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Czech Olympic athlete: Neo-Nazi opinions are being made dangerously palatable today

24.4.2017 8:00
Jaroslav Radoň and Filip Dvořák are successful international representatives of the Czech Republic in sprint canoeing who have taken a stand against neo-Fascism. (PHOTO:  YouTube.com)
Jaroslav Radoň and Filip Dvořák are successful international representatives of the Czech Republic in sprint canoeing who have taken a stand against neo-Fascism. (PHOTO: YouTube.com)

According to the Czech sprint canoeist Filip Dvořák, extremist opinions are being given to the public today in a much more palatable way than ever before and people are more receptive to them for various reasons. The athlete, who has won the Czech Republic's championship in the sport more than once and is also a successful Olympic competitor, made his remarks in an interview for news server isport.cz, where he expressed his own position on racism and xenophobia, which he believes has no business being part of contemporary society.

Dvořák is famous for supporting the anti-fascist movement "Good Night White Pride" by making a video clip in 2013 with his fellow canoeist Jaroslav Radoň called "Nazis are Zeros" (Náckové jsou nuly) and said he intends to continue his activities in this field despite the negative reactions such work sparks. "One commentary, for example, was that we had been paid to say what we said, which is absolutely absurd. They even accused us of treason, affiliation with the anarchocommunist movement and stuff like that," the athlete told isport.cz.

In the interview, Dvořák reflects on the current situation which, in his view, is deteriorating, as extremist opinions are being given to the public in much more acceptable ways than before and people are more open to them for various reasons. "In my opinion, the big danger is that neo-Fascist and neo-Nazi opinions are beginning to be hidden inside of positions and statements that are much more acceptable to mainstream society. They are decidedly more acceptable than the Nazi- skinheads who used to wade around here in their hiking boots with white laces and their camoflauge bomber jackets," he told isport.cz.

"A terribly big percentage of the general population is open to listening to various slogans and suggestions that spark quite hateful reactions. I don't know why that is, whether it's because people have the feeling that they are not well off or that they should be better off," he said.

Dvořák said he now sees the solution as taking a more conciliatory attitude toward those in the opposite camp and in communicating with them instead of ridiculing them. "We can believe whatever we want, but unless we take such people seriously, nothing will improve," he said.

The athlete does admit, however, that communication is not possible with some people. "Then there are, naturally, people whose opinions are so dangerous and extreme that no kind of communication with them makes any sense," he told isport.cz.

Die, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Tags:  

Fascism, Good Night White Pride, Neo-Nazism, Racism



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