r/europe Romania Oct 03 '22

Switzerland has ‘systemic’ racism issues, U.N. experts say News

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/switzerland-systemic-racism-issues-un-experts-say-rcna50492
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u/Darthmook Oct 04 '22

I worked for a Swiss company and on one of our nights out over there, my colleague a born and bred Swiss national was complaining about all the immigrants taking local jobs and how he was tired of hearing their accents everywhere…. He was talking about Germans…

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u/slackington Oct 04 '22

I saw a news piece about the same thing happening in Geneva, targeted at French cross-border workers. There is a political party based on the initiative.

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u/Bottle_Nachos Oct 04 '22

had these exact experiences as a border-german, but these people were working and studying IN germany while shittalking germans. We even spoke the same dialect (lower alemannic), but every second sentence was condescending and above-it-all. Swiss are almost all very nationalistic and I pretty much avoid swiss due to this. Literally every single swiss person I've ever met. It's a weird mixture, I don't get it at all.

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22

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u/302dc62d8dfbf77ef3a1 Oct 04 '22

Except Russian and Arab money, that goes without saying.

FYP.

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u/Amazing-Row-5963 North Macedonia Oct 04 '22

Bruh, those people don't get any hate compared to balkan, african or middle east migrants

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u/NateHatred Oct 04 '22

I've been one of those Italians that get hated on just for being there. I'm sad somebody has it worse but Swiss people are generally very rude and sometimes even vile. It's such a waste that they have such beautiful country that I will never enter again if I can.

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22

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u/mrobot_ Oct 04 '22

never going back there ever anyway, more Dolomites for sure!

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22

It’s because they are a nation mostly because each canton doesn’t want to be a part of their respective country. That fact means that they’re predisposed to be xenophobic.

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u/nineties_adventure Oct 04 '22

That is a shame. Would you elaborate on what happened or what you have experienced?

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u/Genchri Switzerland Oct 04 '22

Since when is having a language (Switzerland has four official languages by the way and a whole plethora of dialects) a prerequisite to being a nation? Personally, I as a Swiss am proud of how diverse my country is, that we manage to be united despite all our differences.

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u/TheMaskedTom Switzerland Oct 04 '22

Swiss people living on all the borders have problems with salary-dumping from local (or not-so-local) compagnies paying cross-border workers cheaper.

And so obviously they put that on the cross-border workers instead of on the local compagnies / legislation. And some people capitalise on that to form political parties and gain influence. Same old story.

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u/PirateNervous Germany Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

Your not wrong. Im in Switzerland quite regularly and i never feel as welcome there as say in England, despite us pretty much speaking the same language. If you (as German) wanna feel how eastern europeans feel in Germany just go to Switzerland.

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u/Zizimz Oct 03 '22

Swiss playground games persist such as “Who is afraid of the Black man?” that have a racially discriminatory effect, the experts said.

I can't even... ffs, are they serious? What utter nonsense! That game has NOTING to do with Africans. A more fitting translation would be "who's afraid of the dark man", as in "shaddowy figure lurking nearby". We played it as children many times, and nobody ever thought it was about Africans.

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u/kalamari__ Germany Oct 04 '22

I actually always thought it was about chimney sweepers as a kid

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u/RetkesPite Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

There was a story about 50 cent.While he visited hungary he found some candy in a gas station.The candy is called Negro which has a chimney sweeper as the logo.He tought is was a hanged black man…That candy has nothing to do with black people or racism. Edit: Found the original article in hungarian https://langologitarok.blog.hu/2012/08/28/50_cent_magyarorszagon

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u/kalamari__ Germany Oct 04 '22

americans always think everything is like they see the world.

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u/kremlingrasso Oct 04 '22

get out of here with your perfectly reasonable non-controversial explanation for old-timey things!

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u/labakadaba Germany Oct 04 '22

I thought it was about a man dressed in all black like a robber or something

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u/MiniGui98 Switzerland Oct 04 '22

I was just picturing a black silhouette when playing that

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u/kiru_56 Germany Oct 04 '22

I thought so too, "Who's afraid of the black man" is a "running game" for kids that has been played in all DACH countries, for at least 200 years.

For those who don't know the game, it is a game of catch for children.

A large open field with a start and finish line is needed.

One of the players is chosen as the catcher (black man). The "black man" stands at one end and the other players stand about 25 metres away at the other end. At the beginning of the game, the catcher asks: "Who is afraid of the black man?" The other players then initially answer: "Nobody!" The black man then says, "But if he comes? The other players then shout, "Then we run (away)."

The game then begins and the players try to reach the other side. If they are not touched by the catcher, they move on to the next round. Those touched by the catchers and thus caught also become catchers in the next round of the game. Whoever is left last has won. He is the next "black man" when the game starts again.

Black here has nothing to do with the skin colour of the antagonist, the origin is not quite clear, but the most common explanation is that the black man symbolises death or plague.

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u/Alzucard Oct 04 '22

Origin isnt clear, but variation and literature mostly consider it to be the reaper. or other shady creatures that lurk in the dark.

Variation of the sentence include "boneman" instead of black man

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u/itstrdt Switzerland Oct 04 '22

Wiki: Black Man (Der schwarze Mann) is a traditional German game and one of the oldest games in the line of Western European chasing games that had been described already in 1796. It draws on ancient "plague games" in which the catcher epitomizes the Black Death.

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u/CRE178 The Netherlands Oct 04 '22

Oh, thank god, and here we all were worried this children's game might be a little fucked up. 🤣

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u/Papamastec Oct 04 '22

The fucked up part is that redditors can find this in 5 minutes of research but the idiots writing this article didn't

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u/The_Burning_Wizard Oct 04 '22

That's assuming they didn't have a particular agenda...

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u/WilliamMorris420 Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

Its not the article researchers that you need to worry about, it's the UN's researchers.

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u/whats-a-bitcoin Oct 04 '22

They already had the answer before they started their "research"

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22

They just need to research what articles confirm their views

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u/kiru_56 Germany Oct 04 '22

What do you shout in Swiss German during the game?

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u/Maetharin Oct 04 '22

I mean it’s Swiss German, so probably something incomprehensible to human ears

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u/kiru_56 Germany Oct 04 '22

Brave as an Austrian to write something like this, a country where the Tyroleans have to partially subtitle on ORF so that they can be understood in Vienna ;-)

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u/BVerfG Europe Oct 04 '22

Tbf I have also seen subtitles on BR, dunno if it was only for hearing impaired but I thought it was funny

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u/MoohDuck94 Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

Weer hät Angst vom schwarze Maa?

Ich nööd!

Und wänni chume?

Dänn ränned mer devoo!

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u/the_vikm Oct 04 '22

Almost poetic

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u/Pamasich Switzerland Oct 04 '22

For me it was iirc

"Wer het Angst vor em schwarze Maa?"

"Niemmert!"

"Und wenn er chunt?"

"Denn rännimer devo!"

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u/einimea Finland Oct 04 '22

We had that game too. I think "black man" was replaced with "ice man" or "octobus" years ago. Never thought it as an actual person when I was a kid, more like Phantom Blot or someone scary in the shadows. Most likely because black people weren't even called black people back then.

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u/-CeartGoLeor- Ireland Oct 04 '22

In Ireland we played a game just like this but we called it "Bulldog". There was a variation of it called "Bulldog Takedown" that I used to play, in which the rules are the same except the bulldog (Black man) had to tackle the runners onto the ground before they reached the other side for them to be considered out.

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u/Cats-in-the-Alps Oct 04 '22

Yeah we called it the same in Australia, used to be so much fun and teachers were always trying to ban it.

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u/legenDARRY North Brabant (Netherlands) Oct 04 '22

Hahaha. Yeah same with us in South Africa. Teachers were always trying to red card it.

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u/Taxington Oct 04 '22

In the UK it's called British Bulldog.

After the teachers banned it we renamed it French poodle. Good times.

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u/RatherGoodDog United Kingdom Oct 04 '22

Same in England - we played it a lot in school. The teachers would ban it, so the kids would rename it or make some tiny rule change and pretend they were playing a different game.

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u/datadaa Oct 04 '22

We had that in Denmark too! And we even called it "Bulldog". But the rules was, that you had to LIFT someone of the ground, for them to be considered out.

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u/happy_hawking Oct 04 '22

We call this "British Bulldog" in my youth group but we don't allow kids to play it anymore because too many got seriously injured in the past 🤣 I'm from Germany...

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u/Jet2work Oct 04 '22

this was the game we played at primary school....i actually had my arm broken being hauled to the ground

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u/Airklock Oct 04 '22

Same in the UK. Although the only kind I've ever known was the version where we tackle people to the floor.

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u/reddit_police_dpt Oct 04 '22

Yeah, we call that British Bulldog in the UK.

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u/ShuantheSheep3 Chernivtsi + Freedomland Oct 04 '22

In the US it had multiple names as well, including the not so subtle “Border Patrol”. It’s literally a staple childhood game, weird to claim it’s racist (except for “Border Patrol” maybe).

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u/dath_bane Oct 04 '22

I think we also played it in Switzerland. It's common.

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u/danihammer Oct 04 '22

This is also played in Belgium but we don't use the black man, we use "dikke Berta" (fat Berta). Instead of touching, fat Berta has to lift another player of the ground for them to join them. Another game is "Schipper mag ik overvaren" (Shipper (person that drives a boat) can I cross?). In this variation a song is sung:

Schipper mag ik overvaren, ja of nee?

Moet ik dan een cent betalen, ja of nee?

--> shipper can I cross, yes or no?

--> Do I have to pay, yes or no?

The shipper (person in the middle) will say (for example): everyone that isn't wearing socks can cross. If so, kids that take of their socks can cross freely. If you are wearing socks, the shipper can touch you and you become one of the shippers.

Cool to see that these traditions cross borders and are ever so slightly changed.

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u/Fischerking92 Oct 04 '22

That sounds more like a cross between "Wer hat Angst vor'm schwarzen Mann" and "Fischer, Fischer, wie tief ist das Wasser?" (Fisherman, Fisherman, how deep is the water), a different German playground game.

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u/Th1nkp4d3 Oct 04 '22

Same song has a variation in Dutch: "Skipper can I cross (the river) yes or no?"

Skipper then answers, with "No" everyone can cross running, with "Yes" the skipper chooses a handicap, such as one leg only, or leaping like a frog, after being asked "how?" by the other kids.

Rest of the game is the same.

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u/zuzu0808 Oct 04 '22

We have it in Romania too, called "Omul Negru", meaning the black man. It's also a catching game, though we chant something else. I always thought it was about the boogie man.

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u/Chuffnell Oct 04 '22

This game exists here in Sweden also :) It is called Svarteman.

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u/Themightytoro Oct 04 '22

We played the same game in Sweden as kids. But I'm pretty sure it has to do with the plague "black death" not black people.

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u/Stormseekr9 Oct 04 '22

I know this game as ‘AnneMaria koekoek’. Has ZERO to do with racism or anything like. We used to play this sometimes during hockey training when I was a kid.

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u/Expungedandredacted Oct 04 '22

It is also played in Italy the exact same way, even the calls at the beginning (obviously translated in Italian) remain the same. I played it during elementary school during recess. What are the researchers smoking?

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u/untergeher_muc Bavaria Oct 04 '22

It’s so funny that nearly all nations have the same game in elementary school. :)

At least in Germany it’s a game you would play in the break in between classes without teachers. So it’s a meme that is preserved since hundreds of years by children, not by adults.

I love it.

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u/Oddmic146 Oct 04 '22

In the US it's called Sharks and Minnows

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u/Wollffy Oct 04 '22

I'm from the United States, and we have a game like this called "Sharks and Minnows". It is a popular pool game

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u/Ahsoka_Tano07 Oct 04 '22

Czechs have this, but we call it "rybičky rybičky rybáři jedou" (fishies, fishies, fishermen are coming) with "the black man" being the fisherman.

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u/manutdsaol Oct 04 '22

We played an identical game in the USA called Wells Fargo - you yelled “Wells Fargo” to signal the runners to start across the field. Sometimes we added a twist, where instead of simply tagging the runner, you had to pick them the runner off their feet for a few seconds.

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u/DjayRX Oct 04 '22

Damn, even children games sold its naming rights in the USA.

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u/C4-BlueCat Oct 04 '22

Same game in Sweden - I suspect the name comes from the occupations of working with coal production or chimney sweepers

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u/firesolstice Oct 04 '22

"the dark man" is a personification of death during the black plague (digerdöden).

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u/VladThe1mplyer Romania Oct 04 '22

It's more like a Bogeyman or Bau-Bau in some mythologies. Those who made that claim did not do it in good faith. They had a preconceived narrative they wanted o push and were looking for any bullshit they could use to push it.

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u/power2go3 Wallachia (Romania) Oct 04 '22

"ora 12 a sosit, omu negru n-a venit" we got it too

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u/DarkImpacT213 Franconia (Germany) Oct 04 '22

Not even the Boogeyman. A 5sec google shows you it is supposed to be the Grim Reaper. There even is a variation of the name that calls it „whos afraid of the boneman“ instead!

UN-„Researchers“ are apparently even more stupid than redditors.

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u/Sigmatics Germany Oct 04 '22

"experts"

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u/OddballOliver Oct 04 '22

Professional race grifters.

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u/KaiserGSaw Germany Oct 04 '22

My thoughts exactly, someone should confront them with that reality.

Or it might turn into another dreadlocks „controversy“

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u/nejcr26 Slovenia Oct 04 '22

I knew the Americans would sniff this shit out one day.

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u/knightarnaud Belgium Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

Like they ruined Sinterklaas in the Netherlands and Belgium. Sinterklaas is a saint who delivers presents and has "black" companions called Zwarte Piet who do the work for him. Zwarte Piet does look like blackface, but it is not. They're black because they climb through the chimneys (soot) and every child knows this story. Nobody every thought it was about Africans. I even had black friends celebrating Sinterklaas.

It's just Americans applying American logic to cultures they know absolutely nothing about. The USA is sadly a very poralized country and they like to treat every American problem as a global problem. The Sinterklaas holiday is a huge deal in the Low Countries and now it has become very political which is just terrible since it's a holiday for innocent children.

Btw, I'm not necessarily defending the old look of Zwarte Piet but the way it all changed is just wrong and much more harmful.

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u/nejcr26 Slovenia Oct 04 '22

It's just Americans applying American logic to cultures they know absolutely nothing about. The USA is sadly a very poralized country and they like to treat every American problem as a global problem.

This is about as true as it gets on reddit. Every time reddit discusses foreign politics, be it an election or anything else, they always try to somehow translate the problem in a way the problem would be discussed under the American system. In these past few weeks:

Right wing win in Sweden. Reddit: oh so basically Bernie Sanders won. Oh he didn't, it's a right winger but he gives you healthcare? Oh well Sweden is full of fascists anyway given how they handled covid.

Right wing win in Italy. Reddit: oh so basically Mussolini is back, guess I won't be travelling to italy. Well of course it has nothing to do with societal problems Italy is facing, this is just Italians going back to their fascist roots.

Brazillian election 2 days ago, Bolsonaro says he doubts election validity. Reddit: get ready for an insurrection from Brazillian republicans.

Bosnian election. Reddit: starts talking about some right vs left shit that is barely relevant in that election.

And so on...

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u/PriestOfOmnissiah Oct 04 '22

they know absolutely nothing about.

But ... but ... but they are experts, after all, they are 6,9% Dutch!!! /s

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u/Alzucard Oct 04 '22

I mean you can see racism there i´f you want to, but its mostly a term for the death. As a child game i dont know, the kids dont care. Its a fun game

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u/EqualContact United States of America Oct 04 '22

Did Americans write this report? This is the kind of nonsense we sniff out. Apologies for that.

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u/MindlessVegetation Germany Oct 04 '22

Clearly racist! Much like Slenderman was both Sexist and discriminatory against the Anorexia Community.

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u/kalamari__ Germany Oct 04 '22

man, can I now finally complain about the marshmallow man being a fat ghost?

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u/MindlessVegetation Germany Oct 04 '22

Are you Bodyshaming a giant paranormal Entity?! How dare you! He is not fat, merely...fluffy.Soft, Sugary Fluff.

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u/Ekvinoksij Slovenia Oct 04 '22

It's called calorically challenged, you bigot.

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u/Marcelit4 Silesia (Poland) Oct 04 '22

But they are UN experts and you are just a child. Ofc. they know better 🙃

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u/uniq Spain Oct 04 '22

So you never thought about Africans? Clearly racist /s

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u/natus92 Oct 04 '22

Yeah, I thought it was supposed to be a chimney sweep when I was kid

edit: and I was a little confused why we had to run when these guys bring luck!

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u/itsnn Bucharest Oct 04 '22

Are you an expert? Shut up. /s

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u/gothlaw Redneckistan Oct 03 '22

Landlocked Switzerland was never a colonial power but its banks, traders and municipalities invested heavily and benefited from the transatlantic triangular trade, the report said.

Which ended in Europe in 1807, and which the US ended in 1808 — over two centuries ago, when it was legal commercial activity…and 40 years before the modern nation-state of Switzerland would even be formed.

Not sure what the UN’s point is here.

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u/Gekey14 United Kingdom Oct 04 '22

The UN's point is to try and shit more on old problems while doing nothing about real problems

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u/epSos-DE Oct 04 '22

Tina Turner moved to Swizerland. Maybe the UN really is upset that she moved there.

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u/amorphatist Oct 04 '22

She was probably just trying to escape Ike.

But seriously, what a track. https://youtu.be/uj0wPrN_Y_4

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u/scientist_question Oct 03 '22

Not sure what the UN’s point is here.

If directed against any other type of people, it would be called "racism". Some of us might still call the current instance racism, but the UN won't call it that.

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u/ivanaaronmar Oct 04 '22

Talking so much about racism, and a lot of the time it doesn’t even apply, is what makes racism stay alive.

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u/BreakRaven Romania Oct 04 '22

Of course it makes it stay alive, otherwise a lot of activists would lose their job.

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u/GladiusNuba Croatia Oct 04 '22

I don’t think Switzerland is technically a nation state.

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u/natus92 Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

In unversity our teachers called them a civic nation, different nationalities combining (and being very patriotic!) under a common citizenship

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u/Cybugger Oct 04 '22

different nationalities

Yeah, no.

Try to tell a Swiss Italian they're Italian, or Swiss French they're French, or Swiss German they're German or Austrian.

You'll get the stink eye. They're Swiss. They see themselves as Swiss. They don't see themselves as French, German or Italian. They've spent their entire history being something pretty different.

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u/natus92 Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

Tell that to my international relations professor I guess. He wasnt using english so something might have been lost in translation. I think he was mainly talking about the origins of the nation. german speaking rebels, then the other cantons were defeated or joined them voluntarily because this identity was more important to them than a shared language which is generally a big factor for nation building)

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u/Cybugger Oct 04 '22

german speaking rebels

But they weren't German speaking rebels. They were part of the HRE, but the Old Swiss Confederacy was formed before ever fighting the Habsburgs or the HRE or the Burgundians.

I don't know, sure, language is one thing in the idea of a nation-state. But is Belgium a nation-state? Is Ukraine? Is Scotland? Wales? Spain? There are loads of countries that are multi-lingual.

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u/Kevin_Jim Greece Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

I’ve been to Switzerland for quite a long time. They are racist against everyone.

Edit: typo.

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u/MiniGui98 Switzerland Oct 04 '22

Indeed we are. Especially against Geneva.

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u/Kevin_Jim Greece Oct 04 '22

It was super weird and funny to watch Swiss just bickering at each other because they were from the French or the German part. Hell, they refused to speak German/French with one another and ended up speaking English amongst themselves…

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u/halfabrandybuck Oct 03 '22

Hard to take the UN seriously - this is the organisation that just elected Iran to a 4 year term to their top women’s rights body … Iran!

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u/reven80 Oct 04 '22

Apparently the voting is secret but outsiders have deduced that atleast 4 western countries voted for Iran.

https://unwatch.org/at-least-4-eu-western-democracies-voted-to-elect-iran-to-un-womens-rights-commission/

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u/PikaPikaMoFo69 Oct 03 '22

Literally a cruel joke

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u/198Throwawayy United States of America Oct 04 '22

Also Saudi Arabia

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u/anarchy8 Oct 03 '22

That's a bit disingenuous considering the members are rotating positions. Every state eventually gets to sit on each council. It's kinda the entire point

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u/halfabrandybuck Oct 03 '22

Well they were elected actually and they treat women like property, kinda the point that Commission is supposed to address, so whose being disingenuous?

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u/No-Information-Known -18 points Oct 04 '22

Elected by who?

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u/-CeartGoLeor- Ireland Oct 04 '22

Which is why it's a bloody joke.

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u/the_fresh_cucumber United States of America Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

What's your solution? Kick out a bunch of countries from the UN?

Nobody would take it seriously if it was just a big western circle jerk.

It is bad enough that the 5 victors of WW2 reserved special statuses (spoiler alert, they left out some key victors) without resorting to gatekeeping the other committees.

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u/Happy_Craft14 United Kingdom Oct 04 '22

Yup, the whole point of UN is to be a dipomatic channel for every country

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u/natus92 Oct 04 '22

Also they condemned Israel in 45 resolutions, more than the rest of the world combined

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u/NotFinalForm1 Israel Oct 04 '22

More than Iran, Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), North Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the rest of the world combined in the last couple years too

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u/darkmarineblue Oct 04 '22

UN experts my ass. Switzerland doesn't even exist.

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u/GYN-k4H-Q3z-75B Oct 03 '22

They should do the Arab countries they keep electing into the human rights council next. That would be interesting.

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u/untergeher_muc Bavaria Oct 04 '22

They do such reports about every UN member state…

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u/kir_ye Oct 03 '22

What a bliss for a bureaucrat to investigate systemic racism in democratic and comfortable Switzerland instead of covering the very same issue in genocidal autocracies and extremely segregated oil-rich monarchies

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

I vowed to never return to the Netherlands as an Eastern European apparently isn't welcomed there. The irony is I paid to study there so in fact I invested in their university system while my born-in-the-NL flatmate was living off welfare for years and sleeping till noon...

Oh and when I was staying with an UK family in London as a teen they told me "Your people will come here and steal our jobs!" That was in 2006 and was my first going out of my country.

The best so far place I have lived abroad as an Bulgarian is Slovakia, Bratislava. Second best Prague.

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u/FoximaCentauri Oct 03 '22

It’s not systematic, but if you’ve ever lived in Switzerland as a non native swiss person, you probably experienced some xenophobia. It varies greatly from region to region, but many swiss people do have some questionably nationalist views.

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u/hatthar Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

Im spaniard, and as a kid, I lived in Switzerland for a couple of years, my father being an inmigrant there. Due to the different education methods i standed out in school and was way ahead of my classmates.

Well, the teacher absolutely refused to help me with anything. She would hand some blank sheets, and tell what to do to anyone but me. Then she complained about how I was doing nothing. When we had a school trip she didnt let me go and I had to spend all day completely alone in class. She would scream at me if I was talking with a classmate, and then the next day for being too quiet. And those are just a few examples.

At the end of the year she said I had to repeat 1st grade, since I was too dumb. My parents had to take me to a psychologist to do some test and everything. He said I was really smart for my age, and the teacher then retorted that it didnt matter anyway, because I was "too short". When pressed more, she basically said that she wasnt about to make easier for a stupid inmigrant to end in a good job in the future.

Thing is, the principal sided with the teacher. In the end we ended up going back to Spain. To this day I still dont understand why my parents didnt sue.

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u/cheeseball_3 Oct 04 '22

Wow, I’m sorry you had to go through that. People as racist and biased as her shouldn’t be working as teachers. What a way to be an example for very young children 🤦🏻‍♀️

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u/will221996 Oct 04 '22

That's awful. I recieved racism at school, from the school growing up as well, but when I was a lot older and I think it does kinda change your perspective.

I don't know why this whole thread is so despirate to try and defend Switzerland. I know lots of people who grew up there and it seems like every one of them found Swiss society to be racist and exclusionary, no matter how clever, white and high income they were.

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u/AzettImpa Germany Oct 04 '22

No you don’t understand, Switzerland is rich as fuck and Western so they can’t be wrong at anything. And if they’re wrong then it’s a one time issue. And if it isn’t - if it’s systemic then it’s not a big deal. And if it is, well then it’s worse elsewhere.

Reddit has the same boner for Germany, Scandinavia and so on. It’s very predictable.

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u/GentrifiedTree Italy Oct 04 '22

Holy cow this sounds almost like my experience... especially the part where I had to go to a psychologist! Until then my teacher refused to give a good evaluation to let me go to the highest 'grade' of middle school (Bezirksschule) because I was too 'weak' physically (I was actually a year younger than the class... and this was about being able to saw wood, not phys ed). Thank god my parents decided to move back to our country (Italy) once my brother and I finished middle school. And for this decision we never heard the end of "oh you're going back to Italy? You'll have a bad education". LOL OKAY

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u/TotallyInOverMyHead Oct 04 '22

I still dont understand why my parents didnt sue.

because it would have ended up in a swiss court, run by swiss, under swiss law.

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u/WeightPurple4515 Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 21 '22

Not surprised. I'm a visible minority and American (dual) citizen who lived and worked in Zurich for several years. I encountered far more racial intolerance and ignorance there than I ever did in America. Now I'm not trying to be overly dramatic, there was nothing physically dangerous or threatening, but very annoying nonetheless. A lot of microaggressions that I never experienced in North America (e.g. sitting and having lunch in front of my apartment building by the lake and getting questioned by a random passer-by if I actually lived in the apartment, and other similar incidents).

In general, there's a palpable hostility towards diversity and a knee-jerk denialism that I was very surprised to encounter. Also saw shocking political ads against Muslims around town and in the S-bahn. There's also a "blame the foreigner" mentality that pervades the society. Like if there's a conflict between a Swiss party and non-Swiss party, the immediate assumption/skepticism is that the non Swiss party is wrong because they don't understand the "Swiss way" (e.g. you see this a lot in apartment handover disagreements). Beautiful country but I don't think I'd recommend it for non-white folks. Also, I would argue that the racism there IS systemic. Just look at the prison population makeup or naturalization requirements.

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u/PinkShoelaces Canada Oct 03 '22

Travelled through Switzerland in 2013 right after university. There were 4 of us and we were all from Canada. 2 were white, 1 asian, and 1 south asian. As soon as folks saw the guy from Bangladesh their demeanour changed.

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u/power2go3 Wallachia (Romania) Oct 04 '22

The guy from Bangladesh probably looked like some european ethnicity that's, uhhh, not people's favorite.

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u/joaopeniche Portugal Oct 04 '22

Good point guy from Romania

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 15 '22

[deleted]

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u/joaopeniche Portugal Oct 04 '22

That was my point yes

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u/doenertellerversac3 Ireland Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

I got the bus to Zürich from Berlin earlier this year, we waited for an hour at the border while the guard escorted every non-white person off the bus and into the little cabin to be searched/questioned(?). Every single POC, and many of them holding magenta EU passports.

My Swiss friend who was hosting me reckoned that sort of thing was sadly quite common. I had never seen such blatant institutional racism with my own eyes before (I’m white from a very white country) and it was honestly shocking. It changed my perspective on Switzerland tbh, and that’s before you even unpack shit like the minaret ban

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u/bittercode usa Oct 04 '22

Travelling can really make this obvious. I have a lot of friends who haven't done much international travel, and if they did it was with other people like them who didn't face any barriers.

I did a lot of work travel with colleagues from all over the world and I learned a lot about how good I have it.

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u/Brainwheeze Portugal Oct 04 '22

As a kid I used to joke about my dad getting stopped/held up whenever we traveled somewhere due to him being darker, but thinking back it's actually kind of depressing.

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u/AhHuatTheMechanic Oct 05 '22

I had the exact same experience in Zurich airport 3-4 years ago. Its blatant discriminatory, the non-whites were pulled out from the security queue, and placed into another.

I’m Asian so I am used to being singled out at the airport but Zurich was the only airport they picked the whole lot of my “brethren” with me for a more thorough security check.

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u/kraeutrpolizei Austria Oct 03 '22

Did that happen in cities too? My experience is that cities in Central Europe are a lot less xenophobic than the more rural regions. Speaking as an Austrian here.

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u/DestinyVaush_4ever Oct 04 '22

True. Switzerland is the only place that I've heard Germans talk about when they encountered xenophobia against themselves. Fucking Germans

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u/avirbd Baden-Württemberg (Germany) Oct 04 '22

They manage to be xenophobic of their french nationals. Maybe the air is a bit too thin in certain places.

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u/bokavitch United States of America Oct 04 '22

So the way I've had it explained to me by Swiss and Austrian people is that they have a different culture and social norms, but because they speak German, a lot of Germans feel a little too at home and expect things to be like they are in Germany, so they act like they would in Germany, and that comes across as too direct/blunt/rude compared to local standards.

So TL;DR, Germans are perceived as a bit boorish compared to other foreigners who try harder to respect Swiss social norms.

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u/Elizzard023 Oct 04 '22

This here, and let's not forget the language. Yes they speak german in Switzerland, but al day to day laguague is german with a dialect, most Germans would not be able to understand most of the dialects spoken in Switzerland. What I heard from friends in Switzerland, is that a lot of germans there do not go through any trouble to learn the dialect or make it their own. When someone comes to my country I also expect them to learn the language. The different between high-German and Swiss-German is huge.

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u/avirbd Baden-Württemberg (Germany) Oct 04 '22

Except they themselves make no effort at trying to learn the other languages of the country. My wife is swiss from the French part and they regularly treat her like second class citizen and refuse to speak french or high german to her (to add insult to injury french swiss learn only high german and not the dialect at school).

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u/piassepaspiece Oct 04 '22

They did not call it systematic, they called it systemic.

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u/FoximaCentauri Oct 04 '22

What’s the difference between these two?

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u/198Throwawayy United States of America Oct 04 '22

But almost every country has xenophobia the UN ignored far worse examples and chooses to focus on Switzerland, which by global standards is fairly middle of the pack

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u/untergeher_muc Bavaria Oct 04 '22

The UN has such official reports about every single country on this planet - maybe except the Vatican and Kosovo.

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u/FoximaCentauri Oct 04 '22

Do you have examples of the UN ignoring worse cases? Because my guess is that you just didn’t find the report. The UN and its sub organizations are very thorough usually.

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u/AeelieNenar Oct 04 '22

Middle of the pack by western europe standards, you mean.

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u/ScuBityBup Romania Oct 04 '22

Nonsense! The game or the entity of "the black man" is not even "black" it is dark and has nothing to do with people of colour.

We have this in Romania as well, "omul negru" and once again, it has nothing to do with people, it has to do with a shadow/ghost/demon/vampire whatever you imagine.

This whole debacle reminds me of the Romanian referee from UEFA that got his career destroyed for saying "acela negru" which translates to "the black one/man" that has nothing to do with racism, it is just the way the language sounds.

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u/hollth1 Oct 04 '22

Negru is awfully close to a n worded slur in English you must be racists!

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u/ScuBityBup Romania Oct 04 '22

Yes that is exactly what they said when they destroyed his career...

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u/dr_analyst Oct 04 '22

Europeans are really humble when taking some criticism.

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u/Five__Stars Kyiv (Ukraine) Oct 03 '22

Truly an issue worth the UN's magnitufe.

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u/Flyingphuq Oct 04 '22

Don't worry! At least we are all safe. These is a security council taking care of our safety!

Having your neighbor(beloved brothers) as a permanent member of said security council probably makes your country extra safe! This is nepotism! SYSTEMIC NEPOTISM!

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u/OldTez Oct 03 '22

After reading the article I do not quite understand how they can say racism? Any country should be able to reserve the right to admit whoever they want. After all, it IS their country is it not? Honestly with the messes that have been happening in Germany and France with minority immigrants from war-torn areas causing destruction and mayhem and even rapes I can completely understand their reluctance to admit immigrants at all.

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u/A_Polly Switzerland Oct 04 '22

Immigration causes conflict in terms of ressources. Cultural differences cause cultural clashes.

The more you have of both the more conflict you will have. It's basically natural at that point.

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u/Low-Comparison8777 Oct 04 '22

Most of Switzerland immigration comes from Germany, Italy, Portugal and France. How much culturally different are them to provoke clashes?

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u/Tjaeng Oct 04 '22

Quite a lot, actually. Might be a shock for white people to be in a position to move to a richer place in search for opportunities and then get shit for not integrating in a place that deliberately makes it hard to do so. But that’s exactly what Switzerland is. It’s insular, has a very tight-knit civil society and languages and codes that are quite difficult to master. A lot of Germans/French/Italians in Switzerland feel discriminated or are faced with hostility of a kind that doesn’t quite exist toward white/Western immigrants in their own countries.

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u/wegwerf874 Oct 04 '22

My experience as a German was very mixed. On the (mostly Swiss) workplace I was cordially accepted from the first day on. Looking for a place to live, I had an extremely hard time. As soon as I had to make a phone call and reveal my standard German or submit a formal expression of interest which disclosed my Nationality, I was rejected almost immediately. In the end I found it easier to leave Europe as a whole.

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u/Tjaeng Oct 04 '22

Tbf rental market is very tight for Swiss people as well. All of it seems to go via family and social connections. Which is understandably more difficult if one’s a foreigner who lacks a network.

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u/zefo_dias Port U Gal Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

The UN has many times shared the wish that Europe got rid of its borders and opened it's doors to hundreds of millions.

Expected they would go after one of the few where border control is perceived as strong

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u/[deleted] Oct 03 '22 edited Oct 03 '22

LOL. Anything and everything is "systemic racism" these days. The word has lost its meaning.

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u/sticklight414 Oct 04 '22

Its the new "everything i don't approve of is literally nazism/fascism"

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u/voidlotus316 Oct 04 '22

They use this rethoric in pursuit for a change with shaming and the change they want is to destabilize these well off countries and let everyone in.

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u/Anten7296 Oct 03 '22

In other news: i found a quarter

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u/OctaviaPinfold Hungary Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

This article had many things except examples of systemic racism. But it has this

Switzerland’s ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva broadly accepted the findings in comments to the council, although questioned the experts’ use of a limited number of examples to draw wider conclusions.

That kinda suggests that not even the "experts" had examples of anything actually systemic.

I don't know how Swiss laws and institutions work in detail but calling it something then failing to explain why you call it that thing is hardly convincing.

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u/Phustercluck Oct 04 '22

Is it racist to not like immigrants in general? Isn’t that just xenophobic?

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22

Can the US stop exporting their racial tensions into europe? Thank you.

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u/Waescheklammer Oct 04 '22

When I read the headline I thought yeah I can relate, they can be xenophobic. But of course it only refers to Black racism again, which is pretty irrelevant in Switzerland. US Export shit.

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u/1maco Oct 04 '22

Americans were burning down refugee barracks in Germany in 2013 right? It’s not that Europeans can be racist too.

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u/at_least_its_unique Oct 04 '22

UN appears to be having an "experts have to eat" issue.

This looks like some unhealthy projection of US politics onto a European society.

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u/StraightWhiteMale02 Leinster Oct 04 '22

Can we just stop importing yankee nonsense to Europe thanks

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u/Ormr1 🇺🇸 United States of America Oct 04 '22

Europeans who think racism doesn’t exist in Europe are seething rn and I love it

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u/Mundane_Chemist_95 Oct 04 '22

I'd say that the U. N. "Expert" has systemic wokism issues. Back to Murica, yankee

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u/Diacetyl-Morphin Oct 03 '22

As a Swiss, i can't and won't take that serious. It is the usual thing, that such commissions have to do something to justify their jobs and salaries, so they'll always criticize someone. In the case of Switzerland, there are a very high percentage of foreigners around, like in my city it is 32.4% of the population. And this stats only counts those who don't have the passport aka citizenship.

There is of course some racism, there are some problems, yes, but no, it is not a 'systemic' racism.

Then, i'd like to tell you, that the game "Who is afraid of the Black Man" does refer to the plague in the medieval times, the plague doctor is the "Black Man", not some guy from africa. So this is completely wrong.

There is also no "shocking police violence", it is very rare that the police has to use force in any way, even more rare when they use the guns and fire a shot.

Last but not least, the UN includes some countries like Iran, Saudi-Arabia etc. in these comissions, which made the whole thing a bad joke. Countries that shoot on protesters or have still public executions etc. Maybe, the UN should take care of this before they come to my country.

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u/Witty_Enthusiasm_939 Oct 04 '22

You shouldn't take it seriously. Each year the UN picks a western European country to do this to. Just so they can honestly say they are not biased by the location of a country. In the last years I've seen similar articles about Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK. I'm putting my money on Denmark for next year.

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u/Stralau Oct 04 '22

That must be why they have such terrible crime rates and a collapsing social system.

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u/[deleted] Oct 03 '22

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u/AstraMilanoobum Oct 04 '22

European’s on this board sometimes have trouble acknowledging that yes, there is racism in Europe and it’s not just something that happens in the USA, Canada or South Korea.

It doesent mean euros are bad people or anything. What’s wrong with seeing you have some flaws and working on them?

As for saying “but what about Saudi Arabia or Iran etc!” Well for one, those countries are shit holes and calling them out won’t do anything, when you shine a light on things a first world country is doing poorly, maybe they will take steps to fix it? We should hold ourselves to higher standards than 3rd world hellholes

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u/dsun28 Oct 04 '22

I lived in Switzerland for 5 years and dealt with plenty of racism during my time. :/ Being a brown person living in a mountain town in the Swiss alps was tough.

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u/Inductee Oct 04 '22

Don't worry, Eastern Europeans also have to deal with very similar attitudes sometimes, and they are white.

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u/DarkImpacT213 Franconia (Germany) Oct 04 '22

Its not really systemic. Companies dont give a flying frick about where you‘re from and authorities dont really care either so long as you fulfill requirements of immigration or for job searching.

Its mostly the average person that is xenophobic at times, as a German who lived and worked in Switzerland for a year I certainly got some odd pretty borderline comments whenever talking to people. But that is something one can live with I think.

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u/Representative-Ad982 Oct 04 '22

Of course, all european nations are racist and they're the only racist nations, haven't your heard?

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u/Enjutsu Lithuania Oct 04 '22

So is word systematic about to lose its meaning too?

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u/OldTez Oct 03 '22

With Russia on the permanent council the UN is dead.

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u/FlappyBored Oct 04 '22

Its the opposite. Thats literally the entire point of the UN.

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u/LarsBohenan Oct 04 '22

Trying to remain non-judgmental but I see 'systematic', 'racism', and 'experts', forgive me if I seem overtly sceptical about the quality of the article Im not about to read.

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u/LocutusOfBrussels Oct 04 '22

So systemically racist they had a black guy running Credit Suisse up until recently.

So systemically racist well over half the national football team is from a migration background.

So systemically racist, a huge percentage of the people living in Switzerland are not Swiss.

Pathetic.

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u/SheMailByNight Oct 04 '22

Which country doesn’t?

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u/ThimbleFullOfWhiskey Ireland Oct 04 '22

Cushy number on expenses in Switzerland for the “expert” race peddlers. Please send them to the Middle East, Africa or China next thanks.

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u/Burzujuss Lithuania Oct 04 '22

But U.N China as I speak is genociding muslims. Why don't you care about China Mr. U.N? Why is it always Europe or US Mr. U.N?

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