Warsaw -Institutional racism leads to violent death of Nigerian?

I confess, I’ve been waiting for something like this to happen and now, sadly, it has.

Last Sunday, the police carried out a “routine inspection” of what used to be the “Russian Bazaar” in the Praga district of Warsaw and ended up shooting dead a Nigerian called Maxwell Itoyi. Today there is a protest march in Warsaw in the name of “Solidarity against racism and police violence”. The Police say they did nothing wrong and have several of their kind injured as proof this was not a one-sided affair. Many others, including eye witnesses, disagree and see this as the unjustified shooting of an innocent man just because he was black.

The bazaar used to occupy the area that is now the construction site for the new National Stadium. The new stadium will be the jewel in the crown of Poland’s venues when it hosts the 2012 European Football Championships and will be visited by many thousands of visiting foreign fans. It is reasonable to assume that the government would not wish to have these visitors’ impression of Poland spoiled by an encounter with what has always been a slightly dodgy bazaar and so it is also reasonable to assume that there is an agenda to move, close or seriously upgrade this bazaar before the visitors arrive. I suspect the action last Sunday was at least partly connected with that agenda.

I’ve wandered around the Russian Bazaar a few times myself, in the old days when it was inside the old stadium. Despite being warned about it, nothing bad happened during my shopping for illegal software, beaver-skin hat and replica NKVD uniform but I did notice on latter trips the growing presence of Nigerians using their often slightly over-aggressive sales techniques. This is not unique to Warsaw of course, you can find the same people selling slightly different goods (although the African masks and carved giraffes are always part of it) anywhere in the world. Last year we encountered them in Pisa, Italy.

African bazaar Pisa

The year before that on the beach in Marbella, Spain. No, I don’t have a thing about photographing Nigerian salesmen, I just take too many photos so I usually have at least one of what I’m looking for!

Marbella Nigerians

So, we have a few of the ingredients for trouble already in place – a lot of black people being slightly pushy in a dodgy part of town that the city would like to clean up. What was missing, until last Sunday, was an over zealous and armed police force with little experience of all the issues that hang around the term “racism” and make the lives of anyone in the position of having to manage such situations pretty much impossible. Given that the few Nigerians in the Russian Bazaar probably account for a significant percentage of all blacks in Poland, it might be perfectly reasonable to assume that the Nigerians are far more widely travelled and experienced in the unwritten rules of racism than are the Polish police force. This might have worked to Maxwell’s disadvantage. I mean, in the UK after so many years of accusations of racism and accidental shootings a British policeman would have to be pushed almost to the point of his own death before he’d dream of shooting a black man, or indeed a person of any colour that’s not milky white. The Polish police force has absolutely no experience of these things and is therefore just starting to understand the additional consequences involved shooting a black person as opposed to shooting anyone else, which might be summarised as “guilty of a racist attack until proven innocent”.

At times like this it is hard to know exactly what to believe. The people on Maxwell’s side claim he was a wonderful guy who would never dream of causing any trouble. The police say otherwise and claim there have been increasing incidents of violence against the Police (presumably perpetrated by Nigerians in the bazaar). Experience suggests to me that both may well be right and that Maxwell was just a very unfortunate victim of circumstance. There probably are some dodgy Nigerians in the bazaar who might push things either because that’s just the way they are or because they don’t like the police interrupting their legal/illegal trading or because they know the race/minority thing is on their side. Equally, there probably are policemen who are racist and who are tired of having to accept violent and provocative behaviour from the Nigerian ‘gangs’ and who would welcome the opportunity to open fire. It is therefore entirely understandable that an incident such as last Sunday could and would take place and also that the frequency of such incidents is bound to increase.

For the moment, the attitude of the citizens not directly involved appears to be one of coming down firmly on the side of Maxwell and his friends. This might be because of a general mistrust of the police, a knowledge that Maxwell was innocent or a general wish to side with a downtrodden minority who have such wonderful reggae music and like to smoke ganja. Who knows? What will be interesting to see is how public attitude might change as and when the impact of immigration and the number of black faces on the streets starts to have a much more significant impact on everyday life outside of the Russian Bazaar than it does right now.

I don’t know about you but I DO want an effective police force in Poland, one that can deal with nasty people who might otherwise make my life difficult or dangerous whether they be black, white or yellow, Nigerian, British or Vietnamese. I’m also fair minded enough to recognise the impossible situation they find themselves in when it comes to using firearms. The only occasions on which a shooting is immediately justified is when they hit either Osama Bin Laden or a nutter offloading a semi-automatic in the school playground, anything less that that and they’re in trouble. However, if having an effective police force means they carry out routine inspections of bazaars armed to the teeth then they had better make damned sure the police officers are better trained with the use of weapons and/or better psychologically selected for the job than they are now because I wouldn’t want anyone I know to be the next innocent (and dead) victim of bad policing.

As Poland is now at the beginning of this particular journey I think we also have the chance to get the balance on racial issues such as this correct before it goes too far. I’m not alone in thinking the pendulum in the UK has swung too far in the direction of favouring racial minorities against all common sense and to the point where there is strong positive discrimination for them and against the main body of white Christians in the population. People, the police especially, have to work with one hand tied behind their backs when dealing with minorities for fear of the “race card” being played and them getting into a lot of unnecessary trouble. The case of Ali Dizaei of the UK’s Metropolitan Police Force is a good one for Poles to read and try to avoid the nurturing of institutional anti-racism.

Maxwell might have been the first, but he certainly won’t be the last.

Advertisements

256 thoughts on “Warsaw -Institutional racism leads to violent death of Nigerian?

  1. A good point, I don’t think there has been much of any bigger picture discussion going on. Think about one of your FAQ questions: What the hell are you guys doing in Poland? That’s what we think about migrants in Poland, that they’re either crazy or weren’t lucky enough to get a visa for to any country west of Poland. In any case, the general attitude is, if you don’t like it here, why don’t you just leave? So I’m rather pesimistic there’ll be anybody willing to call the shooting institutional racism, let alone doing anything about it.
    The other thing, I suppose that with the little exposure to black immigrants Polish police force have had so far (and no intercultural training of any sort), someone might have badly misinterpreted the reactions of those Nigerians as being more aggressive than they actual were.

  2. There is no need to panic. Poland will not become a 2nd UK or France. At least not in this century.

    In Warsaw there live 2-3mil people and only a few dozen were protesting today…(mostly other blacks and some weird Polish “rastafari”)

    This whole story is totally overrated. They expect a better treatement just because they are black or chechen war refugees and things like that. And in Poland they will not get it. About 20 million Polish immigrants live abroad and 99% of them know that an immigrant is a GUEST and should not expoect a better treatement than a local Brit or Belgian guy. And the same goes for blacks in Warsaw…sooner or later they will learn it.

  3. May by in Poland white racism against black is common, but we have to look further:
    1. Fighting against rasism, led us to give black privileges, not equality (you can see it i.e. in social benefits in Ireland).
    2. We can observe now more common black rasism against white (i.e. US white soldier murdered by his black colleges for marrying black woman).
    3. Word ‘rasism’ is abused by black (go anywhere and say ‘no’ to black, or say he/she is not alowed to do something, and hear what they have to say about you, even if you have an authority to do so).

    Sorry mate but that bothers me more, than fact that You finally find a proof of ‘Institutional racism’ in Poland. Regards.

  4. Well, it’s very hard to tell what really happened in this particular case, but:

    1. I don’t want the police shooting anyone to death, period. Especially in a large town like Warsaw, I really don’t think it’s necessary to bring a gun to an encounter with a bunch of shady merchants, when you can just bring a hundred fellow policemen and a water cannon.

    2. We’re probably not going to see anything like the UK’s racial issues, because Poland is not likely to become a major destination for migrants any time soon. Our limited experiences to date have been somewhat reassuring, e.g. there have never been issues with the Vietnamese, who live in Warsaw in significant numbers (ca. 20-40 thousand).

    3. I’ve had just enough to do with people of foreign origin not to be naive about the general level of ethnic tolerance in Poland. The only thing to soften the strong tendency of many people around here to discriminate against “outsiders”, is the even stronger tendency to discriminate in favour of “friends”. So, if you’re a foreigner, making friends among locals is your best bet.

  5. Jacek,

    1. I agree but I have a feeling that every policeman I see here in Warsaw carries at least a pistol. I could be wrong and my uncertainty excluded me making it a part of the post.

    2. Warsaw is not yet the most attractive destination but I think this will change sooner than you think. Vietnamese, in my experience (Germany & UK), cause considerably less trouble than almost every other variety of immigrant.

  6. The Police will need to carry tasers and have heightened backup for these situations.

    This racism is the same type of racism people whine about when referring to fundamental muslim terrorist-types or about the illegal immigrant situation we have on the Mexican-American border.

    No, it’s not against a race, it’s against what these particular groups are DOING that is the problem. After disregarding the Police Officer’s order’s, they acted savagely and started attacking the officers while rescuscitation was trying to take place. THAT is what killed the victim. He might have lived if properly revived. The group of attackers are just as much to blame for his death for preventing CPR as the bullet that penetrated his skin.

    They will PLAY the race card, having learned their lessons well from Jesse Jackson, King of the race card, who blackmails corporations if he thinks there aren’t enough blacks employed.

    There should be a moratorium on allowing Nigerians with criminal records anywhere outside of Nigeria considering their propensity for running international credit-card thieving rings from internet cafes, then having no recourse against them once the culprits are found. Why don’t they do more checking before letting them in?

    The Police risk their lives everyday with the jobs they do and I’m sick to death of people whining about racism when the real problem is that the criminals have BROKEN THE LAW.

    Throw the books at all of these insolent idiots who dared to attack the police during the course of duty and while trying to revive someone. SHAME on THEM.

    I encourage everyone to stay strong and not allow your towns to disintegrate. They need to ABIDE by the letter of the law and not come in and try to change it while BREAKING it.
    .

  7. Scatts, I have to post a mild disagreement. First of all it is not known what really happened over there and I’ve read wildly varying eyewitness acounts, not to mention that what the police said is even more different.

    Second, Poland is not a country where you get shot by the police forces, whether you’re white, black, a mormon or you break into someone’s house. The rare cases police uses lethal forces are either cases where it was really neccessary or are terrible and sad accidents – like the recent one when a man was killed because a mistake made some of the officers to be armed with live ammunition. Hence I’ve trouble to believe the most politically correct eyewitnesses – if the policemen are so careful not to shoot dangerous criminals unless absolutely neccessary, they surely wouldn’t shoot a black guy due to racism. Racist policemen here might shake a black guy up, abuse him verbally, dunno – but they won’t shot him. It’s just unrealistic.

    Third – I must protest against calling this “institutional racism”. This is the first such case during my entire life, yet you make it sound as if our police has a penchant for shooting black people. This is simply not true.

    The official investigation should clear things up.

  8. Great post Scatts! Right on the money! Well, I am a Pole married to a Nigerian and when we lived in Poland we did experience all kinds of ‘institutional racism’; This kind of racism is displayed in all kinds of hostile attitudes of the public service officers towards foreigners and I have experienced/witnessed it first hand due to accompanying my husband in all the legal processes that he had to go through there. We also went through hell with the Polish diplomats in Lagos, Nigeria and all because of various prejudices that exist about certain nationalities in the Polish mentality, politics or diplomacy. Moreover, I have dozens of African friends who studied, work and live in Poland and I can assure you NONE of them can say they have never experienced the common or institutional racism in Poland and I find it very sad.
    I remember, when a few years ago while I was visiting Wroclaw with my family, I took my mixed-race sons to a park. There a couple of teenagers started abusing my oldest son (then 3 yrs old!) verbally – they would shout things like:’hej, czarnuch czemu jestes taki brudny?'(hey, nigger, why are you so dirty?), ‘chodzcie zbijemy murzyna!’ (let’s go and give this black gob some beating!). I reported the incident to the police and guess what their response was: ‘This is a civil matter. We don’t deal with such things as we have more serious incidents to sort out’ and they grinned in my face! :-O
    A Nigerian friend of mine, who is a pastor in Łódź, was beaten up in the city centre there in the broad day light and while Łódź city guards were watching the whole incident =, laughing, and suggesting that perhaps he should go back where he came from….
    Shall I continue with the count of such nasty, ignorant, racist incidents that do happen in Poland on a daily basis, and which I have a direct or indirect experience of?

    In the UK, where we have lived for 5 years now, racism does exist, BUT it is illegal and the police very promptly respond to reports of incidents of any form of racial hatred, let alone the fact that average PCs do not carry guns on them.

    Last, but not least, a vast majority of Poles seem to live in denial about the racism that’s been in Poland for decades and centuries (anti-Semitism is a good example too), either because they have no direct experience of it or they think such behaviours are natural and Poland indeed, in their thinking, should be for Poles only….

    sad…. it’s all very sad and does not make me proud to be a Pole….

  9. I work very closely with the NYPD. We have a supposed racially motivated shooting at least once a year. The only thing that I can say is that (at least here in NY) there is usually a lot more to the story than is usually reported.

    Here is the bottom line though, the police are human. First and foremost the first thing on their mind if they have to go on a raid like this is to stay alive. Their frame of mind is something that most of us have probably not experienced. So much so that almost anything can look like a dangerous weapon, even a wallet (as it happened so many times here) and most importantly any hostile action gets escalated ten fold.

    I’d venture to guess that although the color of the skin may have played a part, it wasn’t an overtly racist shooting. Rather the fact that these guys were Nigerian probably put the officers even more on edge and with a quicker trigger finger.

    Killing people is no fun. The officer who did this will have a hard time sleeping for years. All these guys have at least a sense of that fact.

  10. For all I know there are two versions of this story:
    1. The Nigerian guy tried to disarm policeman
    2. He didn’t try 1.

    If it is number 2. then we can talk about racism and all that staff, but if it is number 1. then there is really no issue here… Because there is not many more stupid things in the universe than trying to disarm a policeman and he has every right to shoot in that scenario. As for comment that police shouldn’t go there with weapon… Well, it would be crazy. With all due respect but that bazaar is exactly the kind of place where police should have weapon to defend themselves…

  11. Die in a fire.

    The immigrants do not want ‘better treatment’. They want humane treatment and equal chances. They want legal work, they want basic necessities. Remember when Chechnyan immigrants escaped and wanted to travel to the International Human Rights Tribunal? It’s this kind of thinking that makes them make demands.

  12. 1. Fighting against rasism, led us to give black privileges, not equality (you can see it i.e. in social benefits in Ireland).

    Yes. Obviously, being black is now akin to being a rich, privilege-laden WASP, and everything they have is given to them on a silver platter. Why, Obama himself became a president solely because of Affirmative Action!

    2. We can observe now more common black rasism against white (i.e. US white soldier murdered by his black colleges for marrying black woman).

    We’re talking Poland here, and we’re talking about white cops shooting a Nigerian trader.

    3. Word ‘rasism’ is abused by black (go anywhere and say ‘no’ to black, or say he/she is not alowed to do something, and hear what they have to say about you, even if you have an authority to do so).

    Mote, eye, wooden beam.

  13. >The Police will need to carry tasers and have heightened backup for these situations.

    Tasers? Backup? You’re talking as if dealing with some kind of terrorists or organized crime. The worst thing they dealt in was drugs – but that’s not really likely, more likely pirated DVDs.

    >This racism is the same type of racism people whine about when referring to fundamental muslim terrorist-types or about the illegal immigrant situation we have on the Mexican-American border.

    Terrorist types are criminals and they have to face the court. Here we’re dealing with a homicide with some racist undertones. Maxwell was a legal immigrant, he’s lived here for seven years.

    >No, it’s not against a race, it’s against what these particular groups are DOING that is the problem. After disregarding the Police Officer’s order’s, they acted savagely and started attacking the officers while rescuscitation was trying to take place. THAT is what killed the victim. He might have lived if properly revived. The group of attackers are just as much to blame for his death for preventing CPR as the bullet that penetrated his skin.

    Because it’s not the person that shot that’s guilty, it’s his own fault for standing there and looking black! And the other black people, how dare they protect one of their own!

    Of course, yes, that was stupid, gangish behaviour, true. But it’s understandable.

    >They will PLAY the race card, having learned their lessons well from Jesse Jackson, King of the race card, who blackmails corporations if he thinks there aren’t enough blacks employed.

    Indeed, because a Nigerian in Poland is JUST LIKE an African-American political activist and presidential candidate. Why, Poland and US race makeup is EXACTLY the same.

    >There should be a moratorium on allowing Nigerians with criminal records anywhere outside of Nigeria considering their propensity for running international credit-card thieving rings from internet cafes, then having no recourse against them once the culprits are found. Why don’t they do more checking before letting them in?

    Indeed, damn these Nigerians! They’re a nation of thieves and murderers! I hear that they eat babies as well. I’m all for gathering them in special camps, and then concentrating on some kind of solution for the problem they represent.

    > The Police risk their lives everyday with the jobs they do and I’m sick to death of people whining about racism when the real problem is that the criminals have BROKEN THE LAW.

    Indeed, breaking the law of being white. Because, well what other law that we know of did he break?

    >Throw the books at all of these insolent idiots who dared to attack the police during the course of duty and while trying to revive someone. SHAME on THEM.

    Indeed

    > I encourage everyone to stay strong and not allow your towns to disintegrate. They need to ABIDE by the letter of the law and not come in and try to change it while BREAKING it.

    “Societal engineering
    Gives you that warm feeling”

    Or however did that song go. Indeed sir, them uppity n-ers need to know the strong hand of a white man. A daily whipping cures them of this strange malady.

  14. That’s true, but mostly because the black people are so rare. I have no illusions about most of the Poles – they’re prejudiced against black people. Not occasionally negatively prejudiced, mind you, but they do not see them on the same level as themselves.

    Also, it’s not scatts himself who uses the phrase ‘institutional racism’; it’s the people protesting.

  15. I noticed one of the black protesters holding a banner with the words “Polish people live in Nigeria”. Presumably a threat of revenge killings?

    Don’t suppose that’s going to help much.

  16. To: some dude

    It looks like emotions speaks through You. I understand if You are activist kind of guy. I was like that too. But then I started to study philosophy. So now I look at world like a philosopher. I prefer to talk things through than attack.

    What I ment is, that author seemed to be hunting for proof of his thesis about ‘institutional racism’ in Republic of Poland and this post is kind of his triumph.

    Man is dead, it’s sad. We won’t change that, we can prevent, but we have to remember that even if few cops are rasists, most of them aren’t.

    Peace be with You, Dude.

  17. Sorry, but we don’t want or need immigrants in Poland. Even when Poland is wealthy, they should just go to France because they are clearly not welcome here. And hey, I don’t want my children having multi-racial “offspring” with guys named Azad, Aziz, or Muhammad.

  18. Well, my comments will always be bizarre to you Warren… Some things and people do not change, do they? It really is a pity.

    If you read my post above carefully, I did say that racism in the UK does exist, but it is dealt with by the authorities when incidents of hate crimes are reported.

    Thank you for posting a link to my blog.

  19. “a (the) vast majority of Poles seem to live in denial about the racism that’s been in Poland for decades and centuries ”

    Including yourself, I believe.

    Except when Nigerians are brought into the equation.

  20. The ‘institutional racism’ is much worse in Poland as there are no clear guidelines as to how to deal with offences aggravated by racial prejudices and prevent such prejudices among the public service workers. As for common racism, I’d say Poles, generally speaking, are much more outspoken about how we feel and so you’d hear more racist jokes and racist comments from Poles. The racism once evident in the UK is now more passive, I’d say – people may not necessarily have changed their unfriendly (to put it mildly) thoughts about migrants but they don’t voice them as much as before due to the legislation on racism.

  21. I don’t believe legislation has much to do with it.

    The chances of being prosecuted for making racist remarks, jokes and so on, are pretty remote unless you happen to be a public figure.

  22. You have to try very hard to get a bullet from the Police in this country, they are very limited in the use of power. The whole team will usually be taken off the bonuses, overtimes, promotion lists for almost a year, until the court ruling is complete, so they don’t use violence lightly.

    The same kind of talk happened when a teenager got shot in a riot in the academic town, because the teenager was not a student, but a child from a family of unemployed and uneducated poor people.

    The same happened with the Nangar Khel shooting – the soldiers were guilty until proven innocent. Which they were proven, but only after several months down.

    So to summarize, the Polish forces are extremely cautious.

    As for the ‘racism’… well, we do not have the ‘white guilt’, because we never had slaves. So if the Nigerians want to pull the ‘weakling’ card, I suggest to emphasize poverty rather than race.

  23. I think migrations are good!:) The sad truth is that all imigrants from less developed countries will be always discriminated by locals (psychology will explain why?). But still, migrations are good for everybody: imigrants and locals. Regards.

  24. Typical picture in Poland (actually happened)

    TVN2 news channel studio, live discussion on racism. Dramatis personae:

    – journalist (white)
    – a person who took part in protests against racism (white)
    – policeman (white)

    And no non-white people at all! There are some black people in Polish tv they could invite… TVN24 weather girl Oomena Mensah, presenter from Krakow Brian Scott and that economic commentator whose name I can’t remember.

    Of course white Polish people know everything about racism.

  25. The usual TV custom is to either invite some completely random people and have them argue pointlessly to pass the time, or invite people who can be expected to take an informed stance on a given topic. E.g. they generally don’t invide flood victims to discuss floods, either. They do, however, invite environmental scientists who have never been flooded since they last wet their beds as a kid, but have done some research on the issue.

    I despise the notion that me being part of an ethnic majority could possibly render me unable to take an informed stance on the topic of racism. The idea that I can’t have enough empathy to voice the concerns of someone unlike me is plain silly.

    They treated it like yet another government vs. citizenry dispute, and invited one representative from each side. That should appeal to you, because it means the skin tone didn’t matter to them at all. And the white protester probably has a bigger chance of convincing the prejudiced part of their audience than an equally informed black protester, so I guess one could even argue they did the wise cynical thing (personally, I don’t think they put that much thought in it).

    Also: it’s very misleading to speak of “racism” in Poland. There’s little racism per se, but a lot of xenophobia. Don’t get me started on the kind of treatment the milky-white blonde “ruskie” receive sometimes.

  26. Hello !

    This piece of writing interesting, sad topic, much questions need the answer, but good writing as for me. Not that I try say I am expert in writing, no, I just mean as the reader. Easy to understand, and that very important for me when I read in English !

    Now, I do not have facts to offer your topic, but maybe only Police and those people at that Bazzar have the facts on this.

    I DO wish to offer my mind, if it ok ? I will say you that my mind is that this was not Polish Police murdering the man of the Black skin because of his colour, of course it not the good thing when someone loses the life in this world, and at hands of authority, not good, but I simply do not ever know of or hear about Poland Police shooting non White people, in all the life, and my good friend lives in Poland too, with her man, they never speak of such things happening also.

    Maybe this man of the Black skin was the nice man, as his people now say us in the Media. Maybe the Policeman too was the nice man, and simply doing his job, which, on this day, forced him to shoot a person who was the serious threat, danger. Polish Police must not become as British Police, as you speak about, afraid of their own shadow they cast, if it does not look wholly White in colour, what is it ?

    I also believe that these Nigerian peoples should not be acting in the agressive manner in someone elses country, if it for selling their goods, or other reason, they must rememeber where they are, guests in a nation that is not their nation, their natural home. It is of no importance what colour the skin, they are the foreign guests in Poland. Do NOT act in such the way as agressive behaviour for selling goods, or other, as for me.

    What has happened in Poland could never happen here in oo-cry-ee-na. Not because our Police do not carry the firearm, I assure you they do, not because some our Police are not of the racist mind, it sadly has been shown that some are, and not because we do not have the Bazzar’s here, we have much, this could not happen in Ukraine, because our good neighbour Polska is as far East as our Nigerian friends wish to migrate. I am of certainty Nigerian peoples are the brave peoples, and they will endure much to better their life, but attempting to wrestle Ukraine’s border guards to the ground, setting up Bazzar’s here and displaying the aggressive sales manor against our people as they pass by, no, the Nigerian peoples are not THAT brave !

    And ready yourself, as I have, for Mr Island, he will for certainty be here soon with his attack on me, I have yet to write something he ever agreed with :-)

    Sincerely, from UKR !

    Marina.

  27. Are you saying you go around expecting to be shot dead by the police if you’re ‘agressive’?

    No. Didn’t think so.

    Not wanting to be persecuted and hurt because your skin is of a different colour to what’s around you is hardly expecting ‘better treatment’.

  28. But, as you told us, the real problem is in the U.K.. Poles are just a little bit tactless, and simply speak their mind. Or have you undergone a Damascane conversion on this subject?

  29. This is a rock hard topic, admirably tackled by Scatts here. I too have been expecting something like this for some time and, unlike guest, I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this topic in the coming months and years: Poland is a highly attractive destination for economic migrants from the developing world.

    As Michael suggests, I strongly suspect we are born with a predisposition towards racism in the sense that we are born as social animals with a tendency to strongly identify with the customs and appearance of the ‘tribe’ we are brought up in. If you happen to be brought up in a society that is truly and completely racially mixed (maybe parts of Brazil) you probably won’t develop a distrust of people who are a different colour than you, but you’ll still think foreigner’s food tastes funny and suspect that they don’t wash as often as you do.

    There’s no way I would come to live in Poland if I was black: the chances of encountering unpleasant and possibly violent racism are a hundred percent. The evidence, though anecdotal, is overwhelming. I knew an African-American in Warsaw, the sweetest guy you could meet, who was routinely subject to shouted racial slurs, refused taxis and harassed in a hundred petty ways. Not all the time, and certainly not by the majority of Poles, but often and by a significant minority.

    None of this surprises me in the least and I don’t think it reflects badly on Poles: us human animals are just like that. At this point in the argument the natural conclusion is to suggest that everybody should just stay in the country and culture into which they are born, except for the occasional holiday maybe. We’ve seen the suggestion in this comment thread already, in previous comment threads directed against us Polandians, and in the arguments of racial segregationists (white, black and Asian) for centuries.

    The only problem with this argument is that it is based on a fantasy. People do not stay where they are born, never have and never will. Poles should know this as well as anyone. There are all kinds of reasons: economics, politics, love, or pure whimsy. The only way to stop people moving about is with strict migration and immigration controls. The problems with a policy like that are too obvious to bother going into.

    Unless we want a world in which every country is a North Korea or an apartheid era South Africa we are stuck with the problem that foreigners, some of them with radically different skin colours, customs and beliefs, are going to move from country to country. Every state in Western Europe has had to face this reality and try to come up with solutions. Every recent member state of the EU is having to face that reality now.

    The solutions that have been adopted in the UK, France, Germany and other places are very far from perfect, which is not surprising since the solutions to other social problems in these countries are also far from perfect. What definitely will not work is just sitting back and assuming the problem will go away or that foreigners will suddenly start behaving like perfect guests who Know Their Place—universal peace and brotherly love will be on the bus way before that one.

    Here ends my statement of the bleedin obvious

  30. “There’s no way I would come to live in Poland if I was black: the chances of encountering unpleasant and possibly violent racism are a hundred percent. The evidence, though anecdotal, is overwhelming. I knew an African-American in Warsaw, the sweetest guy you could meet, who was routinely subject to shouted racial slurs, refused taxis and harassed in a hundred petty ways. Not all the time, and certainly not by the majority of Poles, but often and by a significant minority.

    None of this surprises me in the least and I don’t think it reflects badly on Poles: ”

    Of course this reflects badly on people.

    Why are you so tolerant of ignorance and stupidity in Poles, Jamie?

    Do you really have such a low opinion of your wife’s nationality that you don’t believe they are capable of behaving any better?

  31. Well, I haven’t undergone the D. conversion but, let’s say, my idealism connected with our legendary Polish openness and tolerance has suffered bitter disappointment…

  32. It wasn’t a ‘statement of the bleedin obvious’, but rather a bird-brained, pani Olaesquegeneralisation of utter vacuity, plucked out of thin air.

    Human behaviour is learnt – we are not innate racists, and it’s up to us what kind of society we wish to live in.

    Taking your ridiculous response to its logical conclusion, this would suggest that Apartheid South Africa, the Southern States of the United States during segregation, and the Nazis had nothing to be ashamed of, as racism ‘is a universal human characteristic’.

    It is not, or at least there is no evidence for such a belief.

  33. On the contrary: “Apartheid South Africa, the Southern States of the United States during segregation, and the Nazis” as well as countless other examples great and small are very good evidence that we are “born with a predisposition towards racism” (my actual words).

    Of course we should resist attempts to exploit this tendency, failing to do so on the scale of supporting a racist regime is something to be ashamed of.

    I believe your reasoning is faulty: if human behaviour is only learnt, somebody would have had to have invented racism at some point in order for them to teach it to their children. When do you believe this happened?

  34. Why should I personally be ashamed if a small minority of Poles act in a racist manner?

    Warren, are you personality ashamed of every stupid thing someone of your nationality does? If so, how do find time to write about Poles? Unless you ignore your shame and insist that your time is better spend forcing shame upon other peoples?

    And suggesting that racism is prevalent throughout history in all societies is not necessarilly countenancing it or supporting it.

    Whatever stupidity you want to single out reflects badly on the stupid people who act out their stupidity (stupid is as stupid does) and the stupid people who raised and influenced them.

  35. “On the contrary: “Apartheid South Africa, the Southern States of the United States during segregation, and the Nazis” as well as countless other examples great and small are very good evidence that we are “born with a predisposition towards racism” (my actual words).”

    Not really.

    As well as these places and times, there are other places and times when different races have co-existed in relative harmony.

    The above are the exceptions.

  36. “I believe your reasoning is faulty: if human behaviour is only learnt, somebody would have had to have invented racism at some point in order for them to teach it to their children. When do you believe this happened?”

    It’s pretty obvious that such behaviour is learnt rather than innate.

    Place pre-school age children together, and they will play with each other without being conscious of racial differences.

    I don’t know who ‘invented’ racism, but our attitudes come from the society around us, rather than genetic predisposition.

    Why do Catholics and Protestants have to live with peace lines between them in Northern Ireland, but nowhere else?

  37. I would say that racism would appear to be more prevelant in Poland than in most European nations, and yes, this is something to feel ashamed about.

    We collectively decide what kind of society we wish to live in. We can encourage racism, ignore it, or challenge it.

    It’s up to us.

  38. Sorry Warren, I am not ashamed that you think that racism is more prevalent in Poland than in other countries. Just because you think it is so doesn’t make it so. Also following your logic, if I were you, assuming you are of the British persuasion so to speak, I think I would be more concerned about the racism of British Petroleum, to which I made reference in a post above. Surely, BP’s racism impacts more harmfully upon an entire nation of Nigerians than the idiocy of some Poles against a very few migrating Nigerians in Poland, as deplorable as such incidents indeed are.

  39. Very well said, Island.

    “What definitely will not work is just sitting back and assuming the problem will go away or that foreigners will suddenly start behaving like perfect guests who Know Their Place—universal peace and brotherly love will be on the bus way before that one.” – exactly! :-)
    —————————–
    European Commission sues Poland for failure in anti-racism legislation:
    http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90853/6975193.html

    It really is a high time the Polish authorities complied with the EU requirements!

  40. I don’t know who ‘invented’ racism, but our attitudes come from the society around us, rather than genetic predisposition.”

    I agree.

    The southern plantation owners didn’t even own slaves until they were introduced to the idea of slavery by the black slave traders during one of their early explorations to Africa. Slaves previous to those times go back to the building of the Pyramids.

    Even though we have a natural shyness sometimes, we are seldom afraid unless we’ve been given reason. “Pavlov’s Dog.”

    Like Scatts said in the article, when you look at the Vietnamese in society, they don’t pose a problem. Here, I can tell you that they are industrious and extremely polite. Is this racism to look at a cohort? No, this is how clinical trials are run. If it is negative against the Nigerians, it is the fault of the Nigerians’ own actions–nothing more. They will try to say it’s the Police’s fault by way of racism. That point needs to be understood clearly, because if your courts don’t understand this in advance, a precedent will be set and you will be stuck. Then all you will be able to do is build prisons and suffer while dealing with more of the same.

  41. So, this begin get very interesting, as for me.

    Are we born the racist, it natural within us, even as child ? Or do we learn such the attitude ?

    Is racism a disease only of White Skinned peoples ? Are there as many Black Skinned racist people in our world as there are White Skinned ?

    I will say you this, here in my nation, it seems, I am not proud to say you, that we are taught to be racists, from early age. It will not be uncommon for our teachers at school teaching the history lesson to use language while pointing to map of world on wall……”Americans come from America, the British come from Britain, Germans come from Germany, and Niggers come from Africa”

    I have written on this topic, and it of high interest to me what the mind of you Polish people on such [I know there are some British here too]

    I do not remember being taught that people from Africa, or Asia or such are lesser people than me and Ukrainians, just that they different, as we are different to them. Their culture is different, their mind on much things different to ours, their clothes, food, religious beliefs, all different. Because of this our people have no desire to interbreed with these vastly different peoples, my papa makes the point oh so clear when I asked to him this very question some weeks past.

    But, this must not mean that we hate them, look down upon them and, certainly not harm them simply because they are different to us, and I am troubled at many my peoples mind sometimes towards peoples of a different colour to us, those that come here to my nation to study at our Institutes can be in the danger, sadly they can even lose the life, I feel the shame to say you truth, much times people of the Black Skin, and believers in faiths such as Muslim DO lose the life here sometimes……….

    http://www.kyivpost.com/news/nation/detail/64602/

    Are Polish people the racist peoples ? Maybe as much as Ukrainians are, but racism, as for me, comes in different strengths, much like the medicine at Pharmacist. And I bellieve it not so wrong, for example, to not desire after the Brown Skinned child, and I, and all my girls I ever know here do not ever want such colour child, we want same colour child as we, as our parents, and grandparents, is this wrong ? Is it wrong of a Black Skinned woman to not ever want a child of the Brown or White Skin, but of her own colour ? No, but this is racism, yes ? But it come in the healthy strength from Pharmacist, over counter without special paper from Doctor.

    My friend who lives with her man in UK said me once that she and her man went for trip in to London Centre, they went to main bus station in London, I think but I cannot remember exactly though that maybe it name Viktoria ? Anyway, her husband begin laugh, very much, she ask to him “what is it dear” ? He said her “listen” She listened, it was Africa man speaking to all people in bus station on loud speaker system with strong African voice “Well-Cum Toooo – Lun-Don – Pleez becarful your bag eege” etc They laughed strong, but I ask to you, is this correct ? Is this correct image London should display to international travelling people who arrive and leave from London bus station ? Not even the voice of British person, but African ? Would such the thing happen in African bus station ? As for me this too is wrong, in such a place as international bus station, over loud speaker system, I do not want hear disjointed voice of an immigrant to this nation, giving to me the welcome message and safety information. Racsim ? Probably, but over counter from Pharmacist, and I will expect African peoples or any other peoples in this world to have exact same mind about their International bus station. Go in Kiev International bus station, or L’viv here in my nation, do you think you will be informed about next arriving bus in voice of the Japanese person ? !

    To desire after persecution and murder of another coloured race, as the American KKK desire towards the Black Skinned peoples is not the healthy racism, this not over counter medicine, this in the back cabinet of Pharmacist, and needs Doctor to sign special paper to obtain it. We must bring to justice those Doctors that do sign such paper, so that it can never be sold to us, as for me.

    Thanks for letting me come here.

    I never looked Poland, but I been to Polandian :-)

    Sincerely,

    Marina.

    UA.

  42. Anyone who has spent time in Poland and in Western European countries, and is aware of what is happening around them, will notice a greater prevalence of racism in Poland.

    That’s how things are, whether you choose to deny it or not.

    I don’t really follow your pointless whataboutery concerning BP in Nigeria. They are a large multi-national company, interested in making a profit, rather than race issues. Is the BP oil slick in the Caribbean also connested with ‘racism’?

  43. I’m sure you’re a nice person, but much of what you write would be perceived as being ‘racist’.

    Of course, black people can be just as racist as white. We can probably see examples of this in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. However, in Europe, black people don’t really have much chance to practice ‘inverse racism’, as they are a minority, and are not usually in positions of power.

    I don’t think there is anything ‘wrong’ in having mixed race children. A lot of famous people have been and are mixed race. This would include, for example, the England football captain, Rio Ferdinand, and the musician Bob Marley. Idon’t believe they have a problem with their identity, and neither should we. If you never want a relationship with a black man, this is your choice, no-one will force you to do so. If a white woman does want to have a relationship with someone of different race, this is her business, and it has nothing to do with anyone else.

    Likewise, I see nothing ‘wrong’ in having a black announcer at a London coach station. London is a cosmopolitan city, and people from the Ukraine and Poland simply have to accept this, and if this, for some reason, makes them uncomfortable, then they should stay at home.

  44. Saying it is obvious doesn’t make it so; it isn’t obvious to me.

    The behaviour may be learnt, but it is easily learnt because we have a predisposition to mistrust people who look and behave differently from us—that’s all I was trying to say.

    Children of different races who have been brought up in the same culture will play together, but introduce a child that speaks a different language, eats different food and behaves differently and bullying will soon follow. It is tolerance that has to be taught.

    Catholic-Protestant conflict is surely a proof of the predisposition towards intolerance: these people are willing to kill each other even though they are from the same race and have cultures that are barely distinguishable. Catholics and Protestants may live in harmony across most of Europe now, but only because it has no political relevance anymore: when it did have political relevance there were long and bloody wars.

  45. You seem to be backtracking on what you have written.

    We have a disposition to distrust those society teaches us to distrust – it is learned behaviour, and nothing ‘innate’.

    An Israeli is far more likely to distrust a Palestinian, (who may share the physical characteristics of Israeli’s), than an Ethiopian Jew, of negroid appearance.

    Why?

    Because his society has conditioned him to think in such a manner, and not because he has some anti-Palestinian gene.

    If a society is ‘racist’, then the fault is with that society, as it has ‘taught’ its members to perceive another ethnic group as being in some way ‘threatening’.

  46. Hello Warren,

    I look your view, interesting, as for me !

    But, it not relevant to anything that I wrote !

    I do not remember any person here, and for sure not me, saying it wrong to have the mixed race children, so, as for me it confusing as to why you write about such, the relevance to what I wrote is absent I believe.

    So to with the colour of skin of the bus announcer, this was not mentioned by me, only by you, I spoke of the accent, the voice, what people travelling through this London International Bus Station will hear, what they maybe expect to hear, the voice of the British person, colour of which of no importance [why not British born Black Skinned man] speaking clearly, not the Nigerian, it is not correct to do this I believe.

    You speak of London as the Cosmopolitan City, and that is why Nigerian is given such the job, I say you UK is weak, riddled with disease of forced Multiculturalism, that much UK people despise, ashamed of such, but only dare speak of such, think of such even, when front door of house is secured by strong lock, and all people outside are sleeping strong !

    Warsaw is Cosmopolitan, Kiev is slowly becoming such, Tokyo is for sure, Paris we know is, the list could continue, but I know exactly, none of these and maybe every single Cosmopolitan City in whole world do not, would not ever employ foreign immigrant who cannot even speak good the language in which this person must speak everyday for the employment, welcoming International travellers and giving to them important safety information. Only UK cities would do such, because they contract the serious disease much years ago, and this disease now strong within UK, and it dying, it maybe have just the 30 years left of life, after then it shall be the toilet of this world, where no people will want live, raise children etc, just a nation of foreign peoples. Why so new Prime Minister Mr Cameron speak about restricting amount of immigrants flowing in to UK every day ? Much these immigrants already make it to EU territory, they in France, but they do not want live in France, or Germany, or Poland, they want UK, and some risk the life in back of truck, or swim across ocean to get to UK, why ? Because as my friends husband explained me “if there’s 1 thing the UK Government loves, it’s immigrants”

    I am not uncomfortable by what UK chooses to do, I am amused ! And proud that my nation will NEVER travel such the same road, and we are a prouder, stronger and a more patriot peoples because of such.

    And, it Ukraine by the way, not ‘the’ but, as you wish.

    Marina.

    U – K – RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR !

  47. Thank you for introducing me to your blog. It’s awesome. It took the liberty of mentioning it in a facebook group:

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=107569912597565

    I don’t see a problem with a Nigerian announcer, provided, of course, he would be easily understandable.

    The relevance of mixed race children was that you told us that no girl you knew would want a brown skinned child.

    Btw, I can’t work out if you are serious or not.

    I don’t see multiculturism as a ‘disease’, and I don’t believe the U.K. is becoming ‘the toilet of the world’ because of it.

    London would be a pretty boring place were it to be monocultural.

    I believe Ukraine can be spelt with or without ‘the’.

    You’ve made me fascinated with the country, and I hope to go there some day.

  48. How can the prevalence of racism against Blacks in Poland be greater than in western European countries when there are disproportionately fewer Blacks in Poland? Wow, racism at a football match. Terrible for sure. But from what countries have such Polish idiots taken their cues? And the problem has significantly diminished in recent years in Poland. Stilll there, needs to be fought but c’mon…. Hook us up with some old British hooligan videos, too, heh? But most importantly, let’s not forget who set the precedent and standard for racism via the colonialization of Africa — I don’t think it was Poland. Ever think there are Nigerians in Poland who would much rather be at home but have been displaced by the likes of BP — which I assume pays taxes to the British government which in turn provides blokes like you health care and all sorts of services. Really, cut me and the rest of us a break. And consider:

    And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

    Cheers.

  49. Yeah, sure, the prevelance of attacks on blacks in Poland is lower than (say) the U.K., because there are fewer blacks to attack.

    Probably it would be highest in Nigeria as there are a hundred million or so people who could possibly be assulted.

    All I would say is this. Not long ago I was in a tram and some middle-aged man started shouting and screaming at a 10 year old black girl for no reason whatsoever.

    NIE JEST NORMALNY !!! And a stream of abuse, not all of which I understood.

    I went up to the guy and said, “Pan nie jest normalny”. No-one took my side.

    Now such things can and do happen in the U.K.., but they happen far more often here.

    And this is a problem here and now.

    And going on about B.P. in Nigeria, and things that happened a century or so ago, does nothing to alter the fact that Poland is a racist country by current E.U. norms.

  50. Sounds like the guy was bonkers. Most people leave crazy people alone.

    What’s happening in Nigeria now goes a long way in explaining the recent influx of Nigerian migrants to Poland.

    Funny, how you want to forget history when its inconvenient to your perspective but then bring it up pertaining to Poland.

    And by my norms, what’s going on in Nigeria today, not yesterday, is predicated upon the western European predisposition to control the world and dictate what its norms should be.

    It appears to me you can’t see the forest through the trees.

    When there are no more race riots in jolly ol’ progressive, tolerant England and the problem comes to Poland, then maybe your lectures will be more acceptable.

    Thank you for your concern and taking the burden of Polish racism on your shoulders..

  51. What BP are doing in Africa has nothing to do with racism and what European countries did in Africa is century ago has nothing to do with the presence of blacks in Poland now.

    And neither of which explains or excuses why black people are more likely to be assaulted in Poland than Western European nations.

    You are merely indulging in pointless whataboutery and would appear to be unable to follow an argument with any degree of intelligence.

  52. What BP is getting away with in Nigeria today has everything to do with racism. You are just blind to it because you benefit from it, just as you are a benficiary of a long history of colonialism.

    You might also want to consider why British pharmaceutical companies go to Africa and get away with testing Africans for all sorts of drugs and other possibly harmful substances.

    Please cite studies and provide statistics that conclusively demonstrate that black people are more likely to be physically assaulted in Poland than any and all other “Western European” nations. Please don’t cherry pick and selectively choose which “Western European” nations to include.

    Otherwise you are clearly merely indulging in pointless whataboutery and would appear to be unable to follow an argument with any degree of intelligence. Not to mention and overabundance of pomposity and arrogance.

    Cheers.

  53. I don’t know of any studies on racial attacks in Poland. I’ve spoken to a number of black people in Poland, and all have experienced worse racism here than they have done in Western European countries.

    I have yet to meet a non-white person who would say any different.

    I’ve also seen people making racist remarks first hand myself.

    None of your whataboutery will alter the fact that Poland is perceived as a racist country non-Poles familiar with Poland.

    If you want to change this perception, first you would have to acknowledge that a problem exists, and not bring irrelevancies into the discussion.

  54. Well of course you can only make anecdotal observations because you cannot prove your point with any hard data.

    Here’s a request that shouldn’t be that difficult to provide real evidence: How many violent assaults have been staged by Poles against Blacks in Poland in the past year? Please, put up or eat your own whereaboutery. Then just surf the web a bit and you will find hundreds and hundreds of recorded incidences of violent assaults against Blacks, Muslims, Asians, Jews and what have you in London alone in the past year perpetrated by your own racial nationality group.

    Also there are many different kinds of racism. There is attitudinal racism which to me seems a lot less problematic than violent racism of which Britain surpasses Poland by far. And there is institutional and economic racism which you just want to ignore because it goes a long way in explaining your privileged position and smugness.

    And I never suggested there isn’t a problem with racism in Poland.

    However, you need to realize you have a problem, too. You are an anti-Polish bigot who stereotypes beyond any other Englishman I have ever come across. I have nothing more to attempt to say to you because you’re thick as a brick.

    Cheers anyway.

  55. OK, so next time Poland must hire a black cop. And then You will hopefully stop talking this racist BS against “white cops”.

    If you really think that a “white racist cop” tried to “kill an innocent black trader”, then you are simply wrong.

  56. For one, I suppose I understood what Island had posted in a tad different way.
    ‘Being predisposed’ towards something does not necessarily mean one will act on their predispositions as opposed to what they were taught, does it?
    I am not a good example to prove the statement true as I was brought up in an environment tolerant of people who are different, foreign, less able, etc. Therefore, such a predisposition has never had a chance to flourish in me. However, it could be proved by an anthropologist that people do have an instinct to fear all that is different – if it was untrue, there would be no problems with, eg peer pressure, wanting to be a part of a group, etc. and these ARE natural tendencies which can be ‘tamed’, though.

  57. This is a nationalistic anti Polish generalisation BS.

    Poland can be “racist” (openly critical) towards Blacks because Poland DID NOT have colonies in Africa and DID NOT kill thousands of blacks unlike the Dutch, German, British, Belgian, French, Italian or Spanish people. Polish priests and nuns work their asses off in Africa since decades. Black people can study in Poland since the 70’s. Thousands of African doctors and engineers were educated in Poland for free.

    And so Poland and Poles have the mental/moral freedom to treat Africans “differently” than other western countries.

    “differently” means = we will accept and tolerate you in our “Polish family club”, but as a non family member, we expect “more” from you. You simply have to behave like a “perfect citizen”, amen.

    And selling illegal stuff, throwing bricks at the police, running away when the Police wants to see your ID card, IS NOT how a “perfect citizen” looks like….

  58. You won’t get any data on this because no data is collected on racially aggravated assaults.

    The anecdotal evidence is very strong, however. Most foreigners in Poland, and probably all dark skinned foreigners would tell you the same.

    It seems hard to imagine why an experienced Daily Telegraph journalist, and BBC reporter would write an article such as this, if none of it were true:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/04/polish_footballs_racism_proble_1.html

    Cue further hysterics, irrelevant whataboutery etc …..

  59. Perhaps we aren’t innate racists, but if you learned something about the brain you’d know, that it likes to categorize everything in a neat and simplified way (especially in case of “us and them”)…

  60. You are the one endlessly engaging in histrionics to further your hatred of Polish people (and it does not seem you are very kind to your own fellow nationals running this blog as indicated by your comments about them above).

    Woebegone never denied there is racism in Poland especially vis-a-vis a small minority group of demented football hooligans who like to rachet up the controversy to further demonstrate how bad they are — which the skinhead interviewee of course did in the old interview you cited. And still you insist on portraying such jackasses as being representative of most Poles.

    You won’t get the data on violent assaults against Blacks in Poland because it’s so miniscule. Certainly, a watchdog group like Nigdy Wiecej, mentioned in the old 2008 article you linked, would attempt to compile such statistics if there was a widespread problem of this kind. They did a decent job some years ago in documenting exhibitions of racist attitudes in football stadiums. Are these activists now too lazy or or just too inept to document violent assaults against Blacks now? Maybe you should start putting the numbers together yourself to prove your point once and for all but I suppose you are just too busy or already content limiting yourself to puerile pontification. And the adolescent pumped his way into his hat — as somebody once sang….

    And the problem of football racism in Poland, while still prevalent and outrageous, has considerably diminished in the past couple years. People have begun to make it clear to the team owners that attendance and team merchandise purchases will suffer if merchandise if racist banners and hooligan behaviors are allowed in stadiums –instead of simply blathering on and wringing hands about how terrible everything is. And as long as people don’t take their kids to games because of the stupid antics of hooligans, football will go nowhere in Poland. Teamowners and sponsors are learning that if they want to make money, they have to clean up what goes on in the stadiums. It’s not going to happen overnight but there is progress as will be shown in 2012 during the Eurocup. But you’re probably like that scholar (hah!) who claimed there would be pogroms in Poland when that Mel Gibson movie showed in Poland.

    And don’t forget how bad the racist element was in British football in the 1970, 80s and even into the 1990s. Guess who the small unruly copycat element in Poland have taken their cues from?

    Finally, it’s obvious that the reporter was obviously much too young to witness the grafitti and banners and violence back in England then to make any realistic comparisons. You, too, no doubt. And Imagine a BBC reporter being the least bit sensationalistic! Unheard of!

  61. Well, Stephen, you’re certainly wrong on one point:

    “Finally, it’s obvious that the reporter was obviously much too young to witness the grafitti and banners and violence back in England then to make any realistic comparisons.”

    Here’s what the reporter himself wrote:

    “I found racism that was strident and in your face in a way it never was in Britain, even in the very bad old days of English football in the 1970s and 80s.

    Then, as one of the regular football reporters at the Sunday Times, I spent my Saturdays at football matches and had several first-hand experiences of racism.

    Much of it was very unpleasant. But in Poland it was on a different, deeper and much nastier level.”

    Mihir Bose is a well-known highly respected journalist btw.

    How familiar are you with Poland? Do you understand Polish? Have you ever been to a football match in Poland? Have you ever spoken to a black person living in Poland?

    Btw, you can’t really prove evidence of racial assaults in Poland because there is no crime of racially aggravated assault, and such as such is not recorded.

    Here, again, is what the O.P. wrote:

    ““There’s no way I would come to live in Poland if I was black: the chances of encountering unpleasant and possibly violent racism are a hundred percent. The evidence, though anecdotal, is overwhelming. I knew an African-American in Warsaw, the sweetest guy you could meet, who was routinely subject to shouted racial slurs, refused taxis and harassed in a hundred petty ways. Not all the time, and certainly not by the majority of Poles, but often and by a significant minority.

    None of this surprises me in the least and I don’t think it reflects badly on Poles: ”

    I would agree with all of that, apart from the last sentence.

    If it does not reflect badly on Poles, who does it reflect badly on?

  62. I’m not backtracking on anything. I wasn’t arguing for an anti-Palestinian gene or an an anti-Jewish gene or an anti-West Ham gene; that would be absurd. I am arguing for an anti-foreigner gene, where ‘foreigner’ means anybody who behaves differently or looks different to your peer group.

    Of course this tendency can be exploited. Society or a political group may exploit this tendency to encourage hatred of a particular group of ‘foreigners’ (heretics, people with ginger hair, homosexuals, whatever), but even if this didn’t happen people would still find a group to hate.

  63. Hello.

    Much squabble over Poland maybe the racist peoples, maybe they not, well maybe they a little racist. Let us take the shiny coin from pocket, fling in to the air, and decide mind of the Polish peoples, right here and now, and, in doing this, we will be able also to condem them as the small minded and intollerant peoples, who need the ‘educating’ in all matters of tollerance, let us be done with such !

    They Polish people, in Poland, if some do not trust, or care too much for the foreigner, then that their mind, and, their right. Much Polish go in UK to live and work, as I understand they can get bad attitude to them from some British people, for ‘taking British jobs’ etc.

    Do you know the bad attitude most Ukrainians get from Russians when we go in Russia ? They treat our people as the second class person, as though we are less to them, that we stupid, it the fact, so, you know what we do ? We only go in Russia if we have to, it that simple, we do not try change their mind about us, we know they wrong about us but, it Russia, THEIR nation, they must behave in Russia as they WISH. We do not bang on front door of Putin and make demand that he change attitude of his people towards us Ukrainians, he would say us “GET OUT” and, you know, he’d be right to say us this !

    As for me, people must stop thinking that every country and it’s peoples actually wants other races invading it, or, wants other races building their foreign communities within it. This disease of bending over in the backwards fashion to accomadate foreign peoples to their nations is a Western disease, and some countries simply do not want to catch such the contagious and destructive disease as they.

    Some nations, and their peoples, think of their nation as their home. They do not let any person from wherever in this world in to their home, they are careful who they open front door to, and, people who they do permit to enter, must wipe the shoe bottom on rug when enter, and, show the respect at all times when in this home. This maybe how some peoples mind on their nation, it THEIR nation, their HOME, not for foreign invaders, and they do not care to share their nation with the foreign peoples.

    Western minds believe they have correct answer for everything, that their way, their mind, is the only way. Well, I am here today to say you it simply is blah blah blah.

    We must not to cause the harm to other races and peoples, no, this is not for me, but, I am PROUD that my nation and, it seems Poland also, simply do not want our nations to become as UK and others, we do not want your ideals, your ‘tollerance’ we want be as we are, and not be told, by Western peoples how we must to behave. I am not racist, I believe all people are equal, but I do NOT want see a million Africans and Muslims in my nation, it simply is not natural to Ukraine, or Poland, or Russia, we do not want our nations changed in such the way, we do not want see Brown skinned children everywhere, not White, not Black, what is it ? We do not want stand next to the Muslim woman at Post Office, and feel ourselves uncomfort, because we are not permitted to look this woman’s face, we see only 2 eyes. What is it ? What mind our children when they see woman in our centre wearing such the costume ? You Western peoples, with your oh so lovely ‘tollerance’ so, you continue welcoming all these foreign peoples to your nations then, you are welcome to accept as much as you wish, and in the 30 years we will see what is left of your oh so ‘tollerant’ nations. And it will be to Poland, Ukraine and Russia that you ‘tollerant’ Western peoples will surely be buying your one-way Jet tickets for, with suitcase in 1 hand, and map of the street of your new home in your other.

    And Warren, I did not make the joke, I do not want, and will never have, the child with the Black Skinned man that will arrive to this world as the colour of the tasty biscuit ! All my friends, and all women I ever meet here in Ukraine have exact same mind, it our mind, and it will not, cannot, must not be changed, or looked down upon by the noses of Western peoples who beleive always that their way is correct, it is not, as for me.

    Western people – When will you STOP trying to make this world as YOU want it to be ? It is not your world, it belong to ALL of us, and each of us and our nations must to live, and feel, and think, and behave as WE wish, not as YOU wish, your way, is nothing more than that, YOUR way, it is not THE way !!!!!

    I thank you,

    Marina.

    Ukraine, yeah !

  64. “London would be a pretty boring place were it to be monocultural”

    This statement you make to me is itself of the ‘boring’ nature Warren, as for me. I understand that it is uttered much, and uttered always, by those Western peoples, maybe like you, who are lost souls, within themselves, brainwashed, indoctrined and mummytised by their mis-guided Governments, pounding into their minds always the ‘benefits’ of forced Multiculturalism and mass un controlled immigration. It is not your fault.

    Such statement you make must surely imply, if not mean exactly, that all nations Capitals are ‘boring’ who are ‘monocultural’ – Warren ? it the more blah blah blah from you again, it your Government again, giving to you the mental Electricity shock as though under interrogation, your Government has done the good job on you and, it should be proud of you. as a defender of it’s crazy policies. I wonder if families of those victims of 2005 London bombs share your indoctrined mind, it is afterall, your precious forced Multiculturalism and uncontrolled immigration that allowed such to happen, no ?

    Have you ever looked Moscow Warren ? St Petersburgh ? What of my Capital, Kiev ? Do you try say me Kiev is ‘boring’ ? I can assure to you that is is not ! And, I am of certainty that it 99.999999999999999999999999999999999% UKRAINIAN peoples. And when I go in Kiev I feel myself happy, excited, and very proud, I am amongst MY people, in MY Capital, and when I sit on the train next to the person with the should bag of buldging size, I know exactly that inside this bag will be the persons lunch for the day, and not some murderous bomb he will be setting off in 8 minutes time, killing me, and much my people too !

    Thank you for making your link to my Blog on your Facebook.

    Marina.

    UA.

  65. Sorry but imo it’s simply sensationalistic reportage. My guess is that he was influenced by a couple stupid British docudramas about Polish football hooliganism done about the same time the report was written. I forget the name of the main reporter, but he was a chain smoking jerk.

    Take a few minutes and go back and look at some old youtube videos of English hooligan racist football violence. Again, sorry, there is simply no comparison in terms of rabidness and violence against Blacks or other racial minorities. Again, this is not to suggest that things weren’t really screwed up a few years ago in Poland but still, to repeat it yet again, they aren’t as bad as they were. And I’m not saying that nothing more needs to be done about it.

    And I speak from personal experience, too, having been born and raised for some time in Poland and a being a frequent visitor. My father never took me to games because of the a-holes in the stadiums but as an adult I have gone on my own and came out assured that it was not a family venue.

    That said it is also my experience that just about everyone tends to exaggerate the extent of unpleasant incidents, expecially to people who expect and want to hear the worst.

    And again, if you really want to check out a slew of incidents of contemporary racist violence, check out:

    https://www.irr.org.uk/violence/index.html

    I was even surprised, shocked even, how many incidents of all sorts of violence were directed against minorities of all colors by your fellow white nationals. Did you leave because you felt your own countrymen reflect so badly upon you? If so, fair enough.

    Please post even so much as 10 linked reports in the past year of any kind (they don’t have to have been made to the police) of anything in Poland that comes close to comparing to the insidiousness of the violent acts listed and reported in your country of birth (I’m assuming you were born in England).

    Come on, call up the folks at Nigdy Wiecej if you need help. If anyone is up on recent racist physical assaults against minorities in Poland, it’s them, no? If they aren’t up to it, start your own watchdog group if you think the problem is so serious and prevalent — which you obviously do. Once you post the list of the ten violent actual violent assaults, maybe I’ll even send you a check to keep up the good work.

  66. Oh blimey.

    You’ve written many times about your desire to see Ukraine in the EU. There are tens of millions of non-white citizens of the EU. All EU citizens have the right to travel, work and live in all EU states: what are you going to do, put a sign up saying ‘No blacks or muslims’?

    Why do Ukrainians want to join the EU (some of them at least)? Because it’s better here. We’re richer, we’re more powerful, and we have the highest standards of living in the world. Our ‘disease’ of tolerance is one of the reasons why this is so.

    If you don’t want to be part of this, then don’t aspire to join it. Nobody is going to force you, believe me.

    I’m afraid your idea that the citizens of Western states are being brainwashed or forced into something they don’t want by their governments says more about the Ukrainian political system than it does about the West. We live in democracies: our governments are an expression of the will of the majority. There are people with your views in Britain, but they don’t get into power because not enough people vote for them, not because they are being repressed by an evil dictatorship.

    Seriously Marina, I urge you to look carefully at your motivations and views: they do you no credit.

  67. Lawrence! I just saw your response to AngloPole above where you quote her saying:

    “a (the) vast majority of Poles seem to live in denial about the racism that’s been in Poland for decades and centuries ”

    And then your repartee:

    “Including yourself, I believe.

    Except when Nigerians are brought into the equation.”

    My goodness, Warren, you really are a nasty piece of work. Why do you attack someone who makes better arguments from a much better position of experience to gauge Polish racism (being Polish and married to a Nigerian) than you?

  68. “Seriously Marina, I urge you to look carefully at your motivations and views: they do you no credit”

    Maybe, Mr Island, maybe.

    And, as I learn more and more about this EU, I begin maybe understand that it perhaps not so ‘paradise’ as I always believed, and that maybe, it not for us, not for me and, so many people I know here in my nation.

    Yes, you are richer than we, but are you happier I wonder ? Have you ever celebrate the birthday, Christmas, birth of new child or home coming of a relative with Ukrainian people ? A happier time could not more be spent.

    I do not speak for the ‘Ukrainian Politcal System’ my view, my mind on topics, must not be taken as their view and mind.

    “Our governments are an expression of the will of the majority” yes, of the ‘majority’ that bother to vote, which as I understand gets lower every voting time, no ? So, in 30 years only relative of Politician and his cat will be at polling station with voting paper in hand and spring in step !

    My friends husband, who is British, and they live in England said me that UK is NOT true democracy, as you speak about, he said me if voting taken in UK on return of punishment of death for absolute certain proved murderers in UK like child murderer etc, most people there would vote for return of this punishment, and UK Goverment know this information, but will never ask its people their mind, or respect their will, because it does not listen its people. He also said me that much UK people want out of EU, they hate being the part of it. And they did not want strong the fighting in Iraq, but still your Government do such. I wonder, where is your ‘democracy’ in all this Mr Island ?

    Look, maybe I do not say good when I write what I try to say or, maybe I say it too strong, and it sound aggressive, or that I am the strong racist, this not my intention, or even view. But I do believe strong, and I believe you know this, that a nation must never, no matter what, no matter why, change the very fabric of itself. It must remain who it is, and when it change from being the welcoming nation to a small amount of immigrants to the no1 main destination, no matter what, come death or pain to get to for so many immigrants of the world, then something has gone wrong, this nation has got something wrong, it is neglecting its natural people, and being too over welcoming to immigrants and foreigners, and thus the lines of immigrants at this nations immigrant centres and borders grow bigger and bigger, and the lines of its natural peoples at its airports with 1 way jet tickets in their hands also grows bigger and bigger.

    You, for whatever reason may care to say us, are 1 such person who bought the 1 way ticket out of your nation to live in another much Kilometer away from it !

    Since we have engaged upon our exchanges, here and over at my Blog too, you have always praised your Government, your Police, and the general attitude in your nation, this I believe is to be respected, even though you do all this from your home in another nation, very different from the 1 from which you say you are so proud.

    All I often do, Mr Island, is the same as you, praising my nations Government, recongnising its faults, praising my Police, recognising their faults, and speak of the general attitude of my people and nation. We are not so different perhaps ?

    Except I speak of my nation from my nation, you speak of yours from Poland. Oh, and you believe that EU way is the ONLY way, the correct way, EU is paradise, all nations outside of it must bow to its supiority, like dog with tail between back legs, then beg for pat on head, and walk in park, Turkey will do all this, and more, and EU, the great master shall have yet another obdient animal in its cage.

    Ukraine cannot be caged, and Ukraine can bite, strong.

    As of this day Mr Island, I will never again write, speak, or even desire after EU membership for my nation, I no longer believe to be the member is to benefit the nation that is, not completely.

    Thank you for allowing me to come here.

    Marina.

    Ukraine [the non EU member]

  69. Interestingly, she seems to agree with my position rather than yours on there being a lot of racism in Poland.

    You asked why there is little proof of racism in Poland, and if you read her post you will find an answer – when she reported it to the police they weren’t interested.

    Anglopole has strong views on racism. She believes she is bullied for being a Pole in England, and by me personally. Therefore it came us some surprise to me to see her making posts about the racism she has experienced in Poland. I had thought, according to her previous statements, that she believed this to be an Anglo-Saxon trait.

    However, judging by what she has written on other web forums, her anti-racism is somewhat subjective. Historical accounts of Polish anti-semitism send her into a frenzy of denial. Moreover, on another web forum an argument broke out between some English and Polish posters on the vexed question of ‘do Pakis smell?’. The consensus of opinion on the subject, among young well-educated Polish professionals living in the United Kingdom was that people objecting to such statements were being unecessarily politically correct, and that Poles fought WW2 and the communist system to have the freedom to complain about smelly, unwashed Asians.
    Anglopole apparently shares this opinion.

    As far as I can make out, she is commited to political correctness only in so far as it effects her personally.

    I’m surprised you can make sweeping statements about me ‘you are a nasty piece of work’ after such a short acquaintance. At least I have the courage to post under my own name. Is the name ‘Stephen Lawrence’ really your own, or have you perhaps named yourself after a murdered black teenager?

  70. The moniker is a means of highlighting the problem of racism in your country, which imo your are all to eager to sidestep. That teenager was not murdered in Poland.

    You’ve pretty much argued that British colonialism means nothing in terms of contemporary racism. You sidestep the role of the oil spill in Nigeria as a major impetus for the migration of Nigerians to Poland – – not a bit of anger expressed by you about how that oil spill is devastating Nigeria or any attempt made to acknowledge responsiblity. Maybe you could spend some time writing your fellow nationals in the corporate board rooms of British Petroleum instead of going on and on about a diminishing number of foolish *powerless* Polish skinheads?

    I use a moniker because I’ve experienced being hounded by overly zealous right wing activists. If you want to show your *courage*, or pride in your arrogance as the case may be, by using your real name, that is your option.

    How much and what kind is “a lot of racism”?

    Similarly, I can say I’ve read *a lot* of your posts, enough to gauge your nastiness.

    But again, you seem to lump all kinds of manifestations of racism together as if they are equally harmful. I don’t think that is the case. I am more alarmed by the institutionalized economic racism that is devastating Nigeria than some incidents whereby a relative few frightrully ignorant skinheads at a football match wave around a swastika or throw bananas. And you seem to imply that all Poles are responsible for the actions of a few, albeit too many, morons. Well, if that is the case, then as the website I linked above amply documents, you are running away from your responsiblity to fight racism in your own country, which is hardly courageous.

    You keep on sidestepping my request for documentation of physical racist assault in Poland over the past year beyond anecdotal heresay, which is not courageous on your part. I don’t care if a report was made to or registered by the police. AngloPole reasonably pointed out one incident of physical violence but didn’t mention when it occurred. You’ve come up with diddly-do. My guess is that the incident she mentioned was covered in the Lodz press and there is a url that at least documents the claim. From the webite I’ve linked and link here again, there is no such dearth of documentation of English racist violence in the past year:

    https://www.irr.org.uk/violence/index.html

    There’s also a well written, very nicely documented, article there about the death of the Nigerian street vendor in Warsaw which raises a lot of questions which I hope are officially addressed and answered soon.

  71. “Sorry but imo it’s simply sensationalistic reportage. My guess is that he was influenced by a couple stupid British docudramas about Polish football hooliganism done about the same time the report was written. I forget the name of the main reporter, but he was a chain smoking jerk.”

    The ‘chain smoking jerk’ is Danny Dyer, who presents ‘the Real Football Factories’.

    I would agree that he is a jerk. I am actually a member of the facebook group, ‘Danny Dyer what a knob.’ I reckon Jamie Oliver could do him in a fight. Or Jamie Stokes, for that matter.

    However, we are talking about Mihir Bose, a very well-known and respected sports journalist, who was actually head of BBC sport for 3 years. In no way could his reporting be described as ‘sensationalistic’. He merely described what he saw.

    “Take a few minutes and go back and look at some old youtube videos of English hooligan racist football violence. Again, sorry, there is simply no comparison in terms of rabidness and violence against Blacks or other racial minorities.”

    I’ve personally been to hundreds of football matches in the U.K., and I’ve also personally been to hundreds of football matches in Poland. It’s my hobby. I’ve got a pretty good idea what hooliganism was like in the eighties in the U.K., as I’m old enough to remember it all.
    As far as I can remember, violence at football wasn’t usually directed at recial minorities, but rather at opposing fans. Furthermore, a lot of the worst football firms (e.g. West Ham, Millwall) had black members. If you don’t believe me, check out the film ‘Cass’.

    I’ve certainly never seen English fans form a human swastika, or carry banners with white power emblems as I’ve seen in Poland.

    Speaking totally honestly, and speaking from personal experience, problems of racism and hooliganism generally, are far worse at Polish than English football grounds.

    About whether I should be ashamed of acts of hooliganism by English people, well let’s take, for example the Heysel stadium disaster. Well I wasn’t there, so I can’t see it was my fault, and I was quite young at the time. Having said that, obviously it reflected badly on English people. The point is not to deny it, but rather as a society, and through our politicians, to do something about it, and to ensure things like that don’t happen again. And I think steps were taken, and the situation improved to some extent.

    However, if we take posters like woebegone, and yourself for that matter, you won’t even acknowledge the problem.

    Going on about BP in Nigeria is a complete and utter irrelevance, and neither explains nor excuses racism and/or racist violence in Poland.

    It’s a tall order to come up with ten reports, but I think I might just give it a go.

  72. “You’ve pretty much argued that British colonialism means nothing in terms of contemporary racism. You sidestep the role of the oil spill in Nigeria as a major impetus for the migration of Nigerians to Poland – – not a bit of anger expressed by you about how that oil spill is devastating Nigeria or any attempt made to acknowledge responsiblity. Maybe you could spend some time writing your fellow nationals in the corporate board rooms of British Petroleum instead of going on and on about a diminishing number of foolish *powerless* Polish skinheads?”

    I’m sorry, but that’s just silly. Very silly indeed.

    Are you sure you’re not confusing Nigeria with the south coast of the United States?

    I do not believe Nigerians are coming to Poland because of oil spills, and neither do I believe BP are motivated by anything other than profit.

    Almost certainly racial attitudes in the U.K. have been shaped to some extent by colonialism, but I completely fail to see the relevance of this to Polish racism in the 21st century.

  73. Please post even so much as 10 linked reports in the past year of any kind (they don’t have to have been made to the police) of anything in Poland

    There’s a couple mentioned here.

  74. It is a very interesting article:

    http://www.irr.org.uk/2010/june/ms000012.html

    though not one that seems to help your case Stephen.

    “In fact, at least two of the ‘unofficial’ accounts of the young man’s death demonstrate precisely why these questions need to be asked. The first of these stories is told in English on a video-recording of a black street vendor who states that he witnessed the shooting.[7] The young man (whose face is not shown) says that when policemen started harassing another street vendor, wrestling him to the ground, Maxwell Itoya intervened, asking the police ‘Why you have to treat this boy like that? Because he’s black? Don’t touch him like that! Speak to him slowly! Speak to him slowly, he will listen to you.’ Whereupon one of the police officers told Itoya to pull back and pushed him ‘because they were very close together’. Immediately after pushing the man back, the policeman shot him. At first only some street vendors were trying to help the man, but later (at the witness’s request) the policeman began to try to help him, too. He tried to stop the bleeding using some clothes taken from one of the stands.”

    The one question it doesn’t ask, and this goes back, finally, to Scatts’ post, is why the policeman had a gun in his hand in the first place. Unless anybody else in the vicinity was armed, which nobody has claimed, there is no non-suspicious reason for a weapon to be drawn—you don’t need a gun if you’re just asking to see somebody’s papers.

  75. I knew you’d start splitting hairs.

    I’ll tell you what, as you think finding links is a fun thing to do, go and find ten of your own.

    And btw, considering the miniscule percentage of black people in Poland, I’d imagine the chances of being racially assaulted or abused were quite high.

    Let’s say the ethnic minority population in the U.K. was five million, and in Poland 50,000, for the chances of racial assault to be proportionally the same, if 500 such cases occurred in Poland, 50,000 would have to occur in the U.K..

  76. While you made an effort, Warren, you didn’t deliver on the goods. I tried to post directly under your specific posts but couldn’t so here’s what I have to say:

    Only a couple of the articles etc specifically documented violent racist attacks with intent to cause physical injury, and you lumped in attacks on Chechens, etc. instead of focusing on racist attacks upon Blacks as I requested.

    The one youtube video pruporting to show an attack on a couple of black guys on a street shows no violence at all, just an argument — and then with a Polish guy in the middle trying to calm everybody down.

    The BBC broadcast was largely sensationalist and deliberately provocative imo except for the sober and realistic assessment of the situation at the end by Tony Livesey. And the only report of personal physical violence was made by the guy from Nigdy Wiecej about a beating of a Black player after a third tier game somewhere more than a few years ago.

  77. @ island: I haven’t commented directly on the police shooting and death of the Nigerian vendor so I haven’t made a case one way or another on that aside from being for a thorough, prompt and fair investigation.

    Maybe the policeman felt threatened by the crowd or was just being a cowboy in drawing and then shooting his gun. I don’t know. There are also claims that Itoya was grabbing at the gun. Who knows at this point for sure?

  78. Oh and I forgot to respond to Warren’s characterization as silly my concern about the extraordinary oil spills and leaks in in Nigeria that are probably even worse than what is going on in the Gulf of Mexico right now. But it’s not getting equivalent coverage, Might that also be attitudinal and institutional racism on the part of the media?

    Really, what’s silly about a lot of Nigerian fisherman and other workers losing their livelihood as a result of all that? No, that has nothing to do with them migrating to find work and make some money. No. None at all. That’s silly according to Warren. Sick sense of humor, I’d say.

  79. It is extrodinarily silly.

    I feel a little bit embarrassed that I temporarily took you for being a serious poster.

    Oil spills are not racist, and have nothing to do with racism in Poland, which is the subject we happen to be discussing.

    I would also like to point out that, despite all the condemnation of BP, the culprits in this case are Shell, also known as ‘Royal Dutch Shell’, so if anyone are evil rasists because of this, we would have to look for them in Holland.

    As I pointed out some posts back, BP is responsible for the oil slick off the American coast, so if they are ‘institutional economic racists’ or whatever, then they are being racist towards Americans. Or maybe they realised that a lot of negroes lived in the Southern States of America, and wanted to destry their livelihoods in a racist manner. Or something. Which means that English people have no right to complain about the Warsaw police shooting Nigerians.

    I hope that makes everything clear.

  80. You asked me to find ten links and I did so.

    It’s somewhat boring and time consuming work.

    Anyway, surely it’s now my turn to set you a challenge.

    You told me about all the old you tube videos of English supporters attacking blacks.

    You expect stringent standards from me, so no doubt you are willing to accept these standards for yourself.

    So how about ten videos from let’s say, 1987. Now, I want to see actual violence, not verbal abuse. And of course, only against blacks, not Asians or Arabs.

    So, are you game for it?

  81. “instead of focusing on racist attacks upon Blacks as I requested.”

    You’re sounding a bit like the impossible customer in ‘Little Britain’, Mr Man I believe he was called.

  82. The oil spill in itself is not racist. The lack of response to it in Africa is racist. The lack of media attention to it relative to the Gulf spill is racist. Notice that BP is at least trying to do something to make sure the well off white folks on the sandy beaches of Florida don’t get too pissed off? Are you really so dense that you can’t get it?

    Also, in Nigeria, it’s not just Shell, it’s BP and ExxonMobil and more.

    And the situation there is impacting on migration to Poland from Nigeria. People are being uprooted from their traditional livelihood in their villages, Some are winding up in Poland. Are you high on drugs that you can’t understand that?

    That is one part of the connection to Poland.

    The other part is that I have been trying,to get you to consider that Poland’s racism pales in comparison in certain respects to what has gone on and continues to go on in some aspects in England. In other aspects, not so much so. You can’t or at least shouldn’t talk ahistorically about racism in just one country.

    And why don’t you just own up to your inablity to come up with ten violent incidents perpetuated by Poles resulting in bodily injury against blacks in Poland over the course of the past year? I came up with many time more than that of English attacks on blacks in the past year. Not up to the challege? It’s boring and time consuming you say? Why let the facts get in the way of pontification, heh?

    Per your challenge, give me a bit and I’ll do what I can to dig up some videos of violent English football hooliganism against Blacks or at least some articles documenting such. But it’s the weekend so be patient. Also, it would seem to me to be harder to find old videos before the digital camera and youtube came on the scene but there are documentaries that I’ve seen — and more than a few books and articles written. Are you really from England? I can’t believe that you are so unfamiliar with what has gone on in your own country?

  83. Thanks Stephen!

    Well, Warren always attacks me – that is just the way Warren is. I have got used to it and am no longer bothered by it. :-)

  84. BTW, I never asked you for actual videos, Warren. Just media reports. You were the one throwing videos around, none of which depicted any such violence despite your claims they did.

  85. Well, hasn’t Stephen described your attitude correctly? Your hostility towards me and a few other who have dared to challenge your views has always been rather nasty, hasn’t it? Setting up groups to make fun of those you disagree with, stalking them (me included in various sites, like Polandian)… is that not a good example of being a ‘nasty piece of work’? If not, then I wonder what is? [a rhetorical question]

    Well, I agree with you on two things, Warren:
    1. there IS racism in Poland
    2. the government has not tackled the problem yet

    “As far as I can make out, she is commited to political correctness only in so far as it effects her personally.”

    Hmmm… why do you make such a sweeping statement about me? You don’t really know me, do you? I know, you imagine you know me because you read my blog and you waged a war against me on goldenline.
    I write or talk honestly about things I have experienced living in the UK for the past few years? I can see nothing wrong in it. Also, it is natural that people, circumstances, etc. change and so can one’s perception of the country they live in. Things I found irritating in the UK 3 years may have improved now, or things that I loved about the UK 15 years ago may not be so admirable any more…. C’est la vie. I can see no reason why I should not write about my life in the UK as it goes and how I perceive things here.

    Besides, I do not remember you being very ‘loving’ in your reports about Poland and various aspects of life there. Many people have already asked you why you live in Poland since you obviously dislike the country and its people?

    Just out of curiosity, is it a must people agree with you? Is it a must you are rude towards those who don’t?

  86. “The one question it doesn’t ask, and this goes back, finally, to Scatts’ post, is why the policeman had a gun in his hand in the first place. Unless anybody else in the vicinity was armed, which nobody has claimed, there is no non-suspicious reason for a weapon to be drawn—you don’t need a gun if you’re just asking to see somebody’s papers.”

    A very good point and one that came to my mind right after I heard about the incident. This is one of those things that, imho, are better organized in the UK. Armed police officers are never sent to market places to carry out checks on the tradesmen and the goods they sell, unless one or more of the salesmen are thought to be involved in terrorism.

  87. lol! :-) You really have made me smile, Stephen! In a positive way, of course!

    “Are you really from England? I can’t believe that you are so unfamiliar with what has gone on in your own country?”

    I asked Warren similar questions some time ago! Warren lives in Poland but always claims to know better about all that’s happening here in the UK than people who actually live here.
    [I’m sure I’ll get a piece of your mind for saying that, Warren, won’t I?]

  88. My God, you don’t give up, do you.

    Here is the link originally posted, (about the evil BP)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/30/oil-spills-nigeria-niger-delta-shell

    And here is a quotation from the link.

    “According to Nigerian federal government figures, there were more than 7,000 spills between 1970 and 2000, and there are 2,000 official major spillages sites, many going back decades, with thousands of smaller ones still waiting to be cleared up. More than 1,000 spill cases have been filed against Shell alone.

    Last month Shell admitted to spilling 14,000 tonnes of oil in 2009. The majority, said the company, was lost through two incidents – one in which the company claims that thieves damaged a wellhead at its Odidi field and another where militants bombed the Trans Escravos pipeline.

    Shell, which works in partnership with the Nigerian government in the delta, says that 98% of all its oil spills are caused by vandalism, theft or sabotage by militants and only a minimal amount by deteriorating infrastructure. “We had 132 spills last year, as against 175 on average. Safety valves were vandalised; one pipe had 300 illegal taps. We found five explosive devices on one. Sometimes communities do not give us access to clean up the pollution because they can make more money from compensation,” said a spokesman.”

    The main culprits are Shell.

    Again, this has nothing to do with racism in Poland, and neither has it anything to do with racism in the U.K..

    You are simply not big enough to accept that the poster who provided the link got it wrong.

  89. Interestingly, I agree with your post below:

    ” Anglopole says:
    May 31, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Great post Scatts! Right on the money! Well, I am a Pole married to a Nigerian and when we lived in Poland we did experience all kinds of ‘institutional racism’; This kind of racism is displayed in all kinds of hostile attitudes of the public service officers towards foreigners and I have experienced/witnessed it first hand due to accompanying my husband in all the legal processes that he had to go through there. We also went through hell with the Polish diplomats in Lagos, Nigeria and all because of various prejudices that exist about certain nationalities in the Polish mentality, politics or diplomacy. Moreover, I have dozens of African friends who studied, work and live in Poland and I can assure you NONE of them can say they have never experienced the common or institutional racism in Poland and I find it very sad.
    I remember, when a few years ago while I was visiting Wroclaw with my family, I took my mixed-race sons to a park. There a couple of teenagers started abusing my oldest son (then 3 yrs old!) verbally – they would shout things like:’hej, czarnuch czemu jestes taki brudny?’(hey, nigger, why are you so dirty?), ‘chodzcie zbijemy murzyna!’ (let’s go and give this black gob some beating!). I reported the incident to the police and guess what their response was: ‘This is a civil matter. We don’t deal with such things as we have more serious incidents to sort out’ and they grinned in my face! :-O
    A Nigerian friend of mine, who is a pastor in Łódź, was beaten up in the city centre there in the broad day light and while Łódź city guards were watching the whole incident =, laughing, and suggesting that perhaps he should go back where he came from….
    Shall I continue with the count of such nasty, ignorant, racist incidents that do happen in Poland on a daily basis, and which I have a direct or indirect experience of?

    In the UK, where we have lived for 5 years now, racism does exist, BUT it is illegal and the police very promptly respond to reports of incidents of any form of racial hatred, let alone the fact that average PCs do not carry guns on them.

    Last, but not least, a vast majority of Poles seem to live in denial about the racism that’s been in Poland for decades and centuries (anti-Semitism is a good example too), either because they have no direct experience of it or they think such behaviours are natural and Poland indeed, in their thinking, should be for Poles only….

    sad…. it’s all very sad and does not make me proud to be a Pole….”

    Does ‘Stephen’ agree?

  90. Ten reports of the same incident counts as one attack Sorry. Remedial math might help you. But it does count as one incident of physical assault with intent to do bodily injury in the past year so that’s a start if you actually provide the report(s) and they appear to have at least some validity.

    Ah, and here’s one that sure seems to indicate there’s never been any racism in English football (sarcasm on my part) — so its one from you for one from me:

    Oooh, just noticed your other post…. remedial reading might help. Or getting some sleep. You do this 24/7? I guess you need to be spoon fed from the same article:

    “On 1 May this year a ruptured ExxonMobil (NOT JUST SHELL) pipeline in the state of Akwa Ibom spilled more than a million gallons into the delta over seven days before the leak was stopped. Local people demonstrated against the company but say they were attacked by security guards. Community leaders are now demanding $1bn in compensation for the illness and loss of livelihood they suffered. Few expect they will succeed. In the meantime, thick balls of tar are being washed up along the coast.”

    And no matter that Nigeria nationalized BP because of how benificently they operated there, no oil spills, no leaks, just love for the Nigerian people and concern for the Nigerian ecology. Uh, I’m being sarcastic in praising BP in case you don’t realize it. Just because this information wasn’t in the one article I linked doesn’t mean BP wasn’t part of the problem from an early stage. The point again that’s so lost on you is that pretty much nothing is being done about the spills/leaks going back years there and there is very little news coverage of the problem in Nigeria in contrast to the problem in the Gulf of Mexico. And the problem ORIGINATING AS FAR BACK AS 1970 or so is now crescendoing in devastating the economy and ecology of the country leading to unemployment and migration to previously unimagined points of destination like Poland. My God…. You’re right — it’s time for me to give up on you.

    But in reference to AngloPole. I don’t have any dispute with the veracity of her specific claims about racist incidents in Poland. I do disagree her posts that seem to infer that “Poland” and “Poles” are racist by evidence of the soccer hooligan videos she linked (sorry to be talking about you in third person if you are reading this Anglopole). Certainly they show that there is racist behavior in Poland but that still doesn’t indicate that behavior is so widespread as to characterize all Poland and/or all Poles as racist or even typically racist. I’d say racist *attitudes* are prevalent in certain sectors of the populace. Racist *behavior* considerably less so. Physical assults with the intent of bodily injury much less. Laws against Blacks –I am unaware of any.

    Most of the basis for racist attitudes is a lack of education and little opportunity to be exposed to or associate with Black folks. There’s more ingrained racist attitude among older people than younger people. I’d say there isn’t much difference among different eastern European countries when it comes to a examination of racism. But some folks for strange or nefarious or sensationalist and/or publicity-hungering motives want to single out Poland for their wrath even if they haven’t set foot in any other eastern European countries. I mean, how can us yokels even begin to question their expertise?

  91. Ten reports of the same incident counts as one attack Sorry. Remedial math might help you. But it does count as one incident of physical assault with intent to do bodily injury in the past year so that’s a start if you actually provide the report(s) and they appear to have at least some validity.

    Ah, and here’s one that sure seems to indicate there’s never been any racism in English football (sarcasm on my part) — so its one from you for one from me:

    Oooh, just noticed your other post…. remedial reading might help. Or getting some sleep. You do this 24/7? I guess you need to be spoon fed from the same article:

    “On 1 May this year a ruptured ExxonMobil (NOT JUST SHELL) pipeline in the state of Akwa Ibom spilled more than a million gallons into the delta over seven days before the leak was stopped. Local people demonstrated against the company but say they were attacked by security guards. Community leaders are now demanding $1bn in compensation for the illness and loss of livelihood they suffered. Few expect they will succeed. In the meantime, thick balls of tar are being washed up along the coast.”

    And no matter that Nigeria nationalized BP because of how benificently they operated there, no oil spills, no leaks, just love for the Nigerian people and concern for the Nigerian ecology. Uh, I’m being sarcastic in praising BP in case you don’t realize it. Just because this information wasn’t in the one article I linked doesn’t mean BP wasn’t part of the problem from an early stage. The point again that’s so lost on you is that pretty much nothing is being done about the spills/leaks going back years there and there is very little news coverage of the problem in Nigeria in contrast to the problem in the Gulf of Mexico. And the problem ORIGINATING AS FAR BACK AS 1970 or so is now crescendoing in devastating the economy and ecology of the country leading to unemployment and migration to previously unimagined points of destination like Poland. My God…. You’re right — it’s time for me to give up on you.

    But in reference to AngloPole. I don’t have any dispute with the veracity of her specific claims about racist incidents in Poland. I do disagree her posts that seem to infer that “Poland” and “Poles” are racist by evidence of the soccer hooligan videos she linked (sorry to be talking about you in third person if you are reading this Anglopole). Certainly they show that there is racist behavior in Poland but that still doesn’t indicate that behavior is so widespread as to characterize all Poland and/or all Poles as racist or even typically racist. I’d say racist *attitudes* are prevalent in certain sectors of the populace. Racist *behavior* considerably less so. Physical assults with the intent of bodily injury much less. Laws against Blacks –I am unaware of any.

    Most of the basis for racist attitudes is a lack of education and little opportunity to be exposed to or associate with Black folks. There’s more ingrained racist attitude among older people than younger people. I’d say there isn’t much difference among different eastern European countries when it comes to a examination of racism. But some folks for strange or nefarious or sensationalist and/or publicity-hungering motives want to single out Poland for their wrath even if they haven’t set foot in any other eastern European countries. I mean, how can us yokels even begin to question their expertise?

  92. Thank you again for quoting from the article.

    ““On 1 May this year a ruptured ExxonMobil (NOT JUST SHELL) pipeline in the state of Akwa Ibom spilled more than a million gallons into the delta over seven days before the leak was stopped. Local people demonstrated against the company but say they were attacked by security guards. Community leaders are now demanding $1bn in compensation for the illness and loss of livelihood they suffered. Few expect they will succeed. In the meantime, thick balls of tar are being washed up along the coast.”

    Yes, as you rightly point out it was not just Shell, it was also ExxonMobil, which, of course, is an American company.

    This has fuck all to do with racism, and fuck all to do with the United Kingdom, Poland, or anything else being discussed here.

    If it ‘proves’ anything anything whatsoever, it ‘proves’ that you are unable to make a coherent argument.

    According to this ahem ‘argument’ virtually any ‘bad’ action, by any person, at any time, anywhere in the world could be construed as ‘racism’, and in some mysterious way, blamed on the United Kingdom, irrespective of whether the people involved have any connection with the United Kingdom or not.

    You appear to believe that the United Kingdom is responsible for racism in Poland because a Dutch company, Shell, (and ExxonMobil an American company), caused oil spills off the Nigerian coast, forcing Nigerians to flee to Poland.

    Now, if that’s what you believe, it would seem there is no more point in debating with you than there is with an Iranian cleric who believes promiscuous women to have been responsible for earthquakes.

    Now, no doubt you will post video after video of racist incidents in the U.K. in an effort of pointless whataboutery, none of which will either explain or excuse present-day racist behaviour in Poland.

    Hey, Nigerians in Poland, don’t be upset that the police killed a market trader. I’ve just found a video of the Notting Hill race riots of 1959 on youtube. Blacks have also been beaten up in the U.K.. so the odd shooting of a black in Warsaw is nothing to worry about.

    Hey, Polish kibice, it’s O.K. to put white power emblems on your football banner. When John Barnes first played for Liverpool in the eighties, someone threw a banana at him etc etc etc …..

  93. Thank you for the video.

    Now please explain how a murder in the U.K. which occurred some seventeen years ago either explains or excuses the killing of a Nigerian market trader in Warsaw this year, and or racism in Poland generally.

  94. The video is certainly demonstrative of the problem of racist assault with the intent of bodily injury (and then some) in England in the period you requested as evidence of it. Go back and look at the challenge you issued.

    Nothing excuses any murder, Warren. However, it hasn’t been proven in a court of law that the shooting of the Nigerian market trader was an intentional killing. It may have been. Or maybe not. But now you’ve assumed the position of judge, jury and who knows what else. So much for innocent until proven guilty in Warren’s world. Sorry but nobody elected or appointed you to the position of authority you’ve usurped.

    I certainly support a thorough investigation into the death of the Nigerian as well as the arrests of other Nigerians and others that accompanied the incident. Hopefully, it will be conducted by the proper authorities promptly and fairly under the scrutiny of the media not only in Poland but the entire world. If any wrongdoing is evident on the part of the police, I hope any individuals so involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I hope there will be a fair trial and justice will be served.

    And you wrongfully accuse me of excusing present day racist behavior and attitudes in Poland. I don’t think you understand different types and levels of racism in a given society be it your own or the one you currently find yourself living in and obviously hating. And believe it or not, I have no doubt done more to effectively protest and probably accomplished much more than you in terms of eliminating racist behavior at football matches, not to mention what I’ve done in terms of combating Polsih anti-semitism and more. So bugger off.

    As for the tragedy that WAS CAUSED by BP, Shell, ExxoMobil, etc. by not taking safety measures because it might cut into profits AND BECAUSE CORPORATE HONCHOS OF THESE COMPANIES HAVE A DIFFERENT ATTITUDE TOWARDS AFRICANS THAN THEY HAVE TO WHITE AMERICANS ON THE BEACHES OF FLORIDA (or white Europeans or Americans in general) AND THAT ATTITUDE CERTAINLY CAN BE CONSIDERED RACIST. Just as every progressive person in the US observed that the suffering of mostly poor Black people in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the US was evidence of government racism.

    The tragedy in Nigeria has intensified to the tipping point in recent years because these corporations have done relatively nothing to even try to alleviate the problem of oil spills and leaks (unlike the problem in the Gulf of Mexico where they are pouring million of dollars into so far unsuccessful solutions). These companies ARE RESPONSIBLE for not doing enough to reverse the problem, They are responsible for the catastrophe they’ve caused in the first place and then doing nothing about it.

    Consequently, the ecology and economic infrastructure of Nigeria has been devastated. Nigerians have been uprooted from their traditional livelihoods and villiages. They now find themselves in unimagined places like Poland trying to eke out some kind of living. So because of avarice, racism and neglect of a bunch of oil companies, Nigerians find themselves subjected to racism in Poland when in all likelihood they would much rather be at home in Nigeria with their friends and families.

    Not only a UK-based oil company is responsible for this sad state of affairs but also US and Dutch-based oil companies. I never suggested that only the UK is involved but used it as an example to highlight that the problem of racism in Poland is not limited to Polish ignorance when it comes to racial matters but also because it is related to things that go on the world beyond the control of the Polish people. I am sorry if you cannot fathom these historical and contemporary eco-political influences.

    Finally, your continued and incessant stereotyping of Poles and your blatantly false claims against me are indicative of the worst case of anti-Polish bigotry I’ve ever come across in my life. I’ve also come to the conclusion that you are more than a bit unhinged and unstable so I advise you to and hope you get the help you need.

  95. I should have written “pockets of Polish ignorance” rather than broadbrushing the ignorance as in any way particularly Polish. Otherwise, I would apparently agree with Warren about the extent and qualtity of Polish racism. It’s a blog. Language and writing and expressing oneself is difficult. Sorry.

  96. And, how many of Stephen Lawrence’s multiplicity of attackers have been brought to justice in England 17 or however many years later? But the case of the Nigerian in Warsaw transpired just a week or so ago and you’re already incensed about the injustice of it while you avoided any recognition of that incident in your own country until I wouldn’t allow you to escape it.

  97. Just in case you haven’t got it yet.

    Oil spills are an environmental issue, not not a ‘race’ issue.

    BP caused the oil slick off the coast of America, not Nigeria.

    The oil slick in Nigeria was caused by Shell, a Dutch company.

    There is no more sense in blaming British people for cusing ‘racist’ oil slicks in Nigeria, than there is to accuse Polish car drivers of being ‘racist’ for using Shell oil.

    And none of this has anything whatsoever to do with the unfortunate death of a Nigerian market trader in Warsaw.

    All you have ‘proved’ is that you have a display a total inability to connect cause and effect in any kind of logical manner.

    How much longer do you intend to labour this absurd and completely irrelevant point?

  98. On the subject of Nigerians, I think we have to consider this as being significant news –

    “Nigeria midfielder John Mikel Obi has been ruled out of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with a knee injury.”

    :-)

  99. I still don’t get the point you are trying to make.

    If English people caused the death of a black teenager 17 years ago, then this was a bad thing. If the police subsequently failed to bring the culprits to justice, then this is also a bad thing. It reflects badly on Britain, and nowhere else. No-one, as far as I’m aware, is attempting to excuse it by references to ‘racist’ oil slicks on other continents, or murders in other parts of Europe which occurred seventeen years previously.

    Now, I’ll ask you again, how does this killing in 1993 either explain or excuse the killing of a Nigerian street trader in Warsaw in 2010?

  100. “Nothing excuses any murder, Warren. However, it hasn’t been proven in a court of law that the shooting of the Nigerian market trader was an intentional killing. It may have been. Or maybe not. But now you’ve assumed the position of judge, jury and who knows what else. So much for innocent until proven guilty in Warren’s world. Sorry but nobody elected or appointed you to the position of authority you’ve usurped.”

    Interesting point, Mr Lawrence.

    I mean, considering I have made no comment on the guilt of the police in this incident.

    I Would suggest it is you who is acting as ‘judge and jury’ in order to support a series of strawman arguments.

  101. Name, Warren, whoever and et. al.

    Ah, I don’t suppose afterall that you’re such a bad egg afterall. I certainly admire your persistance even though we obviously don’t see eye-to-eye even as I’m sure we share certain values, The latter no doubt leads to us exasperating one another all that much more.

    Seems like time we should all have a cyberbeer, wish each other well, and hope and pray that justice is realized regarding the street bazaar tragedy in Warsaw and that racism is eliminated everywhere.

    And let’s hope Nigeria does well in the World Cup because Nigerians, given their current situation, deserve something good to happen to them to lift their spirits. I’m going to be rooting for them all the way as a result of this “adventure” we’ve shared.

    And condolences re, Ferdinand Rio as well.

    Peace out. Love, peace and understanding to all.

  102. Quoting from the article above:

    “Nie brakuje jednak kobiet, które są rzeczywiście zakochane w swoich Nigeryjczykach: – Trudno o tym mówić, ale są one mało atrakcyjne. Eufemistycznie ujmując: równie słabo rozwinięte intelektualnie. “

  103. Well,. kind of thanks and no thanks.

    Please remember I’ve used my real name here, so anyone googling it will probably come up with, “Warren Whitmore anti-Polish bigot”.

    And I don’t believe I have made any false claims, whatsoever. Most of what I have written has been supported by evidence.

    And you told me you don’t use your own name for fear of drawing yourself to the attention of the far right. Hmmm …

    Anyway, after the marathon computer typing session, I went to the football. Pogoń Szczecin Wisla Plock 3-3.
    No sign of racism until the second half, when a few hundred people struck up the amusing little ditty …..

    “JUDE, JUDE CALY PLOCK”

    Unlike yourself I’m not an anti-racist activist, and I’m not overly concerned with ‘political correctness. However, I can’t help noticing what I see around me, and when a middle aged man starts screaming racist abuse at a young child, (as I observed) it makes me quite angry. It makes me angrier that on a tram full of people, it was only a foreigner who told him to shut the fuck up.

    If you’re interested in football, I’m a mine of information on this subject. My favourite Nigerian is Kanu, scorer of Portsmouth’s winning goal in the 2008 cup final.

  104. The problem in Nigeria is not just predicated on the Shell oil slick there but also leaks in many companies’ oil facilities and operations that go way back in time – and still aren’t being fixed — a matter of continued criminal neglect.

    From a disseration by Ann Weymouth Genova in
    2007 for the U of Texas in Austin:

    “The production of commercial quantities of oil in Nigeria was started in 1956 by Shell-BP Petroleum Company (Shell-BP), but did not really take off until 1970.”

    “The UK-based company, BP (hereafter referred to as BP (London), held a 50 percent share in Shell-BP and was involved in a number of oil companies operating in Nigeria. Within BP (London), the UK maintained a 40-60 percent share, which, for Nigerian nationalists, made BP the government’s pawn and a vestige of colonial rule. For Nigeria, taking over BP was not just about financial advantage, but about post-colonial sentiment.”

    First, it should be easy enough to see a connection between BP and Shell that dates way back. And BP was also involved with other oil companies in Nigeria. BP was nationalized for many reasons but to be sure the company was not at that concerned about the Nigerian environment. Unfortunately, that colonialist lack of concern for the Nigerian ecosystem and the related economic infrastructure still set a standard for foreign-owned and directed oil companies in Nigeria for many years to follow.

    If folks can’t see how that attitude was institutionally, politically and economic racist, I’m sorry.

    I also think that practice of exploitation and neglect was then and is now much more widely and severely devastating than racist attitudes and recent incidents of racism in Poland. The latter manifestation of racism is deplorable. Racism somewhere else does not justify racism in Poland. But the former manifestation of racism, which devastates the ecosystem and economic infrastructure of pretty much an entire country leading to dislocation from traditional types of work (fishing, farming, etc) and essentially forced migration is, imo, much more disturbing. It’s not individual or small group acts of racism — the in-your-face throw a banana or wave a swastika display of racism — but the overall impact, I think, is much more devastating and harmful, quantitatvively, qualitatively and in the long term.

    My guess is that if the Nigerians in Warsaw were polled if they had the option to stay home in Nigeria with a halfway decent job or migrate to eke out an existence, the vast majority would choose the former. And in my mind, it’s very problematic to say the least to be part of or to support — or ignore and/or downplay — a corporate endeavor rooted in a system and history of colonialism that economically and politically dislocates thousands of people from their homes, radically altering their lives.

    Does any of this justify racism in Poland? Of course not. But it shows that racism in Poland is not disconnected from racism elsewhere. Racism in Poland is not something that is suckled from a Polish mother’s breast as some would have it. And it is learned not only in a vacuum limited to Polish experience but it is related to the development and continuation of varied manifestations of racism — individual and institutional — throughout the world.

  105. Warren, I’m glad you spoke out to attempt to quiet the guy on the bus.

    You’ve taken some pretty hard shots at me, too. Sometimes a cyberbaroom fight can bring folks closer together and I’m hoping that’s the case. We should try to be nicer to one another.

    I’ve been really really disgusted and reacted to incidents of racism and anti-semitism that I’ve witnessed in Poland, too, so I think my frustration with you comes from sharing a similar perspective and still not seeing eye-to-eye with you, thus resorting to pushing buttons.

    As for the Nigerian team, they are going to really have to successful in defending against that bevy of Argentinian strikers. I have a feeling this is going to be the big time for Messi that will finally establish his place in the history of football. Hey and please do read the article reacting to that BBC presentaton I linked from On the Pitch. Also, there’s a great book by a guy named Franklin Foer on racist and other aspects of football titled “How Football Rules the World.”

    Sorry we got off to such a rocky start. I hope I’ve been able to at least extend some peace overtures and I take your response in that light, too.

  106. One little addendum. I’m glad you didn’t speak out at the football match about the Jude chant. I wouldn’t want to see you bonked over the head. But have you ever written the club management and Polish FIFA in protest, as a foreigner? I hope you do try that. It’ll accomplish more than us barking at each other, I think.

  107. Interesting quote from the article:

    “Nie brakuje jednak kobiet, które są rzeczywiście zakochane w swoich Nigeryjczykach: – Trudno o tym mówić, ale są one mało atrakcyjne. Eufemistycznie ujmując: równie słabo rozwinięte intelektualnie”

    “There is even no shortage of women, who genuinely love their Nigerian partner. It may be difficult to say this, but they are hardly attractive. Euphemistically speaking, they are equally poorly intellectually developed.”

    (I don’t know if this is a good translation).

    This quote is amazing.

    It is like something you would expect to read in a German newspaper of the nineteen thirties, or an Afrikaaner newspaper during the time of Apartheid, rather than a ‘modern’ European nation in the 21st century.

    Mercifully, Polish is not widely understood by non-Poles.

  108. The above post is just blah, blah, blah, I’m afraid.

    You are simply never going to convince me that oil slicks are ‘racist’, and somehow the responsibility of the British government, and indirectly, the British people.

    As BP in Nigeria was nationalised by the Nigerian government, British responsibility stopped with nationalisation.

    Furthermore, all oil extraction in Nigeria is conducted as a joint venture with the Nigerian government, therefore the Nigerian government itself must take primary responsibility for any environmental degredation caused.

    I’m sure oil reserves are a blessing rather than a curse for Nigeria. If ordinary Nigerians see little of the vast profits generated by oil extraction, then this is the fault of the corruption and incompetence of their own government, and not the British.

  109. And far more impotant than all this, you have diverted the topic into an irrelevant cul-de-sac.

    If anyone wishes to discuss the important isseue of Maxwell’s death, they will have to wade through a hundred or so off-topic posts.

  110. I didn’t care much about the chanting. For me it is just ‘the norm’ at a Polish football match. Had it not been for this conversation, I probably wouldn’t have paid any attention to what they were chanting. It didn’t shock or surprise me at all.

  111. @ Warren:

    Rather than belabour your largely misconstrued reconstruction of my overall argument (aside from noting that not all joint ventures are consequentially equitable to all parties) . . .

    . . . please allow me to inquire:

    From where did/do some Poles imbibe cultural cues in constructing their racist attitudes and behavior towards Blacks?

    Are such racist attitudes and behaviors just something generated sus generis in a hermetic Polish cultural mileau, resulting from some scores of Black folks suddenly showing up in recent years?

    What percentage of Poles would you estimate now harbour racist *attitudes* towards Blacks?

    What percentage of Poles would you say have manifested over the past year direct in-your-face verbal racist *behaviors* towards Blacks – the sort of vile venomous remarks like your guy on the bus or the teens AngloPole mentioned insulting her young children?

    What percentage of Poles, in the past year, have gone way over the top and have *violently assaulted* Black folks in Poland resulting in some kind of bodily injury?

    Finally, I don’t get how you say you’re cavalier about anti-Semitic chants at football matches, ie.: Plock-Szczecin, when you previously brought up such insidious public displays as evidence that Poles are now worse than the Brits ever. I realize there are matters of degree and that in your most recent example they weren’t forming a swastika with torches in the stands, but it’s the same sort of garbage, no? Why not write team and Polish FIFA officials in protest? Why continue to support your local club if this kind of behavior is allowed by owners?

  112. This has been a healthy debate with strong views on all sides that, for the most part, were expressed in an adult and intelligent way.

    Thanks.

  113. Aye, but it’s far from over.

    I’ve done a fair bit of research into this disgraceful incident, and am disgusted by the actions of the police, journalists, and the general indifference of the Polish public to what appears to have been a blatantly racist murder.

  114. Just when you thought it was safe to post a comment………

    I must admit I’ve not been following up on this myself in terms of recent news but is there any sort of official investigation underway?

    In a way, the reaction to this from Poles, police, journalists, may well reflect the “maturity” of the nation when it comes to racial issues. For example, I’m sure in the early days in the UK (which would be the 60’s after the influx of dark people from the Caribbean) incidents such as this were not treated with anything like the reaction (overreaction) they are today.

    If this happened in the UK today there would be wall to wall media attention and a lengthy investigation headed by Lord Somesuch, costing millions and producing a 700 page report after which a new law would be passed forbidding people to go to bazaars unless they were wearing a government approved flack jacket.

    Then again, as every square inch of the UK is covered by cctv they’d probably just release the video and bang the copper to rights. After 3 years he’d be released and earn millions from book & TV rights and then go on to win Celebrity Big Brother.

    Me, cynical?

  115. Scatts, I’m starting to think you’re Polish, or indifferent, trying to put tragic incidents like these into cross cultural and historical context.

    And we’ll see if Polish justice waits 17 years and counting to prosecute any guilty party if it was a murder.

    How can something *appear* to be “blatant”? Either it is or it isn’t blatant, innit?

  116. I presume you are writing about the Lawrence murder here.

    Were the suspected culprits arrested, or did the police simply arrest every black man in the vicinity of the murder, as the police did in this case?

    Did the British press sympathise with the victim or his assailants?

    If Lawrence had a partner, would she be described as being unattractive and of low intelligence for marrying a black man by British civil servants?

    Did the victim’s family have to protect their anonymity as if they were the criminals, as they do in Maxwell Itoya’s case?

  117. This may surprise you, but I’m not really one for political correctness.

    But this case, and the subsequent reaction to it, disgusts me.

    First of all, the victim would not appear to be some sort of dangerous criminal, requiring a heavy handed police reaction. He was a 36 year old married man with children, married to a Pole, with legal permission to be in Poland, who did nothing more dangerous than to sell shoes.

    I would advise anyone interested in the case to watch the video of the eyewitness to the killing.

    There was no riot by Nigerians when he was killed. What happened was this (according to eyewitness accounts). Itoya saw another market trader being manhandled and pushed to the ground by a plainclothes policeman. He protested to the policeman, asking him to talk calmly to the person he wanted to arrest. The policeman then shot him.

    There is no evidence that Itoya had any kind of weapon, or was acting in any way violently.

    Why the policeman shot him is a mystery. Perhaps the polioceman was mentally unstable, perhaps he discharged his gun accidentally, perhaps he had an absurd and exaggerated fear of black men, perhapshe was some kind of racist loon, but shot him he did, completely needlessly.

    Naturally, after the policeman shot him dead, there was a lot of confusion and argument, but there was no riot.
    The whole aftermath can be seen on video shot from a mobile phone. The police then arrested all the black men in the vicinity, all of whom, I believe, had legal permission to be in Poland. They then raided their homes, hoping to find evidence of criminal behaviour on their part, but presumably came up with nothing. (Please see the video of their Polish wives talking, waiting for their husbands’ release).

    I would like to know if the policeman who shot Itoya has been suspended from duty, and will he be facing charges? Furthermore, will anyone investigate the reason for the police arresting and raiding the homes of black-skinned persons present at the incident? I suspect this was done to intimidate potential witnesses to the incident.

    Remember this is a personal tragedy for the family concerned, who have lost a husband and father because of the stupidity and/or racism of the police, and please cut out the ‘wise’ comments.

  118. Where would racist attitudes in Poland towards blacks come from?

    I would note that the further east you go, the more likely you will encounter racist attitudes.

    Neo-Nazism is far more prevalent in the former DDR than the remainder of Germany, for example.

    Russia has a very serious incidence of racist violence.

    I would presume this is a result of travel restrictions in the former Eastern block, leading to a lack of familiarity with people of different ethnicities.

    “What percentage of Poles would you estimate now harbour racist *attitudes* towards Blacks?”

    If internet discussion boards can be taken to be representative of society as a whole, then very high, if ‘racism’ were defined according to the norms of educated Western opinion.

    “What percentage of Poles would you say have manifested over the past year direct in-your-face verbal racist *behaviors* towards Blacks – the sort of vile venomous remarks like your guy on the bus or the teens AngloPole mentioned insulting her young children?

    What percentage of Poles, in the past year, have gone way over the top and have *violently assaulted* Black folks in Poland resulting in some kind of bodily injury?”

    Considering the vast majority of Poles have little or no contact with blacks, then the proportion would be negligible.

    A hard core racist, living in a small Polish town, would simply have no targets to vent his anger and hatred on.

    Why not turn the question round, and ask what percentage of blacks living in Poland have been subject to racist abuse and or physical assault?

    Or what percentage haven’t.

  119. Lots of questions.

    Was it a murder?

    Did the Police arrest *every* Black man in the vicinity of the shooting?

    Did Gazeta Wyborcza sympathize or show favor with the Nigerian or the police? Other papers aside from Gazeta Polska?

    Has assault with a deadly weapon (or a more serious offense) been proven or charges made yet?

    How many Polish civil servants criticized the appearance and intelligence of the Nigerian’s partner? Was there a civil servants trade union resolution made to the effect?

    Have any threats been made against Itoye’s family – and which family is being addressed here?

  120. I can only suggest you read the following article …..

    http://www.dziennik.pl/wydarzenia/article621297/Nigeryjska_mafia_Szpetne_zony_i_narkotyki.html

    The police did make a round up of the blacks in the vicinity of the shooting. 31 arrests, I believe. Have any of these people been charged with anything?

    I don’t know if threats have been made against Itoya’s family, and those of other mixed race couples in Warsaw, I would only note that they only appear to be willing to speak out with their faces hidden.

  121. Sorry, I confused Dziennik Polski (A Polish paper published in Great Britain, if I’m not mistaken) with Gazeta Polska.

    In any event, I don’t read tabloids.

    I recall reading elsewhere that there were initially 22 arrests but the number may have been more accurately pegged higher after that.

    There were only 31 Nigerians in the market? For some reason, I had the impression there are typically many more who gather there..

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there were threats made by some skinhead types. A nasty, despicable bunch they are however many relative few they actually number.

    Itoye’s family in Warsaw consists of his partner and who else? I recall seeing a photo of him with a young child but have no idea if that child was with him in Warsaw at the time of his death. Any parents, brothers, cousins? Who in the family is concealing their identity? On TV, in the print media?

    I viewed a couple eyewitness accounts which were indeed troubling given the claims made against the police but the faces of the witnesses were not hidden and they were named.

  122. @ Tacituski

    “Those that cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana 1905-06

    Not Poland’s past in this case but I see no reason why Poland shouldn’t benefit from coming late to the scene.

  123. So there were obviously more than 31 Nigerians in the market if there were witnesses who were not arrested. So not all Nigerians there were “rounded up.”

    Is there any possibility that there might be some validity to claims being made that some Nigerians attacked police after the shooting?

    Could it be possible that they were arrested on that basis rather than simply being “rounded up”?

    From the linked article, I see that there is not much the police are allowed to say at this point: “We cannot provide a detailed version of events, because we are bound by a secret prosecution investigation.”

    In other articles, I learned that Itoye came to Poland six years ago. Something about a murder(?) of his or his partner’s brother. He apparently has three children in Poland, how many with his partner I don’t know.

    Also it appears at least a few Nigerians have provided tesitimony to police and authorities about the shooting and it’s aftermath leading to Itoye’s death. Perhaps these testimonies will be similarly backed up by other witnesses’ accounts instead of just anonymous accusations made to the press.

    Any other facts that can be posted, I’ll appreciate it.

  124. If you want to learn more, simply follow the links.

    It has been claimed that the police removed video evidence collected by mobile phone from those arrested.

    Either you believe the testimony of the eyewitness on the video, the wives of those arrested, or that of the police.

    Personally, I believe that of the former.

    I am fairly certain of one thing. Had Maxwell not been black, no way would the policeman have pointed a loaded gun at him, let alone discharged the weapon. In a routine search for counterfeit goods ffs.

  125. I am not quick to believe either the witnesses, the wives or the police.

    The police have been mostly quiet.

    How are you so sure the check went routinely? There were reports of one of the traders being held on the ground by police when Itoye intervened verbally and perhaps physically. Indeed, eyewitnesses who have identified themselves other than police have stated that is when and why Itoye became involved and spoke out to the police.

  126. I believe it obvious the policeman was at no time in serious danger of his life, therefore there was never any need to produce, let alone fire a weapon.

    Had the policeman been dealing with Poles, it’s highly unlikely he would have been waving a gun about.

    The witnesses strike me as being credible.

    Nigerians are a tiny minority in Warsaw, and as such, highly vulnerable. It would make no sense for them to adopt a provocative and aggressive attitude to the police, and thereby risk their livelihoods.

  127. I agree that removing the gun from the holster and waving it around was probably a mistake, if that is what happened, although I would want to hear more from all involved before making any kind of judgement.

    The police may have felt threatened for some reason of which we are still unaware.

    There remains a possibility that there was a struggle of some sort after the gun was drawn by the policeman from his holster.

    From what I’ve read, it seems incident was precipitated by the police putting and holding one trader on the ground. It seems Itoye and perhaps others intervened at least verbally. Things probably got progressively senseless after that on the part of both police and others involved.

    It would similarly make no sense for the police to shoot someone who acted in an unthreatening manner.

    All sorts of senseless shit happens with everyone.

  128. There is little I can add to the debate other than saying that having read and listened to a number of accounts by market traders (not all Nigerian) and their spouses, I find their accounts of the incident consistent, credible and plausible.

    I cannot say the same for the accounts of the police and their apologists.

  129. “It would similarly make no sense for the police to shoot someone who acted in an unthreatening manner. ”

    Unless the policeman concerned had an absurd and exaggerated fear of dark skinned people perhaps.

  130. “Nigerians are a tiny minority in Warsaw, and as such, highly vulnerable. It would make no sense for them to adopt a provocative and aggressive attitude to the police, and thereby risk their livelihoods.”

    Unless at least some of those arrested did indeed respond to the questioning and arrest(?) of a vendor or vendors in a provocative and aggressive manner.

    Having read more than several accounts by Nigerians, I would read with interest accounts of non-Nigerian vendors if you would be so kind as to post the urls. Or for that matter, accounts by police. I thought they were not talking to the media. But if you read such comments as you say, I would, again, be interested in reading them and be most appreciative of your effort.

    BTW, I have read accounts, including the one in the Polandian above, of the market as being “dodgy.” What does that mean? I’m guessing it means *somewhat dangerous* but I’m not all absolutely sure about the slang usage.

  131. You are equally able to find eyewitness evidence as myself.

    Anyway, one from a Vielnamese:

    “t
    comment:
    *
    signature:
    *
    enter the code from the image:
    *

    Add
    LEE QUAO
    25/05/2010 11:59:51
    THIS IS THE EYE WITNESS ACCOUNT FROM A VIETNAMIS THAT IS WORKING IN THE SAME MARKET TO START WITH , I AM UNHAPPY THE WAY POLISH ARE TREATING US THE FORIEGNERS HERE. THAT GUY THAT WAS KILLED IS MY CUSTOMER LIKEWISE MANY OF THEM. I KNOW HIM, WE THE VIETNAMES ARE THE WHOLESALERS AND THOSE HARD WORKING BLACK GUYS ARE THE RETAILERS. I DEAL ON SHOES . AS POLICE CONTROL WAS GOING ON , THEY (THE POLICE) APREHENDED ONE CAMEROUNIAN GUY ALSO MY CUSTOMER AND WAS MALHANDLING HIM. THE GUY WHO WAS KILLED CAME UP AND ASKED THE POLICE MEN , WHAT WAS THE GUYS OFFENCE THAT MAKE THEM TO BE HANDLING HIM IN THAT MANNER AND THE POLICE TOLD HIM TO GO AWAY OR HE SHOT HIM AND THE GUY ASKED HIM , IS IT BECAUSE I ASKED YOU WHY YOU ARE MALTREATING THIS GUY, THAT YOU

  132. I’ve tried to find the police accounts directly related to the shooting to which you referred to as not being plausible. Not much success, so I guess I am not equally able.

    Also, it is difficult to comprehend exactly what the Vietnamese guy is claiming.

    He is unhappy that the police are hassling wholesalers and retailers about the legality of the goods they are selling?

    He is claiming, it seems, that the police were “malhandling” a Cameroonian retailer(?).

    Then, he says, presumably about Itoye, “The police told him to go away or he shot him.”

    And in that video, it did not appear that the police were reluctant to use mace or some such similar spray. I wonder if the police in the market had mace or tasers for that matter readily available when Itoye was hit with the bullet?

  133. This is not only institutional racism but just a new form of the long cultivated stalinist fascism.
    The polish authorities including the president and the ombudsman for civil rights just shit on the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms – 1980-10-31 more than 50 Solidarity activists were burned alive in a concentration camp in Górna Grupa – their names weren’t disclosed until now http://img199.imageshack.us/i/083109154232.jpg, myself severely injured in cc Kraków-Kobierzyn in 2003-2004, escaped 2008 http://maps.google.com/?q=PL+Kraków+Spacerowa , 2009 tortured again, in january 2010 hundreds were freezing in cc Gdańsk, 2010-03-02 4 people burned alive in cc Lubliniec, one more victim is just a drop in polish hypocrytic paranoia.
    Basic human rights were denied everyday to nearly everyone, censorship and indoctrination rule in this scurille fascist-catholic melange. Details thru sbb_x@o2.pl

  134. Thank you. You’ve cited that website before.

    It seems that the precipitative incident involved a search for weapons and that an individual, who the Vietnamese witness seems to have identified as a Cameroonian, was chased, apprehended and detained, seemingly after a footchase between stalls where a policeman drew a gun as the suspect was trying to run away. It is unclear if any weapon was found on or taken from the suspect. It appears that the suspect was forcefully brought to and held down to the ground. It is not clear as to the extent that the suspect was resisting arrest.

    Then Maxwell Itoye arrived on the scene of the apprehension of the suspect and addressed the policeman presumably involved in making an arrest. From some witness statements, it does not seem he was being overly confrontative, although it seems clear enough that he was questioning the treatment afforded the suspect as being racially motivated. It remains unclear what police testimony is or will be regarding Itoye’s behavior. If as at least one witness sympathetic to Itoye states, the policeman first pushed Itoye away, it would seem that the latter was encroaching too closely. It also is not clear if others in the vicinity were making simiilar comments, crowding the policeman, and behaving in any other threatening manner..

    There appears to be a considerable amount of conflicting testimony between some witnesses and some police as to how Itoye was treated, or not treated, after being wounded.

    It seems relatively certain that 33 at the stadium market were taken to the police station and 25 of those were charged for assaulting the police in reponse to the shooting. Seven of the 33 were taken in as witnesses, not on charges, and presumably provided witness statements.

    It seems clear there was a commotion of some sort after a bulllet from the gun was discharged into Itoye.

    But, clearly, not *all* Black vendors or Blacks in the vicinity were “rounded up.” There was some selectivity involved beyond just arresting every black man or woman in the area.

    Prosectutors have launched an investigation, presumably on the basis of witness accounts, into the possibility of police abuse of their authority.

  135. This quote is amazing.

    It is like something you would expect to read in a German newspaper of the nineteen thirties, or an Afrikaaner newspaper during the time of Apartheid, rather than a ‘modern’ European nation in the 21st century.

    Well, you took that quote out of context. It didn’t say that only ugly and/or dumb women might fall in love with Nigerians, only it was a portrait of a victim.

    It was some official speaking about the women who were tricked into fake marriages. It referred neither to women who marry honest Nigerians nor to ones who willingly enter fake marriages in exchange for money. They were tricked into believing that they’re being loved and that their marriages were for real, which they turned out not to be. It’s rather not news that naive people are easier to be tricked, and that a less attractive woman might become a victim to seduction more easily. That’s why such women are chosen as potential victims.

    Now, I don’t want to say that there are no honest Nigerians. I’m sure there are. It was just an official speaking of criminal cases, so it’s natural that he spoke about the bad examples.

  136. I think you mean xenophobia rather than racism. Also, I think that not every kind of xenophobia is racist, and not every kind of racism is xenophobic. I see xenophobia as an inborn mistrust and perceiving the “other” as a threat to “us”, while racism as a learnt theory about another race which people may choose to follow consciously. I’d say Poles are often xenophobic but rarely racist.

  137. Why not turn the question round, and ask what percentage of blacks living in Poland have been subject to racist abuse and or physical assault?

    ^)^)^)^)^)^)^)

    Why not turn the question round, and ask what percentage of blacks living in the UK or the US for that matter have been subject ot racist abuse or physical assault?

    I would guess that most blacks in societies where they constitute a minority will say that they have been subject to racist abuse.

    Very few blacks, I would imagine, could say that they have been physically assaulted in Poland. Much more so in the UK, US, etc.

    I doubt that the unfortunate trajedy exemplified by the Warsaw market incident will consitute the beginning of a trend. Exactly the opposite.

  138. In the news today –

    ECRI slams Poland for tolerating racism.

    The European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has accused Poland of tolerating hate speech, having poor anti-discrimination laws and lacking an independent body to counter racism and discrimination. The Council of Europe has just published the ECRI’s fourth report about Poland. Among other things, the report says that “in some political groups and influential media anti-semitism is tolerated”, while some extreme right-wing organizations are allowed to function without hindrance. (Gazeta Wyborcza, June 16, p. 5) A.J.

  139. Aside from the bad translation, if the erroneous translation was correct, it would also be akin to something in mainstream US southern newspapers in the 1960s or 70s or even later.

    It would also be par for the course in a UK nationalist – fascist newspaper today.

  140. “Lacking an independent body to counter racism and discrimination?

    What kind of independent body should this be”?

    Funded by whom, with what?

    Examples from other European countries?

    And how are right wing organizations, in a free society, to be hindered and not allowed to function?

    And laws against “hate” speech? Isn’t that a very slippery slope? With a consequence of ceaseless litagation being launched every which way?

  141. Mt. Whitmore asked a good question to which I have not seen any answers. Has the policeman in question been suspended or placed on leave with or without pay? Is he still out doing police duty on the streets?

    The lack of in-depth and ongoing media coverage of this incident is disturbing.

  142. Nada, there is a lot of media coverage of this case, while Warren Whitmore misinterprets things just to prove his point.

    The policeman was injured, so he ended up in a hospital instead of being out doing his police duty in the streets. There is an independent investigation led by our prosecution, so they’ll have to find out what has actually happened and either punish or acquit all the policemen involved accordingly. We don’t really know the shooting had anything to do with racism, and from what I read so far it seems unlikely. The policeman was new in the area, and the bazaar isn’t a cosy place for Sunday shopping. It’s the single most dangerous place in Warsaw, where you’re offered many things that aren’t on display, from drugs to guns and enslaved women. There was a chase after a man, there was an attempt of arrest which the victim tried to interfere with. We can’t really say that the policeman’s reaction was anything else than what any human being might do in such circumstances. However, if it was a murder he’ll have to go to prison like every murderer does. But it’s not for us to judge people only for the authorities. It really doesn’t matter what the newspapers say, because it’s nothing more than speculation. The prosecution is secret, it’ll take long months, and I wouldn’t count on any substantial leaks. Thankfully, Poland isn’t a country where the press and public opinion have any influence on the outcomes of investigations or court trials. So it’s nothing more than a cheap sensation at this point.

  143. “Aside from the bad translation”

    Would you like to provide a better one?

    “It would also be par for the course in a UK nationalist – fascist newspaper today.”

    Could you name a UK nationalist-fascist newspaper?

  144. Sylwia says:
    June 16, 2010 at 1:07 am

    “Well, you took that quote out of context. It didn’t say that only ugly and/or dumb women might fall in love with Nigerians, only it was a portrait of a victim.

    It was some official speaking about the women who were tricked into fake marriages. It referred neither to women who marry honest Nigerians nor to ones who willingly enter fake marriages in exchange for money. They were tricked into believing that they’re being loved and that their marriages were for real, which they turned out not to be. It’s rather not news that naive people are easier to be tricked, and that a less attractive woman might become a victim to seduction more easily. That’s why such women are chosen as potential victims.

    Now, I don’t want to say that there are no honest Nigerians. I’m sure there are. It was just an official speaking of criminal cases, so it’s natural that he spoke about the bad examples.”

    Does JoannaTegnerowicz also misunderstand this vile, racist article?

    http://www.max-solidarity.pl/

  145. “Nada, there is a lot of media coverage of this case, while Warren Whitmore misinterprets things just to prove his point.”

    Indeed, I misinterpreted everything.

    “The policeman was injured, so he ended up in a hospital instead of being out doing his police duty in the streets.”

    A policeman shot an unarmed, black father of three.

    As a foreigner, I will feel far safer on the streets of Warsaw with this man to ‘protect’ me.

    “We don’t really know the shooting had anything to do with racism, and from what I read so far it seems unlikely.”

    Of course it had nothing to do with racism. If the police were to check white market traders for counterfeit goods they would be pointing guns in their direction too.

    It’s normal police proceedure in routine tasks.

    “It’s the single most dangerous place in Warsaw, where you’re offered many things that aren’t on display, from drugs to guns and enslaved women.”

    Sure thing. I’m only surprised no Nigerian has ever offerred drugs or enslaved women.

    I mean that’s what Maxwell Itoya was selling in the market, and not shoes.

    “We can’t really say that the policeman’s reaction was anything else than what any human being might do in such circumstances. ”

    Yes, that’s right, the natural reaction of a human being with a gun is to shoot first and ask questions later.

    “But it’s not for us to judge people only for the authorities..”

    We’ve learnt this from our history.

    Especially 20th century Polish history.

    We should always trust the authorities to tell the truth.

    Especially when someone in a postion of authority shoots an unarmed citizen.

    Erm, thanks Sylwia for your intelligent and insightful response.

    Foreigners, especially black foreigners, have nothing to fear from the Polish police, and will be treated exactly the same as everyone else.

    You’ve certainly put my mind at rest on a number of issues.

  146. Are the reports false that the police were checking for weapons, not only counterfeit goods?

    Are reports false that the policeman in question had been chasing and was in the process of detaining a man (Cameroonian?) suspected of having a weapon?

    Are reports, even by at least one witness sympatheic to Itoye, false that the policeman pushed Itoye away after Itoye questioned the policeman’s racial motivations in restraining the man suspected of having a weapon?

    Could it be the case that the policeman still had a gun in his hand, having drawn it in chasing the man suspected of brandishing a weapon?

    Could it have been the case that the gun accidentally discharged when the policeman pushed Itoye away?

    Or has it already been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the policeman purposely discharged the weapon in a conscious attempt to wound/kill Itoye?

  147. “Are the reports false that the police were checking for weapons, not only counterfeit goods?”

    I don’t know. Could you link to such a report. Do police normally search market traders for weapons?

    “Are reports false that the policeman in question had been chasing and was in the process of detaining a man (Cameroonian?) suspected of having a weapon?”

    I don’t know. Could you please link to such a report. And did the man in fact have a weapon, and what kind of weapon was it.

    “Are reports, even by at least one witness sympatheic to Itoye, false that the policeman pushed Itoye away after Itoye questioned the policeman’s racial motivations in restraining the man suspected of having a weapon?”

    Probably not. Was this sufficient reason to shoot Itoya dead?

    “Could it be the case that the policeman still had a gun in his hand, having drawn it in chasing the man suspected of brandishing a weapon?”

    It could be. And was the man brandishing a weapon, and if so, what?

    “Could it have been the case that the gun accidentally discharged when the policeman pushed Itoye away?”

    That could be so. If so the policeman would be guilty of a criminal degree of negligence.

    “Or has it already been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the policeman purposely discharged the weapon in a conscious attempt to wound/kill Itoye?”

    Only the policeman knows why he killed Itoya.

    However, as far as was know, Itoya was not armed, and not threatening the life of the policeman.

  148. “Sure thing. I’m only surprised no Nigerian has ever offerred drugs or enslaved women.”

    And you know this because? How about the Nigerian arrested two weeks ago for smuggling 1.5 kg of cocaine to Poland? And, no, I’m not trying to suggest that the victim smuggled drugs, but you seem to assume that no Nigerian ever could commit a crime.

    “Of course it had nothing to do with racism. If the police were to check white market traders for counterfeit goods they would be pointing guns in their direction too.”

    You’re kidding, right? The police checks the bazaar every week. This situation happened once in 20 years, but to you it automatically becomes a racist norm?

    And of course, having read the details, you should know that they didn’t take out their guns during their checking of the traders. They did it because of a chase and because the victim tried to interfere with the arrest. How do you behave when you see police officers arresting a man? Do you usually chase after them, begin a quarrel, offer a bribe or what?

    “A policeman shot an unarmed, black father of three.”

    Should he be treated somehow differently than if he shot a white single man without kids?

    “We’ve learnt this from our history.

    “Especially 20th century Polish history.

    “We should always trust the authorities to tell the truth.”

    Are you really comparing our democratically chosen government and public institutions to the Communist and Nazi terror? Can’t you see how offensive it is? What next? Should we be colonized because we don’t know how to self-govern?

    Well, Warren, I definitely prefer professional judges who know all of the details of the case to pass judgements in accordance with the Polish law, and I’m happy they’re not influenced by current moods of hysterical mobs who are so worked up that they cannot read a press article with understanding. Perhaps both you and Ms. Joanna should calm down and try to read the article _beyond_ its lead.

    Crime happens everywhere, and every country has its own ways of dealing with it. You may not be happy with ours, but we’re not going to copy yours in order to accommodate you. There are procedures. The case is monitored by a number of both public and non-profit institutions. There are lawyers and prosecutors. There are courts of higher instance where one can take the case if one’s unhappy with the verdict, as high as the European Tribunal. (Are they racist too?) Perhaps in your country it’s normal for the public to read people’s minds and know the truth before a verdict is passed. In Poland, we usually wait until we’re better informed.

    “Indeed, I misinterpreted everything.”

    In this thread you made various claims that are either speculation or misinformation. How about this: “Btw, you can’t really prove evidence of racial assaults in Poland because there is no crime of racially aggravated assault, and such as such is not recorded.”

    Where on earth do you get your facts from? What sense does it make to spread such absurd and demeaning claims about another nation?

    Finally, do you really think that calling people racists on no evidence at all isn’t racist itself? Just a couple of years ago a highly respected and popular Black man intentionally infected over a dozen of Polish women with HIV. Why? Because when they wanted to use condoms he called them racists. I’m not bringing it as an example of a typical behaviour of Black people. It was only one man. But it’s an example of how hasty racist claims may prove lethal.

    In this case there was a shooting, a man died, it’s a tragedy, and it would be one no matter his colour of skin. But you claim to know that the policeman’s motives were racist, and you base your opinion on nothing else than the colour of skin and nationality of both men. That, I’m afraid, is just your own racism showing. Even if 99% of Poles are racists, it’s still possible that the policeman is not, and you have no right to label him just because he’s white and Polish.

  149. You provided some of these very links, some of them by witnesses sympathetic to Itoye.

    If there were reports of weapons, and it seems to be either common knowledge or folklore that there were weapons being sold in the market, police would normally be on the lookout for such transactions.

    If the other man was brandishing a weapon, there was sufficient reason for the policeman to draw a gun. He may not have had the opportunity to put it back in his holster if he was engaged in putting down a resistant suspect.

    Why are you so sure that the policeman purposely shot Itoye? Can’t you even grant that it is in the realm of possibility that it was accidental? An accidental shooting may have even been the result of Itoye crowding the policeman or even just putting his hand on the gun with the intention of getting the policeman to secure it in his holster.

    “Only the policeman knows why he killed Itoye.”

    Well, you’ll never be selected for a jury given such a presumption of guilt.

  150. “If there were reports of weapons, and it seems to be either common knowledge or folklore that there were weapons being sold in the market, police would normally be on the lookout for such transactions.”

    I don’t remember seeing any reports of weapons, and the idea that weapons were being sold in an open air market, in broad daylight, is frankly, beyond stupid.

    “If the other man was brandishing a weapon, there was sufficient reason for the policeman to draw a gun. He may not have had the opportunity to put it back in his holster if he was engaged in putting down a resistant suspect.”

    Well, was he brandishing a weapon?

    I have yet to read a report stating this.

    “Why are you so sure that the policeman purposely shot Itoye? Can’t you even grant that it is in the realm of possibility that it was accidental? An accidental shooting may have even been the result of Itoye crowding the policeman or even just putting his hand on the gun with the intention of getting the policeman to secure it in his holster.”

    As I stated:

    “Only the policeman knows why he killed Itoye.”

    I am basing my judgements purely on the facts of the matter.

  151. “And you know this because? How about the Nigerian arrested two weeks ago for smuggling 1.5 kg of cocaine to Poland? And, no, I’m not trying to suggest that the victim smuggled drugs, but you seem to assume that no Nigerian ever could commit a crime.”

    Of course, Nigerians commit crimes. If a Nigerian transported cocaine to Poland two weeks ago this is irrelevant to this case.

    It does nothing to explain why a policeman shot and killed a different, unarmed Nigerian.

    “And of course, having read the details, you should know that they didn’t take out their guns during their checking of the traders. They did it because of a chase and because the victim tried to interfere with the arrest. How do you behave when you see police officers arresting a man? Do you usually chase after them, begin a quarrel, offer a bribe or what?”

    Itoya reacted (according to an eyewitness account) because he saw the policeman manhandling another in an unacceptable manner.

    He rold him to speak to him calmly, and stop flashing his gun around.

    If that was his reaction then he was being brave and acting out of concern for a third party.

    “Well, Warren, I definitely prefer professional judges who know all of the details of the case to pass judgements in accordance with the Polish law, and I’m happy they’re not influenced by current moods of hysterical mobs who are so worked up that they cannot read a press article with understanding. Perhaps both you and Ms. Joanna should calm down and try to read the article _beyond_ its lead.”

    I don’t believe we should leave everything to be decided by our ‘betters’ away from the scrutiny of the press.
    And I don’t believe I’ve been hysterical. The hysteria has come from the other direction, accusing Nigerians of selling drugs, weapons, trading in women, and so on, none of which have anything to do with the case, in which a policeman shot an unarmed man.

    “In this thread you made various claims that are either speculation or misinformation. How about this: “Btw, you can’t really prove evidence of racial assaults in Poland because there is no crime of racially aggravated assault, and such as such is not recorded.”

    Which were?

    My claim is perfectly correct.

    “Where on earth do you get your facts from? What sense does it make to spread such absurd and demeaning claims about another nation?”

    All my facts concerning the case have come from either eyewiness accounts avaiable over the internet, or press reports from, fore example, ‘Gazeta Wyborcza’. The fact that the police killed an unarmed man does not seem to be an ‘absurd claim’, and to be supported by the facts as we know them.

    “Finally, do you really think that calling people racists on no evidence at all isn’t racist itself?”

    Where have I called people racists on the basis of no evidence at all? Perhaps it is you who is making absurd and exaggerated claims.

    “But you claim to know that the policeman’s motives were racist, and you base your opinion on nothing else than the colour of skin and nationality of both men.”

    The police behaviour in this case appears far from the norm. On routine inspections they would not normally be pointing guns at people, let alone shooting them dead.
    Neither would they be arresting witnesses identifiable by on the basis of their skin colour and searching their homes.

  152. Nobody is suggesting that weapons or drugs were being sold with labels and prices on tables.

    Do you think that criminals only commit crimes at night behind closed doors?

    I suggest again that you read all the articles in your own links.

  153. The shooting was not simply part and parcel of a routine inspection. Routine ended when there was a chase. No doubt only because a man was suspected of being black.

    And now you are saying that Itoye was “killed” by more than one policeman?

    “The fact that the police killed an unarmed man”

    The fact as far as we can know is that Itoye died as a result of a bullet fired from a policeman’s weapon. Beyond that there is now only speculation. In my mind, the use of the term “killed” indicates purposeful intent. That may have been the case, but there are currently no facts to clearly indicate that. Again, a presumption of guilt before a trial and evidence has been presented by both a prosecution and defense.

  154. “The shooting was not simply part and parcel of a routine inspection. Routine ended when there was a chase. No doubt only because a man was suspected of being black.

    And now you are saying that Itoye was “killed” by more than one policeman?

    “The fact that the police killed an unarmed man” ”

    No.

    All it means is that the man who killed him was a member of the police.

    “In my mind, the use of the term “killed” indicates purposeful intent.”

    So what verb would you use to replace ‘killed’?

    ‘Murdered’ would indicate ‘malice aforethought’ which is the term for which you are probably searching.

    “That may have been the case, but there are currently no facts to clearly indicate that.”

    Well, guns don’t often fire themselves. They require a third party to both aim the gun in a particular direction and pull the trigger.

  155. Warren, you don’t report the case the same way Gazeta Wyborcza does. They say that it’s not known what exactly had happened. The eyewitness account that you take as the only possible explanation is according to Wyborcza one of many versions. Once the investigation is over we’ll know more, but it’s impossible to say at this point that the one witness was right and other people wrong, and no serious newspaper in Poland has so far suggested anything like that. By concluding that the man died because he was Black you imply racism on the police officer’s part with no evidence to support it. It happens that the police shoots men during a chase, and it happens that those men are innocent victims. It’s just the first time a Black man died.

    In any case it makes no sense to claim that we should listen to the press rather than to our ‘betters’ because the press doesn’t imply what you do. Moreover, politicians and officials aren’t our ‘betters’ only people chosen among us to do their job. We’re not a monarchy. We have our say when we go to vote, but we cannot take things into our hands. That’s called a lynch mob.

    I didn’t pick the Nigerians for all possible crimes. Only I said that the bazaar is a place where all the worst crimes happen. Look up other articles about it. It’s enough to google “stadion dziesięciolecia”. It is a dangerous place, ran by mafias, offering guns, drugs etc. You don’t have to take my word, just look it up.

    It doesn’t mean that the victim was involved in anything more serious than selling shoes, but it means that the police officers who go there may feel endangered. Itoya didn’t die for selling shoes anyway, only because he chased after the police who chased after the man who ran away. It’s not known what exactly had happened once he got there. According to your eyewitness he only tried to talk, although even that one eyewitness said that Itoya stood too close to the officer who tried to arrest the other man. Other witnesses say that Itoya tried to disarm the officer. According to Wyborcza more than one officer shot. They shot into the air, but one police officer shot Itoya. We don’t know why.

    In any case chasing after the police when they try to arrest a man is not being brave. It’s breaking the law in the first place. You cannot disturb the police work.

    “My claim is perfectly correct.”

    Your claim is not correct. You simply don’t know our law. People have been prosecuted for a number of racist behaviours, from throwing bananas at a stadium, to running a redwatch website, or assaulting Black people. Why don’t you look it up? As I said, we’re not a monarchy, but if our prince went to a party sporting a swastika he’d end up in prison.

    “Where have I called people racists on the basis of no evidence at all? Perhaps it is you who is making absurd and exaggerated claims.”

    Well, you said this for example:

    “I’ve done a fair bit of research into this disgraceful incident, and am disgusted by the actions of the police, journalists, and the general indifference of the Polish public to what appears to have been a blatantly racist murder.”

    That sounds like you call the police officer racist, and imply that because the Polish public opinion is racist in general, we’re indifferent to the “blatantly racist murder”.

    If I misunderstood you then please explain what you meant.

    Also, we’re not indifferent. I’m deeply saddened by the tragedy. If it was a racist murder, I’ll be first to condemn it. But throwing accusations on no evidence serves nothing but escalating hate and hurting more and more people. I don’t want to participate in this kind of behaviour, and I’m sad to see it on Polandian.

  156. Amen Sylwia and thank you.

    Warren also wrote: “So what verb would you use to replace ‘killed’?”

    I think Scatts got it right in the first place when he chose the verb “shoot”.

    Then you rachet it up again “‘Murdered’ would indicate ‘malice aforethought’ which is the term for which you are probably searching.”

    It may have been a murder. But we don’t know that. The trigger may have been accidentally pulled by the policeman as he pushed away Itoye, if indeed he pushed Itoye. Or maybe he pulled the trigger as Itoye touched his gun. We just don’t know at this point.

    But here’s the clincher, Warren. You wrote: “All it means is that the man who killed him was a member of the police.”

    And then Sylwia pointed out, which I hadn’t read, that GW wrote “more than one officer shot. They shot into the air, but one police officer shot Itoya.”

    I’d speculate that if more than one officer discharge their weapons, there had to be quite a commotion going on, and they felt threatened for good or no good reason.

  157. “Warren, you don’t report the case the same way Gazeta Wyborcza does. They say that it’s not known what exactly had happened. The eyewitness account that you take as the only possible explanation is according to Wyborcza one of many versions. Once the investigation is over we’ll know more, but it’s impossible to say at this point that the one witness was right and other people wrong, and no serious newspaper in Poland has so far suggested anything like that. By concluding that the man died because he was Black you imply racism on the police officer’s part with no evidence to support it. It happens that the police shoots men during a chase, and it happens that those men are innocent victims. It’s just the first time a Black man died.”

    According to all reports Itoya was unarmed.

    Please find something to contradict this statement.

    Perhaps you believe it is ‘normal’ for the police to be pointing guns at people and shooting them dead during what has been described as a ‘routine’ inspection, but I don’t.

    “In any case it makes no sense to claim that we should listen to the press rather than to our ‘betters’ because the press doesn’t imply what you do.”

    Is there a press report that suggests the police did not shoot an unarmed man?

    “Only I said that the bazaar is a place where all the worst crimes happen. Look up other articles about it. It’s enough to google “stadion dziesięciolecia”. It is a dangerous place, ran by mafias, offering guns, drugs etc. You don’t have to take my word, just look it up.”

    And I believe this is an absurd exaggeration.

    I don’t know that he was ‘chasing’ the policeman.

    And if you believe the police have the right to do as they please unchallenged, then I imagine you would be far happier under a totalitarian system.

    ““My claim is perfectly correct.”

    Your claim is not correct. You simply don’t know our law. ”

    It is correct.

    You simply didn’t (and still don’t) understand what I wrote.

    “I’ve done a fair bit of research into this disgraceful incident, and am disgusted by the actions of the police, journalists, and the general indifference of the Polish public to what appears to have been a blatantly racist murder.”

    That sounds like you call the police officer racist, and imply that because the Polish public opinion is racist in general, we’re indifferent to the “blatantly racist murder”.

    I find it strange that the police would point guns at people and shoot them dead in what has been described as a routine inspection, and furthermore I find it hard to believe that racism had nothing to do with such behaviour.

    I also believe the police arrested thirty black men after the incident, not on the basis of what they had done, but rather on the basis of the colour of their skin.

    I am disgusted by the article in dziennik.pl which I believe to be blatantly racist.

    I am not happy with what appears to be the indifference of the polish public to these events. If the police in Poland had killed an unarmed Pole, followed this up a round-up of Poles in the vicinity, and then Poles were described in our newspapers as traders in women and weapons with ugly wives of low intelligence, then I imagine the reaction would be different. You wouldn’t be saying ‘let the police and authorities do their job without interference’.

    “But throwing accusations on no evidence serves nothing but escalating hate and hurting more and more people. I don’t want to participate in this kind of behaviour, and I’m sad to see it on Polandian.”

    No, I haven’t been throwing accusations around without evidence. I have provided links to support what I have written. If anything, I would say it is you making the unsupported allegations.

  158. “I’d speculate that if more than one officer discharge their weapons, there had to be quite a commotion going on, and they felt threatened for good or no good reason.”

    You could equally well speculate that they were acting in an undisciplined and irresponsible manner.

    As for the rest of your post, it’s not really worth commenting on as you haven’t really understood what I wrote.

  159. And how is the case in Canada different to the one in Poland? No one blames the Canadian officers’ behaviour on racism. No one made hasty judgements a year ago when the incident happened. They made an investigation and that’s what our authorities do as well.

  160. There is indeed the possibility that the police were acting in an undisciplined and irresponsible manner.

    At least you’ve finally acknowledged that you are being equally speculative.

    BTW, didn’t you set up some kind of rule that no international comparisons were allowed? You may recall your constant refraing of asking what’s that got to do with a black guy in Poland?

    But, yes, the story does offer interesting comparisons.

    The most obvious is that there wasn’t a crowd involved in the Canadian incident.

    Secondly, it does not appear that the tasing followed another incident involving a police chase of a man suspected of something-or-other.

    In the Warsaw bazaar incident, was the Cameroonian(?) arrested? Was he charged? Has his name been made public? Is anything known for sure about him?

    I’ll admit that I don’t have time to research this case much more than trying to keep up with it here. And this has taken up more of my time than I ever anticipated.

  161. Ah, what can you expect from those Canandians?

    I mean if you go east, past Siberia, past China, and past the Pacific, you wind up in Canada. Case closed. This proves Warren’s Whitmore’s theory that the farther east you go the more racists you find.

    The above was a response to:

    Molson (beer heh?) made a bunch of these commercials, including my favorite:

  162. It is interesting to see where sympathies of Poles lie in relation to the two incidents. With the police or the man who was killed?

    It is also interesting to note the openess of the authorities in relation to both incidents in both countries.

    Incidentally you used the fact that Maxwell Itoya was ‘interfering’ in police work as some kind of justification for his being shot. If someone had protested at the police’s actions before the guy in Vancouver was tasered, would he have been doing wrong?

  163. “Incidentally you used the fact that Maxwell Itoya was ‘interfering’ in police work as some kind of justification for his being shot.”

    Not as justification, only as explanation of the circumstances. You keep saying that it was during a ‘routine’ inspection. Hardly.

  164. Here is an eyewitness account of the shooting:

    “Henry: – Widziałem, jak policjant w cywilu szamotał się z czarnoskórym mężczyzną. Ten się wyrywał. Wtedy nadbiegł inny czarnoskóry. Krzyczał do policjanta, czemu on tak traktuje człowieka. Policjant, przytrzymując jedną ręką pojmanego, wyjął z kabury broń i skierował na mężczyznę stojącego przed nim. Tamten prosił, by schował pistolet, bo ludzie się boją. “Odejdź”, odkrzyknął policjant. I padł strzał.”

    Więcej… http://wyborcza.pl/1,82709,7965291,Nie_chce_skonczyc_jak_Maxwell.html#ixzz0rKdqJEDy

    If a witness to Dziekanski’s tasering had told the Canadian police to put the taser away would that have been wrong?

  165. From a quick translation of the GW article about the eyewitness claim: “Johnny was among those detained by the police after the death of Maxwell. He has charges of assaulting the officer.”

    The above seems to answer at least in part Warren’s previous query as to what happened to those taken to police hq.

    Why would someone charged with the assault of a police officer tell anything other than the complete truth? I really can’t imagine.

  166. I shudder to think how much even worse it would have been for the tasered Pole if this incident had taken place in eastern Canada. Those Quebequois!

  167. Opowiada jego żona: – Johnny poszedł na bazar kupić kurtkę. Widział zamieszanie, chciał nagrać je komórką. Policjanci chcieli mu zabrać telefon, bronił się.

    Więcej… http://wyborcza.pl/1,82709,7965291,Nie_chce_skonczyc_jak_Maxwell.html#ixzz0rLU7RQL8

    You neglected to translate the following sentence for some reason:

    “Opowiada jego żona: – Johnny poszedł na bazar kupić kurtkę. Widział zamieszanie, chciał nagrać je komórką. Policjanci chcieli mu zabrać telefon, bronił się.

    Więcej… http://wyborcza.pl/1,82709,7965291,Nie_chce_skonczyc_jak_Maxwell.html#ixzz0rLU7RQL8

  168. What’s your point?

    The police were trying to gather cellphones which may have been taking pictures or video. This material could have been used as evidence that the police were doing what they were supposed to be doing. Or the police could have been taking them to destroy recordings to eliminate evidence showing they were doing wrongful things. Or both, depending on the policeman or situation. We just don’t know.

    And Johnny “defended himself.”

  169. My point is that you translated the first sentence but not the second.

    Furthermore, there is considerable eyewitness testimony that black people in the market area were rounded up irrespective of what they had been doing.

  170. There are a lot of sentences in the article I didn’t translate. I suppose I could have translated the second sentence to which you refer if I initially wanted to make the same point I subsequently did.

    And obviously not all black people in the bazaar were arrested. It seems 25 were arrested. I don’t know if all the arrests were for assault of police officers. I’m not even sure if all those arrested were black. Out of how many black people who were there?

  171. Why obviously?

    “In the aftermath of the ‘riots’
    In the disturbances that followed (which are depicted by the police and media as a ‘riot’), the police arrested thirty-two men: twenty-nine Nigerians, a Cameroonian, a Guinean and an Indian. All the men, some of whom have Polish citizenship, have been released. Twenty-five have been charged with ‘active assault’ on police officers and another man was accused of ‘active resistance’. Many in the migrant community see these charges as a form of police harassment. A fear that is heightened by the fact that the police officer who fired the fatal shot that killed Maxwell Itoya has not even been suspended from duty, let alone charged.

    According to ‘unofficial’ reports, the police arrested all the black men they came across after the ‘riots’ although – as it is claimed by some – Vietnamese and white men were also involved in the disturbances. There are further allegations that the arrested men and even their families were mistreated by police. One wife of a man arrested claims, that for forty-eight hours, the men were not given anything to eat or to drink and were not even allowed to use the toilet.[9] Katarzyna Krukowska, who was one of a few wives willing to identify herself by name, spoke of her humiliation when the police asked her if her husband was taking drugs or beating her. She alleged that while the wives were in the prosecutor’s office waiting for news about their husbands’ situation, some policemen were recording them on their mobile phones for a joke.[10] The narrators of these ‘unofficial’ stories are convinced of the existence of a bias on the part of the police. This conviction is particularly striking in the case of stories told by the wives of some of the arrested men in a video recording accompanying an article on a media website.[11] ‘Many black-skinned people were arrested not because they took part in this incident, in this fight, but simply because they were there, because they were “black”‘, says one of the women interviewed. ‘They were catching all the blacks who were there.’ Another women states that the ‘police represented the facts completely differently to what they were’, unfairly presenting their husbands as violent and ‘typical criminals’. One of the wives on the video points out that black street vendors would never have attacked the police, it is because they are ‘afraid of them, when they saw policemen, they ran away or made way for them’.”

  172. Eyewitnesses have claimed there were only about 30 blacks in the bazaar area?

    Doesn’t sound right to me.

    Does it really sound accurate to you?

  173. Interesting:

    John Godson is an elected councillor of Lodz City Council. He is also on the number 1 place on the reserve list to the Polish parlament (Lodz). He is a special adviser to the Polish government on race issues.

    John Godson is Nigerian.

    Has he publically commented on the situation yet?

  174. Yes.

    There are a large numbers of photographs of blacks being rounded up on the web.

    Those rounded up were exclusively black.

    Those watching the events exclusively white.

    Furthermore, a number of the blacks arrested were not market traders, and were not involved in any ‘riot’.

    They just happened to have been in the area at the time.

  175. You’re right.

    There was absolutely no resistance to police at all after the shooting.

    There were no angry comments made towards the police.

    No stones were thrown at the police.

    I even heard the chant “We love you Polish police” in the background of one of the videos.

    Nobody interfered with the rescue workers when they showed up to administer to the victim of the shooting.

    There were only 32 black people in the area of the bazaar with each and every one in the area being “rounded up.”

    If there were more blacks in the area, they would have been rounded up, too.

    It’s a miracle that all blacks in Warsaw weren’t arrested and deported.

    Now I understand.

    Thank you.

  176. You’re clearly trying to be clever. But I’ve got my facts right.

    “There was absolutely no resistance to police at all after the shooting.

    There were no angry comments made towards the police.

    No stones were thrown at the police.

    I even heard the chant “We love you Polish police” in the background of one of the videos.”

    People get angry when police shoot an unarmed man. What would you expect.

    Incidentally I posted a video of Poles rioting in the market, in what appears to have been a far more serious incident.

    Did the police react in the same manner? Did they arrest everyone of the same ethnicity (Polish) in the surrounding area.

    “Nobody interfered with the rescue workers when they showed up to administer to the victim of the shooting.”

    You’re right on this point.

    “There were only 32 black people in the area of the bazaar with each and every one in the area being “rounded up.”

    If there were more blacks in the area, they would have been rounded up, too.

    It’s a miracle that all blacks in Warsaw weren’t arrested and deported.

    Now I understand.”

    Perhaps you should look at the photographs which I posted. There are a very large number available.

    The ‘disturbances’ involved people of different nationalities, including whites and Vietnamese. Yet only blacks (and one Indian) were arrested.

    Now look at the spectators to the events.

    None are black.

    Even the comment to the Gazeta Wyborcza photograph states that blacks were singled out for arrest.

    Some of those arrested (black) were not stallholders, and not involved in any disturbance. They had simply gone there out of curiosity about what had happened, or were in the market shopping.

    What evidence (if any) could convince you that the police were behaving in a racist manner?

    Their behaviour is not consistent with that of a 21st century member of the European Union, and more reminiscent of a far darker period of history.

  177. You’re right.

    Captions are always spot on in their accuracy.

    And fished out the black-skinned is the exact equivalnet of rounded up every single black person in the area..

  178. You are right again.

    But you forgot to mention that none of those arrested should have been arrested for nary one did anything the least bit illegal. The only reason they were arrested is because they had black skin. And every single person with black skin in the area was arrested with no exceptions.

  179. #
    nada says:
    June 22, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Maybe some eyewitnesses see and relate only what they want to see.

    Not everything is as it seems:

    Yawn.

    You are just arguing for the sake of arguing now.

    The facts of the matter are that:

    (1) The police shot an unarmed Nigerian dead who was not endangering their lives or the lives of anyone else.

    (2) The police then proceeded to arrest any black people in the vicinity of the shooting irrespective of whether they had committed any offence.

    I have provided a great deal of sources to demonstrate both points which you have been unable to refute.

    If you have any evidence to refute either claim then please post it here.

  180. Sorry Warren, but your purported facts are not factual. You selectively choose this or that bit of certain eyewitness accounts and attempt to string them together to suit the purposes of your argument, which I’m afraid is oftentimes confused.

    1. Now,unless your mastery of English needs a lot of improvement, it appears you are arguing that it was a gang hit by the police. Last I heard, there was one bullet from one gun, that may or may not have been aimed, and that may have gone off accidentally or purposefully.

    2. Your use of “any” is altogether imprecise. You used to argue that “all” black people in the vicinity, with nary an exception, were arrested for no reason whatsoever other than the color of their skin. And could you define what you would consider to be an offense? Do you consider rock throwing self-defense? Do you consider interference with police activity an offense?

    You’re not going to suggest that there have been no statements to that effect, are you? I know, you will just discount those accounts as not being credible, as being part and parcel of a complete cover-up by the police.

    Whatever. You are not in a position of authority to investigate and determine the course of the case. You are not trying the case. Jeez, I’m probably the only person around paying any attention to you at this point.

    I’m not quite sure if that’s sadder for you or for me.

    But you’re right on every point. In your mind. I can live with that.

    Goodnight if you haven’t already fallen asleep.

  181. “1. Now,unless your mastery of English needs a lot of improvement, it appears you are arguing that it was a gang hit by the police. Last I heard, there was one bullet from one gun, that may or may not have been aimed, and that may have gone off accidentally or purposefully.”

    Perhaps your English needs improvement.

    I have never suggested that more than one shot was fired.

    2. Your use of “any” is altogether imprecise. You used to argue that “all” black people in the vicinity, with nary an exception, were arrested for no reason whatsoever other than the color of their skin.

    I am suggesting this.

    And this suggestion is supported by both photographic and eye-witness evidence.

  182. “The police shot an unarmed Nigerian” is indicative of more than one policeman. Otherwise, it is more appropriate to say “a policeman did this or that.”

    Your position is supported by your selection of certain eyewitness testimony which may or may not be valid as evidence.

    Do you have any idea of how many black people are typically frequenting that bazaar on weekends at around the time the incident occurred?

    Good morning.

  183. ““The police shot an unarmed Nigerian” is indicative of more than one policeman. Otherwise, it is more appropriate to say “a policeman did this or that.”

    No, it is not.

    For example “Brazil scored a goal” neither indicates nor suggests that more than one player scored.

    Why are you labouring this point?

    “Do you have any idea of how many black people are typically frequenting that bazaar on weekends at around the time the incident occurred?”

    Do you?

  184. The police are not a team or country.

    Would you say the rock group “The Police” shot someone?

    In response to your second question, I’d venture to say at least one more than was arrested..

    Good night.

  185. “The police are not a team or country.”

    ‘The police’ are a collective noun similar to ‘team’.

    You are far more likely to hear ‘England’ scored than ‘an English player’ scored, even though only one player is likely to have shot.

    If you were to say ‘he was shot by the police’, this means that he was shot by a member of the police on official police business, and not necessarily that he was shot by several policemen.

    If you were to say ‘he was shot by a policeman’, this might imply that the agent of the shooting was acting alone.

    It’s hardly my problem if you find collective nouns problematic.

    “Would you say the rock group “The Police” shot someone?”

    Yes, if they were acting collectively as the police were on this occasion, irrespective of whether only one individual opened fire.

  186. Interesting quote from another website concerning the Itoya case:

    “During communist times, the matter would be hushed, functionaries moved to other precincts, journalists invited by sad men for a friendly talk, intimidated, threatened, or maybe motivated (promotion, money, foreigh post) to write the right way about the case… maybe a scape-goat would be found and punished if public opinion were demanding.

    Now Poland is (or aspires to be) a liberal democracy, an open society. This aspiration obliges. The death of a Nigerian, married to Polish, with kids, is a test. Are we a liberal democracy? Or not yet.”

  187. Sorry, but only one player scores the goal on the tally sheet. The team collectively wins, loses, or draws.

    But you tried to fix the analogy of scoring a goal in Brazil football to the incident in Poland which in my mind diminishes the tragedy of the latter.

    It’s not my problem that you insist upon extending responsibilty for an individual act to a collective entity.

    “If you were to say ‘he was shot by a policeman’, this might imply that the agent of the shooting was acting alone.”

    Uh, yeah. So what? Are you saying that somebody put him up to it? Aided and abetted him in respect to the shooting? Somebody higher up ordered him to do it?

    And now we know that if it was only Sting who shot the sheriff, you would convict the whole band because they were in a collectivity.

  188. OK so you don’t understand how collective nouns work.

    Go to any football report and you will see statements such as ‘Italy scored in the 57th minute’.

    Likewise read some crime reports and you will see quotations such as ‘X was killed by the mafia’ irrespective of whether the person was shot by one or a number of people.

    This is all pretty basic stuff, and I am not here to give you an unpaid English lesson.

    It’s hardly my fault if you find the meaning of simple English sentences problematic.

  189. Repost:

    Interesting quote from another website concerning the Itoya case:

    “During communist times, the matter would be hushed, functionaries moved to other precincts, journalists invited by sad men for a friendly talk, intimidated, threatened, or maybe motivated (promotion, money, foreigh post) to write the right way about the case… maybe a scape-goat would be found and punished if public opinion were demanding.

    Now Poland is (or aspires to be) a liberal democracy, an open society. This aspiration obliges. The death of a Nigerian, married to Polish, with kids, is a test. Are we a liberal democracy? Or not yet.”

  190. No, it’s not a matter of me understanding collective nouns, It’s just that you don’t know when to use them.

    If a report is made that the Mafia killed so-an-so, it can be assumed that an order was made and that it was carried out. You have to be arguing that an order was given to carry out a hit on Itoye to use the collective noun.

    And again, your football analogies are out of place.

    Finally, I’m not inclined to depend upon sports writers for English lessons or from somebody who uses them as an example of proper English,

    But Podolski and Klose will collectively kill England’s chances of getting past the final 16. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  191. And a quote for a quote:

    A quote from a recent report about some East(?) Paris philosopher that similarly ties the mafia in with,,, not the police.

    “The philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, who has often criticized the failures of French assimilation, compared the players to youths rioting in the banlieues, France’s suburban ghettos. “We now have proof that the French team is not a team at all, but a gang of hooligans that knows only the morals of the mafia,” he said in a radio interview.”

    France is east of Poland, right?

  192. “If a report is made that the Mafia killed so-an-so, it can be assumed that an order was made and that it was carried out. You have to be arguing that an order was given to carry out a hit on Itoye to use the collective noun.”

    No, it doesn’t.

    It merely means that the individual who shot him was acting as a member of a particular organisation when he fired the shot.

    “Finally, I’m not inclined to depend upon sports writers for English lessons or from somebody who uses them as an example of proper English, ”

    It’s rather up to you isn’t it.

    However, you won’t find any native speaker of English who would say that “Slovakia scored a goal” is poor English.

    There are many dialects, idiolects and so on in the English language, so if you wish to create your own, with your very own personal rules for what is ‘proper usage’, I can only wish you the best of luck.

    However, I’d rather discuss the Maxwell Itoya case than your idiosyncratic ideas about how English speakers should use collective nouns.

  193. Well, if you want to continue to insist upon equating the shooting of a goal with shooting a person, that is your perogative.

    The issue at hand is one of delineating the lines of individual and collective responsibility. So how you use a collective noun in terms of the death of a person and affixing responsibilty for that death is important.

    “A policeman shot” = the individual responsibility of one policeman.

    “The police shot” = the collective responsibility of the entire police force.

    Was the policeman doing as he was trained and instructed to do in the situation at hand? If so, then there is a collective responsibility on the part of the police apparatus.

    If he acted in a manner contrary to his training and instruction, then he is individually responsible for his actions.

  194. You know, I worked for years as a cop in Australia. The most racist people I met were aboriginals who saw it as racist for someone to call them a “Black C*&t” but were happy as anything to keep calling us “White c*&ts” and didn’t see it as a racist or insulting comment. They couldn’t see that racism can be a two way street.

    They would call you a “White racist cu&t” if you arrested them for stealing?? They believed the government, government agencies and communities owed them everything.

    We have the situation here that, because you receive so many extra benefits as an aboriginal, people with skin lighter than mine, who have one grandparent or further back who is aboriginal then identify as aboriginal (for the extra benefits), and have to tell you this because you wouldn’t guess it looking at them, or talking to them. Australia has apartheid, where aboriginal and islander people (but not South Sea Islander, same skin colour and features but just part of our society) are treated differently and better than everyone else, granted extra funding and rights, treated differently (and not always for the better, search about the Australian Federal government ‘intervention’ in the Northern Territory).

    We have ignored that fact that aboriginal Australia found the use of violence, violence against women, abduction and rape as acceptable behaviour, for the more remote people until quite recently. We are still struggling with some of those cultural changes. We see everything through modern tinted glasses that ignore some of the realities of how people view life.

    We have groups who glamourise the concepts of Murri Lore (tribal law – the law of spearing, and eye for an eye, payback, abductions from other tribes, abduction and rape, and fights between tribal groups) as something soft and gentle!

    We have, in my lifetime, seen our history ‘whitewashed’ (excuse the pun), and rewritten, guesstimates of aboriginal historians taken as fact. A version of history with regards mixed race children re-written. True stories such as the dingo proof fence, changed and re-written for movies, so that the original story is lost and something that is media racist rubbish published as a ‘truth’ supposedly based on real events (and even the protests of the original story teller that it wasn’t her story ignored)!

    I have always found amazing the fact that if an academic can reference something it is accepted as fact. So bad information becomes accepted as good, because then someone else references them?!

    My family has been here for 5 generations but are still second class citizens of Australia because we happen to be of European heritage, generally.

    The funny thing is I just see myself as Australian, but some of these groups identify themselves as aboriginal rather than being proud of their country. When I was younger and at school we were all proud to be Australians. This pride seems to have been pulled away by rubbish. I know that activists play the media well, but the reality is so much different to the media hype, generally. We have different laws and extra protection for people of aboriginal descent. If two people are arrested here, and one claims to be aboriginal that person is giving extra rights for their interview, they are given access to specially funded legal representation. The poor old white fella gets no protection in the interview, and can have legal representation if they can afford it.

    The racist card is played to the hilt in this country, and as a result you are seeing a backlash.

    We have some unusual statistics such as an over representation of aboriginals in the criminal system. And this is somehow the fault of society? Our laws are wrong? It is hard to call it racism when a large percentage of the people who class themselves as aboriginal don’t look any different to anyone else! Most of us don’t see someone as different to anyone else, just because they may be of aboriginal descent, which means that if they break into houses or steal cars shouldn’t they be treated the same as anyone else??

    I know I’m generalising and I admit this does not apply to all. I also met some aboriginal people and families for which I had great respect. Some of them also despaired of the attitudes of these groups, and our society.

  195. My point is ‘racism’ depends on your perspective. Racism takes many forms, and is often influenced by how it is reported in the media, especially internationally. I think I am somewhat racist, I wouldn’t live in some area’s because of what I’ve seen by some groups. I believe people of some groups who identify themselves with a particular background are more prone to violence, and have less respect for the rule of law. But this called also be called learnt experience, based on what I’ve seen in 50 years. By the same token I socialize and work with people of the same background who I consider friends??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s