Patrick Cloos & Johan Bilsen
Archives of Public Health volume 79, Article number: 200 (2021)
Several dramatic events, related to racism, have made headlines globally in recent months. The murder of George Floyd by a police officer in the United States is a tragedy that reinforced the Black Lives Matter movement which fights against police violence inflicted against Black people in the United States. The global media coverage of both the murder and the anti-racist protest movements have contributed to raising awareness not only of police violence but also the persistence of racism. In Europe, racial profiling and increasing violence in everyday interactions, during police checks or in detention of Afro-descendants in particular, whether they are European citizens or migrants, have been denounced by the European parliament. Those who are designated ‘Muslim’ or ‘Black’ are particular victims of racism, as it was noticed in Belgium, whether in terms of negative attitudes towards them (insults, threats, aggression) or unemployment. Occupational downgrading and unemployment, as for Afro-descendants, contrast with a generally high level of education. In a recent study on Afro-descendants in Belgium, Demart et al. indicated that a majority of respondents (80%) declared experiences of discrimination, unequal treatment or insults with references to skin colour or origin.
Read the full commentary in Archives of Public Health.