Is Poland a Racist Country?

Poland's Eaglets

Poland's Eaglets

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?

Bubbling Ignorance
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.

25 Responses to Is Poland a Racist Country?

  1. Jim says:

    A country which, since the completion of the population transfers in 1947-8, has been 98% ethnically homogenous; which was isolated from the normal ebb and flow of post-War population movements which characterised the rest of Europe; which historically had a rural, not very mobile and hence not very experienced population; and which didn’t have an extra-European non-White colonial base from which to draw an immigrant population, is bound to have a difficult attitude towards those not of the predominant race. Attributing ‘fault’ is pointless; other cultures with similar backgrounds have displayed similar attitudes. That’s how history worked, and that’s why things are as they are now.

    As of today, with fully open borders, and perhaps in response to not-always welcoming attitudes to Poles exhibited in the countries where they go to work, together with the usual generational changes, these attitudes may change. But the stories you refer to just serve as another example of why J&LK and their adherents are the worst things to happen to post-Communist Polish politics – exploiting these historically-created attitudes for their own gain.

  2. Raf Uzar says:

    It’s scary when you see politicians preying on these stereotypes and basking in the glory of an intolerance-soaked road to success.

  3. Matt Gibson says:

    Raf, I remember once being in Katarzynka’s at the bottom of Ulica Narutowicza in Lodz, talking to one of the PH.D students from the institute. A man was smiling at me at as the two of us discussed London. Just as he was about to leave, he decided to come up and announce “London is a dirty Jewish town’ as loudly as he could. I was so shocked by this statement I was rendered literally speechless, and it was only after a minute or so that my anger started to give vent to itself.
    I’m not sure whether anti-semitism is still the big mania amongst the people and whether it still occupies the minds of the local NOP graffiti artists, as I haven’t lived in Poland for years. My sense is that the younger generation has left it behind them to a greater extent, but that the older folks are still indoctrinated with lies spread by both the SB and some of churchmen.
    By the way, did you end up marrying that girl who always used to shout at me the whole time?
    (only joking)

    Take care

    Matt

    • Solinkaa says:

      And in any other context, say when a man came up to you in Brixton and shouted the same thing that this man in Poland did, wouldn’t you take him for a crazy? I would.

  4. Raf Uzar says:

    Very true, Matt.
    As for that girl… thankfully no.😉

  5. Hi Raf,

    IMHO, Poland is a country of FEAR. That is often the cause for Poles to fight with each other and to be doninated by the biggest fear proprietor in the world, RCC. Before that it was elected foriegn kings who kept Poland together. From the outside perspective looking in, Poland can easily be perceived as a tribal country: separated by different cultures and Polish-languages at least in three prominent areas.

    This is a tiny country, compared to Canada, to have so much partitioning within it. And in Canada we have similar divisions (Eng/Fr) and differing cultural values from East coast to West coast. It is no wonder, to me, that intolerance flares here.

    Racism is only the inarticulate form of nationalism, really. FEAR prevents the breakdown of stereotypes. You can see where I am making my connections.

    The ones who are more open to the world travel, and find work in cultures that better suit their wolrdviews. Poland is only waking up to the idea that it’s population growth (re: national birthrate) continues to slow and that immigration will be the furture not births.

    In the meantime, who are having all the children? Cosmopolitan city dwellers? I don’t think so. And what are these bright young minds learning from all the old tenured institutions: openness? I think not.

    Regards,
    Richard

  6. Miss Kot says:

    And the real guilty is Julian Tuwin who wrote ‘Murzynek Bambo’😉..and seriously I am not a big fan of saying: this nation is racist more than the other. At the end of a day, every person is different.

  7. […] on whether Poland is a “racist country” – at the POLSKI blog, Raf Uzar, and Eternal Remont. Posted by Veronica Khokhlova  Print Version Share […]

  8. Polak says:

    hell ya we are racist and proud of it.

  9. Raf Uzar says:

    And you’re proud of this? Oh dear…

  10. Rufus says:

    Whats the difference between a black man and Batman? Batman can go out at night without robbin!

  11. Raf Uzar says:

    Is that supposed to be funny?

  12. Dinolaure says:

    … a racist is someone who makes a mistake in orienting its anger … what’s all the anger behind that ?

  13. Max says:

    They are racist,i used to live there 4 years,but they are strange people if we can call them people,they have 2 faces one in poland wich is the real one and 2 face is wich we see when they go aboard.Aboard they are nice smiling people pretending they dont know nothing about blacks jews muslims etc..But polish ladys hmhm they love us blacks jews muslims etc..all i can say about polaczki is this dont trust them even when they are dead..

  14. blackman says:

    well max let me add my own . polish people but not all of them can be extremely racist . its part of their culture . i have been here for years , i understand how they function . they act like spies and pretend a lot . they try all their best to downgrade others and feel that they are the best and wisest of all . they prevent foreigners from feeling at home , but invade other economies . the ladies like foreigners but the guys can be aggressive and untrustworthy . although i have met some very good ones too . their laws are based on fascism and they don’t like it when you tell them their faults but they would look for fault of others .the situation is improving now but they still have to work on it .

  15. Max says:

    Wow,blackman that is your view and is good one to,but i have my own wich is dont trust them never ever..And those good polaki you can count on one hand i agree with that,you dont you understand what i am all about or you are just thinking that you are all that what you think you are.. Thank you

  16. z polski says:

    Shut up. The whole fuckin world used to be racist. And by the way POland isnt rascist. In one of the political partys there is a black man who is actualy quite popular. And you max, if u dont respect the people and culture get the fuck out People like you who go into other countrys and talk shit about them or nothing but a disease of ungrateful bitches. The black polish man in one of the partys is welcome to stay becaous he respects the culture and people. any people in the world are welcome into poland as long as they respect the culture and the people.

  17. kingsley says:

    SOME POLISH MEN CAN BE SOOOOO RACIST IN NATURE, THE WAY THEY LOOK AT U WHEN U ARE WALKING ON THE STREETS AS IF U ARENT WORTHY OF LIVING. I THINK PEOPLE WHO ARE INTELIGIENT SHOULDNT BE WORRIED WHY FOREGNERS ARE HERE IN POLAND, THEY SHOULD BLAME THEIR EMBASSIES WHO GIVE THE VISAS AND COLLECT VISA FEES, THEIR SCHOOLS WHO CAN ESTORT FROM U IN ANY MEANS POSSIBLE, I BELEIVE THAT SO LONG AS FOREIGNERS ARE NOT HERE ILLEGALLY, THE POLISH CITIZENS SHOULDNT BE WORRIED IN ANY MANNER AND THE POLICE IN POLAND ARE OBLIGED IN EVERY MANNER TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THE FOREIGNERS BCOS THEY TOO ARE NOBLE AND IMPORTANT CITIZENS OF OTHER COUNTRIES

  18. HALLIDONTO says:

    Very ironical to say all of the Polish people are racist, since given Poland’s history, they have been oppressed from White ethnic cultures: Sweden,Germany,Russians. Given certain elements might be racist isn’t any different from that seen in London, or any other countries or cities in the world. My Girlfriend is a Pole, and she calls me a ginger git, even though it’s my beard that is ginger, and i am Scottish, so does that deem my girl to be racist…. But she is a lovely lassie, and she is very embracing of all cultures…
    KEEP THE FAITH!!!

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