Present in society, although not entirely visible, as a hidden and voracious disease, racism and xenophobia have intensified in the Region in recent times, especially since it has become normalized in daily political discourse after the irruption and the prominence of the extreme right in the Assembly: the xenophobic aggression that has left 22-year-old Mimun Kutaibi in a coma, and, above all, the racist crime that took the life of Moroccan Yunes Bilal on June 12 in Mazarrón have been the last racist episodes in the Region of Murcia.
A now hostile territory, where attacks against the migrant population have been increasing. ‘Living without Racism’, its spokesperson Juan Guirado and all the people affected by xenophobic violence have not hesitated for a second to take to the streets to claim and protect their rights, to stand alongside the victims, to offer them their unconditional help, to say “enough”.
“Racism has existed for a long time. They say no, but we feel it. Now it has grown older and has had more notoriety. Unfortunately when Spain is in a moment of crisis, racism increases more”, laments Yolima, who He has lived in Spain for more than 14 years.
Since he left Colombia to improve his life, he complains that they have never let him forget that he is not “from here”: “Even one’s friends make comments about those things and forget that I am also a migrant, the color of my skin. I have”.
“I am married to a Spaniard and I am taller and darker than he is. When we first go out the looks of the people come and then they say that he took me out of a whorehouse,” she says.
“I don’t feel free here; they don’t let me be myself. Even when I go shopping. I went to get a mattress and the clerk took me to the back of the store and showed me things on sale. I asked her if she had nothing else and she answered no, that’s what outsiders always buy. That we were all the same, that we went to what was left.
Mustafá, a resident of Murcia, shares the feeling of not being able to escape the racism that accompanies him wherever he goes: “Even at the police station they have treated me badly and I had to denounce them.”
“The good migrant”
Yolima feels that to appease the racism that is poured on her, she has to show her worth all the time: “I always have to show that I am not a prostitute, that I am not a drug trafficker.” When comments are not directed at her, Yolima has to listen to racist complaints and smears about the rest of the migrants. “I have known the ladies of the neighborhood for a long time. Every time there is an incident with an immigrant I hear them say barbarities. When they killed that child in Almería, Gabriel, they said that the immigrants came to hurt, that everyone should return to her country. That’s what I hear the most, that they should send me to my fucking country. One of the neighbors grabbed me by the knee and told me that she wasn’t saying it for me, that I was good. ”
Yolima regrets that the racism she suffers is beginning to take its toll on her: “That damage is done like when water falls on a rock. At the end it makes a furrow. That happens to me, I am wearing out. And emotionally I feel like this, they are many things”.
Mustafá observes that the migrant’s situation has worsened “because of the xenophobic speeches and hateful messages spilled by the far-right party Vox.”
In the 2019 general elections, those of Santiago Abascal won in the Murcia constituency. Currently, expelled members of the far-right party are part of the regional government, leading the Ministry of Education.
“If they tell me that Vox wins in Madrid, Barcelona or in the Basque Country, where immigrants have more rights than here … but in Murcia we do the worst jobs and the economy depends on foreign hands,” Mustafá emphasizes. And he wonders “what would the Region be like if one day dawns without foreigners. Who takes care of the elderly? Who goes out at 3 in the morning to do 400 km a day just to get to work? Who works 14 hours a day? 30 euros?”
Yolima explains that the result of the general elections left her with a feeling of “loneliness”: “I live in San José, one of the neighborhoods that voted the most for Vox in Molina de Segura. If I look around, it was surely the election from most of my neighbors. I hardly believe it. ”
For Mustafá, that ex-members of Vox direct the Ministry of Education “nothing changes”: “If previously in some towns they separated students in class between Spaniards and immigrants, now I imagine that they will build special schools for us,” he ironizes.
Yolima, for her part, considers that racism begins with the education of the youngest: “You see it, you see how parents tell their children not to hang out with this or that child. In the end we are always segregated. And now that we have social networks there is another place for people to fill their heads with stories “.
“He had some Moroccan neighbors. They would throw things at his children and always shout the same thing at them: terrorists. That hurts a lot, how do you want that child to not grow up resentful, if his own friends call him a terrorist, a shitty Moor? I hate. They ask us to integrate, but they won’t let us, “Yolima laments.
“The Catholic and the Muslim believe in God”
Racist attacks also affect religion. Some Spanish residents of the Apolonia neighborhood (Lorca) have staged two cacerolades against the opening of a mosque in the area despite the fact that, according to the mayor, the place has all the permits for worship.
Jadiyatu, a resident of Las Torres, is outraged by these protests: “I am a Muslim. The Catholic and the Muslim believe in God. But each one has their way of praying. Each person should have freedom and the possibility of meeting in a place. to be able to get in touch with God, “he observes.
Mustafá has never forgotten what happened ten years ago in La Aljorra, when they vandalized the mosque in this small municipality of Cartagena: “I saw with my own eyes a dead pig at the door of the mosque and with Moorish graffiti outside on the facade.”
“Catholics have churches, Muslims want a mosque to pray, not to kill people or make noise. They think that when they are in a mosque they have direct contact with God, why don’t they let them do it?”