There’s been a great big hoo-hah in the press recently after Law and Justice (PiS) MP Artur Górski came out with ridiculous comments about Barack Obama’s win spelling the end of the civilisation of the white man. Poland’s other political parties (including ruling Civic Platiform) have called for strict action to be taken against Górski. What added fuel to the flames was PiS head Jarosław Kaczyński making a feeble attempt to defend Górski in the name of free speech.
From Fire to Blaze
Kaczyński overzealous yet absurd defence of Górski may have added fuel to the flames but his recent gaffe has sprayed high-octane petrol on the now raging blaze. PiS are considering reporting Minster of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski to the public prosecutor for telling a racist joke about Barack Obama, the only problem is that Jarosław Kaczyński was caught telling the very same joke, a story told to the press by Wojciech Olejniczak, former head of Democratic Left Alliance (SLD).
Is Rydzyk Typical?
This leads to the question, is Poland a racist country? A great number of Poland’s politicians have become embroiled in this mini-scandal, this scandalette of sorts, but is this a reflection of Polish society in general? Many claim that Polish people are anti-semitic. Yes, there are very public accounts of certain notables making anti-semitic comments, most notably Tadeusz Rydzyk and his Radio Maryja, but does this mirror your average Jan Kowalski?
In a post some time ago, we looked at racism in football. But isn’t racism present in football all over Europe? Poland is no different to other EU states, which doesn’t make it a good thing but some would argue that the football culture in, for example, Spain is much more racist than Polish football could ever be. In my own humble opinion, I’d say that Polish people aren’t overtly racist, nor are they overtly anti-semitic, however, there is a great deal of underlying ignorance which often bubbles to the surface in the form of what may appear to be racism. Let’s just hope that Poland’s politicians can keep a lid on it.