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František Kostlán: Czech Senátor Jaroslav Doubrava is a racist

Prague, 25.8.2011 21:42, (ROMEA)
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Czech Senator Jaroslav Doubrava (Severočeši.cz -"NorthBohemians.Cz" party) has laid another log on the fire of radical declarations being made by politicians about the Romani minority. In his view, Romani people are committing crimes with impunity and the army should ensure they are disciplined.

Czech human rights activist František Kostlán sees the career of Doubrava, a former communist turned racist, as a journey from one totalitarian ideology to another. Political scientist Lukáš Jelínek adds that politicians are not supposed to be overly dramatic about situations and exacerbate passions. News server ParlamentníListy.cz has printed an article on the issue.

Such statements made by Doubrava (and several other senators) have prompted justified condemnation for some time, and the same applies to his new populist declarations. Doubrava would like to see the army in Šluknov district.

"The situation is very serious. Do we want the Gypsies to set our towns on fire like the unrest in England?" Doubrava asks, adding: "In my opinion the army should be prepared in any event, because what is starting to happen is well in excess of what is tolerable... The Government has long underestimated the gypsy problem - and not only the Government, it's a general problem. The Government and the responsible bodies of the state administration are ignoring racism committed by Gypsies. Gypsies know full well that nothing is going on, that nothing can happen to them, that no one can punish them without being labeled a racist, so they are getting away with more and more and it ends in machete attacks."

Doubrava goes on to say: "Recent events just bear witness to what I am saying. Sentencing should be more strict, to the limit of the law, we should not be afraid to condemn these crooks. The law should be made more strict and the sentences increased. The fun is over. The situation is very serious. Do we want the Gypsies to set our towns on fire like the unrest in England? At the very least these attacks are comparable to the attack on Natálka and in some instances even more brutal. When you take the case of Nový Bor, that was not an effort just to injure that person. The sole intention was to cut his head off. Fortunately, the attacking Gypsies did not succeed. It is scandalous when such attacks are classified only as battery. Don't tell me that if someone wants to just injure someone else he strikes him on the head with a machete. This is a clear case of attempted murder. This is not an ordinary pub brawl," the senator said.

Doubrava is preparing to turn to the appropriate authorities to address the situation thoroughly and will try to submit legislation in the Czech Senate to tighten existing laws. "In any event I will be speaking with my colleagues about this and I will do my best to make them stop closing their eyes to this aggression and terror. Action must be taken. Legislative changes are essential and now there is a need to make use of the tools already available to us," the senator said.

The senator's concerns and posturing are not shared either by human rights activist František Kostlán or by political scientist Lukáš Jelínek. They consider the senator from North Bohemia to be a racist and a xenophobe trying to score political points by making strong declarations.

"In my opinion, Senator Doubrava is a racist. Only a person suffering from that affliction could place the blame for individual incidents on all of the members of that ethnicity. Moreover, he has done so extremely hysterically in order to spark the strongest possible negative emotions. He is reveling in the obvious lie that 'no one punishes the Gypsies'. In both of these recent crimes (Nový Bor and Rumburk), as in many others, the police discovered who the perpetrators were almost immediately and their investigations are being performed according to standard. On the other hand, we have on file many more cases where Romani people were the victims of attack and police never took any interest in those cases," František Kostlán of news server Romea.cz told news server ParlamentníListy.cz. Romea.cz has long performed monitoring of the extreme right in the Czech Republic and has publicized cases of such violence.

Kostlán has no objections to the senator's proposal that "[t]he law should be made more strict and the sentences increased." "From a pragmatic standpoint, I have nothing against increasing the sentencing limits for more serious felonies, on the contrary, but the laws must be general in nature and apply to all who commit violence, not just Romani people as Doubrava indicates," Kostlán said.

Kostlán says such one-sided statements are typical of the senator from North Bohemia. "These statements tell us a lot about Doubrava: He has exchanged one totalitarian ideology (he was a communist until recently) for another just as totalitarian. His call for the army to get ready is testament to that. Only authoritarian and totalitarian states use armies against their own citizens. I would not be surprised if Doubrava eventually ended up in a political party together with Bátora, Czech President Klaus's yes-men Hájek and Jakl, and [DSSS chair] Vandas," Kostlán says.

Political scientist Lukáš Jelínek also does not like Doubrava's statements. In his view, the senator's posturing is dubious and problematic for two reasons. The first reason is that Jelínek believes politicians should not "exacerbate passions, dramatize situations and set one group against another."

The second reason Jelínek considers Doubrava's posturing problematic is the senator's long political career. "The senator has been in politics a long time. One would expect that if this topic was of such interest to him he would have already proposed legislation to address it. However, instead we see that after 20 years in politics, he is complaining about the Government and politicians at a time when a tense situation is underway."

Jelínek says it is also typical for xenophobes of Doubrava's type to be found either in jobs where voters would have a hard time influencing their appointment (such as various kinds of government advisers) or in the Czech Senate, as it is much easier for candidates with extremist ideologies to make it into office there than in the lower house. "The fact that such a person is a senator tells us primarily how very little interest citizens take in the Senate. When voter turnouts are low, it is easy for such people to be elected and thereby receive mandates to engage in pure demagoguery and populism," Jelínek said.

Previous recent statements made by Czech Senator Jaroslav Doubrava:

"I heard a gypsy teenager say to his friend: 'Man I'm not enjoying fucking my mother anymore, I'd rather fuck my sister, by Dad is fucking her and he would slap me.' I almost fainted."

"Unfortunately it is still the case that most Gypsies consider work to be the worst possible way to make a living... We don't want to watch while they destroy our region. Despite all that hollow bullshit about human rights and tolerance, we will do something before it's too late."

"That community is illiterate, but who is preventing their access to education? They themselves are, because they definitely do not want to learn."

Gwendolyn Albert, Parlamentnilisty.cz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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