By Maura Kelly
This week RUTV looks at world racism and the growing popularity of far-right national parties in politics. Whether you are the "hater" or the "hated," having a common enemy quickly unites people who are like minded -- for better or for worst. This summer both groups are busy recruiting under the guise of festivals of fun, merriment and political activism.
A recent incident involving Henry Louis Gates Jr. and a police sergeant in Boston spawned a debate on racism and racial profiling in the US against blacks and Latinos. Experts warned the economic downturn may have created more activity by the growing number of hate groups. Law enforcement investigators are advocating for increased attention to the problem as the economy creates widespread discontent and more recruits for white supremacists, reports the Washington Post. "The internet, immigration and the economic crisis -- that is the molten mixture for these guys," said an official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco. "That's the furnace of hate." The US is hardly alone; racism and resurrection of neo-nazi parties is a matter of growing concern amongst the nations of the world.
Many think that the growth of racism in the UK and Europe is the result of people just trying to look after themselves. Many of the anti-discriminatory laws over the last 10 years have made the situation worse because people feel more 'rights' are given to immigrants and they're losing out. The downturn in the economy has exacerbated the situation too and people are struggling financially. Locals are overwhelmed and fearful of the rights minorities and Muslims are enjoying. Many feel justified in looking out for themselves, and find more relevance in groups like the British National Party.
All over Europe this summer, giant electronic music festivals motivated by political awareness are underway. Some will be out in the open -- others will be held in nondescript buildings with solidarity and white supremacy as main themes. Many of the festival-goers are driven by ideals and more by an urge to party. While the music and the party are undeniably present, there's more going on. These are politically inspired celebrations, meant to promote an agenda. For some, the discussion will focus on anti-racist messages and the violence associated with the political right (especially in the UK, Eastern Germany, and Austria).
This week RUTV checks out one of Europe's biggest festivals, "Love Music Hate Racism." Held on August 11th in Budapest, 'Love Music Hate Racism' is a music-oriented campaign by the Anti-Nazi League and Unite against Fascism. The campaign involves concerts aimed at spreading an anti-racist message. It follows in the tradition of the 1970s Rock against Racism campaign. RUTV talks to artists and filmmakers to find out how the energy of music helps people discuss various stereotypes and embrace cultural diversity.
Meanwhile, racism in South African is still a common occurrence. Nearly a decade and half after the end of apartheid, current racial economic injustice has left the diverse communities divided and bitter. RUTV's partner Couscous Global travels to a local university in Joberg to speak with students about racism in their daily lives, and find out what impact black empowerment programs are having on the community, if any.
Reporters Uncensored (RUTV) is anchored by journalist and senior advisor to Reporters without Borders, Tala Dowlatshahi and features a team of independent local reporters from around the world.
Maura Kelly is an emmy-award winning producer and former executive producer at PBS.