Monday, June 15, 2009

Which Country is the Most Racist in the World?

Just the other day, I went to Tesco. On the way there, I always walk by a park where kids are playing. As I was passing by, two 6 year old boys were pointing at me making "Chinese sounds". I tried not to let it get to me since they were just little boys and didn't know any better. The people I should feel most angry about is their parents. You know that saying, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree?". And I'm sure if I walked over there and told those kids how to behave, their parents would run right over and I'd get a smack down. Not worth my personal safety.

An incident such as this isn't the first time this has happened to me. For example, here and here. In some places, I would get stared down and/or given the stink eye, be completely ignored, or assume that I don't know how to speak English (which also equates to being stupid). I try not to let it bother me but sometimes it does and sometimes it really makes me sick.

I'm not going to lie. I've thought about how much easier it would be to live here if I were Caucasian. At least I can blend in a crowd as long as they don't hear my American accent. This thought has never entered my mind before living in Northern Ireland. I've lived in two other countries, Ghana and Cuba, and I've never had this problem. They would be curious about me but they wouldn't blatantly insult me or make me feel unwelcome in their country because of the color of my skin.

All this made me wonder and got me sleuthing on the interwank. I typed in google, "most racist country" and surprise, surprise...

From Conde Naste (July 26, 2007):

The Most Racist Country in the Western World

Or homophobic, or xenophobic, or anti-semitic.

It's been said that industrialized nations are becoming more intolerant of foreigners, and a provocative new paper in the August issue of Kyklos tries to quantify just how bigoted Western nations are.

The paper's authors used responses from a question in the Human Beliefs and Values Survey -- a twice-a-decade survey of social and political attitudes around the world -- which asked respondents how they would feel about living next to: People of different ethnicities, Muslims, Jews, immigrants or foreign workers, and homosexuals.

The researchers used these answers as a proxy for bigotry in each country. (The survey took place in 1999-2000).

And the most prejudiced country? Drumroll please...

Northern Ireland with an estimated 44 percent of its population saying they wouldn't want to live next to one of the above five groups took the top "prize." Breathing down it's neck was Greece with 43.2 percent and at 37.6 percent Italy rounded out the top three.

The least bigoted nations were dominated by Scandinavian countries: Sweden (13.4%), the Netherlands (17.2%), Iceland (18.4%), Canada (21.5%), Denmark (21.9%).

(Germany joins the ranks of the most bigoted nations using an alternative measure based on how strong bigoted feelings were among those who had them, the researchers found.)

The United States was estimated to have a 30.4 percent level of bigotry.

On average, about one out of every three people in the 19 countries used in the study were bigoted.

By far the most hated group were homosexuals with an overall average of 19.6 percent of people saying they wouldn't want them as neighbors. Next up were Muslims with 14.5 percent, but since the survey was taken before September 11th, those results might be much different today.

Click here and scroll down for the drop down menu to look at how each country stacks up in the different categories of who didn't want there neighbors to be (a different race, Muslim, Jewish, an immigrant, or homosexual).

There was also research conducted by the University of Ulster, The Hidden Truth: Racist Harassment in Northern Ireland, which I found was a very insightful read.


Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised. At work,sky news was on tv and they were interviewing a member of the pakistani cricket team and one of my co-workers was making fun of his accent. I was thinking you asshole, at least he can speak 2 languages and you can barely speak one. He may think he's just trying to be funny but it is still racism and still unacceptable.

Stuff like this happens all the time here.

Jennifer said...

Funny how the "least" racist countries are scandinavian ones (and I'm chuffed that Canada is one of 'em). Makes you wonder what exactly is it about these cold climate countries....?!

Flippin' Yank said...

I just noticed they listed Canada as a Scandinavian country! :D

It doesn't surprise me one bit about the least racist countries. Polls consistently show they are the happiest countries.

Big Daddy said...

Asians countries are the most racist. Han Chinese in particular are so ignorant about their blatant racism against others. They call themselves chauvinists but they are plain racists. We all have racist elements but Western nations are the least racist as we are the only fool embracing open immigration and multiculturalism.

Go and live in an asian country for a year, I did and was shocked at the racism.

Anonymous said...

Rascism should not be associated with countries but with some set of individuals.....One must think what makes them behave in such a way....and a intense thinking and reflection will give you a final answer that these people are not educated enough or do not really use their brain to reflect the realities of existence...they just are ignorant and want to walk on an easy path which denotes the majority population ..who believes in doing rather than thinking and doing....also I believe physchological factors can play a role but really an educated human being would understand a simple truth i.e. 'when one takes birth do not knows which race or country will he/she will be born, but is just bord the conclusion is to respect everyone around you...unless their actvities harm the human existence moral values'.

Anonymous said...

You have to be happy that u havent been in Bulgaria!Bulgarians are the most racist people in Europe!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comments about asians being the most racist. I live in koreatown in the los angeles area and I have lived in chinatown in los angeles too aswell as monterey park and asians are so racist in some cases these koreans wont even serve you if you go in to their restaurants. I thought this was america. if you are hispanic or black they treat you like trash but as soon as they see white people they are like soft like butter. I have also worked with a lot of asians at a commission based business and the asians could have hated each other but they would rather give each other the business instead of giving it to anyone else. I'm looking to move to a white neighbor hood now because at least their racism is out in the open but they will still serve you in their restaurants.

JGonzo said...

To Anonoymous 6:40 PM,

What are you talking about? I'm Hispanic and live in Los Angeles. I have never had a problem being served at a Korean restaurant or any Asian restaurant for that matter.

Maybe the problem isn't your race. Maybe it's just you?

Anonymous said...

so funny this is here, I am hispanic but am dating someone who is asian, korean to be exact. we went to a korean restaurant a few weeks ago and had no problem. last night I took some of my girlfriends there and sans my korean bf and we were turned away without service.

I told my bf about it and he said this was not uncommon. I see someone else has had this experience, anyone else?