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  #61  
Old 12.07.2007, 01:47
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

It's pretty standard for asylum seekers across Europe to not be allowed to work up until their situation has been regularised, otherwise you would have even more people living poor countries to seek jobs in the rich countries and hoping their asylum claim will take a long time to be processed.
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  #62  
Old 13.07.2007, 22:55
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

My personal experience tells me that it depends in which canton you live in: I have live in both german-swiss part and french swiss part and I could feel more stress in the first one dealing with regards, moody people and the feeling that someone was always looking at what I was doing...
now It ALL changes in the french part... ppl here is very friendly and also there are MORE kids on this side which makes it easier for me to spend nice lovely days in this region... besides some grunchy ppl who live here BUT are swiss german! OH but attention! I have known also VERY NICE friends in Bern, ZH and THun who may be the exception to the rule! I do think sun is the reason why ppl in swiss german parts are mostly unhappy...they need SUN!
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  #63  
Old 15.07.2007, 23:16
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

Interesting thread and sadly enough (I may get bashed for this one) I see the Swiss have not come off their high horse just yet. Yes I've been there on that horse.
Three words stood out as I was reading all the posts "Racism, prejudice, classcism", being a white Swiss I would tend to lean towards 'classcism' being a huge part of it. Have also been on the receiving end of racism in other countries.

It was way back when the dinosaur's roamed this earth when I did my apprentice as a Barber. To make a little extra money, in my free time I worked at the beiz next door. Here I am white, swiss and as someone had mentioned the stammtisch people figured I must be a hooker by the way they were feeling me up.
It's all about how you react to the rudeness. When I had enough I simply told them that I was not a piano to be touched whenever they feel like it.
To test me further one of them came up with the great idea..
"Okay you, I bet you don't even know what INRI stands for written on the Cross" I shut him up quickly by giving him the answer and letting him know not all young people are ignorant, hookers or stupid.

From that day on I vowed to never treat anyone different, no matter of what skin color or race they are. Sadly this is not so for everyone and that is life.

My standing up and not letting people walk all over me has helped me plenty to make friends.

Nova Scotia as any other part of the world has it's people who think they are high above anyone else.
Worked as a barber and of course I am the "right" skin color (I'll get to why I say this). The elder of the town had been talking about how pretty soon there will not be any 'pure' Canadians left with all the immigrants.
Silently I listened, when they finished I opened mouth inserted shoe and will never stop doing this.

Looked the fellas straight in the face and said as their chins dropped to the floor......"Well! I guess I am lucky to be the right skin color then because I am an immigrant. And by the way I am also very happy to hear you all are so proud of your German, Irish, French etc. ancestry"

My point is whom ever you are, from where ever you are stand up and don't let them treat you badly. If they don't stop they are not worth your friendship.

Make friends, attempt your best at the language, ask for their help (Swiss love to be helpful) and remember one bad apple does not make the whole basket rotten.

I apologize for the bad treatment anyone gets from my Countrymen/women and for this being so long.
Maybe just maybe they are just as scared as any of us in a foreign Country.
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  #64  
Old 16.07.2007, 00:30
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

I know that this is probably not recommended, but I am going to skip everything that has already been written in this thread to add two observed occurrences from this weekend.

Yesterday my wife witnessed a black man being asked, very impolitely, for his "Uswies" (Ausweis / i.d card or passport) in Zürich on the way to work.

Today at Zürich airport I was sitting in the waiting area eating my dinner. The Kantonal Polizei (cantonal police) walked by -- as they always do. They suddenly stopped in front of the man sitting across from me -- he was South Asian -- and asked him "Uswies bitte" ("May we see your i.d. / passport please"). They didn't approach anyone else, and I have never seen them approach another person before. Then again, there are usually only white people in this area -- I typically hear more Brits talking amongst themselves than Swiss or any other nationality for that matter. I could barely believe it! The man looked very upstanding, was wearing a Google T-Shirt, and ended up speaking perfect English with them. After 5-10 minutes and quite a few questions they walked onwards. I told a Serb co-worker about this and she was also rather shocked.

These two events, during the past two days, really confirm my own personal view -- the Swiss really do treat non-white foreigners differently. This might not be the case during the permit-approval process, but in real-life situations it really seems to be so.
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Old 16.07.2007, 00:41
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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These two events, during the past two days, really confirm my own personal view -- the Swiss really do treat non-white foreigners differently. This might not be the case during the permit-approval process, but in real-life situations it really seems to be so.
Racial profiling happens ALL the time in Switzerland. The police and government encourage it. Especially at the border and on public transport. The worst thing of it is, nobody helps the foreigners out and everyone is reluctant to discuss the racial profiling. Even the police don't apologize or say "thank you" after the wrongly interrogating someone.

For all the black people in Switzerland, when was the last time you saw a black police officer>? i never have. i have never seen an ethnic police officer either.

but i always tell the police to say "thank you" and i have even yelled at them for racial profiling. i know its bad, but society that accepts it is even worse.

dont get me wrong switzerland is a great place. but they need to wake-up and realize a lot of their wealth comes from foreigners and tourists.
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  #66  
Old 16.07.2007, 00:45
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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Racial profiling happens ALL the time in Switzerland. The police and government encourage it. Especially at the border and on public transport. The worst thing of it is, nobody helps the foreigners out and everyone is reluctant to discuss the racial profiling. Even the police don't apologize or say "thank you" after the wrongly interrogating someone.

For all the black people in Switzerland, when was the last time you saw a black police officer>? i never have. i have never seen an ethnic police officer either.

but i always tell the police to say "thank you" and i have even yelled them for racial profiling. i know its bad, but society that accepts it is even worse.

dont get me wrong switzerland is a great place. but they need to wake-up and realize a lot of their wealth comes from foreigners and tourists.
It does really happen -- I agree entirely. This was already beyond the passport control at the airport and was in the area of Zürich main station. In terms of the first, I really do not understand it at all. He had to have passed through a passport-control stand in order to be there in the first place!!!

Edit: Oh, and one other point -- he'd have needed to pass through passport control again to have re-entered Switzerland. This was entirely beyond explanation and was blatant racism in my opinion. Even now, I can barely believe that the police could have been so blatant.

Last edited by spmull06; 16.07.2007 at 00:48. Reason: Addition
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  #67  
Old 16.07.2007, 01:52
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

It's interesting to hear these views. I found in my travels (I travel extensively into Central Eastern Europe on business) that the passport control people are a fairly prejudiced lot as well. Many of my colleagues have mentioned that when you stand in a passport queue, make sure that there are no Africans or Asians in the queue in front of you. If there are, nine times out of ten they spend a lot longer being 'checked out' than whites do.

Most of this would be easy to put down to ignorance & prejudice. In fact you could say that many of the police & officials behave with the 'arrogance of ignorance'.

I have not experienced any of this in Switzerland but then I have only been here 2 months.
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  #68  
Old 16.07.2007, 02:39
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

As a non-white person, even whilst travelling on a Swiss ID card, I've had my fair share of unpleasant or uncomfortable comments from immigration control at Zurich airport that just wouldn't happen in the UK .

However, in February, after a "Gruetzi wohl" the officer then said welcome home!! You'd never get that in the UK either and I was walking tall into the baggage hall .

The problem is that there are plenty of the former types and they seem to be officially tolerated rather than taken to task and unfortunately far too few of the latter types.

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For all the black people in Switzerland, when was the last time you saw a black police officer>? i never have. i have never seen an ethnic police officer either.
And that goes a long way to explaining the lack of non-white police officers etc. In some senses they would have to be crazy to join and probably get a hard time where they do join. In my view the Swiss police are where the British police were in the 1970s - whilst many police officers will be fine, it's not exactly going to harm your career if you display racist attitudes and behaviours.

Last edited by Nairda; 16.07.2007 at 02:41. Reason: Can't spell 'too'.
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  #69  
Old 20.07.2007, 21:14
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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I know that this is probably not recommended, but I am going to skip everything that has already been written in this thread to add two observed occurrences from this weekend.

Yesterday my wife witnessed a black man being asked, very impolitely, for his "Uswies" (Ausweis / i.d card or passport) in Zürich on the way to work.

Today at Zürich airport I was sitting in the waiting area eating my dinner. The Kantonal Polizei (cantonal police) walked by -- as they always do. They suddenly stopped in front of the man sitting across from me -- he was South Asian -- and asked him "Uswies bitte" ("May we see your i.d. / passport please"). They didn't approach anyone else, and I have never seen them approach another person before. Then again, there are usually only white people in this area -- I typically hear more Brits talking amongst themselves than Swiss or any other nationality for that matter. I could barely believe it! The man looked very upstanding, was wearing a Google T-Shirt, and ended up speaking perfect English with them. After 5-10 minutes and quite a few questions they walked onwards. I told a Serb co-worker about this and she was also rather shocked.

These two events, during the past two days, really confirm my own personal view -- the Swiss really do treat non-white foreigners differently. This might not be the case during the permit-approval process, but in real-life situations it really seems to be so.
This is not unique to Switzerland. I have seen similar things happen on French trains - it was always obvious who in the carriage would be targeted for a search. But one has to remember it only takes one bad apple to spoil the lot...how many immigrants from the African continent for example have landed on European shores this year? - I think one can be sure that they are not arriving with all their papers in order...So, although it is not nice to be repeatedly targeted and asked for your papers, as long as you have everything in order and the people you deal with are polite, then I think the fault lies not with the Swiss, but rather the people who have not followed the rules and enter countries illegaly.
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  #70  
Old 21.07.2007, 00:11
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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This is not unique to Switzerland. I have seen similar things happen on French trains - it was always obvious who in the carriage would be targeted for a search. But one has to remember it only takes one bad apple to spoil the lot...how many immigrants from the African continent for example have landed on European shores this year? - I think one can be sure that they are not arriving with all their papers in order...So, although it is not nice to be repeatedly targeted and asked for your papers, as long as you have everything in order and the people you deal with are polite, then I think the fault lies not with the Swiss, but rather the people who have not followed the rules and enter countries illegaly.
Yes, but like I said before -- this man was in the airport, beyond passport control. To enter this section he'd have either needed to have just flown to Zürich or have passed through Swiss passport control into the terminal -- I have an I.D. badge that gives me access to this secure area (I had a background check done in Bern some months ago). In order to reenter Switzerland he would have been required to reenter Switzerland by going through passport control again.

If he had been in this terminal at say 10 pm at night, I could understand this happening. However, this was at around 1 pm or so! He looked as if he had just entered the airport -- i.e. entirely fresh and well attired -- and was simply in the *waiting* area for flights!
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  #71  
Old 21.07.2007, 10:26
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

Like I said before, stupid people who want to prejudice innocent others are all over the place.

An example - 4 people caught on video stealing a motorcycle (these people had been spotted doing this before and had been reported to the police who did nothing about it). If I recall correctly it was Superbike magazine in the UK who set up video equipment and filmed the theft. Took it to the police who were now forced to do something. While these thugs were in custody, bike theft in that area dropped some 60%. They were released with suspended sentences as it was a first offence.

In the same court, the owner of a motorcycle shop was fined £4000 for selling visors (the plastic screen on the helmet) that were tinted. His retail licence was also put under review and he lost his right to earn a living because of this.

The thugs were white and the owner of the shop Asian as I understand it... So lets not pretend it's only here.
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  #72  
Old 21.07.2007, 10:54
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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Like I said before, stupid people who want to prejudice innocent others are all over the place.

An example - 4 people caught on video stealing a motorcycle (these people had been spotted doing this before and had been reported to the police who did nothing about it). If I recall correctly it was Superbike magazine in the UK who set up video equipment and filmed the theft. Took it to the police who were now forced to do something. While these thugs were in custody, bike theft in that area dropped some 60%. They were released with suspended sentences as it was a first offence.

In the same court, the owner of a motorcycle shop was fined £4000 for selling visors (the plastic screen on the helmet) that were tinted. His retail licence was also put under review and he lost his right to earn a living because of this.

The thugs were white and the owner of the shop Asian as I understand it... So lets not pretend it's only here.
Writing examples as above without a single link and reference to support them makes you argument weak to the point of useless. As for the final paragraph, not only do we nothing but your word for this, you seem to confuse the implementation of criminal and civil law. Of course shopkeepers are very easy to prosecute compared to thieves - and skin colour has nothing to do with it...
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  #73  
Old 21.07.2007, 11:18
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

I agree with AbFab on that one - look at how much trouble people got into for refusing to sell in metric a few years back. Hardly criminal, but easy to prosecute.
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  #74  
Old 21.07.2007, 11:44
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

I too agree with AbFab - the shop owner, due to his honesty, was an easy prosecution case and I believe had he been white, the result would be the same. The youths stealing the bike is harder to prove and also going to get the typical community service orders handed down.

The airport example does not shock me. If that happened in the UK, would you say it is racist? Or realistic? Because the 7/7 bombers, the failed 21/7 bombers and the recent car "bombers" all were of Asian origin, were they not? Hardly racial profiling - and if you could stretch to claiming that you must ask yourself WHO IS TO BLAME? The cops? Or the wrong-doers.

Same goes in France for the Algerian immigrants - targeted (yes often wrongly) because their countrymen were often one-man crime waves.

I'm not saying it's right but crime detection and prevention is a form of statistical analysis. What odds would you get on the next UK terrorist having milky-white skin? Long odds?
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  #75  
Old 21.07.2007, 14:05
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

My chinese friend from Australia visited me a few weeks ago. While he was wandering around in Zurich, taking photos, a man came up to him and sprayed black paint on his face (using an aerosol can), shouted something at him (I was not there, and my friend does not speak swiss german) and calmly walked away. The black paint stained his baseball cap, eye glasses, and face. My friend was shocked to say the least... Now I'm not sure if this was a racist attack, or perhaps the man was deranged...it certainly changed my friends view of Switzerland
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  #76  
Old 21.07.2007, 14:29
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

That's horryfying. No chance of the t*** being caught on CCTV?
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  #77  
Old 21.07.2007, 19:17
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

The man sounds deranged, this could happen in any place in any country. I hope your friend will visit again, the chances of him running into someone with a mental problem again, are probably not very high.
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  #78  
Old 21.07.2007, 19:38
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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My chinese friend from Australia visited me a few weeks ago. While he was wandering around in Zurich, taking photos, a man came up to him and sprayed black paint on his face (using an aerosol can), shouted something at him (I was not there, and my friend does not speak swiss german) and calmly walked away. The black paint stained his baseball cap, eye glasses, and face. My friend was shocked to say the least... Now I'm not sure if this was a racist attack, or perhaps the man was deranged...it certainly changed my friends view of Switzerland
Was this reported to the police? If not it most certainly should have been.

Thinking this through who walks about Zurich with a black aerosol spray can on them? There are a number of loonies in town - most are harmless - like the near-naked roller skater and 'Lucifer' the tram babler. But there is one who kicks parked bikes and screams at them. Watch out for him...
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Old 21.07.2007, 23:23
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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Was this reported to the police? If not it most certainly should have been.

Thinking this through who walks about Zurich with a black aerosol spray can on them? There are a number of loonies in town - most are harmless - like the near-naked roller skater and 'Lucifer' the tram babler. But there is one who kicks parked bikes and screams at them. Watch out for him...
Funny you should mention Lucifer AbFab, i have experienced him on numerous occasions. He came up in a conversation at my home and one Swiss women in particular seemed to think he should be held under lock and key. Needles to say the discussion became heated as to what extent someone warranted to be locked up. The guy with the spray can should be looked into, it warrants more than tolerance, on the same note where does individuality and self-expression melt into discomfort for others? Who has the say?

(maybe i will regret this post tomorrow)
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Old 22.07.2007, 00:45
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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Yes, but like I said before -- this man was in the airport, beyond passport control. To enter this section he'd have either needed to have just flown to Zürich or have passed through Swiss passport control into the terminal -- I have an I.D. badge that gives me access to this secure area (I had a background check done in Bern some months ago). In order to reenter Switzerland he would have been required to reenter Switzerland by going through passport control again.

If he had been in this terminal at say 10 pm at night, I could understand this happening. However, this was at around 1 pm or so! He looked as if he had just entered the airport -- i.e. entirely fresh and well attired -- and was simply in the *waiting* area for flights!
I guess if you are working at the airport you have a better idea of security than me...but my belief is that in spite of what the airports want us to believe, airport security is still only as good as the people responsible for it and that it can be breached...could it be said that the police were watching for someone in transit?? I can´t see that the time of day makes a difference. We will never know I guess....
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