The least racist country?

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jjono
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The least racist country?

Postby jjono » Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:35 pm UTC

In the light of discussions of racism in the US and in my own country (Australia), I've been thinking...

What do people think is the least racist country?

To qualify for consideration, a country must have a significant ethnic or cultural minority, or else that country's views can be considered untested. By "significant", I mean anything upwards of about 10%. Minorities from more distant cultures should be considered better tests (I'm not really interested in the plight of Danish Swedes). Also, don't forget about indigenous minorities!

Seeing as this is SB, I am looking for evidence, best of all in the form of meaningful and reliable statistics. Some examples of things to consider (by no means exclusive) are:
1. Employment. Do people of different races earn similar wages?
2. Education. Are minorities well-represented in secondary and tertiary eduction?
3. The Law. Arrest rates, conviction rates, deaths in custody.
4. The media.
5. Public figures. Are minorities proportionally represented in politics?
6. Social life. Are mixed-race relationships common?


(Mods - Is this S enough for SB?) (It would be prudent to ask this sort of question *before* you post. -Az) Ok sorry!
Last edited by jjono on Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:46 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:23 pm UTC

jjono wrote:(I'm not really interested in the plight of Danish Swedes).


This reminds me of this sketch on youtube:

The Danish language has always been impossible to understand for most Scandinavians, but the recent weeks its been impossible for us to understand in Denmark, too. So, for me, the Danish language has collapsed into meaningless guttural sounds.

It's funnier for me because I was able to learn bits of German in Germany but learning Danish in Denmark was impossible.

jjono wrote:To qualify for consideration, a country must have a significant ethnic or cultural minority, or else that country's views can be considered untested. By "significant", I mean anything upwards of about 10%. Minorities from more distant cultures should be considered better tests (I'm not really interested in the plight of Danish Swedes). Also, don't forget about indigenous minorities!


This may be part of the problem. Japan and Sweden might not have many race problems within their society, but certain foreigners coming in may face significant hostility. Countries like Brazil and South Africa are very racist, but they have more mixed populations than many other places. So you've got complications that pull things in different directions, and it's hard to compare apples with apples.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Sharlos » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:44 pm UTC

This should probably be renamed to "The country least racist to its own citizens" as your OP excludes foreigners, and foreign cultures and similar possibilities.

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Darkscull » Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:28 pm UTC

Sharlos wrote:This should probably be renamed to "The country least racist to its own citizens" as your OP excludes foreigners, and foreign cultures and similar possibilities.


The attitudes of a country towards people of another country can't really be tested*, whereas the attitudes within a country to minorities in that country can be.

That's why there's the 10% minority population floor, so that countries with no minorities that are xenophobes can't slip in as least racist.

So I would say that that's a needless correction, since the pedantic interpretation of the current title couldn't really exist as a thread (not in SB with evidence and such anyway)


*except by polling or something, but that doesn't count
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby yohanleafheart » Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:47 pm UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote: Countries like Brazil


Sorry, you are very wrong. Not saying it doesn't happen, as it does, and more noticeable on the urban centers. But not very racist as you implied. We are no Southern America for example, and far from South Africa during the apartheid.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby TheStranger » Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:06 pm UTC

I think that it's generally unqualified as to which country is the 'least racist'.

There are countries with high instances or racism, and low instances of racism... but among those that are low I don't see how you could qualify one as the least (just as asking which country is the most racist). This is largely because baring full fledged institutionalized racism you would have to spend a good deal of time pouring over statistics to even get a sense of how racist a country is. Then add that racism can manifest in different ways that makes it very hard to make comparisons (in country A minority X has unemployment 10% higher then the majority, in country B minority Y is paid 10% less then the majority).

Even generating a qualitative remark for a single country over a period of time is difficult (Modern America is less racist then Segregationist America, but I don't see how you quantify that to 45% less racist).
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Lemminkainen » Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:24 pm UTC

Darkscull wrote:
Sharlos wrote:This should probably be renamed to "The country least racist to its own citizens" as your OP excludes foreigners, and foreign cultures and similar possibilities.


The attitudes of a country towards people of another country can't really be tested*, whereas the attitudes within a country to minorities in that country can be.


It certainly can. Pretty much any country that's not North Korea has immigrants. Attitudes toward major immigrant groups-- through reporting of crimes, treatment by laws, and treatment by the media-- can be monitored.

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Darkscull » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:17 pm UTC

Lemminkainen wrote:
Darkscull wrote:
Sharlos wrote:This should probably be renamed to "The country least racist to its own citizens" as your OP excludes foreigners, and foreign cultures and similar possibilities.


The attitudes of a country towards people of another country can't really be tested*, whereas the attitudes within a country to minorities in that country can be.


It certainly can. Pretty much any country that's not North Korea has immigrants. Attitudes toward major immigrant groups-- through reporting of crimes, treatment by laws, and treatment by the media-- can be monitored.


Immigrants are minority populations, and are therefore included in the OP, or at least that's how I interpreted it.

I assumed that by foreigners, foreign cultures etc. Sharlos meant things outside of the country.

after all, apart from indigenous minorities (which are an afterthought in the OP), all minorities in a population were foreigners and immigrants at some point.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby jjono » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:57 pm UTC

Ok, I realise that there is no objective answer to "Which is the least racist country?". I was hoping that people might nominate what they think are sterling examples, with some evidence to back it up. Conclusively answering the question is not the point. Probably I should have anticipated this and phrased the question differently. Think of it as an invitation to celebrate what is possible in terms of racial progress.

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Lemminkainen » Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:57 am UTC

The United States-- name any other non-African country where somebody of African descent has been elected president. Hell, name any other large or significant country with a head of state who's a member of a racial minority.

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Zuwow » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:40 am UTC

Lemminkainen wrote:The United States-- name any other non-African country where somebody of African descent has been elected president. Hell, name any other large or significant country with a head of state who's a member of a racial minority.

Just because Obama got elected doesn't mean the US isn't racist anymore. It's still quite racist, you just have to dig deeper to find it.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby TheStranger » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:16 am UTC

Zuwow wrote:
Lemminkainen wrote:The United States-- name any other non-African country where somebody of African descent has been elected president. Hell, name any other large or significant country with a head of state who's a member of a racial minority.

Just because Obama got elected doesn't mean the US isn't racist anymore. It's still quite racist, you just have to dig deeper to find it.


The question is not which country is not racist, it's which country is the least racist.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Posi » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:25 am UTC

Lemminkainen wrote:The United States-- name any other non-African country where somebody of African descent has been elected president. Hell, name any other large or significant country with a head of state who's a member of a racial minority.

"I'm not racist, I voted for Obama."
How many people do you think voted for Obama just so they could say that, even if only to themselves.

Also Canada's head of state has been a minority since 1999. Hell, the current head of state is an immigrant.

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Yggdrasil » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:36 am UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote:Japan and Sweden might not have many race problems within their society, but certain foreigners coming in may face significant hostility.


Despite it's relatively homogenous population, there are still certain ethnic groups in Japan that face discrimination. For example, until recently, people of buraku origin in Japan faced much discrimination despite the fact that determining whether someone was buraku required looking up their origins in family registries as buraku are indistinguishable from other Japanese. Similar ethnic "outcast" classes exist in other societies in Asia. So, even when people look the same, societies can still find reasons for discrimination.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/16/world ... casts.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buraku

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:16 am UTC

Posi wrote:Also Canada's head of state has been a minority since 1999. Hell, the current head of state is an immigrant.

Perhaps I live in ignorance of the finer working of Canadian government, but isn't Stephen Harper, a native Canadian and about as white as they come, the head of the country?

Back to the OP, I think there is something to be said of America possibly being the "least racist" country. There's a distinct chance Canada might still beat us, but American racism is in part so well known due to the large numbers of immigrants bringing certain people's racism to the surface. However, the very fact that we have had large numbers of immigrants and minorities come in and become reasonably economically successful is much more than most western country can claim.

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Darkscull » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:15 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote: the very fact that we have had large numbers of immigrants and minorities come in and become reasonably economically successful is much more than most western country can claim.


Unless they're hispanic.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby ian » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:51 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote: However, the very fact that we have had large numbers of immigrants and minorities come in and become reasonably economically successful is much more than most western country can claim.


That doesn't make you a less-racist country though, just one built largely on immigration.

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby TheStranger » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:29 pm UTC

Darkscull wrote:
Bubbles McCoy wrote: the very fact that we have had large numbers of immigrants and minorities come in and become reasonably economically successful is much more than most western country can claim.


Unless they're hispanic.


I'll be sure to mention that to the Hispanic business owners I know (one of the VP of a company I used to work for was Hispanic).

Huge numbers of immigrants come here and become successful economically.

We (the US) does have it's problems but lets not forget the progress that has been made.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Alexius » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:40 pm UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
Posi wrote:Also Canada's head of state has been a minority since 1999. Hell, the current head of state is an immigrant.

Perhaps I live in ignorance of the finer working of Canadian government, but isn't Stephen Harper, a native Canadian and about as white as they come, the head of the country?

Harper is the head of government. The Head of State (a mostly ceremonial position and a stand-in for the Queen) is the Governor-General. The current Governor-General, who has served since 2005, is Michaelle Jean, who was born in Haiti. Her predecessor, Adrienne Clarkson, is ethnically Chinese and was born in Hong Kong.

As for least racist country, Paraguay probably deserves a mention for being the closest thing we have to a post-racial society- 95% of the population are mixed-race (Spanish and Guarani). Spanish and Guarani are both official languages, and the majority of the population are bilingual- 90% speak Guarani, and 75% speak Spanish.

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby BeerBottle » Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:29 pm UTC

I'm not advocating that the UK is the least racist country, but I thought I'd at least provide some statistics under the headings given in the OP to set a kind of benchmark. The following data on education and earnings compare british born white with british born minority populations, which would go some way to removing the effects of english as a second language and difference in education in immigrants' home countries which would affect the data from first generation immigrants. Data on crime and population include all minorities (first and second+ generation)

jjono wrote:To qualify for consideration, a country must have a significant ethnic or cultural minority
The latest UK census (2001) places the self-described ethnic minority population (including mixed race) at 7.9% or 4.6 million.1

1. Employment. Do people of different races earn similar wages?
The mean percentage in employment between 1998 and 2005 for working age white males is 87.4% compared with 80.3% for minority males. For females the same figures are 70.5% and 62.8%. Mean wages are 2% higher for white males compared with minority males. Wages are 14% higher for white females than minority females.1

2. Education. Are minorities well-represented in secondary and tertiary eduction?
Mean number of years spent in full time education for white males is 12.6 years while for minority males is 13.9 years. For females the same figures are 12.6 years and 13.4 years. For both males and females, minorities tend to spend more years in education than whites. 28% of minorities (both sexes) have a 'high' level of education (corresponding to post 18 education) compared with 20% of whites. 10% of minorities have no formal qualifications compared with 11% of whites.1 Overall British born minorities, both male and female, seem to be slightly higher educated than their white counterparts.

3. The Law. Arrest rates, conviction rates, deaths in custody.
16% of whites will be arrested in their lifetime compared with 19% of mixed race, 8% of asian (Indian subcontinent), 17% of black, 6% of other minorities (inc. Chinese). 4% of whites committed a serious offence (self-declared - theft of an automobile, violent assult, robbery, etc) in 2003 compared with 5% of mixed race, 2% of asians and 3% of blacks.2

5. Public figures. Are minorities proportionally represented in politics?
2.3% of british MPs are from ethnic minorities, compared with 7.9% of the general population.3 In the upper house, the House of Lords, around 3% of the membership are from minorities.4

6. Social life. Are mixed-race relationships common?
In the 2001 census, around 700,000 people indicated that they were mixed race, accounting for 1.2% of the total population, and 14.6% of the minority population.5

1. 'Ethnic Minority Immigrants and their Children in Britain', Christian Dustmann and Nikolaos Theodoropoulos,
http://www.econ.ucl.ac.uk/cream/pages/CDP/CDP_10_06.pdf

2. Minority ethnic groups and crime:findings from the Offending, Crime and Justice Survey 2003
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/rdsolr3305.pdf

3. 'Social Background of MPs', House of Commons Library,
http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/re ... -01528.pdf

4. 'Joint Committee on House of Lords Reform First Report'
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... 7/1706.htm

5 UK Office for National Statistics,
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nugget.asp?ID=273

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby frezik » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:57 pm UTC

With the rules as stated in the OP, you could make a case for South Africa, either pre or post apartheid. In this case, the minority population is doing quite a bit better than the majority. But obviously, this is a historical fluke.

You can definately make a case for the US being the least racist, but I'll qualify this by saying it's a morally relativistic situation. The countries without signficant racial also don't have a signficant minority population, and those that have a signficant minority population invariably have racisim in some form. Since it's historically been a "melting pot", the US has had the longest time to learn to deal with the problem. But again, it's a case of suck vs suck less.

We also tend to forget that there's more to it than a white majority vs everyone else. The Irish were particularly unwanted in the US, and some Italians still feel they are sterotyped as mobsters. Given that I can trace my bloodline to both Irish Catholics and French Huguenots (Protestants), I can say that this particular form of racism has been erased in the US, if only because of a lack of a sense of "other" in anyone with a European background.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:31 pm UTC

It is with great irony that South Africa actually sprung to mind, as the state apparatus itself is now diverse and inclusive, although I'm lead to beleive that many private citizens are still quite racist.(Balls, Ninja'd by over an hour.)

Venezula might stand a good chance, despite a tiny minority of the previously privalaged upper middle classes having staged more than failed one coup attempt in the aim of restoring the inequality and oppression.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:42 pm UTC

ian wrote:
Bubbles McCoy wrote: However, the very fact that we have had large numbers of immigrants and minorities come in and become reasonably economically successful is much more than most western country can claim.


That doesn't make you a less-racist country though, just one built largely on immigration.

There are certainly large numbers of racist individuals in the United States, but by and large as a society we have allowed people to come in and fully integrate economically into our system and to a very good degree socially. Few countries can offer so much to foreigners, so even if there's less overt racism in other countries it might only an indicator that foreigners don't even have a particularly strong inclination to live there.

Alexius wrote:Harper is the head of government. The Head of State (a mostly ceremonial position and a stand-in for the Queen) is the Governor-General. The current Governor-General, who has served since 2005, is Michaelle Jean, who was born in Haiti. Her predecessor, Adrienne Clarkson, is ethnically Chinese and was born in Hong Kong.

Interesting insight into the Canadian government, but a foreign monarch's appointee does not carry nearly as much gravitas as a popularly elected official.

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Token » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:44 pm UTC

BeerBottle wrote:
6. Social life. Are mixed-race relationships common?
In the 2001 census, around 700,000 people indicated that they were mixed race, accounting for 1.2% of the total population, and 14.6% of the minority population.

"Mixed race relationship" != "mixed race individual".

And I'm not sure exactly how far statistics can go in assessing this kind of thing. Which is not to say they aren't indicative, but racism is a broad concept and there's only so much of what it encompasses that can be objectively quantified.

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Philwelch » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:20 pm UTC

I've always wondered how much things like the prevalence of publicly racist behavior would count here.

I'm thinking primarily of how surprised I was to hear about the problems of racism in European soccer. For instance, black and African footballers have been known to experience racist jeering from crowds. Europe had always struck me as more progressive and liberal, but a lot of this behavior hasn't happened in America, and we've had racially integrated sports for decades.

I also think it's useful to distinguish between immigrants and native-born racial minorities. For instance, African immigrants to the United States are, on aggregate, better educated and earn more income than either white immigrants or US-born blacks.

It's also well known that Asian Americans "have the lowest poverty rate[8] and the highest educational attainment levels, median household income,[9] and median personal income[10] of any racial demographic in the nation." Then again, it could be argued that Asians don't face the racism in this country that historically has been leveled at Blacks.

Perhaps it would be more fruitful (albeit more difficult) to analyze dyadic relationships: race vs. country. For instance, while Asians have an easy time in America, blacks face more racism. While Jews may face difficulty in Saudi Arabia and Arabs may face difficulty in Israel, both countries might be relatively accepting of Chinese.

Another aspect to consider is the law. Is racial segregation legally mandated (as it was in the United States until the 1960's)? Are racial minorities legally disenfranchised (as it was in South Africa until the 1990's?) Are there racial quotas or racial policies for immigration?

Finally, what qualifies as a "race"? This might end up being vitally important—for instance, Israel is a de-jure Jewish state. Being Jewish is both necessary and sufficient to gain naturalized citizenship. And Jewish identity (by Israeli law and by tradition) can be determined entirely from matrilineal descent.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Certhas » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:27 am UTC

Re: European soccer, there is definite racism in Europe but it is structurally very different from the US.

The major difference is of course that immigration into many European countries was driven by them being the (former) colonial powers, and that there was relatively little slave trade into Europe. (The word slave comes from slavic, in other words we didn't have to import labour).

Of course Germany for example never had colonies to speak of and it's attempts to enslave/colonize Eastern Europe in WWII did not exactly lead to a large influx of immigration. Rather the aftermath of WWII lead to a homogenization of central Europe through mass deportation that was probably unique in that area since the fall of the Roman empire.

In general racism doesn have the whole slavery connotation in Europe, but probably more often has a nationalistic one, which, I guess, would be totally alien to a Country like the US that is built on immigration. In that sense prejudices against the Irish might be a better point of comparison than against black.

Based on anecdotal evidence it seems that the way some British for example treat racial slurs is also pretty different. For example the boundaries of what is ok jokingly among friends (of different races) are much wider.

Data on education can be misleading. In general economic background can be an important factor in creating differences, but beyond that I just read an article about a new generation of Vietnamese who are outperforming German students. In other words it might be that immigrants come from a culture which values learning more or less than the host culture.

I would submitt that at least large parts of western Germany are essentially free of racism. Not so sure about Germanz on the whole though.

In Germany the percentage of foreigners is total 8.8% the largest single group among these are Turkish. There are 19% including the 8.8% with a migratory background. Among them the largest groups are Turkish (14.2%), Russian (8.4%) and Polish(6.9%).

Educationally Viatnemese are as mentioned, exceptionally succesfull, Greeks do slightly better than Germans while Italians are the least succesfull group. (Baffling statistics I have to say, I didn't know that).

Politically the process of integrating the minorities is slow, with relatively few politicians of a migratory background in office. The co leader of the German Green party, one of those vying for the place of third strongest political powers in Germany, has a Turkish background though.

There is a lot more violence against foreigners in the former east than in the former west, but children with a migratory background tend to do better in the east than in the west.

I think the issues of racism are to context dependent to easily capture in a few statistics. Of the countries I've travelled to my subjective impression was that Canada was great, for example for the number of mixed race couples you see on the street, and similar impressions.

Edit: One more thing on the football issue, football fans can be incredibly violent in Europe. Mostly against each other. The whole culture surrounding some football clubs, and to some degree football in general is the perfect breeding place for racial slurs and general "us vs them" mentality.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby frezik » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:12 am UTC

Philwelch wrote:I'm thinking primarily of how surprised I was to hear about the problems of racism in European soccer. For instance, black and African footballers have been known to experience racist jeering from crowds. Europe had always struck me as more progressive and liberal, but a lot of this behavior hasn't happened in America, and we've had racially integrated sports for decades.


Europe just hasn't had as much time to deal with racial issues as the US, where the most of the population is only a few generations removed from immigrants.

The US certainly has a long way to go, but they haven't had an openly racist politician come close to winning the presidency, either.

I also think it's useful to distinguish between immigrants and native-born racial minorities. For instance, African immigrants to the United States are, on aggregate, better educated and earn more income than either white immigrants or US-born blacks.


In this case, modern African immigrants are being sent specifically to get an American university education, so the result above isn't surprising. As a side note, Obama's own father falls into that category.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Certhas » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:52 am UTC

Le Pen did not come close to winning the election. Unless 82.2% to 17.8% is close to you. He just benefited from peculiarities in the french system and infighting among the left.

I could just as well say that at least racism in European parties is mostly a fringe phenomenon of protest voters, and that at least no major party has adopted a covertly racist strategy here.

If you want to cite a right wing party with way too much power BTW the right place to look is Austrias FPÖ.

EU at the moment has 27 member states. Some have right wing politics, some are run by mafioso which control the media others are as or more homophobic than the worst parts of the US. It's hardly liberal utopia over here, even if our politics fall to the left of US politics on avarage.

Likewise it will also only make sense to look at racism in Europe in the context of the individual nations, not in total.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby cycoden » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:03 pm UTC

Hmm. If I had to guess, I would probably guess New Zealand, maybe Canada. I was drinking with some caucasian kiwis on the gold coast, and the breadth of knowledge, understanding and respect they had for their indigenous peoples was far in excess of my understanding of Australian indigenous people, despite considering myself to be reasonably well educated, and having (unlike most Australians) actually visited a remote indigenous community.

I am only able to suggest western countries as I know very little about south america, for example. Singapore and Hong Kong may also be good examples, but being city-states, are probably a special case.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby asimmons04 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:46 pm UTC

Very interesting. The only problem is, that you cannot really use arrest rates.
In the US, a large percentage of the black population have high arrest rates, but there is not a bias. Its just a fact.

If more of person A commit more crimes than person B, it stands to reason that maybe more get arrested.

So you cant particularly use that as a sign of racism. Maybe police abuse. But not normal arrests.

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Certhas » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:54 pm UTC

asimmons, unless you assume that somehow one race i genetically more predisposed towards crime (an assumption that, given there is no evidence for it whatsoever, is racist in itself), the arrest rates do indicate that social conditions for one group are such that they induce more crime. This can come through a variety of factors, eg inherited culture from the country of origin, but most likely socio-economic pressure, i.e. systemic latent racism.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Philwelch » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:52 pm UTC

cycoden wrote:Hmm. If I had to guess, I would probably guess New Zealand, maybe Canada. I was drinking with some caucasian kiwis on the gold coast, and the breadth of knowledge, understanding and respect they had for their indigenous peoples was far in excess of my understanding of Australian indigenous people, despite considering myself to be reasonably well educated, and having (unlike most Australians) actually visited a remote indigenous community.


I would advise drinking with some Maori before making that judgment, though. Race relations in New Zealand are not as idyllic as they may seem, and in general, the dominant ethnic group always has a harder time identifying racism than subordinate groups.

In addition, you might have been speaking to some comparatively liberal chaps.

Certhas wrote:asimmons, unless you assume that somehow one race i genetically more predisposed towards crime (an assumption that, given there is no evidence for it whatsoever, is racist in itself), the arrest rates do indicate that social conditions for one group are such that they induce more crime. This can come through a variety of factors, eg inherited culture from the country of origin, but most likely socio-economic pressure, i.e. systemic latent racism.


Indeed—gang violence, for instance, has almost always fallen along racial and ethnic lines.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:08 pm UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
Posi wrote:Also Canada's head of state has been a minority since 1999. Hell, the current head of state is an immigrant.

Perhaps I live in ignorance of the finer working of Canadian government, but isn't Stephen Harper, a native Canadian and about as white as they come, the head of the country?


Actually, Canada is an interesting case for this. Canada's second largest cultural group is Québécois, sitting at around 15-20% of the population. Canada had its first Québécois prime minister in 1896 (Laurier), and has had a number of very notable Québécois prime ministers since (eg. Trudeau, Chrétien). As was pointed out, the head of state is an immigrant, but how much of an achievement this is is dubious, since the Governor General is appointed.

Then again, expectation values in Canada vary greatly depending on exactly which minority group an individual comes from. While Québécois are well represented in government, wages, and education, some Canada's First Nations (indigenous peoples) have poverty rates comparable to those of Third World nations, and many of the problems associated with chronic poverty. Other immigrant groups tend to fall between the two extremes, and their outcomes probably depend more on location than on ancestry (eg. more than 50% of the population of the city of Vancouver, Canada's third largest city, are racial minorities, and that city is one of the wealthiest in the country).

I'm not sure this question is one that can be answered as unequivocally as to get a single country that is the least racist. At best, we would probably be able to categorize countries with similar outcomes together, and then compare the categories.

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Iv » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:13 pm UTC

frezik wrote:Europe just hasn't had as much time to deal with racial issues as the US, where the most of the population is only a few generations removed from immigrants.

Europe's history is made of migrations. From the Arabian conquest of Spain, to massive protestant movements during the religions wars, to moving populations during WWII, Spaniards fleeing from Franco's dictatorship, immigration from various colonies, people coming from the former communist block, the enduring journey of the Rom people...

I am not sure about other countries, some may have a more homogeneous population but here in France it is hard to find someone who hasn't an immigrant in his genealogy within two generations. Even the president Sarkozy is the son of a Hungarian immigrant. Racial issues ? We have had them for a very long time. This nazi thing that cost us a lot persuaded us to try and stop discriminate based on ethnic groups.

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:13 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Actually, Canada is an interesting case for this. Canada's second largest cultural group is Québécois, sitting at around 15-20% of the population. Canada had its first Québécois prime minister in 1896 (Laurier), and has had a number of very notable Québécois prime ministers since (eg. Trudeau, Chrétien). As was pointed out, the head of state is an immigrant, but how much of an achievement this is is dubious, since the Governor General is appointed.



It is a significant acheivement, the Governor General is a figurehead with little if any formal power:

The monarch appoints a governor-general as a personal representative only on the advice of the Prime Minister of the realm.
The Governor-General only acts in accordance with constitutional convention and upon the advice of the national Prime Minister. The Governor-General is still the local representative of the sovereign, and performs the same duties as they carried out historically, though their role is almost purely ceremonial.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Yakk » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:02 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:It is a significant acheivement, the Governor General is a figurehead with little if any formal power:

I think you mean "ridiculous formal power, little practical power". The GG is, on paper, a very powerful political figure.

By custom, the GG is nigh powerless. She follows the instructions of the PM, with the exception of dissolving parliament in the case that the government has lost the confidence of the house and a few other corner cases.

Law is just words on paper, while custom is stronger than steel.

...

In any case, Canada has a pretty bad history of poor treatment of aboriginals.

The largest city in Canada, Toronto, has a 42.9% visible minority population. Assuming 0 visible minorities in the rest of the country, this comes to 6.6% of the population. So I suspect Canada breaks the 10% barrier.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby duckshirt » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:14 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:The largest city in Canada, Toronto, has a 42.9% visible minority population. Assuming 0 visible minorities in the rest of the country, this comes to 6.6% of the population. So I suspect Canada breaks the 10% barrier.
Yeah, Wikipedia has the total amount of 'visible minorities' at 16.2%.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Lemminkainen » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:47 pm UTC

Certhas wrote:Le Pen did not come close to winning the election. Unless 82.2% to 17.8% is close to you. He just benefited from peculiarities in the french system and infighting among the left.

I could just as well say that at least racism in European parties is mostly a fringe phenomenon of protest voters, and that at least no major party has adopted a covertly racist strategy here.


But the "Southern Strategy" has been in decline in the past thirty years. And again, in America, openly racist political parties haven't won shares of the vote greater than 10% since the eighties, while they still do in supposedly enlightened countries like France (la Pen), Austria (Jorg Haider's party and the other one), Italy (the Northern League, which is part of a governing coalition), and Switzerland (the Schweitzer Volk Party, which is the largest in the country, released this ad). Hell, Italy's government has started to take some pretty rights-violating action against Roma immigrants from Eastern Europe that obviously violate the "freedom of movement" parts of EU law, and yet receive wide support. So we can see that in at least two out of the three core countries of the Euro zone, as well as typically European Switzerland and Austria, openly racist parties and politics command wide support.

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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Certhas » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:25 am UTC

DO they have a disquieting amount of support? Yes. As I said, Austria is a good example of this as they actually had the FPÖ in goverment (and were "punished" for this by the rest of the EU). La Pen is not as good an example for the mentioned reasons. Now when it comes to Berlusconi then really racism is the smallest of issues there. Italian politics is simply fucked up beyond imagination. (I think they are up to their 60th goverment since 1949 now, under a total of 22 different prime ministers.)

The political landscape is simply not comparable. We have many more small parties due to generally not having two party systems. And Austria is smaller then Georgia, so what is maybe a local fluctuation to the right in a US state and there is expressed in slightly more extreme republicans gaining traction will translate to a 15% or even 30% political party in one of the smaller European states.

Some of these parties considered extreme right wing here might also fall well within the scope of accepted (if fringe) opinions among republicans. Often these aren't so much racist but generally xenophobic (so more concerned about immigration, ala Border Fence then about different races of our nationality who are here).

As I said, I think racism is a cultural phenomenon that, while in itself somewhat universal, comes to the forth in completely different ways in different cultures. This makes it hard or impossible to compare in general.

I find Austria/Germany as comparison extremely interessting since we are culturally relatively similar, especially southern Germany and Austria, allowing some comparison. A right wings party success in Germany of the magnitude we have witnessed in Austria would be inconceivable. The key reason for this IMO comes of the fact that western Germany, especially in the 60s, openly acknowledged and accepted our history, and the holocaust. Austria on the other hand, which had as much to do with it as any German region, didn't, but merely retreated to the comfortable illusion that Germany occupied it and hence forced it to collaborate.

---

What I'd find interessting then in the spirit of the OP would be if people describe racism in their home countries/countries they've got significant experience with, with all that texture and detail given.
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Re: The least racist country?

Postby Mish » Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:08 pm UTC

Lemminkainen wrote:The United States-- name any other non-African country where somebody of African descent has been elected president.

You're joking right? Belize for one, any number of other Caribbean states for some more.
Lemminkainen wrote:Hell, name any other large or significant country with a head of state who's a member of a racial minority.

Kazakhstan. The prime minister is Uyghur who form a 1.5% minority.

Ethnic minorities are incredibly well integrated in Central Asia . The president of Kyrgyzstan is from a 9% minority and doesn't even speak Kyrgyz, the Uzbek president is mixed race.

Not a great example for obvious reasons, but the president of Pridnestrovie/Transnistria is from the Russian minority and didn't even set foot in the country until 1989.


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