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PostCatalonia Again; Who is the Xenophobe? (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela, 01/06/18 5:17 am)
Jordi Molins (29 December 2017) wrote the following: "I hope WAISers appreciate a data-based approach in political analysis. Everybody has an opinion, but when providing data backing up one's claims, one has to be much more careful about stating seductive, but wrong, hypotheses. Most Constitutionalists [those opposed to Catalonian secession] writing on WAIS do not provide data to back up their claims."
Since I believe Jordi is referring to me as one of the Constitutionalists, I would like to clarify a few things.
First, my "opinion" on the Catalonian electoral result is very much fact- and data-based. Unfortunately, our esteemed editor did not publish my post on this matter, with figures and conclusions clearly supporting my "opinion." Of course room for biased interpretation is limitless, but my conclusions are only derived from data.
Regarding the economic issues Jordi mentions, my "opinion" has also been more than once based on facts and data with several post published on WAIS, which is more than Jordi has done on this issue. I won't add more data to support my "opinion" on the negative impacts of the crisis for Catalonia and Spain. These are crystal-clear to all except for the most zealous proponents of Catalonian independence.
Jordi claims that the electoral system in Cataluña is not unfair because is the same throughout Spain. He is right in one sense, as "fairness" in this case means legal and institutional. I never claimed it is unfair, but I believe it is unbalanced in Cataluña as in the rest of Spain (the system does not equally distribute the votes in proportion to the population), or perhaps as many other electoral systems in countries with a similar distorted distribution of votes, for instance in the US which resulted in the unfortunate election of Trump.
Regarding racism and xenofobia, Jordi claims that "there is not a single piece of evidence that Republican leaders are racist or xenophobic, quite the opposite. As a consequence, repeated accusations of xenophobia are, in fact, a clear case of xenophobia."
Jordi seems to make a far-fetched argument that Constitutionalists are xenophobic. Again he might be partially correct because unfortunately xenophobia is a social disease implicit in any form of nationalism. However, he might be wrong in the statement that "there is not a single piece of evidence that Republican (independentist) leaders are xenophobic or racist."
I have found plenty of newspaper articles where examples are quoted of racism or xenophobia by independentist (Republicans) leaders.
The most relevant example is Jordi Pujol, a notorious Republican leader, who in 1976 wrote, "El hombre andaluz no es un hombre coherente. Es un hombre anárquico. Es un hombre destruido. Es, generalmente, un hombre poco hecho, un hombre que vive en un estado de ignorancia y de miseria cultural, mental y espiritual." Summarizing the quote, Pujol claimed that Anadalusians are incoherent, anarchic, uncultured, and mentally and spiritually inferior.
Another example by Heribert Barrera, another Republican leader of Ezquerra Republicana, who wrote "hay una distribución genética en la población catalana que es diferente a la de la población subsahariana." Briefly the quote expresses a sense of Catalonian race supremacy over sub-Saharan population.
Last but not least important, Oriol Junqueras, another notorious and more recent "Republican leader" of Ezquerra Republicana, said in 2008: "Hay tres Estados--¡sólo tres!--, donde ha sido imposible agrupar a toda la población en un único grupo genético. En Italia; en Alemania, siguiendo la vieja frontera lingüística entre el alemán marítimo y el continental; y en el Estado español, entre españoles y catalanes.... en concreto, los catalanes tienen más proximidad genética con los franceses que con los españoles; más con los italianos que con los portugueses, y un poco con los suizos. Mientras que los españoles presentan más proximidad con los portugueses que con los catalanes y muy poca con los franceses." In this long quote, Junqueras expresses his opinion about the radical genetic race differentiation between "Spaniards" and Catalonians. He also compare their differences and racist similarities of each one with other populations.
I wonder, does Jordi Molins not consider these statements xenophobic or racist? Or will he try to twist them into a different interpretation or context? Of course, the quotes should be considered in context, but in any case they are clearly despicable and racist opinions. I believe they imply the race supremacy feeling base of regionalism and nationalism.
Below is a long list of similar articles and quotes for interested readers. They are unfortunately in Spanish:
JE comments: José Ignacio, my apologies for the delays in posting. Long series of links, like photos, can slow down the editing process.
I don't see xenophobia finger-pointing as terribly constructive. As José Ignacio points out above, nationalism itself cannot exist without an "other." Perhaps we can better call it "exceptionalism." I do sense that the Catalonian Republicans are very careful to avoid being branded as racist or xenophobic, as it allows them to draw a clear line between themselves and skin-head and/or neo-Francoist radical opposition to their movement. It's a productive tactic in the court of world opinion.
Who can tell us more about Junqueras, who strikes me as the pit bull of the Republicans?