Commentary: Czech Social Democrats compete with ultra-right to see who can be more racist and xenophobic
Czech MP Stanislav Huml of the Social Democrats, who is infamous for his extreme positions against Islam or refugees, as well as for his conspiracy theories about 9/11, recently published a video on his Facebook profile denying the Holocaust. He called it "brutal, [politically] incorrect, but inspiring".
Huml's behavior will barely surprise those who are even a bit familiar with Czech politics. Before 1989 he was a police officer and a member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, and he is every inch an original piece of work.
In addition to promoting other unverified reports, Huml has alleged that the American CIA was behind the crash of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 over Ukraine in July 2014. "Their handwriting is all over that one," he told an audience recently.
Journalists from the Bellingcat group have ascertained that the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of that airplane having been shot down by the Russians. It was Russian President Vladimir Putin who decided to move the Buk anti-aircraft system to Donbas that was probably used.
Czech Prime Minister and Interior Minister conspicuously silent
As Josef Bouška has written in the weekly RESPEKT, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, the chair of the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) and Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec, the party vice-chair, have yet to comment on Huml's remarks. Instead of leading their party, they seem to have disappeared.
"We therefore ask everybody who might know the whereabouts of these leaders to immediately inform the nearest ČSSD branch. The party is concerned for their fates, but in order to express its hope of a good outcome, it is now considering changing its name to the Czech Social Democratic Dawn," Bouška writes, a reference to the ultra-right parties using the Dawn moniker.
Set a fire, sex with children
Vice-Chair of the Czech Senate Zdeněk Škromach (ČSSD) posted a "video from the swimming pool" online at the beginning of August in which he said the following with regard to refugees: "Do you have the feeling that our traditions are endangered? Set a fire and show we won't give them up."
We've seen this before: Fires set, white hoods and assaults on Black people. The Ku Klux Klan did that, Mr Škromach.
Czech MP Pavlína Nytrová (ČSSD), just before Škromach took center stage, captivated the public with her allegations that "homosexuals will attempt to have sex with children", or that compared to heterosexuals they disproportionately tend to consume alcohol. She said her sources of information were commentaries she had read beneath articles online and added that she was "following her heart".
ČSSD: Forward to the extreme right
We can give other examples from which it would be quite easy to deduce that the cases of Huml and Nytrová are not individual excessess in the Czech Social Democratic Party - or rather, in the ultra-right party that for some unknown reason has taken up the Social Democratic label. For example, Czech Senator Miroslav Krejča (ČSSD) said back in 2012 that "The public's view of Roma is absolutely justified and we are too tolerant of this inadaptable, parasitic minority."
Czech Senator Pavel Lebeda (ČSSD) said at that same time that "Because of their loafing, their aversion to work, their freeloading on the backs of the majority population and the criminality of most Roma, the public's attitude is understandable - positive discrimination is being unacceptably amplifed in the social arena and even in the justice system. Roma people feel they are defended and enjoy impunity, and that is leading them to increasingly commit brutal crimes in addition to traditional property crime. Add to this the problems of civic coexistence and widespread drug addiction among Roma and the majority population's aversion to them cannot surprise anybody."
Here is Czech Senator Vladimír Dryml (back then ČSSD, later Citizens' Rights Party): "The high Roma crime rate and their sense of impunity associated with the application of the positive racism of the Czech justice system and the empty, false views of these weird human rights defenders is bearing fruit in the EU and in our country... Laws should apply to all equally, law enforcement must be swift, and in cases of racism it must be strict - this applies to all, but especially to the Roma."
Back in 2012 the ČSSD cell in the town of Most chose this as its campaign slogan: "Why should I regret being a member of the national majority in my homeland? One state, one set of rules".
The Prague 5 cell of the ČSSD put this slogan on billboards: "Away with the drug addicts, the homeless and the gaming rooms". In the town of Duchcov after the most recent municipal elections the ČSSD is governing there together with extremists from the Workers Social Justice Party (DSSS) and the Communist Party of Bohemian and Moravia (KSČM).
That situation seems normal to them there. The Czech Prime Minister apparently only has enough time to respond to just some of the babbling of his party colleagues.
The Interior Minister, who is so fond of imprisoning refugees who have committed no crime, is also not far from xenophobia. Quite the contrary.
It seems that the Dawn-National Coalition party and its Okamura spinoff will close down soon. When it comes to anti-Semitism, homophobia, racism and xenophobia, the ČSSD is just too strong a competitor.
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