Friday, 12 February 2010

Spreading hate is not free speech

An article I read the other day: Tension fills Oregon campus over extremists. My thoughts about this are clear from the title of this entry. I decided to include this article since a Lithuanian was mentioned--not in the best light, I'm afraid. I'll refrain from making generalizations since I don't think they would be accurate or fair, but I can say that as a fairly racially homogeneous country, Lithuania couldn't be described as a beacon of tolerance for people whose skin is any shade darker than pale. What's strange, however, is that I've heard some of the most vehemently racist comments from Lithuanians who've lived abroad in multi-cultural countries. I should probably add that those comments came not from educated professionals, but from less well educated people. Quite likely the negative stereotypes of certain people can be reinforced by their negative experiences abroad, while at the same time people with more enlightened souls would tend to find the positive in their environment and understand that people are people.


Daiva said...

As an American you should know the concept of 'white trash'. This is the group that many Lithuanians find themselves in. They see themselves as not in any way different from mainstream Americans, yet for the latter they are 'post-Soviet', they are strange, and they are 'the Other'. 'White trash' is arguably some of the most racist groups in the American society when, faced with actual encounters and day-to-day competition with 'racially' different individuals in a similar class position, they struggle to belong to the white higher classes -- and, of course, are denied such belonging.

I'm not sure whether this applies to the student mentioned, but from what I know many Lithuanians are categorized as 'white trash' in the US, and are/become very racist. The same happens in the UK, where stereotypes brought from home are projected onto and strengthened by daily encounters.

A gloomy picture.

Rob and Mandy said...

Greetings from Cyprus, found your blog interesting, Regards

Inaie said...

Hello from a Brazilian living in Bahrain. I enjoyed reading your blog