Race in Europe

NPR is doing a series on how Obama's election to the Presidency of the United States is playing in Europe. The series, Obama's Election Prompts Soul-Searching In Europe, looks Germany, Italy, and France. As it turns out the grass isn't as green on the other side when it comes to race.
German Minorities Still Fight To Be Seen, Heard
In Europe, Barack Obama's election as president of the United States was met with euphoria. But now, the continent is peering into the mirror, realizing there is little chance a member of one of its own minorities could reach such prominence any time soon.

Take Germany, for instance, where notions of national identity are still strictly linked to ethnicity. Nonwhite Germans are still fighting to overcome exclusion from mainstream society in many ways.
I always found it amusing when someone popped up in a blog discussion somewhere to claim that Europe was so much better than the US with regard to race relations. Perhaps now we can lay that particular misconception to rest.



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Comments

  1. Wow! Just finished reading part 1 & 2 of the NPR series. Very eye opening. I bet that would shock a lot of people if they read it.

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  2. From reading the comments at the NPR website so far a lot of people are in denial about the state of race relations in Europe. Several comments complained about Germany being singled out for coverage in the series, some have already been complaining Italy being singled out, and I'm sure they will complain about the story on France when it airs. They are tripping all over themselves to point how bad America is (despite having minorities represented at all levels of government) while ignoring the fact that for years Europe has claimed a superiority with regard to race relations that it clearly does not have. I'd laugh at them if the consequences weren't so dire.

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  3. I feel ya. We (myself included) were saying how Europeans were better than Americans b/c they were so open and excited for Barack to be pres. Yet, I look at this series and am reminding yet again, that the media only shows us what they want us to see. We never see the full picture in any situation.

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