A few years ago, it looked like this was the year the country would see an era of black heroes.Black history month would mark the end of slavery and the end, for the time being, of Jim Crow.There would be a few hundred black-owned businesses, black-led museums, black political organizations and, of course, black athletes and politicians.But in recent months, it has felt like something else has hap...
Spanish historians are still studying the country’s past to understand its current racial attitudes, but the Spanish government has been doing its part to combat racism, writes John Macdonald.
The Spanish government recently announced it would pay $20 million to a private foundation to set up a national institute to study and tackle racist violence in Spain.
The institute will study the history of the country and its relations with other European countries, and its aim is to create an “international database of racial discrimination” and “a register of all racial incidents and discrimination.”
The institute’s chairman, Miguel Angel Vazquez, told the Spanish news agency EFE that it will help Spain understand its history and “help it to avoid racism.”
“It will be an important tool for us,” he said.
But critics say the project, which will be financed through the European Commission, will be used to further the European Union’s efforts to eradicate racism and discrimination.
The European Commission is the EU’s executive arm and funds the institute.
“I think it’s important for the Spanish state to take a closer look at this because racism is a serious problem that can affect people in Spain,” said Juan Miguel Villar, president of the Council of the European Left, which has called for a review of the Spanish history.
Villar also said the institute should have a “human face” so people can see that racism and its effect on minorities has existed in the country since the late 1700s.
“This is a project that will make it possible to know the past,” he told EFE.
Spain’s former dictator Benito Mussolini, who died in 1936, also sought to wipe out racial discrimination, which he described as a “black plague” that affected the majority of the population.
However, many Spaniards say they are still proud of their history of racism and anti-Semitism.
According to a 2015 study conducted by the University of Barcelona, 78 percent of Spaniards believe that racism is still widespread in the Spanish Republic, with more than half of those saying they were willing to accept it.
However the same study found that in 2014, only 18 percent of Spanish adults said they were comfortable with racism, compared to a national average of 37 percent.
Meanwhile, another study published in April found that only 18.4 percent of the public said racism in Spain was “acceptable,” while 61.7 percent said it was “not acceptable.”
Still, the numbers of people who are willing to acknowledge racism are higher in Spain than anywhere else in Europe, and the results are not surprising.
The study showed that only 26 percent of those surveyed felt comfortable saying that racism existed in Spain, compared with an average of 32 percent in other European nations.
“In a European country, people who see racism, they are more comfortable with it than in other parts of the world,” said Manuela Pérez-Martín, a sociology professor at the University de Barcelona and the author of the study.
“Spain is one of the few countries in the world where racism is not a taboo.”
Pézérez Martín said the study is not intended to make the Spanish political class feel guilty or guilty about the countrys racism.
Rather, she said, the aim is “to understand how people feel about their own experiences.”
Still there are those who say that the research does not really address the root of the problem.
“They are just taking some statistics that were given to them by the government,” said Martín.
“But they are trying to explain that racism can be explained by economic factors, and that people who have higher incomes are more likely to be discriminated against.”
One of the most recent studies, conducted in 2015, found that while Spaniards had been willing to admit racism to their government, they still didn’t have a clear understanding of the root causes.
According the study, one of two reasons for racism is perceived superiority, and while the study found racism could be linked to social class, the research also noted that the study did not include people of color.
Still, Martín pointed out that the results of the studies are valid and are the basis of policies, policies that can help the country to address racism.
The foundation that will be created by the institute will also be responsible for monitoring and documenting racism, and will help researchers to identify patterns and trends in racism.
For instance, the foundation will provide researchers with information about how many people have been targeted by racists in Spain in the past.
Also, the institute’s director will have access to the information that will inform the study’s results.
“We’re trying to help the government to understand that racism does exist in Spain and to do something about it,” Villar said.