Hay racismo y xenofobismo en Belgica?26 Aug 2008, 05:30 E
It's not something we're very proud of, but yes, there is a lot of racism in Belgium, the extreme right party gets up to 30% of the votes in some of the major cities with a very heavy anti-immigration program. It is mainly visible, but certainly not limited to, the Dutch speaking part of Belgium.
However, I must add that you won't notice it that much in the streets. The racism is not so much based on the colour of your skin, but on the efforts you make to integrate into Belgian society.
An important part of the way "integration" is understood in Belgium, (especially in Flanders, maybe less in Wallonia and Brussels) is learning the language. Don't be afraid to speak Dutch in Flanders, even if it is just a little bit and full of mistakes, people will genuinely appreciate the effort and will be a lot more open.Peter, Belgium 23 Oct 2008, 08:24 - Report
there indeed is quite a lot of racism in Belgium. But it is mostly in cities such as Antwerp, where there are a lot of immigrants. I, myself am a 19-year-old girl, I come from Beerse, a town near the city of Turnhout in the province of Antwerp. I have been studying at the University of Antwerp since September 2007. I live in digs in the centre of Antwerp. My first dig wasn't a great success and it was broken into when suring the Easter holidays when I was there for one night. We (me and my boyfriend) saw the burglar, probably an immigrant, but we didn't know it for sure and that's what we told the police. When I recall this, I feel so stupid that I didn't just say that it was an immigrant. I must admit, since I am living in Antwerp, I have become a lot more racist. I was always open to other cultures and other people, but when I see a typical group of young male immigrants from Turkish or Moroccan origine, my face turns from happy to 'in a very bad mood'. And still they say those stupid things to me.
In my opinion, and a lot of people probably think so too, the racism comes forth of the number of immigrants. There are just too many immigrants in Belgium. And, indeed, if they would all integrate themselves, OK, then there wouldn't be such a problem. But a lot of people just don't integrate. You have the Muslim women that run the errands but don't understand how much they have to pay because they don't speak any Dutch and then they don't have enough money and they give things back that they don't need anymore. But everything has to be scanned again and there is a whole line of people, with things to put in the deep freezer waiting...Yes, it's something I have experienced! I wouldn't call myself a racist but these things really start to bug you. OK, it can happen to everybody that's true...Like I said, there are too many immigrants, especially in Antwerp although it would be even worse in Brussels. What I want to achieve with this comment, is that people might understand why Belgians are racist. I have never been racist in my life, but since I have come in contact with more and more immigrants and those contacts weren't always nice, most of them were quite bad, I have become more racist. This doesn't mean that next time I will vote for 'Vlaams Belang', their ideas don't really stroke with mine.
So, please don't entirely blame the Belgians for being racist.Paulien 02 May 2009, 12:08 - Report