Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Not Okay

For all the things the Swiss do right they still have some very backwards and sometimes, downright offensive, behaviors.

One such behavior that I have unfortunately witnessed more times than I'd like to remember is blatant racism. Yes, the Swiss are neutral but their "neutrality" doesn't seem to reach all corners of this little country. Much like Arizona [unfortunately] the Swiss police are "allowed" to stop anyone at any time and demand to see their living permit/passport. I have never been asked to show my proper documentation but I have seen numerous people get stopped by the police and have to show the proper documentation due only to the color of their skin. Yesterday Kristina and I were enjoying a couple mid-afternoon beers next to the lake when a police car drives up and stop next to a park bench a ways from us. Four officers get out and go up to this man and verify that he is allowed to be in Switzerland. The person sitting next to this man on the bench didn't have to show anything. After his information was checked they got back into their vehicle and drove off. I see this often and the person who's identification they check has never, not once, been white. There are girls who come here without work permits to work for a family, but because of the color of their skin they don't have to worry about being targeted--I mean there are probably more illegal workers here who are white, but, because of their pigmentation the Swiss overlook it. It's sad that a country that does so much so well can still operate where blatant racism is encouraged.

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