruitless and serves no purpose but to encourage semi-nationalistic bitch fests at each other" rather than be all subtle about it.

    Fiaryn on
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