Yet another racism alarm in Bulgaria: The Berlin incident and hate speech

Written by on December 19, 2016 in Bulgaria - No comments

Since a Bulgarian citizen, who seems to be of Romani origin, allegedly kicked a lady down the stairs of a metro station in Berlin, the ugly face of racism has appeared, yet again.  On Facebook, but also on Bulgarian media sites, readers have left the most racist and most disgusting comments anyone could imagine: “Hitler should have finished the job” or “Roma are monkeys” are just two of them.

Yes, that crime committed in Berlin was more than despicable and the culprit should receive his punishment. He will. But this is not the issue here.

When a Bulgarian man of Romani origin commits a crime, his ethnicity will be mentioned in all articles. The racists in this country have what they were looking for. “See? He is a Roma. And he did this. I have said it all along.” Statements like these are as wrong and disgusting as the crime committed in Berlin. These are the reasons:

  • Repeating prejudices over and over does not make them accurate.
  • Most Bulgarian Roma live in poverty and appalling conditions. On top of that, they face discrimination. Instead of hate speech, they need help.
  • Integration is not just an option, but the only way. This is something both non-Roma Bulgarians and Bulgarians of Romani origin need to understand and something the government finally needs to work on.
  • Accusing all Roma of being criminal is not only wrong and disgusting, but this kind of hate speech also ignores crimes other Bulgarians are responsible for. What about Bulgarian credit card scammers, who are being arrested in South America every few weeks? What about human traffickers and the more than 50 Bulgarian Border Police officers, who were arrested this year alone, in several large operations? Hardly any of them were Roma.

If anything makes Bulgaria look bad, it is not one person in Berlin who committed a crime, but all that hate speech against Refugees, Homosexuals, Roma and other minorities. It is not the Roma, who make Bulgaria look bad, but the way this minority is being treated in this country. Incidents, like the recent one in Harmanli, which started with unfounded statements according to which the refugees were spreading diseases, make Bulgaria look bad as well.

What makes Bulgaria look good? Citizens who help refugees, Bulgarians who support minorities, the many Bulgarians who have donated for the victims of the Hitrino explosion, most of whom are Bulgarian Muslims, Bulgarians who unite to help those in need. Bulgaria is a good country, because most Bulgarians are good people. Let’s keep it that way, by not giving in to the racist crap spread by some.

By Imanuel Marcus

 

 

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