Today I read in the paper that political correctness decreased very much in the Netherlands in the last years, especially with regard to how people talk about foreigners.
A research was carried out by Motivaction. It turned out that 10 percent of the Dutch openly admits to be racists. Another 17 percent says to be racist "every now and then".
Half of the population has got an antipathy towards Muslims. 41 percent of the respondents think that immigrants are intolerant, 24 percent think they are lazy and 36 percent that they are liars.
There was also a question where people could mention a population group with whom they feel the least at ease. 49% replied that they don't feel at ease among Moroccans, followed by Antillians, Turks and Africans with 35/32/32 percent.
Probably people have always had these negative thoughts, but it is also possible that the percentages became higher after 9/11 and after Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh were killed. But the main reason why the numbers are so extremely high now, is because "people finally dare to say what they think openly". Well, I must say that I prefer political correctness, then. You get a very aggressive, hostile and unliveable society when people start saying these things too easily. What would it be like for immigrants when people openly say to them that their group is lazy, intolerant and telling lies, and that they don't feel at ease in their surroundings?
It is really worrisome that it's becoming more and more accepted in the Netherlands to admit that you're a racist. You can openly say that you think that these people with darker hair and skin who come from other countries, that they are barbarians which you would not have to treat with the same amount of respect as you treat "the Dutch".
The information that somebody comes from Morocco is enough reason to openly say that you don't feel at ease with him or her around. That's terrible.
A small minority in the Moroccan population gives the whole group a bad image, and the image gets worse because the irrational fear among the Dutch for foreigners / Muslims has grown after 9/11 and the other attacks. It is very stupid to feel uncomfortable with the whole group in general while only a small part of that group is problematic.
The director of Forum, Institute for Multicultural Development, says in the newspaper article that this recognition and acceptance of racism forms an incredible obstacle for the search for a common future with the different groups which are living in the Netherlands.
And today (a few days later) I read in the newspaper that Verdonk thinks that Canada can learn a lot from her rusty immigration policies. During her visit to Canada she proudly claimed that Canada is still in the stage of political correctness, a stage which the Netherlands have left behind already. Fortunately John Ibbitson from the Canadian paper "The Globe and Mail" replied that Canada can learn nothing about immigration policies from Iron Rita. He spoke with her about the Netherlands and he said that Canada should never become like that.
Verdonk said that the political correctness in Canada would disappear immediately once Canada has been struck by a terrorist attack as well. Of course, when about four terrorists have committed an attack in Canada, that country can immediately let go of their national attitude of tolerance and hospitality towards foreigners who enter the country and towards foreigners who are living in the country. Very logical to treat the whole population of immigrants like that when very few have committed an attack...
Ibbitson said: if we would decide to close all the doors because of a terrorist attack, it means we are giving in to lunatics and racists.