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Old 30.03.2012, 13:15
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

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Can't imagine that.

German teeth normally are much better than Swiss ones,

as German tooth control and treatment is/was for free and included in basic health insurance.

And as Germans are one of the biggest immigrants group in CH, your professor is lying or an idiot.
So you are disproving the existence of a correlation by showing a correlation?
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Old 30.03.2012, 13:18
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

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A) What that EU man meant was that Swiss laws still allows initiatives to be placed which are discriminatory.
But the problem is, who decides what is deemed discriminatory? You could literally call every initiative discriminatory if you wanted to, you could just shift the line in the sand anywhere you wanted and block initiatives purely on this basis.

The EU already has a major problem with democracy, I would suggest it would be best to keep them as far away from Switzerlands direct democracy model as possible as they do see it as a direct threat (incompatible) - and one tool that stopped CH joining the EU in the first place (EU initiative).
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  #63  
Old 30.03.2012, 13:38
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

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So you are disproving the existence of a correlation by showing a correlation?


My point is that there might be a reason for having good teeth, shiny hair, good language skills or whatever, that are not linked with culture, individual behavior, mentaity or race but rather with the system itself.
If teeth care is excluded from basic insurance, so no wonder that lower income social groups have less good teeth than the other.
If car insurance and tax cut on horse power is low in CH, for sure the Swiss will drive around with bigger and stronger cars than do Italians. But I wouldn't say that the Swiss spit on nature protection because of that.


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...
Again, my sentiments are, that Switzerland is stuck in the 70s because of its lack of international relevance possibly supported by its banking secrecy.
Not totally untrue. Let's say that at least in some categories and in communication/PR CH is kind of slow, also as a result of a certain success (if you are fine, we should you change anything?). Which can be a very dangerous thing.
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Old 30.03.2012, 14:04
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

"Discrimination", "Racism", "Xenophobia" are all very emotionally and politically charged terms and, unfortunately, because of such it makes it impossible to hold rational discussion of what an influx of non-natives into a country means, what are the pros and cons of such an influx and how that influx can be managed for the benefit of all.

I see some distressing things that have emerged over the past years (and whilst my remarks are based on the UK, I am sure that they'll resonate elsewhere)
  1. A "self-loathing" amongs the "intellectual elite" for their own (Western) culture - something remarked upon by Eric Blair (George Orwell) many decades ago.
  2. Favouring the "for the good of the few" over "for the good of the many".
  3. Mistaking "positive discrimination" for fairness
  4. Adressing superficialities and not the underlying issues (PC anyone?)
  5. Going after the messenger whilst ignoring the message
The author Len Deighton made a very insightful observation in one of his books in the sixties (time of the early immigration from the Asian subcontinent into England and of the Civil Rights movement in the US) which goes along the lines of: discrimination is an economic entity, a black man could be a honoured guest in Birmingham, England but not in Birmingham Alabama, whereas a Pakistani could be an honoured guest in Birmingham Alabama, but not in Birmingham, England. Obviously this reflects that era, but money often underpins discrimination fueled by a fear that "we" will "loose out" to "them" (whichever way that discrimination goes).

I believe what grates on many, is that instead of requiring immigrants (a minority - no matter from where) to conform to the norms of the society they move into and have the contributions that the immigrant's culture can offer the host society to percolate naturally into the host country, the self-appointed elite insist that the majority must bend over backwards to accomodate the minority. Which - in the long run - is no good to either party.

I think fundamentally it all boils down to fairness and mutual acceptance. To use a (light hearted) example by way of illustration, to own a factory where a proportion of the workforce will not for cultural reasons eat peanuts and NOT offer a non-peanut based option in the canteen, is plainly stupid, crass and insensitive; but, by the same token, to ban ALL employees from enjoying peanut butter sandwiches or a satay in the canteen because a minority objects to peanuts is equally stupid, crass and insensitive (and gives rise to resentment amongst the majority).

In fairness, the majority must accept that not everyone will eat peanut butter and likewise the minority must accept that although they may believe "peanut butter is the devil's lubricant", in the society they are living in the majority do not believe that and the minority must accept it as such.

But that would be being rational....

Last edited by TrainDoctor; 30.03.2012 at 14:54.
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Old 30.03.2012, 14:08
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

Indeed. The culture of xenophobia towards anything that isn't Caucasian.
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  #66  
Old 30.03.2012, 14:18
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

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Can't imagine that.

German teeth normally are much better than Swiss ones,

as German tooth control and treatment is/was for free and included in basic health insurance.

And as Germans are one of the biggest immigrants group in CH, your professor is lying or an idiot.
You are correct that German dental health appears better than Swiss dental health and most likely attributed to the financial aspect here in CH (i.e. user pays). Although it should be noted that the swiss consume more sugar and use more cigarettes - so that shouldnt surprise anyway. See here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15646671

Just please, dont call it free , its just paid for in a different way.

However, Captain Greybeard still has a point since there are many migrant groups here in CH, not just German. He mentioned migrant groups among 'tooth decay' populations, therefore excluding Germans (who have great teeth and wouldnt be included ), still leaves plenty of other migrant groups. In other health statistics im familiar with in other countries, migrant groups are usually over represented and there are heaps of reasons i.e. socio-economic factors, different food consumption habits, genes etc etc.
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Old 30.03.2012, 14:19
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

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I can understand how difficult it could be.

But I think this whole notion of "integrating" is 95% a personal psychological issue. Nobody wears a badge that says "Integrated". They just walk it and talk it.

Assuming you know how to practice consideration and are able to reason, you should get a long fine here. As for the Swiss accepting you, I think you got that all wrong. The Swiss do not have to accept you. YOU have to accept the Swiss. The fact that you are not in jail, or on a list to be deported already indicates that they accept your presence here, or at least tolerate it.

The integration that needs to happen has less to do with Swiss society, and more to do with your own head. I suspect one root cause of this "Alienated Auslander in Switzerland Experience" is self-confidence. The alienated auslander is simply having lots of trouble and discomfort in being themselves, so they blame the Swiss.

The other 5% of the problem is a social issue. But I believe this is also brought about by the alien's lack of self-confidence. Self-confidence exudes and affects how you are perceived, and how people perceive you. It opens doors, as well as people. Try practicing it, and you might find that your experience in Switzerland can change, as well as your outlook.
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  #68  
Old 30.03.2012, 14:29
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

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I can understand how difficult it could be.

But I think this whole notion of "integrating" is 95% a personal psychological issue. Nobody wears a badge that says "Integrated". They just walk it and talk it.

Assuming you know how to practice consideration and are able to reason, you should get a long fine here. As for the Swiss accepting you, I think you got that all wrong. The Swiss do not have to accept you. YOU have to accept the Swiss. The fact that you are not in jail, or on a list to be deported already indicates that they accept your presence here, or at least tolerate it.

The integration that needs to happen has less to do with Swiss society, and more to do with your own head. I suspect one root cause of this "Alienated Auslander in Switzerland Experience" is self-confidence. The alienated auslander is simply having lots of trouble and discomfort in being themselves, so they blame the Swiss.

The other 5% of the problem is a social issue. But I believe this is also brought about by the alien's lack of self-confidence. Self-confidence exudes and affects how you are perceived, and how people perceive you. It opens doors, as well as people. Try practicing it, and you might find that your experience in Switzerland can change, as well as your outlook.
I also used to think that way. Now I wonder why the alienated auslander "is simply having lots of trouble and discomfort in being themselves".
I do not feel discriminated against, but this is because I am such a lovely, charming person.. and modest too..

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However, Captain Greybeard still has a point since there are many migrant groups here in CH, not just German. He mentioned migrant groups among 'tooth decay' populations, therefore excluding Germans (who have great teeth and wouldnt be included ), still leaves plenty of other migrant groups. In other health statistics im familiar with in other countries, migrant groups are usually over represented and there are heaps of reasons i.e. socio-economic factors, different food consumption habits, genes etc etc.
However, I suspect Captain Greybeard was not referring to the Brits (also a large group of immigrants here), who are said to have no dentists..??
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Old 30.03.2012, 15:33
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

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I can understand how difficult it could be.

But I think this whole notion of "integrating" is 95% a personal psychological issue. Nobody wears a badge that says "Integrated". They just walk it and talk it.

Assuming you know how to practice consideration and are able to reason, you should get a long fine here. As for the Swiss accepting you, I think you got that all wrong. The Swiss do not have to accept you. YOU have to accept the Swiss. The fact that you are not in jail, or on a list to be deported already indicates that they accept your presence here, or at least tolerate it.

The integration that needs to happen has less to do with Swiss society, and more to do with your own head. I suspect one root cause of this "Alienated Auslander in Switzerland Experience" is self-confidence. The alienated auslander is simply having lots of trouble and discomfort in being themselves, so they blame the Swiss.

The other 5% of the problem is a social issue. But I believe this is also brought about by the alien's lack of self-confidence. Self-confidence exudes and affects how you are perceived, and how people perceive you. It opens doors, as well as people. Try practicing it, and you might find that your experience in Switzerland can change, as well as your outlook.

Your advice works fine for a young student from another wealthy country who deals mostly with other young, open-minded students. But integration means being accepted by all (or at least most) members of a society, not just a few.

I highly doubt ''more confidence'' would've prevented me from being called a ''verdammte Ausländerin'' by an elderly gentleman annoyed with my german skills, or ''eastern european prostitute'' by someone we were trying to rent a room from, or from having a RAV worker roll her eyes in disgust at my marriage based permit, or from recruiting agents who kept trying to make me work in an eastern european Frauenfabrik, or from the elderly woman on the train who chided me for not putting away the Blick am Abend into the paper bin(it wasn't mine, I had just sat down I hadn't even noticed it across from me ) and saying to her friend after ''ugh, diese öst europische Frauen'', or from other countless irritating snide comments and actions towards me since I've been here.

I cannot, statistically, be the only one experiencing this. And the problem is that I feel lied to. I feel that since these actions and comments have been so insanely prevalent here, that Zürich couldn't possibly be the progressive, international, world-class city I was told it was. How can there be so many rude, maliciously xenophobic people??

And this is the complaint!! NOT lack of funds for foreigners, not lack of friends, not differences between the new country and the old country, BUT the perceived welcoming outward facade of a country (and not necessarily just Switzerland), and the actual behavior and actions of a country towards foreigners.

Nobody leaves family, friends, a job voluntarily to go to a country they hate and where they are hated. When individuals make such a life altering decision, they choose their new ''home'' based on what they like, based on what they want out of life, based on what language they want to learn, based on where they want to spend the rest of their lives, usually! That's what I meant when I said that ''trust me, most immigrants want to integrate''. Because most do, they chose to move to a particular country for a reason.

So no, sorry, integration does have as much to do with the society as it does with the individual. You're trying to blame just one side of it, while at the same time accusing me of being too one-sided. But when one side actively tries to integrate, it falls on the other side to accept it and to let it happen, or to not let it happen. But then if you choose the latter, you can't blame the immigrant for not integrating.

Therefore I really actually resent your condescending effort to try to explain to me the basics of ''confidence''. You can believe what you want to believe, and indeed our perceptions are shaped by our experiences. But don't try to belittle my experiences by telling me I need more confidence or that it's my fault I am experiencing xenophobia even after I've lived here for 2 years, speak the language, work in the system and actively try to participate in the culture
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Old 30.03.2012, 15:41
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

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However, I suspect Captain Greybeard was not referring to the Brits (also a large group of immigrants here), who are said to have no dentists..??
I dont follow, but its not important. The British number 12th highest as an immigrant group in Switzerland, numbering approx 32-33K.
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Old 30.03.2012, 16:04
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

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Your advice works fine for a young student from another wealthy country who deals mostly with other young, open-minded students. But integration means being accepted by all (or at least most) members of a society, not just a few.

I highly doubt ''more confidence'' would've prevented me from being called a ''verdammte Ausländerin'' by an elderly gentleman annoyed with my german skills, or ''eastern european prostitute'' by someone we were trying to rent a room from, or from having a RAV worker roll her eyes in disgust at my marriage based permit, or from recruiting agents who kept trying to make me work in an eastern european Frauenfabrik, or from the elderly woman on the train who chided me for not putting away the Blick am Abend into the paper bin(it wasn't mine, I had just sat down I hadn't even noticed it across from me ) and saying to her friend after ''ugh, diese öst europische Frauen'', or from other countless irritating snide comments and actions towards me since I've been here.

I cannot, statistically, be the only one experiencing this. And the problem is that I feel lied to. I feel that since these actions and comments have been so insanely prevalent here, that Zürich couldn't possibly be the progressive, international, world-class city I was told it was. How can there be so many rude, maliciously xenophobic people??

And this is the complaint!! NOT lack of funds for foreigners, not lack of friends, not differences between the new country and the old country, BUT the perceived welcoming outward facade of a country (and not necessarily just Switzerland), and the actual behavior and actions of a country towards foreigners.

Nobody leaves family, friends, a job voluntarily to go to a country they hate and where they are hated. When individuals make such a life altering decision, they choose their new ''home'' based on what they like, based on what they want out of life, based on what language they want to learn, based on where they want to spend the rest of their lives, usually! That's what I meant when I said that ''trust me, most immigrants want to integrate''. Because most do, they chose to move to a particular country for a reason.

So no, sorry, integration does have as much to do with the society as it does with the individual. You're trying to blame just one side of it, while at the same time accusing me of being too one-sided. But when one side actively tries to integrate, it falls on the other side to accept it and to let it happen, or to not let it happen. But then if you choose the latter, you can't blame the immigrant for not integrating.

Therefore I really actually resent your condescending effort to try to explain to me the basics of ''confidence''. You can believe what you want to believe, and indeed our perceptions are shaped by our experiences. But don't try to belittle my experiences by telling me I need more confidence or that it's my fault I am experiencing xenophobia even after I've lived here for 2 years, speak the language, work in the system and actively try to participate in the culture

I didn't mean to offend, seriously, only to point out the importance of your self-confidence in this process.

Regarding your expectations, your description of being accepted by all or most of society is not even attained by most of the Swiss I know. Which leads me to think that you are trying too hard. I certainly don't try that hard. In fact, of the types of situations you described, I have been know to raise my middle finger at some such people. But that's just me on a bad day. When I first got here, I recall such things happening with some frequency. So, no, you are not alone in this learning process of yours. But the less I cared about it, the less it occurs. In fact, it rarely even occurs anymore. And this is without anyone asking me what my immigration status or level of integration is. So how am I different now from how I was before? I'm simply more at ease with being here. I do show that I will not be putting up with their crap when I sense crap heading my way.
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Old 30.03.2012, 17:01
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

Phos (nice to see you, BTW )

I understand your POV as well as PantsFace's. I don't think anyone expects to be 100% accepted by 100% of the people. That would be completely unrealistic.

I honestly don't think it's a matter of self-confidence, or lack thereof. I know people who've been here for a very long time (decades), and while they've done (I think) a bang-up job at integrating (e.g., learning the language, making local friends, adopting the local work ethic, customs, etc.) they still get blindsided every now and then by people who they thought they could trust and, otherwise, wouldn't have a problem with.

Case in point: I have a former co-worker who immigrated here from Yugoslavia when she was in her early 20s (she is now in her early 60s). She speaks German and Swiss-German fluently, owns a house here, tends her garden religiously, is very "Swiss" in many respects and LOVES this country to bits.

When she decided to apply for Swiss citizenship a few years ago, she shared her news with her Swiss co-workers, and instead of being happy for her, they chided her. One woman said, "How dare you think you're even good enough to be Swiss! What makes you think you even have the right to apply for or deserve a Swisspass? Well, it doesn't matter what kind of passport you have; we will NEVER accept you because you're a Yugo!" Another co-worker said to her, "too bad there aren't more politicians like Blocher to get rid of people like you."

All of this hurt her deeply because she worked very closely with these people for years and also socialized with them fairly regularly. She got her passport, but she said she can never get past their hateful words to her. And for what? All because of their own prejudices. She is a decent, hardworking person, not a criminal or a low-life.

These same women told another colleague, German guy, when he got his Schweizerpass something to the effect of "Looks like they're giving out citizenship to just anybody now when they should be more careful, since all Germans are shit."

I have another friend here, a Swiss woman born to immigrant parents, and raised here, who was mobbed out of her last job. Why? Her colleagues didn't think she was Swiss enough and wanted to get rid of her.

For me, personally, when I first came here, I was keen to integrate. Sure, I've learned the language (and am continuing with that), have many Swiss friends, have gotten to understand the political system, enjoy many aspects of life in this country, and so on. But now, that desire has diminished, because between the increased anti-foreigner sentiment (which I also understand, in part, and believe is fear-based more than anything) and seeing what happened to my co-worker and others who've related similar experiences to PantsFace, I no longer care whether I'm accepted or not or what people think. I live my life for my own benefit, not for others and just do what I need to to get by. And, frankly, that suits me fine.


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I didn't mean to offend, seriously, only to point out the importance of your self-confidence in this process.

Regarding your expectations, your description of being accepted by all or most of society is not even attained by most of the Swiss I know. Which leads me to think that you are trying too hard. I certainly don't try that hard. In fact, of the types of situations you described, I have been know to raise my middle finger at some such people. But that's just me on a bad day. When I first got here, I recall such things happening with some frequency. So, no, you are not alone in this learning process of yours. But the less I cared about it, the less it occurs. In fact, it rarely even occurs anymore. And this is without anyone asking me what my immigration status or level of integration is. So how am I different now from how I was before? I'm simply more at ease with being here. I do show that I will not be putting up with their crap when I sense crap heading my way.
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Old 30.03.2012, 17:16
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

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Case in point: I have a former co-worker who immigrated here from Yugoslavia when she was in her early 20s (she is now in her early 60s). She speaks German and Swiss-German fluently, owns a house here, tends her garden religiously, is very "Swiss" in many respects and LOVES this country to bits.

When she decided to apply for Swiss citizenship a few years ago, she shared her news with her Swiss co-workers, and instead of being happy for her, they chided her. One woman said, "How dare you think you're even good enough to be Swiss! What makes you think you even have the right to apply for or deserve a Swisspass? Well, it doesn't matter what kind of passport you have; we will NEVER accept you because you're a Yugo!" Another co-worker said to her, "too bad there aren't more politicians like Blocher to get rid of people like you."

All of this hurt her deeply because she worked very closely with these people for years and also socialized with them fairly regularly. She got her passport, but she said she can never get past their hateful words to her. And for what? All because of their own prejudices. She is not a criminal or a low-life.

These same women told another colleague, German guy, when he got his Schweizerpass something to the effect of "Looks like they're giving out citizenship to just anybody now when they should be more careful, since all Germans are shit."

I have another friend here, a Swiss woman born to immigrant parents, and raised here, who was mobbed out of her last job. Why? Her colleagues didn't think she was Swiss enough and wanted to get rid of her.

For me, personally, when I first came here, I was keen to integrate. Sure, I've learned the language (and am continuing with that), have many Swiss friends, have gotten to understand the political system, enjoy many aspects of life in this country, and so on. But now, that desire has diminished, because between the increased anti-foreigner sentiment (which I also understand, in part, and believe is fear-based more than anything) and seeing what happened to my co-worker and others who've related similar experiences to PantsFace, I no longer care whether I'm accepted or not or what people think. I live my life for my own benefit, not for others and just do what I need to to get by. And, frankly, that suits me fine.
I had a similar conversation with some Swiss. I simply told them I am here to inject some of my genes into their gene pool, because centuries of in-breeding have weakened it. I told them I am doing them a favor. They laughed, we carried on with our lunch.
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Old 30.03.2012, 17:37
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

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Phos (nice to see you, BTW )

I understand your POV as well as PantsFace's. I don't think anyone expects to be 100% accepted by 100% of the people. That would be completely unrealistic.

I honestly don't think it's a matter of self-confidence, or lack thereof. I know people who've been here for a very long time (decades), and while they've done (I think) a bang-up job at integrating (e.g., learning the language, making local friends, adopting the local work ethic, customs, etc.) they still get blindsided every now and then by people who they thought they could trust and, otherwise, wouldn't have a problem with.

Case in point: I have a former co-worker who immigrated here from Yugoslavia when she was in her early 20s (she is now in her early 60s). She speaks German and Swiss-German fluently, owns a house here, tends her garden religiously, is very "Swiss" in many respects and LOVES this country to bits.

When she decided to apply for Swiss citizenship a few years ago, she shared her news with her Swiss co-workers, and instead of being happy for her, they chided her. One woman said, "How dare you think you're even good enough to be Swiss! What makes you think you even have the right to apply for or deserve a Swisspass? Well, it doesn't matter what kind of passport you have; we will NEVER accept you because you're a Yugo!" Another co-worker said to her, "too bad there aren't more politicians like Blocher to get rid of people like you."

All of this hurt her deeply because she worked very closely with these people for years and also socialized with them fairly regularly. She got her passport, but she said she can never get past their hateful words to her. And for what? All because of their own prejudices. She is a decent, hardworking person, not a criminal or a low-life.

These same women told another colleague, German guy, when he got his Schweizerpass something to the effect of "Looks like they're giving out citizenship to just anybody now when they should be more careful, since all Germans are shit."

I have another friend here, a Swiss woman born to immigrant parents, and raised here, who was mobbed out of her last job. Why? Her colleagues didn't think she was Swiss enough and wanted to get rid of her.

For me, personally, when I first came here, I was keen to integrate. Sure, I've learned the language (and am continuing with that), have many Swiss friends, have gotten to understand the political system, enjoy many aspects of life in this country, and so on. But now, that desire has diminished, because between the increased anti-foreigner sentiment (which I also understand, in part, and believe is fear-based more than anything) and seeing what happened to my co-worker and others who've related similar experiences to PantsFace, I no longer care whether I'm accepted or not or what people think. I live my life for my own benefit, not for others and just do what I need to to get by. And, frankly, that suits me fine.
And really, this sums it up.

I don't have the particular issues given here, but it still pisses me off to hear these things. (I was born with the red passport and am perhaps on the more "intimidating demeanour" side)

It's a sad representation of what is hopefully the minority, but when you hear it -and I've heard this same story many, many times- you can't help but think how many more are thinking just that and just haven't spoken up, yet. You can't possibly blame people for disliking, and eventually rejecting, such blatantly venomous people! So, what happens? you end up with segregation and foreign sub cultures. The immigrants stick to themselves as they're sick of being preemptively accused of being scum, and the Swiss complain that the foreigners don't integrate - self fulfilling prophesy much?

I'm sure they're not the majority, but I've definitely had the pleasure of observing a higher concentration of them here than anywhere else I've been - especially away from the larger cities.

edit: I should qualify - "here" is meant as the German speaking region as I've spent very little time in the French, Italian or ancient-roman-babble areas.
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Old 30.03.2012, 17:46
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

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Can't imagine that.

German teeth normally are much better than Swiss ones,

as German tooth control and treatment is/was for free and included in basic health insurance.

And as Germans are one of the biggest immigrants group in CH, your professor is lying or an idiot.
Not true. It's my profession, and I know the statistics. That professor, who is an old friend and colleague of mine, is 100% right.

All in all the Swiss have better teeth than the Germans because they have to pay for treatment, hence they take better care of them. It's very simple.

What's more, because most kinds of periodontal treatment are not covered by German health insurance, many German dentists usually just don't care about that part of dentistry. I've seen incredible things in that field, dentists just allowing jaw bone to deteriorate until the teeth fall out, because saving the bone isn't paid but replacing the teeth is. I once had to fire a German assistant dentist because of that.

And besides that, as stated by someone else, there are quite a few groups of immigrant. It's not the Germans or Brits that ruin the statistics.

Now, can we go back to the topic please? My previous post was about freedom of speech and alleged racism, and tooth decay was just a practical example.
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Old 30.03.2012, 18:03
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

Has anyone considered the possibility that, in some cases, it might be only some lack of chemistry? Obviously I'm not talking about the big picture: I still don't know what to think about the Swiss being racist. But the lack of chemistry between two people.

Example: my ex-next door neighbour and I disliked each other on sight. In fact, she was disliked by most of the neighbourhood, but that's neither here not there. One day we had an argument and she ended it with "why don't you go back to your country". And the thing is, I don't think she is racist, since her best friend comes from Hong Kong and can't speak a word of Swiss German.

My point is, I don't think people are being xenophobic because they dislike me.

Of course, I'm talking about my little world, not about the big picture.
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Old 30.03.2012, 18:14
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

Lack of chemistry or personality clashes can happen to anyone, anywhere, even between those of the same nationality

What gives one a heightened sensitivity or perhaps an added dimension of xenophobia is when the lack of chemistry/clash happens in another country (like here) and the individual is another nationality (either a native of said foreign country or some other country) and, when they've run out of arguments and have nothing left to hit you with, they resort to telling you to "go back to your own country."



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Has anyone considered the possibility that, in some cases, it might be only some lack of chemistry? Obviously I'm not talking about the big picture: I still don't know what to think about the Swiss being racist. But the lack of chemistry between two people.

Example: my ex-next door neighbour and I disliked each other on sight. In fact, she was disliked by most of the neighbourhood, but that's neither here not there. One day we had an argument and she ended it with "why don't you go back to your country". And the thing is, I don't think she is racist, since her best friend comes from Hong Kong and can't speak a word of Swiss German.

My point is, I don't think people are being xenophobic because they dislike me.

Of course, I'm talking about my little world, not about the big picture.
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Old 30.03.2012, 18:20
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

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Lack of chemistry or personality clashes can happen to anyone, anywhere, even between those of the same nationality

What gives one a heightened sensitivity or perhaps an added dimension of xenophobia is when the lack of chemistry/clash happens in another country (like here) and the individual is another nationality (either a native of said foreign country or some other country) and, when they've run out of arguments and have nothing left to hit you with, they resort to telling you to "go back to your own country."

Exactly what I meant (but you explained it better ).

I didn't take it as racism, because I really think it wasn't. She was losing the argument and that was what she thought would hurt me the most. By the way, it didn't, it made for a good laugh later.

I'm just wondering if they are more cases like this, that are peceived as racist but are nothing more than clash of personalities.
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Old 30.03.2012, 18:24
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

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Not true. It's my profession, and I know the statistics. That professor, who is an old friend and colleague of mine, is 100% right.

All in all the Swiss have better teeth than the Germans because they have to pay for treatment, hence they take better care of them. It's very simple.
...
Apart that my above commentary was not meant to be so serious (that's why I put a smiley),

I don't think you are right.

I know many Germans who are shocked about medical standard in Switzerland and about Swiss corny teeth ...


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...
Now, can we go back to the topic please? My previous post was about freedom of speech and alleged racism, and tooth decay was just a practical example.
Whatever, my point was that you cannot deduct from a certain phenomenon, even if there seems to be some kind of correlation, a clear reason that is linked to differences in behavior, mentality, race or whatever.

So in the silly dental care thing.


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...
My point is, I don't think people are being xenophobic because they dislike me.
...
I think you have a point there, as the addressee of a mean commentary is maybe thought to be somehow sensitive on the "foreigner's status",

people tend to be mean using the xenophobic button also if they aren't xenophobic at all.
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Old 30.03.2012, 18:33
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Re: Racism rife in Switzerland: human rights chief

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edit: I should qualify - "here" is meant as the German speaking region as I've spent very little time in the French, Italian or ancient-roman-babble areas.
Actually, this is my perception as well: that the anti-foreigner sentiment is more prevalent and that this sort of behavior happens more in the German-speaking part (this side of the Rösti Graben) than in the Romandie or in Ticino.

Even the Masseneinwanderung referendum, I believe, has garnered higher support in the German regions of the country.

Just a small example, I speak French. Whenever I visit the Romandie, I communicate exclusively in French -- in the shops, restaurants, etc. I understand the locals and they understand me. No problems there.

Here, in Zurich, however, the language frustrates me to no end. I studied and speak (decent) Hochdeutsch, and it's still a work in progress. But many of the locals I have encountered do not want to speak Hochdeutsch, even though it's clear I don't understand their dialect. (I've also tried speaking French -- in an effort to stick with a national language -- but apart from the older generations of Swiss people, nobody wants to speak French. They'd rather speak English.) Some people have told me outright that they hate Germans and would rather speak English than Hochdeutsch.

Also, the same former co-workers who ridiculed my Yugoslavian co-worker harassed me because I don't speak Schwyzerdeutsch, and how dare I live in this country and NOT speak Schwyzerdeutsch. They even flat out refused to speak Hochdeutsch with me and told me that they would ONLY speak Schwyzerdeutsch. WTF???

English, BTW, was our business language, and I didn't mind making the effort to try to communicate in German as much as possible. But it was not the "right" German, apparently. Working with these people was very difficult because of their attitudes, to say the least. I moved on to another company and now work with a team comprised entirely of foreigners.

I know this all may be painful to read (it's been painful to experience as well) and I am sorry to, again, relate a negative experience, but it is what it is.
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Last edited by latigresse; 30.03.2012 at 19:25. Reason: added a thought
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