Sunday, March 13, 2005

American Students Attacked in Madrid

Recently, a group of eight American students on a study-abroad program were attacked in Madrid by five neo-Nazi skinheads following a soccer match. This incident is considered by police to be a hate crime, as three of the victims were black, and the assailants used racial insults during the attack. All of the Americans received bruises except for the three women who fled to find help. Luckily, only two of the students required medical attention for wounds that were not serious. Although such an attack is a rare occurrence in Spain, I believe that the increasing frequency of such events serves to demonstarate a dangerous subcurrent of racism and xenophobia that is residing just below the surface. One must not look further than the number of incidents in soccer matches where play has been forced to come to a hault due to racist chants and brawls.

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