Dienstag, 1. Mai 2007
the American in Croatia
In the entry I've read from Fred's blog last, he mentioned being molested by skinheads because his skin colour was for them a thorn in their flesh.
Prompted by his comments, I went online in search of more information about skinheads in Croatia. This is what I've found:
The first skinheads appeared on the streets in the early 1990s and started to show their hostility towards Serbs, Muslims, reportedly unpatriotic Croatians, black and homosexuals by attacking them in most brutal ways.
The last big attack on foreigners by this militant group which idolises violence was in 2001 when three Japanese students were assaulted.
Contrary to the belief of the public, most of the perpetrators do not come from broken homes. Actually, they are mostly the children, who support extreme-right politics, of respected professionals.
Although the Croatian media has the power in their hands to educate the public on the topic of skinheads and their deeds, they either contort the truth or don't even find such a topic worth mentioning. Some Catholic newspapers even go so far as to blame the victims saying that homosexuals are sick and distorted, so they don't deserve a better treatment or what?
Despite so much intolerance and violence, there are events in Croatia that try to sensitise the public about the rights of social and sexual minorities. Such an event was the 2002 gay pride in Zagreb where the activists were calling people to oppose all sorts of discrimination. Although the event was overshadowed by skinheads throwing eggs, ashtrays, and bottles on the activists, it was a significant stepping stone in the creation of a more open-minded society.
Still, Croatia has a long way ahead before being able to call itself an open society.
(about the gay pride in Zagreb)