The facts unequivocally disprove claims from Politico about racism in Hungary, writes Kristóf Trombitás for local Hungarian news portal Vasárnap:
A lengthy article by freelance author Kasia Kovacs in Politico claims that Black students from abroad are faced with racism on a daily basis in Hungary. She also alleged that Hungary is pursuing a “radical” anti-immigration policy and steadfastly refuses compulsory migrant settlement quotas.
“Indeed, for many Black people living in Hungary, the government’s anti-immigrant rhetoric plays out on an intimate level in their daily lives. They speak of verbal taunts, being turned away from restaurants and bars, trouble with neighbors and flatmates, and difficulties finding work,” the Politico article claims.
But let us take a look at the facts. According to statistics by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODHR), 194 hate crimes have been registered in Hungary in 2018. We are using the OSCE/ODHR statistics because these also include data from the Helsinki Committee, and we presume that these NGOs, which are not very friendly towards the Hungarian government, have no interest in covering up any damning statistics.
Out of all the hate crimes in that year, 11 had a racial motivation and four were violent.
In the same year — also according to OSCE data — French police registered 1,838 hate crimes, of which 913 racially motivated while the Netherlands had 3,299, of which 1,442 were racially motivated. Other countries like Sweden had 5,858, with 3,962 racially motivated and Germany at 8,113, with 1,995 racially motivated.
We could go on listing data from other European countries, but the above figures are proof enough that while racism is virtually non-existent in Hungary, it is an issue several orders of magnitude more severe in other European states.
Yet, Politico doesn’t report that Sweden has 400 times more racially motivated crimes than Hungary nor does it ever mention that in addition to 913 racially motivated crimes, France also had 1,944 hate crimes in which Christians were the target.
These latter numbers obviously have no news value to Kasia Kovacs, who, according to her Facebook profile, is of Polish and Hungarian extraction.
In contrast, the fact that, according to their own claims, a number of Black students have been slighted is newsworthy. We should also mention that with her previous work published in such prestigious media outlets as the Jefferson City News Tribune and the Beaufort Gazette, she somehow made it straight to Politico.
Of course, we shouldn’t read any ulterior motive into all the above, nor should we think this is all happening according to a plan — this is just coincidence and astute editors recognizing genuine talent.
Be careful, because some people might actually believe that.