Expats in Spain urged to reject racism as America burns

Published:  3 Jun at 6 PM
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Expats in Spain are now realising the USA isn’t the only country with a racialism issue.

It seems racial prejudice isn’t confined to the US of A, as it’s also alive and kicking in many popular expat destinations in Spain. Admittedly, Spain isn’t America with its history of slavery and blatant discrimination against its black citizens, but racial prejudice is still present and is an open secret for those to whom it’s totally unacceptable. It’s not such a little-known fact that Spanish ships were involved in the 19th century trans-Atlantic slave trade, transporting some half a million black Africans to the Americas.

In these supposedly non-racist times, the Spanish judicial system has played a part in encouraging a mini version of what’s going down all across the USA right now. Last year, a Spanish police officer who shot an innocent Moroccan eleven times whilst chasing him as a terrorist suspect had his sentence reduced, and police also told a female expat from Honduras she wasn’t human whilst strangling her and dragging her along the floor. Around a million black people including expats are living and working in Spain, some two per cent of the country’s population, many of whom find it difficult to rent apartments or even single rooms due to their Sub-Saharan African origins.

Football is a sport with a disturbing history of racism on the field as well as in the stands. Shirts with racist slurs are worn by players as well as their supporters, fuelling off-pitch violence and encouraging discrimination. British expats retiring or working long-term in Spain are being urged not to make matters worse by ignoring this disturbing trend and are also being encouraged to call out racism wherever it rears its ugly head. Supporting black expats and businesses run by black people as well as donating to groups fighting racism wherever it lurks are also recommended. What’s happening now in America is also lurking in Spain and the UK, with the stress caused by the pandemic exacerbating negative emotions such as fear.
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