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Stop micro-racism

Any xenophobic insult is impermissible in public space, but official condemnations must be measured, especially if they are aimed at minors

Cartell publicat per l'ajuntament d'Arbeca contra un episodi d'insults racistes a les piscines
Image published by the town council of Arbeca against an episode of racist insults in the swimming pool

Arbeca experienced a case of what I call micro-racism a few days ago. If we currently do not tolerate sexist jokes or homophobic comments, no matter how innocent they seem and no matter how small the field of action is, we must not do the same with cases of xenophobia, neither on a large nor on a small scale. At the public swimming pools, it seems that a group of young people were having fun insulting each other with words of clear racist content. Regardless of whether it's true that it was all part of a teenage game, disdain for people's skin color and their origins cannot be tolerated even as a joke. Not only because they can offend sensitive people, but also because it means normalizing attitudes that in other circumstances can be really dangerous.

Right after people reported what they heard (and disturbed) in the pools, both the city council and political groups rushed to post harsh condemnations on social networks that, in my opinion, were very poorly thought out . Yes, racist attitudes must be cut, but it must be done in the right terms and, in this case, taking into account that their authors are minors, still on their way to become adults. Talking to parents, seeking buy-in from the youth and trying to stop future episodes would have been better than jumping into the public arena and social media speakers.

But of course... sometimes with so sensitive matters, it is difficult to choose the fairest solution for all of us.

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