Czech Republic: Romani local candidate says racism poses the same threat as Fascism
News server Romea.cz has prepared a series of brief interviews with Romani candidates in the upcoming local elections. This interview is with 18-year-old Ondřej Provazník, a candidate with the ANO movement in Prostějov.
Provazník recently had the misfortune of seeing his photograph on ANO's campaign posters graffitied with the racist slogans "Black mug" and "Don't vote for a nigger". Similar vulgar attacks have also targeted the local female manager of the ANO movement and all three of its candidates.
"I have filed a criminal report against an unidentified perpetrator with police. What is decent and normal is to tolerate different opinions," Provazník said in response to the vandalism.
Q: If elected, what is the most important intention or issue you plan to enforce?
A: Not just I, but all of my colleagues from ANO would pimarily like to keep our promises to the citizens. That means we will shine a light on public tenders so they are transparent and we will arrange for our town to be welcoming to members of all generations.
Q: How specifically do you want to help improve coexistence between the gadje and Roma?
A: Primarily by doing my best to get actively involved in what is going on in town. I mainly want to see less talk and more something finally being done. What I consider important is that there will be meetings with the Romani community in Prostějov to address problems and offer constructive solutions, whether it has to do with social security, finding stable work or civil coexistence.
Q: Recently someone graffitied your photo on the campaign posters of the ANO movement with racist slogans. What do you say to that? Was this your first "contact" with racism? What do you believe should be done with racism, how should we respond to it?
A: What do I say to it? Just that the person who did this doesn't have his head on straight. I consider it unethical. I have practically never encountered racism per se. I ignore it when people dig at others that way sometimes. It's stupid of them. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I know how to do much more than some people and I am proud of it. Racism must be handled uncompromisingly, as it is one of the threats in today's world, just like Fascism or nationalism. It should be properly punished.
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