Czech Gov't Council on Romani Affairs calls on public figures to speak out against hate and xenophobia
The civil society members of the Czech Government Council on Romani Affairs have called on public figures to take a clear stand against the xenophobic music group Ortel, which is spreading hatred and has received an award as part of a popular music survey. "The prizewinning band has a clear connection to the extreme right and espouses ideas that are incompatible with the basic legal documents of the Czech Republic by supporting hatred against various groups of people. It is not possible to express support of any kind for such performers," reads their declaration, which news server Romea.cz publishes here in full translation:
Calling All Public Figures in the Czech Republic
We, the civil society members of the Czech Government Council on Romani Minority Affairs, are turning to those public figures who have not yet done so to consider what their civic position is in the matter of the award recently bestowed upon a xenophobic music group by the "Český slavík" opinion poll and to express their opinion publicly. The prizewinning band has a clear connection to the extreme right and espouses ideas that are incompatible with the basic legal documents of the Czech Republic by supporting hatred against various groups of people. It is not possible to express support of any kind for such performers.
We are aware that this is a public poll, and that makes it even more important to consider the high ranking for this xenophobic band, for a second year in a row, as a reflection of the current trend of radicalization in society. At the same time, it is also a consequence of the absolute absence of any intervention into the societal discourse by publicly-known figures who are not themselves politicians.
As persons who are very visible in the public sphere, you have significant influence over public opinion. Do not, therefore, support this hatred and xenophobia by making excuses for it, ignoring the facts, and staying silent.
Take advantage of your influence to establish a constructive, correct societal discourse. Support democracy by clearly stating your opinion.
We thank those figures who have already done so. Their position is not just an expression of some sort of personal bravery, but is primarily a display of healthy civic self-confidence and a conscious effort to protect the basic values of democracy.
Civil society members of the Czech Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs;
Jan Balog, vice-chair for the civil society section
Bc. Martina Horváthová, member
Bc. Lýdia Poláčková, member
PhDr. Jana Horváthová, member
PhDr. Renáta Köttnerová, member
Mgr. Jan Kudry, Ph.D., member
Mgr. Lucie Fuková, member
František Bikár, member
Ing. Emil Horvát, member
Čeněk Růžička, member
Ing. Karel Holomek, member
Edita Pišojová, member
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