To summarise, they don’t know what they’re doing. I don’t mean that in a Jesus sense (he said “they don’t know what they’re doing” meaning something else), rather in a “they are incompetent” sense.
Strong words, I know, but true. Regarding dealing with racism in Wrocław, they are not competent.
It’s the NOMADA association (who deal with the issues of “integration”) who are saying as much. You see, to cut a long story short, members of an international firm with coloured skin were attacked in town. Therefore this was raised by that firm with the Wrocław city authority. Their only public reaction (well, from one person) was a “hug a negro” initiative. NOMADA link this to the abuse of human rights of Roma in a camp outside of Wrocław, abuse carried out by municipal authorities as well as by the police.
NOMADA have documented 120 cases of racially-motivated violence and hate speech in recent years. As the article says, this is daily life we are talking about here. “Most of them do not ride public transportation after dark, will not go alone to the center in the evenings.” (See a recent article of mine for more evidence).
All in all, they accuse the Wrocław municipal government of being more concerned with the image of Wrocław than with combatting racism. They have come up with no policy. In fact, they are suspicious of those who do have policies.
Now, it is at this point where I’ll point out that the state cannot manage everything. Tackling racism requires ordinary people to act, to engage in civil courage, to challenge racism when they see it, to stand up openly against racist parades, not staying at home feeling all concerned but feeling powerless.
Additionally, within the realms of a national state, that the municipal state is part of there is the implicit discrimination against those not considered to be “we”, foreigners. It’s the same of all nation states. National myths get propagated. The state cannot be trusted. Two years ago Rafał Dutkiewicz, the president of Wrocław, together with Gazeta wyborcza attended and supported the anti-fascist protest that takes place each November the 11th. Last year they didn’t, and the fascist presence was supported by ordinary people, while the anti-fascist presence was smaller. Poland is such that only a minority of people will act when the state or the media doesn’t.
A strong civil society is one where people are not reliant on the government. This can have the paradoxical effect of making governments better as they try to respond to the public will. In Poland, if the government doesn’t go, people will not follow those people like NOMADA, Centrum Reanimacji Kultury and Falanster who are working hard against prejudice.
Only when people who are anti-racist act can anything change.