Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Civic Platform's white power

I am well aware that many voters choose us as 'the white men's last hope.' This is what Jarosław Gowin, a prominent politician of the Civic Platform (PO), pronounced last Sunday in an interview for Onet.pl. Or rather white collars', he hastened to explain. Our core voters, that is the young, educated and entrepreneur-minded, may turn their backs on us unless we finally reform the state finances, healthcare or pensions.

The journalist did not go into details over the notion of 'white men' and its racist connotations. Instead, he asked what would happen, if white collars indeed turned their backs on the ruling party. The answer was as follows: To me, entrepreneurs are the salt of the earth, the most valuable social group. Should we disappoint them, we would better look for another job.

Should it be shocking? Jarosław Gowin smoothly combines Catholic and free market fundamentalism. He is widely known to be a free market hawk even within the largely pro-market Civic Platform. He is also famous for a virtually superhuman ability, since he once confessed to having heard the cries of frozen embryos. (Gowin is the author of a draft law regulating IVF. He wants IVF to stay basically legal, but would penalise the freezing of embryos.) The public may be thus used to extravagant statements on his part. None the less, I find the lack of public reaction to what he said surprising. To date, obviously racist statements by even marginal politicians did not go either unnoticed or uncondemned in the media. This time, only the nationalist "Nasz Dziennik" seems to bother; perhaps they envy Gowin for his impunity?

Why this silence? Gowin seems nothing wrong in figuring his voters as 'white men.' For him, apparently, it is just an innocent figure of speech. I think most of the enlightened public would not concede. But one thing is that he uses a racial metaphor, another -- what is the group who is to be hurt. If Civic Platform supporters are to be seen as 'white men,' who are those 'non-white' people to whom he implicitly refers? Who are those who would be less than happy with a next wave of neo-liberal reforms? And why are they figured as non-white?

Adam Ostolski


  1. In my opinion the whole sentence doesn't have any racial conotations. He just use a popular saying "ostatnia nadzieja białych". It's the sport saying - especially used in boxing. It would be a exaggeration, if we condemned him for this.


  2. plankton, how is that not racist?! moreover it's sexist at the same time! racism is not always enacted only by skinheads with their slogans of "white power". this statement inscribes into this rhetoric in a quite obvious way for me. wake up!

  3. It is racist to use white skin as a metaphor of the good vs. the evil. But -- Gowin's antifeminist agenda notwithstanding -- the reproach of sexism may be spared this time: the original word he used is gender neutral. (See another translation provided by Gavin Rae: http://beyondthetransition.blogspot.com/2011/01/po-and-hypocricy-of-racism.html#comments )

  4. You need to respect that Europe is for Europeans. There are less white people than any other race on the Earth. Poland is for white people, I don't care who says it's "racist". I'm not racist, I just believe people must respect boundaries and not be so naive. The rest of the world only cares if you're racist if you have a lot of money in your country. You did't hear anyone complain that African politicians were racist, when one of their parties yelled "Death to white people" and murdered 10 European families living in their country. Actually, I only saw two articles published on the matter. In conclusion, I don't care if what the man said was racist, it is a fact that Polish people are white and they should be able to put themselves first in their own damn country. It's the only way a country will survive- Recently, I spoke with a man from China, who told me that his government is openly "biased" towards their own people, and that's how they became a super power. They did the obvious thing, which was to not see themselves as the god/parent of the entire world. The most obvious thing in the world, is to put your own people on top in their own country (and, may I remind you, their ONLY country). One is only racist if they randomly decide they hate a group of people and attack them... that is, assuming that they did not first invade his country. Multiculturalism has clearly failed, so I don't see why people are bothering having such discussions as this anymore.


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