Can Only White People On The Right Be Racist?

Last week, Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva attributed the current financial crisis to «white blue-eyed» people at a news conference. Strangely enough, the press hasn't attacked him for making such an overtly racist remark yet, and the British government even tried to play down the incident. The contrast with the reception Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi received when he made a bad joke about the then president-elect Barack Obama is quite striking, and it begs the question whether this is so because Silvio Berlusconi is white, or because he belongs to the right side of the political spectrum.

Let's just go back a few months to recapitulate what it was Silvio Berlusconi said about Barack Obama: he's «young, handsome and even tanned». Notice that he said this in an effort to make Barack Obama a compliment –Silvio Berlusconi is in fact known to take great care of his own tan–, but nevertheless, journalists all over the world were at him because of this racist remark. And it didn't of course help much that he later was quoted saying that the journalist who accused him of racism where «imbeciles».

Now contrast what Silvio Berlusconi said about Barack Obama to what Lula last week said about «white blue-eyed» people being at the cause of the current financial crisis, and not Indians, nor black, nor poor people. British prime minister Gordon Brown reacted to Lula's accusations by saying that the blame for the financial crisis should not be attributed to individuals, but Lula didn't do that either: he attributed the blame expressly to, well, in lack of another word… a race? The British government later topped the silly reaction of Gordon Brown by saying that Lula's words probably weren't intented for the larger public, as if that would make the comment less racist. It doesn't make much sense either, since president Lula was quite happy to elaborate on the subject when asked about it by journalists.

I can't help but imagine the outcry it would have caused if somebody like Silvio Berlusconi would have said something similar to what president Lula said, say, a decade ago, just after the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Why this difference in treatment? Is it because Silvio Berlusconi is a European, or because he belongs to the right side of the political spectrum? It just seems to me that some people will always be racist in the eyes of the journalists, no matter what they say or mean, and others never will be, no matter what they say or mean either.

Orange jews # 2

@ BrianTim

So, you too found a 'group' to blame, although a different racial/ethnic group than Lula had in mind.  It seems prejudice is not solely the province of the Brazilian President.  Next you are going to say that Senator Dodd and Clinton-buddy Raines are 'jews-in-spirit'?  Perhaps you better first do some serious reading on the 'sources' of the current financial system crisis before parroting an ancient mantra.

Not only are you a bigot, but you are a poor observer of the world scene.  Most "leaders around the world" are NOT "afraid" to engage in a bit of jew-bashing (or other forms of scapegoating) if it can serve their own selfish purposes, as any investigation of 'typical' UN Resolutions can reveal.   

The Icelanders did it!

Lulu doubtless knows that New Yorkers, Londoners, Hong Kongese and Zuericher are not white and blue-eyed in great numbers--he was blaming the international credit crisis on those shrewd traders, pirates, and sheepmen who colonized Thule.

Another Coward

the Ivan Boeskys, Michael Milkens, Jack Grubmans, Andrew Fastows, Gary Winnicks, Martin Frankels, Marc Richs, Pincus Finkelsteins, Sal Wachsals, Myron Fagans, Marc Driers, Yehuda Belskys, Saul Israels, Arthur Nadels, the Bernard Madoffs and other predatory Jews are not white blue-eyed» people. They are Jews. I have a feeling the Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva know it, but like most so-called leaders around the world he is a coward and afraid to speak the truth.

colour bind

On a purely technical point, 'LULU' da Silva appears to me to be more caucasian than not, Silvio B  is orange (tan?) NOT white and Obama has a considerably darker 'tan' than both Silvio and 'lulu'combined. A 'fact' that clearly bears out the truth of the paradox that, while racists can SOMETIMES be colourblind, beauty is ALWAYS in the eye of the beholder.