15 December 2007

Racist Belgian Radio


Addendum:

Shit. In all my ranting about politics I forgot a particularly fucked up country with retards trying to run it. It's called Belgium and I live here. Belgium has gone over six months since their general election and have been unable to form a government. Nice work guys. It's called compromise. Why can't they get their shit together? Here's an idea...

The man responsible for bridging the linguistic divide was a Flemish man (with a French name) Yves Leterme. You think he made that task a little more difficult when a few months ago he publicly expressed the view that the French speaking Walloons were too lazy and/or dumb to learn Flemish?

Yeah, that probably didn't help. Not a great way to build consensus by insulting the entire population your supposed coalition partners represent (ie. their constituents). I realize you, dear reader, are thinking: "what a dumb thing to say."

But check this out:

just recently he compared the French-language state broadcaster RTBF to Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, the Rwandan radio station that stoked the racial hatred and played an instrumental role in the genocide of 1994!

How's that for completely and utterly out-of-fucking line! And also perhaps ill-advised. And not very politic. A little bit in poor taste. Perhaps borderline retarded. I'm not even sure what the RTBF did, but I am dead-certain it wasn't call out all French speaking Belgians to "exterminate the cockroaches."

That egregious and unfounded incendiary comment did very very little to mend those broken fences. Nope. Some call it lunacy.

The countdown to a government continues, and with these types of completely mental jerk-offs you can bet it'll be a long wait still.

Go Belgium!!

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:14 pm

    it's a complex issue, and both sides have made mistakes. be careful with your analysis though: almost all foreign press articles on the belgian situation are written from a wallonian perspective - journalists usually don't speak flemish, so they don't read flemish newspapers and don't understand the ideas that live in flanders. i've seen some very insulting stuff being reported by serious foreign newspapers (a decent article is for example http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/
    thereporters/markmardell/2007/09/
    divided_belgium.html)

    most flemish are becoming very tired of the clichés that the wallonians accuse them of and sell to foreign media (flemish racist, intolerant towards anyone with a french accent, separatist, ...). i was at the brussels airport a while ago. the person holding the metal detector asked me 'vous parlez français ou néerlandais?' i answered 'néerlandais s'il vous plaît' so she said 'ah, je ne parle pas' and proceeded in french. she couldn't even say 'have a good trip' in flemish. how is that cool for anyone working in a belgian airport? i'm sure flemish are guilty of falling back on their own stereotypes about the walloons (lazy, arrogant, denegrating towards flemish culture, complaining non stop, ...) but i challenge you to find a single flemish person who cannot tell you a thousand insulting little stories like that. so if leterme goes a bit too far and (ironically) wonders if walloons at times seem almost intellectually incapable to learn flemish, then every flemish person understands exactly what he refers to. taking what he said literally and slamming him for it is easy but not honest nor fair.

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  2. Thanks for your input. It's certainly fair and probably important to not have my admittedly irresponsible and sarcastic 'journalism' parading around without a decent counterpoint. In fact, in general i'm more than sympathetic to the Flemish, and realize also, that this political issue is not a simple one. I sure wouldn't want to try and sort it out.

    Since I wrote this I had a Flemish friend explain at least the point from which Letermes comments came from, i.e. that 'elements' (read: French language Belgian press) of the 4th estate had deliberately made his task of forming a government more difficult as well as sensationalized comments (such as this one). She didn't go into details, but I'm familiar enough with the business of media to know how people sell the press, The generations of tension and bad-blood certainly don't help either.

    I can sympathize with him, but it was still a retarded thing to say.

    This is a companion piece to another post where I talk shit about a whole bunch of other politicians.

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