Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ten White Dominated Countries more Racist than the US

1. Israel
2. Russia
3. Czech Republic
4. Serbia
5. Romania
6. UK
7. France
8. Italy
9. Spain
10. Australia


kassandra said...

Otto, do you think there is a connection why Israel and Russia share the 1-2 positions? Do you think all those Russians that have of late and from the very beginnings of the state who emigrated to Israel brought their discriminatory and elitist attitudes with them?

Anonymous said...

Israel is institutionally and officially racist; founded on an enthnocentric idea.

The rest, though, - what are you talking about? Attitudes of the average citizen, or some such? That's pretty meaningless. It's superficial, and changes quickly. And what about those Baltic republics - not on the list?

J. Otto Pohl said...

Kassandra I think there is a connection, but not from the 1990s. The connection is from the 1940s when the deportation of the Volga Germans and Crimean Tatars was the most frequently mentioned model by Israeli politicians on how to deal with the Palestinians. See my article "Socialist Racism: Ethnic Cleansing and Racial Exclusion in the USSR and Israel," Human Rights Review, vol. 7, no. 3, 2006.

Data: I just want to note that you could not have made your comment on Crooked Timber. You would have been banned for criticizing the Socialist Motherland. But, the post is meant to be open ended and open to interpretation. So if you want to consider it attitudes of the average citizen feel free.

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand if you're talking about government policies or prevailing attitudes.

I'll add that it seems racist to me to accuse the Russians, or the Czechs, or any other population of random people that have little in common, of racism.

Israel is different: for the most part it's a group of people who moved there from all over the world, driven by an idea, ideology, and it's an ethnocentric ideology. In this sense, it's more like a club, I think.

J. Otto Pohl said...


There is institutionalized racism in Russia an the Czech Republic as well. For instance rights in Russia continue to be tied to having a Republic. Access to jobs, education, and cultural institutions are all dependent to some extent to being a titular nationality with its own republic in the Russian Federation. Hence Tatars have preferential rights in the Tatar Republic, Bashkirs in the Bashkir Republic, Buriats in the Buriat Republic, etc. Some nationalities such as the 600,000 ethnic Germans in Russia have no ethnic territories in the RF and hence do not enjoy the same legal status and rights as other nationalities. They are indeed victims of institutional racism. The Germans are also one of the larger nationalities in the RF. The Kalmyks who have their own republic for instance number only about 150,000 people.

In the Czech Republic the Benes Decrees which ordered the mass expulsion of ethnic Germans on a racialized basis from the territory are still law. These decrees were the legal basis for the mass ethnic cleansing in 1945-1946. The Czechs stripped ethnic Germans of Czechoslovak citizenship, confiscated their property, and brutally expelled them into Germany. The Czechs still maintain these laws on their books and have made no move to repeal them.

Anonymous said...

"Hence Tatars have preferential rights in the Tatar Republic" - you mean officially? Do you have a link for that?

"The Czechs still maintain these laws on their books and have made no move to repeal them"

Well, that was a one time thing, one of the immediate consequences of WWII. Hey, everything everywhere got racialized at that time. I don't think they've been expelling anyone since then.

Anonymous said...

...did you see this, btw: ?

'Meanwhile on Sunday, Israeli daily Maariv published an interview with Interior Minister Eli Yishai, in which he stated that most of the "Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man." '

Nice, uh? These days, outside Israel, I don't think you'd hear this kind of stuff anymore, from a cabinet member.

J. Otto Pohl said...


The Czech laws prevent surviving expellees and their descendants from reclaiming their property. They are similar in some senses to the Israeli Absentee Property Law in how they work in this sense. The Czech Republic is the only EU member allowed to have laws that openly discriminate on the basis of ethnicity.

For the privileged position of titular nationalities in republics in the Russian Federation see Valery Tishkov's The Mind Aflame: Ethnicity, Nationalism & Conflict in and after the USSR, 1996. He goes into quite a lot of detail and also deals with dual nationality republics such as Karachai-Cherkessia and Karbardino-Balkaria.

No I did not see the Haaretz article. But, it does not surprise me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Otto,
I read the wikipedia article, and it says that the Czech government admitted the guilt and apologized. Some compensation was paid, not on the individual basis, but government to government.

With all due respect, I don't see any indication that they refuse to pay compensation based on the ethnicity, or that ethnic Germans are not allowed to immigrate to the Czech republic.

Also, the wiki article says that the ethnic German anti-fascists were specifically excluded from the expulsions. This is a clear indication (to me, at least) that their actions were more related to the concept of loyalty than ethnicity as such, i.e.: not that the ethnic Germans are evil creatures, but that they were Nazi symps.

Finally, comparing this to Zionist expulsions is incorrect, IMO, as there is no colonialist element here. Germany invaded and brutally occupied Czechoslovakia for many years, local German minority had significant privileges throughout that period, and they suffered a terrible backlash, except for the anti-fascists among them. That's the story here. It was, clearly an atrocity, but it doesn't compare with colonialists brutalizing the local population.

J. Otto Pohl said...


The wikipedia article is wrong. They did not spare all "anti-fascists." In fact over 200,000 German "anti-fascists" including communists and members of the anti-Nazi underground were forcibly expelled. See where I link to the primary source documents. See especially document number three regarding the fact that German Communist Party members who had actively opposed the Nazi occupation were persecuted for the crime of being German. The Czechs also expelled German speaking Jews that had been interned by the Nazis. There certainly was a colonialist element as well. See the numerous works on this subject by David Gerlach. The Czechs viewed the settlement and expropriation of former German lands explicitly in terms of internal colonization of their frontier. The Czech government never officially apologized. President Havel issued a personal apology that has no legal binding on the Czech state.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, I suppose if you consider Sudetenland a separate region, this could be viewed as a colonization. But it was a part of Czechoslovakia already.

For the anti-fascists, whether it was followed judiciously or not, it seems that it was right there in the law. It seems tendentious to ignore that.

There was a whole bunch of atrocities, misdirected mass-revenge actions, after the war. Tens of thousands executed or lynched, in France, Norway, other countries; sort of a civil war (IIRC), complete with massacres, in the Balkans. In France they shaved heads of women who slept with Germans.

In the times of great stress and injustices, human beings, predictably, react irrationally. From my POV, those who deliberately start a war (that is, in this case, the Nazi party) are largely responsible for the consequences, for the reaction.