Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Some racist comments

A student of mine in one of my cross-cultural relations classes from Spain lectured me once on how racist the US is compared to Europe. I knew something about this because I had lived there for a couple of years and had been following the riots in England of certain minority groups and the debates in Germany about removing benefits from immigrants. This article-- - Local/ Regional News: Metro execs' racist smears: Ugly secret behind Hub's free paper-- is some more evidence that she was, shall we say, too optimistic. (Via Instapundit.)

The two executives mentioned here are European. Some quotes:

Top Metro executives used vile racist language at company meetings of the freebie newspaper chain, horrifying some attendees while at the same time drawing hoots of laughter from other Metro bigshots....

At one Metro International newspaper dinner in Rome in April 2003, Steve Nylund, the head of Metro USA, told nearly two dozen attendees a joke about the genitalia of black men, whom he called ``niggers'' according to people who were there. The account was first reported by, a media watchdog site, and then corroborated by the Herald through multiple sources who were at the event.

Another anecdote involves former Metro director Hans-Holger Albrecht at a Stockholm event in August 2003.

Albrecht, according to Mediachannel, introduced the festivities by saying "Good evening, ladies, gentlemen and niggers.''

Two former insiders, including former Boston Metro editor John Wilpers, told the Herald they heard Nylund make the racist joke at the Rome event, and had heard of Albrecht's slur.

The shocking behavior "sets race relations back to the Stone Age,'' suggested Jeffrey Brown of the Ten Point Coalition, a group of ministers who came together in the 1990s to fight urban violence.

Former insiders describe an arrogance among the European executives running the Metro chain. Wilpers and others say that instances of crude racism were common.

The executives of course say that it was a problem with translation.

I was not convinced by her argument when she made it. I am less convinced by it today.


Anonymous said...

Drop on by and browse through a huge archive of humor joke

This is one of the many jokes i found amongst the many joke categorys:
A man walks into his favorite bar and saw a bum panhandeling. The bum asked if the man could spare a dollar. The man replied "If I give you money are you going to use it to buy liquor?" The bum said he would not, so the man asked "If I give you money are you going to use it for gambling?" Again the bum said he would not, so the man asked "Would you come home with me so I can show my wife what happenes to someone who doesnt gamble or drink?"

Anonymous said...

Despite how much most Europeans like to criticize Americans I experienced plenty of both racism and cultural ignorance when I was travelling in Europe. They need to stop pointing fingers at the U.S. on this topic and take a good look at themselves.

Anonymous said...

i think racism is disgusting and it should be illegal, it is ugly discrimination, every one is the same and we should all be treated like equals not as if we are filthy or clean, sure we may have different coloured skin or our faces look a little different but every one has feelings that are destroyed when someone like you or me make a comment that gives others a sense of not belonging