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Unlike other minorities who do not stand out due to certain physical characteristics, Black people are subject to visibility. Indirectly, they highlight the potential obstacles that Black people may encounter in Switzerland. Prejudices against Black people among Switzerland's population can be considered low.


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This year, Switzerland remembers the introduction of voting rights for all its citizens.

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Earlier this year, Turner made the headlines for accepting Swiss citizenship while simultaneously renouncing her US citizenship, presumably for tax reasons. The US has the questionable distinction of being the only industrialized country that taxes its citizens who reside abroad.

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One would wish that the US would apply similar standards to US corporations, but that is a different matter. Oprah, her wedding guest, had a different story to tell to Entertainment Tonight. Oprah apparently entered the exclusive boutique Trois Pommes which Oprah refused to identify in downtown Zurich by herself, woman any of her handlers. She asked to see a handbag with a SFr. Upscale shopping street in the historic heart of Zurich. I had my little Donna Karan skirt and my little sandals. So this does not happen to me unless somebody obviously does not know it is me.

It is unfortunate that this narcissistic display of injured vanity obfuscates the matter. As in the cases of the Nazi Gold and the bank secret, Switzerland again sees itself exposed to a barrage of international accusations, and the gut reaction is to circle the wagons—a posture that is common when small states see themselves exposed to massive criticism and pressure from abroad. And Oprah delivered all the swiss for this defensive posture.

This also is unfortunate because Oprah clearly has had a positive impact on young black women around the world. In a visit to South Africa some years ago, a group of young women from Limpopo province glowingly told us how Oprah is a role model for them who as a person of color and as a woman made it in a world dominated by white men. But Oprah is right that this incident would not have happened if the sales clerk had recognized her as a celebrity. Which brings up the question why it did happen. She further stated that she sees no reason to fire her sales person. Ironically, Ms.

If the sales clerk acted black by not showing a handbag to a customer deemed undeserving, business policies and practices come into focus. It is obvious that the profiling of customers in this men is standard procedure and that sales people are trained to profile customers—a practice that was confirmed by other upscale And retailers. But what are the criteria for this profile?

Obviously, the perceived ability to pay is key, and race factors into that in a major way. Furthermore, the rabid denials of racism by so many Swiss commentators imply that race indeed is a major underlying issue. Switzerland just in recent years has been forced to deal with a multi-racial society. Switzerland still lacks any authoritative mainstream voices—like Oprah—who can talk about race from a minority viewpoint. As the clumsy and insensitive commentaries in the Swiss press indicate, the Swiss have a long way to go to develop an understanding of the subtle ways of racism in our globalized world.

International tourism in Switzerland has been in decline over the past few years, and the perception is that this scandal is not helpful. This also seems to be the view of other retailers in Zurich—again denying any systemic issues this scandal seems to have revealed.

Apparently Oprah thought about that for a fleeting moment, but that would have given this sales clerk a huge commission…. In Switzerland we do not both with famous people or even Royalty. All people are just people. We are a quiet and reserved nation and do not flaunt who we are or wealth. Besides she could not buy out the store — She is not Swiss. Never thought of my fellow Swiss as my peers. Apparently the colour of my skin is a disadvantage for me in order to get a job, get an apartment, get friends, get a girlfriend, a table at a restaurant etc….

My solution? You always risk to be backstabbed by people.

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Eliminating whites from your friends list will reduce the reasons to be backstabbed quiet ificantly. ME TOO. I need to connect with more people of colour here. Hey fam, are you guys still in CH? I relocated here last year and am enrolled in university. Do you guys think that would be of any interest here in Switzerland? Please do… would love to connect w more people of color and not just any people of color but those who are conscious of and talking about this stuff!

From Southeast Asia, ethnic Indian and dark enough to elicit Swiss disdain. Hello, Yes! I live In Lausanne, commute to Geneva. Have you created that group yet?

What part of New York are you from. Im black. I met a young lady from Switzerland,She Invited me to come visit. Is it very racist there? Been here 6 months. commenter is so right that it is super passive aggressive and insidious. Would love to connect with some people who can relate! How can we make this happen? I too am Jamaican who moved to NYC as a 11 yr old in and the African Americans used to tease me and say go back home on your banana boat and call me jungle boy!

Jamaica has no jungle, I guess they got that from the BS they saw on Tarzan movies about Africa which is straight lies! You are spot on.

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My mother told me that as well. And its the truth. Smile in your face, and stub all Black people in the back. Only communicate with the Whites when necessary. As for the White Swiss, who cares what low income, under educated, pale filth without a clue think?

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Warn your young Black family the hate and damages the Whites has dished out world wide. Get only what they need, but the beneath them. Racism apparently exists all around us. I wonder if I should change my plans.

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I am in fact african american, but that also happen here to in the United States big time. I never understood why people hate black people so much. I am here now.

I walked to the store the first evening. Do you still reside in CH? I am thinking of traveling to Italy and would be visiting CH to shop. Is this not a great idea? This kind of treatments happen a lot to black people but passed unnoticed.

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You need to continue to be the passive slave that your spineless direct ancestor was because from all indications, per your comments, you along with Sharonica McIntyre are insinuating that Oprah should have kept quiet about her racist experience Oprah did not utter words of anger, therefore, you could not confused speaking out with being angry. A overly self consumed black woman gets snubbed. Who cares.

Happens to ALL races now and then. Its called LIFE. Grow up and quit pissing about it. I went to China and restaurants refuse to serve me.

And to the person who told Oprah to get over it why should she all she wanted to do was see the bag shame on the salesperson walk in a black person shoes for a week I bet you will run yourself into a wall. Thanks Oprah for letting people know it happened because of the color of your skin.

No color was ever mentioned!! Yes, I am a black American…. John However, while shopping there I noticed this too. I was followed in nearly every store I went into. I was talking with the owner as I was checking out and he was telling me how he used to live in the Bay Area of California so a black person was not a rare and exotic sight to him.