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Racism here, in the United States and in the EU needs to be stamped out [editar]

Statement by civil society organisations committed to fighting against racial and ethnic discrimination in Spain


Racism here, in the United States and in the EU needs to be stamped out

In view of the brutal murder of George Floyd by police and the resulting social upheaval in the United States, we, the signatory entities, all of whom are dedicated to promoting equal treatment and bringing attention to the victims of all forms of racism in Spain, affirm the following:


1. Although we are thousands of miles away, we join those who are calling for justice for this victim and for all African Americans who have died unjustly at the hands of police. It is not acceptable that the same institutions responsible for ensuring the effective exercise of human rights and the principle of non-discrimination are the ones committing these atrocities. We are calling on the US justice system to guarantee a prompt and impartial investigation into this death in order to bring justice, truth and reparation to the family of George Floyd and to ensure that it never happens again. We are also concerned about the inflammatory political response of the President of the United States, Donald Trump; as guarantors of rights, political authorities must exercise their responsibility to address this type of situation and fight racism.

2. The events in the United States should help us to reflect on the various manifestations of racism, xenophobia, Afrophobia, Islamophobia and antigypsyism that also occur in our country. While it may be true that there is no widespread problem of extreme police brutality against non-whites in Spain, as there is in the United States, it is undeniable that structural racism is a pervasive problem in all facets of Spanish society. Denial of access to goods and services based on the colour of one’s skin, discriminatory immigration policies, racist hate speech on social networks, improper police practices such as ethnic and racial profiling, racial stigmatisation in certain media outlets and racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic and antigypsy statements made by persons holding public office — these are the daily issues faced by people belonging to racial and ethnic minorities in Spain, which are exacerbated when they intersect with other factors such as gender and which prevent them from exercising their rights and duties as citizens under equal conditions.

3. It is important that society as a whole becomes aware of this deep-rooted and normalised structural and cultural racism, not only to refrain from participating in it, but to actively combat it. While Spanish society is mostly tolerant and increasingly advanced in the recognition of rights, which has allowed for progress in policies aimed at achieving equality, we are yet to see it internalise the fight against all forms of racial and ethnic discrimination. We must recognise that the people of Spain are diverse, multiracial and multicultural and that, in a democracy, it is not acceptable that skin colour or ethnic origin might condition one’s enjoyment of human rights. To combat the above forms of racism, we need the firm commitment of all citizens, the business community, the media, third-sector organisations and the full range of public institutions.

4. In this regard, the first step that should be taken — as a matter of urgency — is the adoption of a comprehensive law on equal treatment and non-discrimination that implements a system of penalties and an independent authority where persons suffering any form of racism and discrimination can seek justice. This law has been in the pipeline for more than 10 years, and it is unacceptable that it is not yet been passed. There is no doubt that the change our country needs to overcome racial and ethnic discrimination goes far deeper than legislative reform, but this is an absolutely essential first step. Until this happens and until all rights are guaranteed under equal conditions, the democratic fortitude of Spain will continue to be in question and fundamental rights will continue to be a privilege reserved for those who belong to the majority.


List of entities that subscribe to this release:

  • Asociación Rumiñahui
  • Accem
  • Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado (CEAR)
  • Fundación Cepaim
  • Fundación Secretariado Gitano
  • Movimiento por la Paz – MPDL
  • Red Acoge