Are the Belgians racist?

26th March 2009, Comments 11 comments

"I'm not a racist, but ..." is the title of a poll commissioned by the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism.

The majority of those polled accept that we live in a multicultural society, but many have problems with certain aspects of multiculturalism.

More than half of the 1,392 Belgians polled said that they never had contact with people from a different ethnic origin. This group claim neither positive nor negative experiences with foreigners.

People living in the city come into more frequent contact with other cultures and are more positive and open to multiculturalism. The director of the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism Jozef De Witte points out that this is very positive.

"The most remarkable conclusion (of the poll) is that Belgians are more tolerant of ethnic minorities the more they come into contact with them." Further, 55 percent of those polled said that they think the presence of different cultures in Belgium enriches society.

Two out of three Belgians polled said that people from all races are equal. One third thinks that some races are more talented than others.

The poll confirms a number of clichés. More than a third of Belgians think that people of an ethnic minority get unemployment benefits easier than Belgians. Half of those polled blame the growing crime rate on the presence of the foreigners in Belgium.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was established in 1966, following the massacre of young students peacefully protesting against apartheid laws in South Africa.

Proclaiming the International Day, the United Nations General Assembly called upon the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.


3 Comments To This Article

  • andy posted:

    on 5th February 2012, 18:03:03 - Reply

    well jusy an update on the last posting,being a foreigner in Belgium gets even worse,due to increased crime in this time of economic depression we have been asked by our local police to request visitors to our home to park their foreign registered cars in the centre of town and to walk to our home in order to ease the worries of neighbours in the street who feel ill at ease?. I know its hard to believe but over the christmas and new year period we actually had family and friends visit which has led to a visit from our landlords and the local police,non due to noise,parking,or any other disturbances,only that the belgian mentality is such it worries about such things but for the actual police to get involved and make such requests is beyond belief,specially in this day and age,i wonder what would happen if the police in the UK or anywhere else did as such?
  • paul posted:

    on 30th January 2012, 12:23:25 - Reply

    Yup, a funny bunch all right. I was regularly hooted at by truck drivers for no apparent reason (must've been my UK plates). My wife went into a bank and they were nice as pie until she spoke English, at which point they got nasty and accused her of pushing in front of the queue. I was openly hated by one of my Belgian colleagues who would complain loudly about me from the other side of the desk (he didn't know I understood Flemish) and yet still smile at me and shake my hand every morning. I was told by a Belgian that all Belgian's are two-faced, which was interesting coming from a local. Was glad to leave and hope never to return. Some genuinely nice people there, but the country is too weird for my tastes.
  • andy posted:

    on 3rd January 2012, 19:00:23 - Reply

    the problem with belgians is they dont know what racism means,as far as the majority of belgians go its a matter of they are not racist as long as the people think,act and dress the same as me. the system itself has a lot to blame for that though,i have had a lorry driver drive me off the road when driving a foreign car and when police were called they asked,what do u expect us to do?,i have actual recordings of a doctor saying that belgium is sick of foreigners coming here expecting help and the best thing would be to ,,,go home,though the department in belgium for anti discrimination advised us to get a lawyer they themself decided it was not in anyones intrest to follow through with a prosecution?basically belgium is the country that hosts the european union so would hate to be accused of such blatant racism but please note,bulgaria has just been admitted to the european community,prostitutes can work legally there but engineers cant? and who says the good old days of pimping are over.