Friday, 8 February 2013

Romanians, victims of racism in Brighton [Români, victime ale rasismului în Brighton]

Some four and a half years ago, in August 2008, a Romanian “was battered with fire estinguisher” in King’s Road, a well-known seafront street of Brighton.

What an awful thing to happen in the fun-loving Brighton, often praised as a European capital of tolerance, open-mindedness, political corectness and restless partying!

The man – aged 28, father of two, and owner of a little demolition and earth-moving firm – would die after eight days in hospital.

Tragic as it was, the incident didn’t bear racial connotations. The Romanian victim, described as “a really kind-hearted guy” happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This excuse doesn’t seem to be valid in relation to the last violent attack to which two Romanians fell prey in Brighton a couple of weeks ago, in late January.

The two Romanians were specifically asked where they were from before being punched. Again, the beating took place in central Brighton – on a bus stop near the Royal Pavilion (pics 1 & 7).
It is the Sussex Police, not I (nor the Romanian media), that treats the crime as a “racially aggravating assault”, appealing to witnesses to come forward and say what they known.

These are places where I personally felt safe. However, this is no longer the case for many third (or even fourth!) class European citizens from Romania and Bulgaria.
Less and less welcome in Britain, Romanians and Bulgarians have been the target of a smear campaign lately.

They steal the jobs of Brits, they overburden the social security system and they generally cause a mess that Britan would be better off without.
By the beginning of next year, the restrictions on the UK job market for Romanians and Bulgarians should be lifted, and tabloids are aghast with this perspective.

But they felt the same in late 2006, before Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU. And the hordes of unwanted immigrants didn’t plunder Britain, did they?

It is not this group of underprivileged immigrants – the target of prejudice just like the Irish workers were in Victorian Britain – that would make the UK’s situation much worse.

Sadly, even for flagbearers of democracy like Great Britain it is easier to put the blame on various scapegoats, rather than uproot the true ills of society which are of a moral nature.

[For all the posts on this blog go to/Pentru toate postările de pe acest blog mergi la: Contents/Cuprins]


Anonymous said...

I can't comment on the level of racism in Brighton or whether this has increased in recent times. However, many in Britain are feeling the squeeze and there will be more people with a lot less money to live on next year after welfare reform. The myth that benefit claimants are scroungers is on the increase, supported by government rhetoric, which no doubt extends to racist views about people 'taking our jobs'.


MunteanUK said...

Dear Clare,

The sad fact that "there will be more people with a lot less money," and the immigration scaremongering which is so dear to several Brtish media and political leaders are not good omen.

Lacking other 'successes' (given the troubled times the whole world is been put through), leaders in goverment (anywhere, not just in Britain) often try to create a suitable 'public enemy' and wage war against it.

Will migrants from Romania and Bulgaria fit that role this time?!