Interrupted tolerance in a multicultural city

I’m not going to be posting for a few weeks, so, continuing the theme of anti-racism work in Wrocław (an event will take place at 3pm today by the fountain on the rynek, see here for more details) here’s a few articles.

Racism has suddenly become news in Wrocław, and people are pretty angry with the local government and other organisations.  Here is an article about an organisation in Wrocław that is seeking to fight prejudice.  They are to be celebrating as a good example of Polish work against racism.

As Google translations are not always the best, I will put the text directly here with a few corrections by myself.  Obviously, all copyright is owned by Gazeta Wyborcza and their writer Jacek Harłukowicz.  The original is here.  There are many issues here, therefore this is the full article.


Interrupted tolerance in a multicultural city

Jacek Harłukowicz
10/03/2012, updated: 10/03/2012 18:45
Teachers from the Wroclaw “czternastki” school created and wanted to implement a program against racism and exclusion in schools. They had to move in early 2012 as part of preparations for the Euro.  They do not know whether the programme will run. In the background of the conflict about money are allegations of “placing homosexuality in schools through the back door”
Mirosław Tryczyk i Monika Spławska-Murmyło, nauczyciele z XIV LO we Wrocławiu

Fig. Mieczyslaw Michalak / Newspaper Agency

And Monika Miroslaw Tryczyk Spławska-Murmyło, XIV LO teachers in Wroclaw
The idea of creating a program covering its range of Wroclaw secondary schools appeared in August after a very successful experiment conducted by students of Wrocław XIV LO. The teacher of ethics Dr. Miroslaw Tryczykowi and Monica Spławskiej-Murmyło, a specialist in Polish language and culture managed to persuade the students to the issue of the role of intolerance played on the streets of Poland. Inspired by Jane Elliot experiment, an American teacher and anti-racist activist who thought that the best way to raise awareness of what is racial discrimination, is to create a situation in which the white man experiences it for themselves, the students moved into the city disguised as Muslims, Roma, Jews and Hindus. Learned the hard way how “tolerant” Poles can be. 17-year-old Paulina Grunwald walked around the rynek in an Afghan burqa heard that she was a bitch, and therefore should “fuck off to Iraq.” With her colleague Titus, who also dressed as a Muslim, people shouted “Allah Akbar”, “Ali Agca,” or just “Whore, what the devil”. They were asked where they hid the guns.The project was so successful that the city hall liked it, educators who proposed co-operation with “czternastki. They had to develop an educational program, which could be extended to all schools in Wroclaw, and which would say just about the need for tolerance. The moment was not accidental – the program was to be part of preparations for the European Championships, fans will arrive to Wroclaw from all over Europe and Wrocław does not always like my skin color. Promised to be a great collaboration of teachers, local government and NGOs in an important social issue. But the programme is over. This was due to several factors.Not just money

The estimated cost is the most common reason why some projects fail to deliver. This was supposed to be different. Tryczyk Spławska-Murmyło and began to write the program, while estimating its cost. To work were able to invite not only the many NGOs, but also include Jewish community, Muslim Cultural and Educational Center and the School of Social Psychology. The program was supposed to be intense: from workshops conducted not only by experts but also representatives of all minorities, through competitions, exhibitions, creating murals, after making a film of the entire project. The latter idea was supposed to – so say the organisers – the idea of the magistrate, who wanted to have a briefing, which could be used in the future. Initially, the teachers presented at the office an estimate of 70 thousand złoty (Note by Czarny kapturek: the new stadium in Wrocław cost about 730m złoty, and the filling in of a big hole by the stadium will cost 3.5m – 8.5m złoty) – an amount surpassing the possibility of the city. The project which was so streamlined was to be abandoned due do such expensive filming. Ultimately, the parties fixed the first 17, then at 14 thousand. zł. Until the beginning of March about the money but no one heard. When the project began to question the fate of “Gazeta” on account of the organisers received the promised money.

– It is unfortunate that only when the matter became interested in the media – said Miroslaw Tryczyk. –  was the programme reduced through the closing of the budget.  But it’s not the money is important for its implementation. To this day we do not have the feeling that the city really care about the whole affair. We have not had from them any support. It looks a bit on the principle that you have here is your 14 thousand. and have fun in this your tolerance and did not bother us leaders any more.

Monika Spławska-Murmyło explains that she does not have imagined working with the city: – This program will not succeed without promoting it to the municipal authorities. Neither the school did not dare turn on him if you do not get a clear signal in advance that the city supports the whole thing.

But things were not programmatic or irrelevant. When Tryczyk and Spławska-Murmyło began a tedious meeting with the management office and educational institutions, many times they had to listen to comments that “some things are not right,” that “there is, after all, Poland.” Especially in your program that they wanted to speak not only of racism but also about homophobia.

This disgusting Campaign Against Homophobia

As originators of the program say, the attitude of some callers began to change when the call for co-operation of the Campaign Against Homophobia. The very appearance of the name of this organization among the partners raised little fuss at first.  When they learned about one of the supporting program of the Foundation, some immediately wanted to withdraw. Eventually, the organisers gave some promised money, categorically stating that they do not wish to be named among the donors. They preferred to remain anonymous rather than be identified with gay men.

How specifically can be understood tolerance, showed Wroclaw in addition to “Gośc niedzielny” (CZ – a Roman Catholic newspaper) in an article identifying the project as a discussion and bringing it to the promotion of homosexuality. Comparing the program to some unidentified and known only to the author of the text of the U.S., “the manifesto setting out rules for the promotion of homosexuality”, “Guest” and exposed the plot of Mirosław Tryczyka and Monika Spławska-Murmyło

Author of the text “back door, please,” he writes, “Strangely it happens, the first two principles that manifest homosexual lobby in the U.S. suggest the necessity of speaking about the phenomenon as often as possible and to present homosexuals as victims, not violent revolutionaries. The authors explain that almost every behavior begins to look normal, if we meet with him frequently, and our acceptance will depend on how many people accept this behavior. They also point out that seeking the favor of the public, you need to fill up homosexuals as victims who need protection. Coincidence whether ordinary introduction of homosexual organizations to educational institutions through the back door? “.

The Priest Rafal Kowalski, the chief of Wroclaw verison of , “Gośc niedzielny”, in the commentary on this text asks whether “the organisers did not succumb to the stereotype that gay = persecution.”

Representatives of the newspaper would call the municipal office, the Board of Education, XIV LO, asking to participate in the project of the Campaign Against Homophobia. I mean like this? Homosexuals will be taught in schools, what is tolerance? And what if they infect someone your illness?

Our multiculturalism

Does the pressure that someone in the office of a lighted red lamp and began to calculate whether it is worth the whole thing to engage and irritate the Church? The organisers were explained: here is Poland , here some things do not go.

Meanwhile, Wrocław, so eagerly asserting of its multiculturalism and openness, the lesson of tolerance would be very handy. Because we are still a city where the incident occurs on the background of xenophobic and racist. An example is last year’s experiment not only students’ czternastki “. Issued by the “Never Again”, “Brown Book” documents, that is with us only every tenth case of documented numerous acts of vandalism and violence, racist and xenophobic. It was in Wroclaw, in recent years “unknown perpetrators” painted on the windows of the Information Centre Union of Jewish Star of David and swastika, putting an equal sign between them. Other “unknown people” destroyed a memorial plaque dedicated to the Jewish theatrical director James Rotbaumowi, scribbled SS symbols on it and the words”Jude raus’. It was here in one of Wroclaw’s clubs attacked a Nigerian student, was hit in the face and insulted the “gorillas” and “black whores”. There was a Russian maid who was abused who had been employed in a school. Finally, we had a student from Ghana who was spat at by a group of three men in broad daylight on Świdnicka street in front of many people, and when he reported the matter to the police , he heard from them that “in Poland, each to anyone who is not president, could spit in the face, because this is not a crime. ” Is this the tolerant society?

Modern “patriotism”

For several years after the period of relative peace Wroclaw is radicalising again. Streets which pass demonstrations of nationalists move, accompanied by ordinary idiots shouting slogans of Poland for the Poles, the white power or having to deal with the Jewish plague. Once the environment was similar margin. Today, walk hand in hand with politicians from the headlines of newspapers, organise demonstrations on public holidays, and its hidden racism don the words of patriotism, love of country. What is patriotism, can be proved by the fact that right-wing youth taught him a former leader of the Polish band Skinowski Legion. Until recently, he sang on his records: “If they are smelly bastards, or gays, for them we will not run out of bullets.” Complained: “We have to fight alone or with sticks or knives” and then confessed: “Our pride does not allow to know the Negro and the Gypsy”, and finally ask: “Let us have guns in our hands as much as possible. Herd the whole band, defend the white race. ”

Then skinował, today invited to the meetings, talks and lectures on which sits at the side of politicians, and director Gregory Braun. Currently promoting his film, which documented the events of the last Independence Day celebrations on November 11 in Warsaw , “an alternative to what the official news programs showed television stations in Poland,” and in his spare time he walks to the anti-fascist demonstrations, where he eagerly photographs their leaders. Photos are strangely later in various more or less radical right-wing sites, and immortalised on these people fear for their safety.

Do these people have to teach us what is patriotism? Is this how we understand it – on the principle of one side of the WE, the good and true Poles, and the other THEM, gays and the left-wing, which must be combated? Because this is such an understanding of the world, intolerance and ignorance, do these events as described by the “brown book of” whether the recent attacks on the headquarters of Wroclaw “Newspapers” and the house of the chief. Someone, rather than argue, he grabs a rock, under cover of night breaks a window, throwing eggs at home, and an amused mob applauds the Internet.

The subject is still current

The “Wroclaw racism and exclusion ‘was created with the aim of the European Champsionship. The first version was launched in January, the second from March 1. We have not moved and did not know what would be his fate. It would be very unfortunate if he is another important, but nobody is interested in one document. Maybe it can not be complete before the European Championship, perhaps in a somewhat truncated form, but I believe that we can. A municipality which initially really wanted to implement it, waking up in the matter engaged. Because this program is simply needed, and the problem of our racism is still valid.


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