Czech MP Karel Schwarzenberg: Mr President, you've committed another complete faux pas
Czech MP Karel Schwarzenberg, a former Foreign Affairs Minister, has responded to the visit paid by Czech President Miloš Zeman to the residency of the Ambassador of the United States of America earlier this week and to the remarks he made on that occasion. Zeman criticized what he called the "opinion leaders" associated with protests against racism underway in the US and worldwide.
The Czech President said he did not need any new "Big Brothers" to tell him which values he should hold. He then labeled the "Black Lives Matter" slogan used in the American protests "racist".
Schwarzenberg has refuted that claim on his own Facebook page, posting: "Our President always prepares a surprise. At yesterday's annual reception at the residence of the American ambassador, at the close of his traditional speech, he said that 'Black Lives Matter' is a racist statement. It is not."
The MP recalls in his post how the slogan came about: "In some places - and I admit that this includes the two Central European countries that I actually know well - police officers are much more strict with darker-skinned citizens, and very often they are even rather brutal. When I was chair of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, I was rather frequently made aware of that fact. This is nothing new, not in America and not in Europe. In America the value of a human life - and maybe this is a tradition of the Wild West - is taken somewhat lightly, and many more dark-skinned Americans die at the hands of the police there than anybody else. That is the origin of the slogan calling for the importance of Black lives."
According to Schwarzenberg, the slogan is not aimed against anybody who is not Black. "This is the desperate cry of Americans who are not yet viewed as equal citizens always and everwhere, not even more than 150 years after the abolition of slavery. Mr President, once again, you have committed another complete faux pas," he posted.
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