Attacked for being black

The Czech Republic’s first black lawmaker just got beaten up, said Martin Fendrych, yet nobody wants to call it an act of racism.

Dominik Feri, 22, was at a wine-tasting event in the small eastern town of Borsice when a man came up to him and asked, “You’re Feri?” As Feri replied, “Yes, can I help you?” the man slugged him, and another man joined in the attack. Feri ended up in the hospital. Even though witnesses said one of the attackers shouted, “N—–s have no right to be in politics,” the public prosecutor maintains that racial animus was not a motive. Instead, he blamed alcohol.

The Borsice mayor, meanwhile, said the attackers were clearly “decent people” because one of them had an advanced degree. Even Feri, who is of part-Ethiopian descent, attributed the attack to “different political views.” This is absolute nonsense. The thugs weren’t complaining about the policies of Feri’s center-right opposition party, TOP 09, but about the color of his skin. Such violence is a direct result of the racist rhetoric of our populist President Milos Zeman, who once proclaimed, “This country is ours. This country is not and can not be for all.” Czechs have been “pushed by their leaders into thoughtless fear of the other.”