Unknown/BBC © 2005 England and Chelsea footballer Shaun Wright-Phillips was one of several players targeted with abuse at a Spanish football match, recently.
Has race and racism got a strong foothold in Spain?
BlagMag, Sep 25, 2005 GMTSOURCE: BlackMag
Shaun Wright Phillips
I am a Spanish national by birth and have many family members who currently reside in the country. In the mist ethnic unity in Spain, racism, intra-racism and purist attitudes remain as blatant forces within the country.
Key Multi-Racial Cities
Las Islas Canarias - The Canary Islands is dominated by mestizo descendents of, mostly, North Africans and Caucasian Spaniards. This group is fully assimilated into Spanish society.
*Palma de Mallorca - This is probably the most multi-ethnic and multi-cultural city in Spain. It has been popular tourist town and vacation destination of the extremely wealthy, for centuries now.
*Ibiza - This is the house music capital of Spain. Many performers of African descent have passed through the city. It is currently a sought after party vacation spot for young African-Americans.
*Málaga - I've read about, at least, two African-American jazz musicians who moved to Malaga to live the last years of their life. There may be a local little jazz culture there. Neneh Cherry is known to have resided there.
*Barcelona - has a tightly knit African-American community there; a destination for athletes of African descent who move there to play for various professional sports teams.
*Saragossa (Zaragossa) - There was a time when more than 90% of the African population was from Equatorial Guinea and there existed a large community of Equatorial Guineans in Saragossa. There are now people of African descent living there who are from other parts of the world: Cubans, Dominicans, Americans, etc.
*Madrid - Despite purist terrorism activities being a big issue, there is a population of people of African descent in Madrid. I'm not sure of any prominent community that exists. Many of them are middle to upper class. The city also has a sports and entertainment industry that recruits athletes of African descent from all over the world. The musician Sade is known to have resided there.
It is uncertain whether the Spanish government maintains a count of the number of people of African descent living in the country. They government is known not to use racial or ethnic classifications when conducting their census.
Consider the various celebrities, athletes, and others of African descent who have worked, lived, played, and toured in the country. With all the Afro-Hispanic people of the world, Spain has no reason to be a racist country. Spain is the mother land of Spanish speakers of every ethnic persuasion. If those purist would just move to and stay in the mountains, everything would be just fine.
Despite the racism, I honestly think that any person of African descent can be happy and successful in Spain. The racism can be ignored and dealt with. Unity, citizenship and education are key factors that I think will help people of African descent combat racism in Spain.
If you would like to discuss this article further, please feel free to email me at aw.relir.@gmail.com.