This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

January 12, 2010
Nations on every continent struggle with racism

Comments made by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid about President Obama during the 2008 campaign have sparked a racial debate in the U.S. and around the globe.

Reid, who recently apologized, is quoted in a new book as saying Obama was electable because he is “light-skinned…with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

Racial discrimination takes on many forms around the world.

In Iraq, some estimate that 10 percent of the country’s 29 million people are of African origin.

Much of the black population feel marginalized and are increasingly frustrated about not having a legally mandated share of parliamentary seats — unlike many of Iraq’s other minorities, including Kurds and Christians.

Watch a report by Omar Saleh of Al Jazeera English here:

In Australia, 21-year-old Indian student Nitin Garg was stabbed to death in Melbourne recently. And another Indian man was set on fire outside of his Melbourne home.

Australian police are still looking for the attackers but say they don’t think either crime was racially motivated.

This has upset many Indians — both in Australia and India. A series of violent attacks against Indians in Australia last year had already strained diplomatic relations.

Applications by Indians for Australian student visas have dropped by half, and at least one protest has taken place outside the Australian High Commission in New Delhi.

Watch a recent report by Ashima Thomas of Al Jazeera English on the violence in Australia:

Global Voices blogger Kevin Rennie, a former secondary school teacher and resident of Melbourne, offers a wrap-up from Australian bloggers.

The murder of an Indian man in Melbourne has reignited the debate about racism in Australia and the safety of overseas students. It has also severely strained relations between Australia and India.

And lastly, in our Worldfocus broadcast tonight, we discuss the discrimination faced by Afro-Peruvians.

For the first time, the government of Peru has apologized to the African-Peruvian population for centuries of abuse, exclusion and discrimination.

The government said it hoped the apology would help promote the “true integration” of Peru’s multi-cultural population.

Africans first arrived in Peru in the 16th century as slaves of Spanish conquerors. Today Afro-Peruvians account for 5 to 10 percent of Peru’s 29 million people.

On the blog “Living in Peru,” Andres Flores writes about the history of Africans in Peru:

“According to the anthropologist Humberto Rodriguez, traces of the African culture are strongly marked in the capital. “There are streets in Lima called Malambo, inhabited by large numbers of African descendants. Their roots are not confined only to music and food, they are also seen in their lifestyle, their creolism, language and customs of the city.”

– Geneva Sands-Sadowitz

bookmark    print




@Secretary-I think u r mad & ur words are at best laughable because nothing u have said has any basis on facts or common sense. U don’t seem to know much about Africans, Blacks or Americans & r speaking from purely ignorant opinion. As to what Flamingo says Rawlins ran Ghana 4 over 20yrs -he first came 2 power in a military Coup then had 2 terms in a democratic election & his father was a European. If anything mixed raced children get preferential treatment in many African nations because unfortunately the stain of slavery has Africans & Diasporans still believing that lighter is better or somehow superior which was taught to them by colonizers & slave masters & continues 2 exist thru the descendants on all sides- hence Harry Reid’s statement of what is very much a fact in America where Obama was more acceptable as a candidate to many Whites because he has lighter skin & higher level of education- translation:he was closer to their ideal of White acceptability/superiority than to their stereotype of Black unacceptability/inferiority.


“Secretary” clearly does not know anything about Africa. If he spent just a little time to get educated about the continent, he would find that people of mixed Euro-African descent are fully involved in the economic, cultural and political life of the African countries in which they live. One of them, Jerry Rawlings, was President of Ghana and served two terms. Others are ministers, military commanders, administrators and senior officials. Finally, it has clearly not occurred to our wise author that the term “half breed” is ugly!


Everyone,all of us, we are all brothers and sisters. We should all respect one another.


[…] Peru : “According to the anthropologist Humberto Rodriguez, traces of the … Read more:  Nations on every continent struggle with racism | Worldfocus Share […]


[…] is the original post:  Nations on every continent struggle with racism | Worldfocus Share […]


Hi James,

Estimates of the percentage of the Afro-Peruvian population vary, from 5- 10%.

We’ve amended the copy to reflect that.

Thanks for reading, and watching.

– Rebecca Haggerty


In your article on the number of African slave descendents in Iraq, you suggest that estimate are as great as 10 percent and yet in the same article, it was stated that gthe number 1 million of 29 million, hardly 10 percent. In Chinese Mandarin, 10 and 4 can be confused easily.


Daljit said (I listened twice) 10 percent of peruvian people are of African descent vice four as the transcript says.


……IT’s TRUE THE DEMS. ALWAYS GIVE THEMSELF A PASS !…WE in America try to teach our children the right way …to have a respectful behavior
to other’s ….color or faith !to give him a pass
show’s or sends what behvior for our young people !
…..some other person might have been CRUCIFIED for say-ing those very words…but he was given a PASS ?? !!!!….AND STILL ALLOW TO HAVE SENATE LEADERSHIP… !


President Obama father came from a country where either you were full Black Africian or you were British White or at the worst a mixture of Black and White would mean that your life would be short. Half breeds are not welcome in most countries of Africa. It really become interesting when President Obama has a wife who ancestors were Africian-American slaves. In America anyone who wants to be seen as a former slave from Africa unwilling uses the term African-America a prase that any other Black from around the world would never use. Ask his wife what she thinks about the prase African-American and she will just about strangle you, since it has a meaning to her as the same meaning as slavery. African-American to her means she would still be a slave. When Senator Obama was running for President, his campaign headquarters in Chicago lack a certain ethic group. One good reason was that his wife has this thing about black guys, there sexist pigs.
Then there is the education, speech dialect, trust, and computer skills. Even when President Obama was on the road his group of people lack certain others. I guess racisum is well entrench in the White House from the persons who hate it the most, but are by their own past actions part of the problem.


Regarding the government of Peru and the apologizing.I am not in favour of this.This is the past. President Obama also has a first year history of apologizing to various countries for all sorts of past happenings. We have enough problems to tackle now.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Produced by Creative News Group LLC     ©2020 WNET.ORG     All rights reserved

Distributed by American Public Television