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  #141  
Old 01.10.2011, 12:33
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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No, they dislike all foreigners.. I am Dutch, white and they kind of "like" us more than others but it won't help you. They steal, are nasty and think of themselves as superior people. They will give each immigrant the jobs they don't like themselves, so you will always have a Swiss boss or if you are lucky work for an international organization. They don't discriminate so much on color (like the US) but on country (more European way of discriminating) Anyway, I never lived in a place with such nasty under the skin behaviour. The funny thing, they all vote SVP (anti immigrant party) and then marry a Filipino. Spoke with many people and the Swiss are perverse, nasty and without any self reflection is my conclusion. I am here until January and can not wait to go away.
I'd leave "yesterday" if I was you.
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  #142  
Old 01.10.2011, 20:28
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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No, they dislike all foreigners.. I am Dutch, white and they kind of "like" us more than others but it won't help you. They steal, are nasty and think of themselves as superior people. They will give each immigrant the jobs they don't like themselves, so you will always have a Swiss boss or if you are lucky work for an international organization. They don't discriminate so much on color (like the US) but on country (more European way of discriminating) Anyway, I never lived in a place with such nasty under the skin behaviour. The funny thing, they all vote SVP (anti immigrant party) and then marry a Filipino. Spoke with many people and the Swiss are perverse, nasty and without any self reflection is my conclusion. I am here until January and can not wait to go away.
Being from Holland, I can confirm that the Dutch do this in their own country as well...
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  #143  
Old 01.10.2011, 20:55
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

What I found a bit of paradoxical is that the SVP is very strong among the farmers, but farmers do employ cheap labour from abroad to work their fields.

As an advanced economy, that is exactly the kind of labour you don't want to import. You want to import the crops, not the people who work the land.

Regarding the op question about white & non-white. Yes, there is a bias in favour of whities and anyone who neglects this is just not touching reality. In a way it is a natural bias. When someone looks more like "us", whatever that is.
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  #144  
Old 02.10.2011, 10:18
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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I haven't had any in your face racism......
Respect, very well observed. Excellent analysis.
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  #145  
Old 02.10.2011, 11:06
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

7 page thread and nobody complains about GE-NE-RA-LI-ZA-TIONS ?

No, the Swiss population is not racist. No, "Swiss" are not racists. There are racists in Switzerland, as much as any place else, the same as in the US. Same as in Spain. Same as in Argentina.

I have never been discriminated against (being caucasian, perhaps), and I have heard quite a few bad experiences about my non-white colleagues (e.g. having a VERY hard time getting a flat application approved, getting help in shops, etc.). This is a good indication that there is some racism around. But then again, I have seen and felt the exact same treatment in other countries I have lived before. Good examples:
1) When I lived in California, people were "relieved" when they heard my last name was Norwegian, and my latin-sounding first name didn't actually mean I was Mexican. Too often have I heard the "Aaaahhhhh" when I explained my European background.
2) In Spain they coined a term for South American immigrants. They are discriminated against, no matter what their immigration status or reasons are. An illegal immigrant, a legal immigrant taxi driver, a dentist...they are all "sudacas".
3) In Argentina, all "native" looking people are looked down and discriminated. There's a plethora of names and insults for Bolivians, Paraguaians and Peruvians.

I wished we stopped some of the generalizations we get so often in threads like this one quicker. It's very insulting for the natives and simply wrong from the beginning. Sorry about the long rant, but I just can't stand these pre-conceptions from disgruntled fellow expats that Swiss are "far worse" in any field than any other place else.
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  #146  
Old 02.10.2011, 12:13
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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7 page thread and nobody complains about GE-NE-RA-LI-ZA-TIONS ?

No, the Swiss population is not racist. No, "Swiss" are not racists. There are racists in Switzerland, as much as any place else, the same as in the US. Same as in Spain. Same as in Argentina.

I have never been discriminated against (being caucasian, perhaps), and I have heard quite a few bad experiences about my non-white colleagues (e.g. having a VERY hard time getting a flat application approved, getting help in shops, etc.). This is a good indication that there is some racism around. But then again, I have seen and felt the exact same treatment in other countries I have lived before. Good examples:
1) When I lived in California, people were "relieved" when they heard my last name was Norwegian, and my latin-sounding first name didn't actually mean I was Mexican. Too often have I heard the "Aaaahhhhh" when I explained my European background.
2) In Spain they coined a term for South American immigrants. They are discriminated against, no matter what their immigration status or reasons are. An illegal immigrant, a legal immigrant taxi driver, a dentist...they are all "sudacas".
3) In Argentina, all "native" looking people are looked down and discriminated. There's a plethora of names and insults for Bolivians, Paraguaians and Peruvians.

I wished we stopped some of the generalizations we get so often in threads like this one quicker. It's very insulting for the natives and simply wrong from the beginning. Sorry about the long rant, but I just can't stand these pre-conceptions from disgruntled fellow expats that Swiss are "far worse" in any field than any other place else.

What you said is true...:

1) You are not a visible minority
2) discrimination is usually not a global/general thing. My girlfriend's father doesn't like Germans or Muslims (end of discussion)...but French, blacks, etc are okay with him (as long as they are Christian, preferably Catholic).

I've lived in Texas, had an old white neighbor who had no issue with black people and hated Mexicans with a passion. Strange thing is his wife was Mexican-American, but she was "Tejano", the Mexicans who lived there since Texas became a state, her white also hated the "border jumpers", who she did not feel were "her people".

My point is that your experience is not the experience of all, it is just your experience, and saying people are "racist" or whatever, doesn't say very much.

Racist against who? How do you know this? If you are experiencing racism, what is your background? If you are a black American and you feel there is no issue here, but a Ghanian does, is the black American stupid, oblivious, brainwashed, lying? No. Maybe he is treated different or comes into contact with those who don't see him as a "fraudulent refugee coming to steal Swiss tax money"...so the issue is not necessarily "race".

The situation is far more nuanced than "0 or 1", "yes or no".

I honestly think if you are a guy who doesn't stand out here in a crowd you should understand that your experience is not the same as a Turk or a Ghanian. The Turk or Ghanian should understand his experience is likely not the same as the German.

You are right there is racism and discrimination in every nation on earth.

I guess what matters on these type of boards is who it is directed at and the degree. That varies by country, even region within country.

When I see polls in Switzerland of least liked ethnicity, Germans are usually on top. :-) There is a thread or two about that in on this board as well. I know a couple of German who can confirm that, but neither of them associate with Swiss people or care what they think, they are about the money.
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  #147  
Old 02.10.2011, 12:45
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

I am white, and don't seem to have any problems until I open my mouth. A lady at the train station asked me something in Swiss German about the train times the other day, to which I said (in german) that I was sorry, I didn't speak much german, and did my best puppy dog eye, "I'm sorry" face, and she waved her hand across her face, grunted at me, and walked off! I wouldn't say I look typically swiss, but am pale and blonde??

I do find though....particuly when I am at the train station, a lot of swiss people give a very wide berth to anyone of African looking decent....which I don't think is acceptable, BUT on the other hand, I have had a slightly worrying encounter with a man of african decent at the train station who followed me all the way down into the bike area, kept asking me if he could come home with me, and the stood behind my bike so I couldn't get it out (it was about 11pm and I was the only one down in that area, and as a young (ish) lady in my mid twenties, I felt very worried). When I asked him to move he said not unless he could come home with me.....then thankfully someone else walked around the corner, he moved out the way and I made my escape!

This wasn't the first time I had been approached at the train station by someone of a non-white ethnicity, although this was the first time that I had felt so worried.....

I am by no means racist, many of my friends from back in the UK are African, and Indian, but if Swiss people have had those types of experiences with a non white, non swiss, then it just adds to their already wary views of them I guess.....
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Old 02.10.2011, 12:56
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

Oh come on!
There must be quite a few young women who have been harassed by blokes, but it has absolutely nothing to do with racism.
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Old 02.10.2011, 13:07
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

How many times do you think women get approached and hassled by swiss men?? Let me think about that for me since I have been here......well, um, none actually! How many times do you think women get approached by someone of a different ethnicity (who ARE auslanders....and not swiss) let me think about that for a moment for me....................hmmmm, well I can count 5 occasions in the last 2 or 3 months??
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Old 02.10.2011, 13:17
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

It has been 4 months since moving from london, I am Asian and I am already experiencing the strange behavior or its just me.While walking in to offices I see eye brows raised, shoulders shrugged,stared at and mumblings. I am already missing London.Anyways have to get used to it. By the way I m fresh graduate with Masters degree from England and yet struggling to find a job for myself as everyone is asking for experience and fluency in Deutsch. Any advice.
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Old 02.10.2011, 13:36
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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How many times do you think women get approached and hassled by swiss men?? Let me think about that for me since I have been here......well, um, none actually! How many times do you think women get approached by someone of a different ethnicity (who ARE auslanders....and not swiss) let me think about that for a moment for me....................hmmmm, well I can count 5 occasions in the last 2 or 3 months??
My daughter was harassed by a Swiss bloke only last month in Champery.
He told her he was Swiss when he was trying to impress her with his knowledge of English.
He followed her around, talking 'at' her for over half-an-hour........until her husband turned up in reply to her phone call for help.
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Old 02.10.2011, 13:38
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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I am white, and don't seem to have any problems until I open my mouth. A lady at the train station asked me something in Swiss German about the train times the other day, to which I said (in german) that I was sorry, I didn't speak much german, and did my best puppy dog eye, "I'm sorry" face, and she waved her hand across her face, grunted at me, and walked off! I wouldn't say I look typically swiss, but am pale and blonde??

I do find though....particuly when I am at the train station, a lot of swiss people give a very wide berth to anyone of African looking decent....which I don't think is acceptable, BUT on the other hand, I have had a slightly worrying encounter with a man of african decent at the train station who followed me all the way down into the bike area, kept asking me if he could come home with me, and the stood behind my bike so I couldn't get it out (it was about 11pm and I was the only one down in that area, and as a young (ish) lady in my mid twenties, I felt very worried). When I asked him to move he said not unless he could come home with me.....then thankfully someone else walked around the corner, he moved out the way and I made my escape!

This wasn't the first time I had been approached at the train station by someone of a non-white ethnicity, although this was the first time that I had felt so worried.....

I am by no means racist, many of my friends from back in the UK are African, and Indian, but if Swiss people have had those types of experiences with a non white, non swiss, then it just adds to their already wary views of them I guess.....
One man of African decent...

I had once a crazy black woman who tried to burn me with a hair curler. She scared the hell out of me! ONE woman, ONE time.

Once I was attacked by a drunk turkish guy. Once, ONE guy. Once, I was insulted by a french woman, ONCE. This is how someone should make a differenciation between ALL and ONE.

Those who think one experience here and there is a generalisation of what a whole population is, are stupid, uneducated and ignorant. Time to open their eyes and learn something about the real world.
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  #153  
Old 02.10.2011, 14:13
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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I haven't had any in your face racism. I get stared at a lot on the S-Bahn coming from the Valley of Darkness (Schwyz). I get started at in any rural place (well all Switzerland is rural to me, but you know, the recognized cities). I live in Zug, not so bad, mostly old people. I've lived in Asia before 1.5 years in Shanghai and Japan. The staring here is more like Japan (but MORE SO) than China, where everyone stares all the time in every situation.

The difference with China is that when I speak Mandarin Chinese people will immediately come over smiling and try to listen to me or talk to me, even in a large city like Shanghai. When I speak High German here only the person I'm speaking to pays attention. In St. Gallen they look annoyed and try to speak HIgh German with me (my High German sucks I am aware), in Zug they want to switch to English (although often their English is not much better than my German, which does not help me learn German at all).


Comparing China and Japan to here.

I would say that Japanese people just don't stare much because they are more used to seeing black people, due to the American military presence for the last 60 years. Even in rural areas people rarely stare. Most people are thankful that a foreigner even bothers to learn Japanese, because few do. They are generally more friendly in any case, although getting to "really know them" passed their "public face" is hard.


Chinese people can be rude as hell depending on who they think you are or just by individual choice. However if you speak Mandarin they typically are quite polite and curious, because it is so odd for them that a black man is speaking Mandarin. I'm also 189cm, so they often wonder if I play basketball (younger guys love the NBA). Old people are usually the most friendly to be honest, followed by the young. The Middle Age are usually quite rude. Some say due to history (it's complicated...cultural revolution and such).

Racism in Asia can be more blunt and in your face, but rarely "hateful" it is more simple..."sorry you ain't us...never going to be...you're a FOREIGNER...this is for us, not for you". There are no skinheads, neoNazis, etc.

DUring the 2002 World Cup I was in Japan and I was refused entrance to a bar, although I had been there several times and knew the owner, because "foreigners will get drunk and destroy the place...due to soccer". I told the door guy that I am American and don't care. He told me that he can't let me in because he would have to let in all the foreigners (meaning non-Asians). He wanted to be fair in his racism. I had also been refused entrance to night clubs in Japan, a hot spring, but no one ever even looked remotely hateful and even spoke extremely polite, apologizing to me for them being racist.

Also, I knew a Korean there who was treated far far worse than I had ever been treated as a big black guy. Koreans are almost treated like Gypsies would be in Hungary or Bulgaria.

Switzerland is quite different. Never been denied entry to anywhere. They are educated enough that they know this is "beyond the pale", but they have other ways to be a-holes.

Swiss people, to me, are generally just cold when and reserved when they can't speak Swiss German. It seem to me (and my girlfriend is Swiss as well) that most of them have a hard time dealing with things they are not expecting, their mind-set is not flexible, they have strong stereotypes, they are not generally intellectually curious people, and so a 189cm black guy is probably potentially a free-loading refugee or dangerous.

I'm 100% sure that most people think I'm exactly that, some refugee African. Some recognize that I'm not, due to my accent speaking German or if we speak English. They usually become more friendly. So that is not racism, it is classicism.


Specific situations: People being rude and ignoring me at shops, restaurants or just not speaking when I say hello to them (usually in Swiss German or High German and all the other polite speech) but when a local says the same thing they speak and smile. I've had this happen several times, but in reality, having been here almost 7 months (with a 2 months break)...I guess it has only happened 5% of the time or so, but you remember those times.

It tends to happen most when I am by myself, not with a white person (like my girlfriend).

I mostly hang out with a Sicilian guy from Milan, so I think people assume he is an Arab and I'm a black refugee. He has witnessed some rude treatment himself.

Also, the staring, it often not a curious staring, I know what that looks like from living in Asia. Here it is almost like "what the f**k are you doing here?"...happens a lot at train stations, sometime in my neighborhood. Sometimes I walk up to those people and say quite loudly "Gruetzi" to be annoying. They usually mumble something and look away.

Are Swiss people more racist to non-white foreigners?

Yes, probably, because they can tell who they are. Visible minorities are easy targets. My Polish friend often gets treated like crap in Schwyz, but not on sight, when he opens his mouth.

I know a German guy from Hamburg who has been treated not so nice, but there is general anti-German sentiment in Switzerland with some folks, because the Germans are generally considered "rude and arrogant". LOL I think the same about many Swiss. The Germans I know, but for one, seem quite a bit friendlier than the Swiss.

Are Swiss more racist than most nations, more than Americans, whatever?

I think Swiss people are not more "hateful" but more xenophobic, there is a difference, and if you accept that many (if not most) Swiss are just rich hillbillies (yes I know that will be controversial, but I don't care), you can very rationally understand there behavior. They are not sophisticated (educated in the art of being fake) as other nationalities, they are not as sensitive to minorities (what it is like to be a minority). Some of this is not even xenophobia, it is sheer ignorance. It is what it is, you can accept that or move on.

I don't plan to stay here more than another year, if that...so I don't really care. It is not the worse place in the world, definitely not. I know of better places though. If I have to deal with racist/nationalist/bigots...for whatever reason...i prefer the Asian kind. It is less confusing. They usually don't pretend. If they don't want you around you know it quick. That's fine with me.

Malcolm X said: "I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he's wrong. Than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil. "

The people who deal with the racism/xenophobia the worse tend to be white. Why? In my experience, ESPECIALLY IN ASIA, but also in Switzerland, they are used to being the majority where they come from. They are not used to their appearance being a negative (some might be used to their accent being or some other social marker, but don't expect it in a foreign country) and they often react in an outrageous fashion. Most blacks who grow up in the West, expect some racism.
Q Are you on a mission her in Switzerland ??Racism exist all over the world ,there are always idiots which practice this .I personally have worked and traveled true out the north American Continent .There is no comparisment between CH and USA.Apple and Oranges
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  #154  
Old 02.10.2011, 14:23
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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How many times do you think women get approached and hassled by swiss men?? Let me think about that for me since I have been here......well, um, none actually! How many times do you think women get approached by someone of a different ethnicity (who ARE auslanders....and not swiss) let me think about that for a moment for me....................hmmmm, well I can count 5 occasions in the last 2 or 3 months??
I don't appreciate being hassled by any man of any nationality or colour (including my own) in any country and, talking from experience, Swiss men are well capable of doing that too. It ain't just a foreigners in Switzerland phenomenon.

From the Swiss experiences, whatever their motivations have been - racial, sexual or whatever - I couldn't care less on the basis of it's their problem not mine. All I know is it annoys the hell out of me having to resort to uttering the most unladylike expletives imaginable in public and very loudly indeed to get my point across but if needs must then so it shall be...
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Old 02.10.2011, 15:20
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

There is a big gender discrimination i this world .Wile so many women get hassled on by man .I on the other hand have almost never been hassled on by a women .I demand to be more hassled on by women.

Last edited by cannut; 02.10.2011 at 16:26.
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Old 02.10.2011, 15:21
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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There is a big gender discrimination i this world .Wile so many women get hassled on by man .I on the other side have almost never been hassled on by a women .I demand to be more hassled on by women.
Come up and see me sometime
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Old 02.10.2011, 15:27
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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Come up and see me sometime
Got any beer at home ??
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Old 02.10.2011, 15:29
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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Got any beer at home ??
I'll send my husband out to buy some
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Old 02.10.2011, 15:35
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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I'll send my husband out to buy some
How big is he ??
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Old 02.10.2011, 17:14
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

It seems clear that some people react differently to different groups of 'foreigners' - and colour is just one of the many influence factors. In CH, some of the worst racism is towards a group who are definitely white, and from the Balkans or other parts of Eastern Europe. In the US another group of non blacks, the Mexicans. In Germany the Turks. Sadly, whenever a group or groups become/s a substantial proportion of the population - then some of the natives see them as a threat. Of course, the propaganda of some of the political groups, not just in CH, actually encourage that. One thing they should do in all schools is to make-up and dress local kids to look like the major group locally seen as 'the problem' so that they can experience what it feels like- the best education kids could get to help them understand. I remember seeing a documentary about a group of German children being made up and dressed to look like some of the local Turkish children - they never ever forgot what it felt like after the reaction of many of the Germans towards them.

I've never ever suffered from racism in any shape or form- and I cringe when people all over the world say 'oh you are Swiss, how nice, cute, great'.
Or when people say 'oh but you are NOT a foreigner, not really.'.

Last edited by Odile; 02.10.2011 at 18:11.
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