Commentary: Czech Interior Ministry is realizing ultra-nationalist politician is becoming a monster
According to the latest quarterly report on extremism from the Czech Interior Ministry, the scandal named "Tomio Okamura" has reached a monstrous phase. The steep inclination of his political focus is culminating in a sheer extremism that is even overshadowing the "traditional" neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic propaganda on the extremist scene here.
When Okamura announced he would be running for the Senate in 2012, he said the following: "I am very sensitive about people being infringed upon because of their opinions or religion." Currently, as part of his campaign against democracy, Okamura is taking hateful swipes at Roma, his political opponents, gays and lesbians, not to mention migrants - they are the subject of his rabid ravings almost every day on the Internet's social networks.
It would be impossible to actually count the number of remarks Okamura has made against migrants. Here are a few examples.
He posted the following to Facebook on 26 August: "In Germany, because of immigration, the migrants are committing unbelievable atrocities. Here are the examples. During 2018, there were 4 100 crimes committed in the Federal Republic of Germany using a knife. In 2017 there were 3 700 such crimes, but in 2008 there were 'just' 400. During the last 10 years, the number of crimes committed using a knife in Germany has increased by more than 900 % - from one a day to more than 10. This crime is very frequently associated with immigrants, and the cases are very shocking. An African immigrant, for example, cut the head off of a young child... Another time an Eritrean immigrant from Africa pushed a mother and child under a train in Frankfurt... A Syrian immigrant used a sword to stab a man in front of his 11-year-old daughter in Germany...", etc.
These examples are either outright lies or an attempt to ascribe an individual's guilt to an entire group (collective blame). According to Okamura, migrants as a whole bear responsibility for the actions of some specific foreign nationals.
All it takes for him to blame migrants in Germany is that little phrase "This crime is very frequently associated with immigrants...". What does "frequently" mean, though?
How many migrants have committed such crimes, exactly? Why did they commit them?
Did all of the migrants who committed such crimes do so for the same reasons? Did any of these incidents involve, for example, self-defense?
What proportion of such crimes does the number of those committed by migrants represent compared to non-migrants who have committed the same kinds of acts? Okamura does not need any such facts, nor does he need proof, not even indirect proof.
He doesn't need to analyze this problem. He just publishes his allegations, his ideology, and his view of the world as if it were the truth.
All he needs for that are lies and generalizations - collective blame is an important, effective instrument of totalitarians, and Okamura is one, without a doubt, and he wants to take power. Let's recall, for example, that it was the crime of one individual - the murder of a German bureaucrat in Paris by a Jewish youth - that was the pretext for Hitler's adherents to unleash pogroms against Jewish people during Kristallnacht.
On the night of 9 November 1938 and into the early morning hours of 10 November, the Nazis humiliated, assaulted, murdered and abducted Jewish people in Germany to send them to concentration camps, doing the same one day later in occupied Austria and the occupied border areas of the Czech lands. A total of 267 synagogues were burned down or otherwise demolished, while 7 500 Jewish-owned apartments and shops were plundered during that time.
During the pogrom, 91 Jewish people were murdered and 30 000 ended up in extermination camps. Naturally, this had long been preceded by Hitler fiercely going after Jewish people, Romani people, his political opponents and homosexuals.
It was an atmosphere of hatred that made it possible for him to present a crime committed by one young man as an offense committed by all Jews. Exactly such an atmosphere is what Okamura is doing his best to bring about, with the hearty assistance of some other politicians and several media outlets - so the guru of this kind of politics, Czech President Zeman, has less work to do on that front, for the moment.
A "more effective, more progressive" SPD
The Czech Interior Ministry (and the Security Information Services - BIS) are currently more cautious in their reports on extremism when they describe the politics of Okamura's SPD party, because Zeman has "explained" to them that Okamura and his movements are not extremists. After all, if Zeman were to admit that Okamura is an extremist, then he would also inevitably have to consider himself an extremist.
Despite this, both institutions have been regularly reporting on the nature of the SPD's actions, if only by using metaphors and other ways of doing so. "The traditional extreme-right parties, in the period under review, were mainly oriented toward their relationships with their colleagues abroad. A great part of their domestic subject matter continues to be taken over by the more effective, more progressive 'Freedom and Direct Democracy - Tomio Okamura' movement," the Interior Ministry's quarterly report on extremism states.
"Xenophobic politicians, activists and disinformation media continue to successfully divide society. The target of this prejudicial hatred is becoming groups with different political convictions, more and more. Attacks against specific representatives of these groups are becoming a very dangerous phenomenon. The vast majority of such attacks, for the time being, are verbal aggression, but of course physical assaults have also been recorded," the report says.
The targets of these attacks have been, for quite some time, representatives of national, ethnic, religious and sexual minorities, homeless people and human rights activists, and rather more recently, politicians from non-extremist parties and journalists. Racist, xenophobic remarks and actions are being called patriotism and conservatism, or a controversial intention "to spark discussion about burning social questions".
The author of the report also writes that "experience abroad and domestically demonstrates that tolerating verbally hateful displays leads to their growing into physical violence. In the Czech Republic, it is possible to consider the radicalization of new activists or groups a current risk, as well as the further reactivation of older racist veterans of the neo-Nazi scene. Police and prosecutors therefore are dedicating increased attention to this security threat."
Displays of prejudicial hatred, according to the Interior Ministry, represent a danger to democracy, to specific groups and their individual members, and prevent the constructive addressing of social problems. There is really nothing more to add to that finding.
Just this, perhaps: It is a good thing that the Interior Ministry (and maybe even BIS) have actually begun to take this phenomenon seriously. Not so long ago, they didn't.
- Czech man who gave Nazi salute at ultra-nationalist rally gets fine and suspended sentence, appeals
- Commentary: Czech President spouts reassuring nonsense to ultra-nationalists
- Czech SocDem chair threatens to bring down Govt if ultranationalist nominee appointed to Czech News Agency board
- Commentary: Czech ultra-right politicians singing in harmony, and Russia likes it
- Czech Republic: 10th anniversary of arson attack against Romani family by ultra-right
- Civil society members of the Czech Govt Roma Council seek meeting with Czech Interior Minister and PM over recent interethnic violence
- Czech court gives former secretary to ultra-right party suspended sentence for inciting hatred
- Czech ultra-nationalist falsely attributes acid attack committed by native British man to "Muslim immigrants"
- Czech court hears testimony from former secretary to ultranationalist party about his bigoted outburst
- Former secretary for Czech ultranationalist party rejects indictment over his remarks about minorities
- Czech Police must re-investigate one MP for Holocaust denial, but head of ultranationalist party will not be prosecuted
- Czech Police charge man who wore banned neo-Nazi symbols to ultra-right rally
- Czech ultra-right extremists plan to commemorate 10th anniversary of their attempted pogrom on Romani people
- Czech Interior Minister says MP is lying about foreign nationals voting
- Czech Interior Ministry: SPD movement has assumed the agenda of the extreme right
- Czech MP spreads disinformation about terrorist threat, Interior Minister sharply objects
- Czech Green Party co-chair wants Interior Ministry to dissolve the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" Movement
- Czech Internet spreads lies and xenophobia after brawl in Brno, Interior Ministry responds
- Czech Interior Ministry monitoring up to 40 disinformation servers
- Czech Interior Minister and President disagree about disinformation unit
- Czech President attacks some welfare recipients, rejects immigrants, says Interior Ministry is "censoring" the Internet
- Czech Interior Minister meets with representatives of family of deceased Romani man
- Green Party says Czech Interior Minister must guarantee proper investigation of tragic incident in Žatec
- Football hooligans and neo-Nazis blame all Roma for violent crime and march through Czech town, riot police deployed
- Czech extremists move from inciting anti-Romani hatred to railing against "COVID terror" ahead of fall elections
- Czech appeals court exceptionally reduces sentence for social media user who approved of Christchurch massacre, notes current law is imbalanced
- František Kostlán: Both the Jews and the Roma were victims of the Holocaust
- Czech lower house committee chooses attorney now facing disciplinary action for making light of racist crime to join public broadcasting board
- Czech court reopens case against accused neo-Nazis that has lasted more than a decade
- The disinformation pandemic: Who are the Czech "anti-maskers", and could they seize power?
- Czech Prosecutor General appeals case to Supreme Court, says antisemitic death threats are a crime, not a misdemeanor
- Czech MP protesting measures to stem COVID-19 pandemic is a trafficker in poverty with a history of anti-Romani racism
- Czech ombudsman attacks ROMEA organization for criticizing racist joke by incoming Chief Public Health Officer
- Fascist party in Slovakia seems to be falling apart
- Czech MP publishes collage comparing vaccinations against COVID-19 to the Holocaust and using imagery of the gate at Auschwitz