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Czech Green Party chair describes hateful verbal assault on Prague public transport

5.3.2016 21:34
Matěj Stropnický, chair of the Green Party (Strana zelených) in the Czech Republic. (PHOTO:  Aktron/Wikimedi Commons)
Matěj Stropnický, chair of the Green Party (Strana zelených) in the Czech Republic. (PHOTO: Aktron/Wikimedi Commons)

It's happened to me twice now, within a very short amount of time. I get on the tram, take a seat, and suddenly behind me, from the rear platform, someone starts yelling this to the whole tram car:  "That's the creep who's inviting Muslims to our country to rape our Czech women, I'm telling everybody here, that's Matěj Stropnický, look at him" (the whole tram turns to look and a couple of people laugh at me) "the shame of our nation! What are you doing, you motherfucker? You wanna take me? Come on, get out, let's go!" (by now the tram is absolutely silent and, what's more, we're in a traffic jam).

The guy looks like a retired sailor, he's wearing jeans and fatigues, and it is 100 % certain that a discussion with him would lead nowhere, so I stay quiet with everyone else and let this exhibition of hatred cool off for lack of interest. He keeps it up for the seven long minutes to it takes to travel from one tram stop to the next.

Fortunately he doesn't ever touch me, but as he gets off the tram he announces that I will be lucky to survive the next time he sees me. He gets out, the doors close behind him, and the first thing that occurs to me is:  I will keep taking the tram, no hiding in a car.

I will not get into a fight, but I will also not back down in the face of extremism and stupidity. Then I ask myself:  How has it come about, the callousness of this aggressive retired sailor?

This person apparently feels he is speaking for the majority as it has been construed by Czech President Zeman for the last year whenever Zeman says "80 % of people reject" XY or Z, and this person presumes the entire tram is basically approving of his assault. He believes we are the allegedly dangerous naifs, the welcomers of refugees, and ultimately that we are traitors even though we are not inviting anyone anywhere, just refusing to hate someone just because he is, for example, an Arab, just considering it necessary to aid people fleeing war - but this person believes that from the very highest position in this country the recommended guidance is that we should all have Kalashnikovs aimed at us.

That, at least, is what these retired sailors and those like them tell themselves. This is precisely the cost of scoring "political points" by spinning all of this fear and hatred.

When this has occurred before in history, it sometimes has resulted in Kristallnachtsinstigated in order to score political points and tolerated once they are underway. Afterwards, politicians like Zeman, [Finance Minister] Babiš or [Interior Minister] Chovanec "ensure order" for all of the "decent citizens" - who then vote for them.

We must face down these politicians now. We won't win against Kalashnikovs.

Matěj Stropnický, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
Views: 417x

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Tags:  

Extremism, Násilí z nenávisti, Nenávist, Útok, Xenophobia



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