Czech expert says haters' attention is fixating on Roma again, "migration" as a subject is over
The Czech Police have been investigating more and more bias crimes involving hatred recently. Does this mean racism is increasing here, on average?
Political scientist Jan Charvát says that in reality, such cases have always existed here, but in the past the public didn't pay attention to them. At the start of last week a case came before the court of a married couple belonging to the majority group in society accused of assaulting several Romani children.
That case has a very similar beginning to that of the brawl at a swimming pool this summer in Dubí (Teplice district), as a result of which several Romani people have been accused of committing assault - it began as a dispute among children, adults inserted themselves into it very sharply, and their approach to the situation has revealed the dominant tensions between the majority and the minority here. Charvát, who is an expert on political extremism, believes these cases do not, however, indicate that there is room for the situation in the coexistence of the majority and Romani people to become more dramatic.
Even though nobody involved with the extremist scene was involved in either case, Charvát does not believe escalation of inter-ethnic tensions is on the horizon. "In the Czech Republic, for a long time, the idea has been established that there are extremists here who commit crime with an extremist subtext and who are followed by the Interior Ministry - and then there is another group of 'normal' people. The Interior Ministry has stuck to that model, but today such a concept is unsustainable, also from the perspective of the ministry, which is now abandoning it, or rather, is gradually augmenting it with the concept of hate crime," Charvát, who is the author of several publications about extremism, told news server SeznamZprávy.cz.
"We have long known that some of the crime aimed against minorities is not committed by people from extremist groups, but by absolutely normal, ordinary people who have never been part of any extremist organization and therefore were never followed by the Interior Ministry. Today what we are seeing is not a fundamental change - the situation is the same as it has ever been - but we have realized that our perspective has been erroneous, and now this is being demonstrated and manifested absolutely unequivocally," the political scientist said.
Populists who are working with ideas of ethnic exclusivity (or any other kind), according to Charvát, are beefing up such sentiments in society: "Many normal people who are not associated with any concrete group comprehend [populist messaging] as the legitimization of anything possible, including violence. We are seeing that this leads to a growth in violence."
The political scientist notes that when the "migration crisis" arrived as a topic in the Czech media in 2015, discussion of Romani people absolutely came to a halt. Now that the discussion of the "migration crisis" is fading, matters are returning to the public conversation that are associated with Romani people.
Charvát is convinced that the number of people in the Czech Republic who are willing to go as far as committing violence has long been rather constant: "Now, in the aftermath of the 'migration crisis' and the enormous space for debate dominated by such topics, [violence] has increased slightly, but I do not think it has increased fundamentally. Many such things usually happen all the time, but we have not been paying attention to them.”
- Czech intelligence: Right-wing extremists return to anti-Roma rhetoric, public tolerance of racism and xenophobia in politics rising
- Czech trial begins of brutal, allegedly racially-motivated assault by non-Romani adults on Romani children
- Czech Regional Court returns online hate speech case about death threats against first-graders to lower court, more evidence needed
- Michal Mižigár: What democracy brought us Romani people in the Czech Republic in the 1990s
- Czech ombudswoman: Haters online frequently refuse to admit to themselves that they could be breaking the law
- Zdeněk Ryšavý: Online hate - what can we do? Welcoming remarks at the 2019 Annual Conference of the International Network against Cyber Hate (INACH)
- LIVE BROADCAST: International Conference on Antigypsyism and Hate Speech Online
- Lifeguard gets state honors from Czech President for injuries sustained in brawl that sparked ultra-right anti-Romani demonstration
- Hate Killer 3000! campaign reminds bystanders in the Czech Republic how to stand up to hate
- International Network against Cyber Hate and ROMEA hold conference on antigypsyism and online hate in Czech capital
- Czech Prosecutor General insists online hate speech is a felony, Supreme Court agrees
- Czech Police, prosecutors intensively focus on online haters, number of prosecutions rising
- Czech Police investigating hateful online comments inciting violence against Czech Radio reporter that were sparked by politician
- Czech politician appeals sentence for his hateful remarks about minorities
- Czech prosecutor appeals after court acquits online hater of saying dark-skinned first-graders should be gassed to death
- Czech candidate shocked when online haters targeted her two-year-old
- Czech doctor prioritizes registration of Romani patients and receives hateful threats from non-Roma
- Nazi concentration camp survivors say authors of hateful online comments should be ashamed of themselves
- Czech Police say most hate crimes last year were against Roma, number of antisemitic attacks declined
- Czech Constitutional Court finds lower instance was wrong not to consider Romani celebrity subjected to online hate an injured party
- Czech prosecutor finds livestreamed remarks made in pub about "stabbing" politician rise to the level of a misdemeanor only
- Czech lower house to change leadership, the president and one vice-president will be women, ultranationalist welfare chauvinist is out
- Czech appeals court upholds sentences against married non-Romani couple who assaulted Romani children, compensation for mental anguish still has to be sued for separately
- Czech court hands down seven suspended sentences against members of neo-Nazi group after trial that lasted 11 years
- Czech Supreme Court upholds sentence for hate posted about non-white first-graders: Not a joke, but the promotion of Nazism
- Czech Police prosecuting one of the men who assaulted Romani people in Sokolov this summer, Internal Affairs says officers' procedure was correct
- Czech MP Okamura (SPD) to lose lower house vice-chair post because of his hatemongering, according to Civic Democratic Party member
- Czech Interior Minister, SocDem chair: The position of Roma will improve by combating the collections mafia and traffickers in poverty
- Czech man sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for one year, for assaulting Romani boy, but racial motivation is ignored
- Jaroslav Miko: Romani voters must cast their ballots for a democratic coalition, otherwise anti-Romani extremists may get into government
- Albanian comedy shows feature blackface, prejudice and stereotypes about Romani people
- Czech moderator cuts short interview with party chair who refuses to distance herself from anti-Jewish texts