In the last week three people have been victims of racist attacks in Spain. One of them, Younes Bilal, died in Mazarrón from injuries received at the hands of an ex-military man who fired three shots at him at point-blank range shouting ‘shitty moro’. No institutional representation attended his funeral, except for the Moroccan consul of the region. The samples of condemnation have stood out for their shyness and too many provincial public officials have looked the other way, avoiding warning against racism and violence to which hate speech incites or downplaying what happened.
Hours after the murder of Younes, a Moroccan worker was attacked in Moguer (Huelva) by a strawberry businessman who had just been asked to pay a debt for 51 days of work. He was kicked and beaten with a hoe. Two days later a migrant woman was stabbed in a food queue in Cartagena, shouting ‘Sudaca, they take our food!’ The arguments that encourage the rejection of the penultimate against the last calan, even more so when there are neither speeches nor forceful policies that fight them with clarity and pedagogy on a daily basis.
Across Europe, the criminalization of the migrant population and the violation of the right to asylum are growing. All eyes point to Vox and other far-right formations on our continent as responsible. But Vox would not exist without a structural bottom fishing ground that has spent decades – if not centuries – legitimizing racism. Before Vox, there were already institutionalized laws and policies that allow the unprotection of potential refugees and the stigmatization of migrants, transmitting the idea that there is not enough for everyone and legitimizing the belief that not everyone can have rights.
The raising of walls, the installation of concertinas, the imposition of increasingly dangerous routes in the Mediterranean, the creation of refugee camps, the externalization of borders so that people die far from our territory and from our consciences, contribute to transmit the idea that “outsiders” are potential dangers, threats to our well-being.
These policies come in many cases from governments that are not made up of parties of the extreme right, but that nevertheless assume with their measures part of the postulates that this wields in relation to the migrant population. If the official authorities despise people without papers, if they are denied rights, if hot returns are made, if maximum labor exploitation is applied to them, if they are locked up in detention centers for foreigners, why is it going to do people think they deserve decent treatment?
Hate speeches have long been normalized on some television sets and too many public actors avoid facing them, for fear of losing popularity. They consider that it is easier to remain silent and act by probing and hashtag. This type of politician is thus reduced to a mere transmitter of alleged popular wills dictated not through the vote, but through the media gathering or an arbitrary interpretation of the social climate.
It is the policy devoid of all courage and social responsibility, the willingness to lower the level to stupidity if necessary in order to get votes through the apparently easiest and undoubtedly most damaging route for the whole of a country. His argument and his modus operandi It is similar to that journalism and infotainment who hide behind the public to justify their junk-content. It is that school that says “we do shit because they ask us shit”, a fallacy sustained by enthusiasts of the law of least effort and those unaware of the banality of evil.
Journalism has the task of offering quality information, with a minimum idea of ethics, to avoid hateful approaches, to dig into what it explains and goes through, to dare to bet on essential issues. In the same way, politics must serve to promote an education of respect that values the highest value that our civilization has achieved: human rights.
European governments had better jump-start with anti-racist policies if they really want to leave healthier societies and more promising futures for youth. That happens by assuming pedagogical discourses, by promoting transversal educational programs in schools and institutes, by treating racism as a State problem and by clearly condemning, without fear, each and every one of the racist aggressions that are registered. This also happens through non-discriminatory policies, capable of defending the rights of all the people who inhabit a territory, willing to renounce the exclusion and stigmatization of others, because the others are also us.