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Swiss apologize for encounter Oprah calls racist

 
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CherryBlossom View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote CherryBlossom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2013 at 6:18am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (6) Thanks(6)   Quote afrokock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2013 at 6:45am
Originally posted by Printer_Ink Printer_Ink wrote:


Geesh, have any of ya'll ever BEEN to Switzerland? I have.
 
In fact I have been working and living in Europe for almost 15 years .. where my job sends me to about 12 European countries for work and yes, even when people 'speak English' GOOD GRIEF do they misunderstand what you are saying and ... you misunderstand what they are saying. Shocked
 
I remember when I first moved here and I would come home from work and ask my bf 'Hi, how are yoü doing?' and he would turn up his face and shrug. I thought that was odd.That went on for a while.. until one day he got mad and said 'What does it matter how_I_am_doing_my_things'.  Why do you want to know how I do things! All mad at me.. Ahhhh.
 
So then I had to explain 'How are you doing' is just an expression ..  like 'Good Day'. But he was getting upset that I kept asking him how_he_was_doing ...he thought ..his things.Unhappy
 
I used to come home flop down on the sofa and say 'I'M POOPED!" That used to make him wince too .. until he asked why I keep talking about my private toliet issues when I sit on the couch! So then I had to explain that the expression 'I'M POOPED' just means .. I am tired. Smile
 
Now these are smallll language gaps .. but I have had a lot of them.
 
Ah .... I went to buy some flowers and I said 'I want those'.  The lady says 'Oh these are EXPENSIVE' with a shocked look. I was so pi**** .. because I said I want them anyway .. and then she looked offended and rang me up. That has happened in several stores for a while ... used to p*** me off.
 
Then one day I was shopping with a friend and it happened to her! I said - 'WHY DO these people act like what you want is EXPENSIVE like that ... as if you can't afford it!"
 
She explained .. oh that's because the Dutch are cheap and they think it's important they tell to so you can watch what you spend - so they try to warn you!
 
Ahhh so from that point on - when I pick out something and someone says 'Oh this is too expensive!' I don't take offense anymore. I just say something like 'Oh I realize it's very expensive but I want to treat myself today.' Then they smile and say .. that is good for you and we start talking about how women never treat themselves etc so then it is a nice exchange. But I don't take offenense anymore because see they were not trying to put me down.
 
This kind of stuff happens soooo much so now I am very careful how I use my English and I try to understand what people are saying to me BEHIND the words .. because in my experience people are not putting you down. They are just expressing themselves in English but the nuances etc can make it seem like an insult if you are Black and from America where people DO PURPOSELY say mean things because you are Black.
 
I am NOT SAYING this what happened to Oprah while she was in that store because I was not there!!
 
What I AM saying is that ... using English to people that are not native English speakers DOES indeed cause a lot of misunderstandings! You just have to be exposed enough to other cultures to REALIZE this so then you use your words carefully and watch their faces carefully when they speak English so that you understand and don't take things the wrong way. If what they say sounds odd/rude .. I repeat it back try to clarify ... then they will come back and say it a little differentt and so forth.
 
You really have to watch people's faces and expression to understand what they are trying to say - even in English.
 
btw- 99% of Swiss TV is not American/English speaking at all .... so I doubt if the average Swiss person would know who she is.
 
 


ive been to basel a few times in the past

they hear you just fine!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote bindy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2013 at 6:54am
Originally posted by Printer_Ink Printer_Ink wrote:

Geesh, have any of ya'll ever BEEN to Switzerland? I have.
 
In fact I have been working and living in Europe for almost 15 years .. where my job sends me to about 12 European countries for work and yes, even when people 'speak English' GOOD GRIEF do they misunderstand what you are saying and ... you misunderstand what they are saying. Shocked
 
I remember when I first moved here and I would come home from work and ask my bf 'Hi, how are yoü doing?' and he would turn up his face and shrug. I thought that was odd.That went on for a while.. until one day he got mad and said 'What does it matter how_I_am_doing_my_things'.  Why do you want to know how I do things! All mad at me.. Ahhhh.
 
So then I had to explain 'How are you doing' is just an expression ..  like 'Good Day'. But he was getting upset that I kept asking him how_he_was_doing ...he thought ..his things.Unhappy
 
I used to come home flop down on the sofa and say 'I'M POOPED!" That used to make him wince too .. until he asked why I keep talking about my private toliet issues when I sit on the couch! So then I had to explain that the expression 'I'M POOPED' just means .. I am tired. Smile
 
Now these are smallll language gaps .. but I have had a lot of them.
 
Ah .... I went to buy some flowers and I said 'I want those'.  The lady says 'Oh these are EXPENSIVE' with a shocked look. I was so pi**** .. because I said I want them anyway .. and then she looked offended and rang me up. That has happened in several stores for a while ... used to p*** me off.
 
Then one day I was shopping with a friend and it happened to her! I said - 'WHY DO these people act like what you want is EXPENSIVE like that ... as if you can't afford it!"
 
She explained .. oh that's because the Dutch are cheap and they think it's important they tell to so you can watch what you spend - so they try to warn you!
 
Ahhh so from that point on - when I pick out something and someone says 'Oh this is too expensive!' I don't take offense anymore. I just say something like 'Oh I realize it's very expensive but I want to treat myself today.' Then they smile and say .. that is good for you and we start talking about how women never treat themselves etc so then it is a nice exchange. But I don't take offenense anymore because see they were not trying to put me down.
 
This kind of stuff happens soooo much so now I am very careful how I use my English and I try to understand what people are saying to me BEHIND the words .. because in my experience people are not putting you down. They are just expressing themselves in English but the nuances etc can make it seem like an insult if you are Black and from America where people DO PURPOSELY say mean things because you are Black.
 
I am NOT SAYING this what happened to Oprah while she was in that store because I was not there!!
 
What I AM saying is that ... using English to people that are not native English speakers DOES indeed cause a lot of misunderstandings! You just have to be exposed enough to other cultures to REALIZE this so then you use your words carefully and watch their faces carefully when they speak English so that you understand and don't take things the wrong way. If what they say sounds odd/rude .. I repeat it back try to clarify ... then they will come back and say it a little differentt and so forth.
 
You really have to watch people's faces and expression to understand what they are trying to say - even in English.
 
btw- 99% of Swiss TV is not American/English speaking at all .... so I doubt if the average Swiss person would know who she is.
 
 

lol did you use to date this guy......





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (19) Thanks(19)   Quote TokyoRose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2013 at 7:23am
Printer_Ink, do shuddup.  You act like you're the only person abroad who has this magical know-how with foreigners, especially white people--your people.  Bottom line.  Oprah wanted to see a purse, the woman wouldn't serve her.  This is a customer service issue with possibly racist, definitely classist undertones.  Get over yourself.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (11) Thanks(11)   Quote JoliePoufiasse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2013 at 7:41am

Printer Ink, while your stories of miscommunication are hilarious, I doubt very very much that anything like this was involved when Oprah wanted to look at that bag. This was a luxury goods shop that serves an upscale clientele. Things are supposed to be expensive. Therefore, it's more likely that she assumed that Oprah could not afford it and refused to show her that bag, just like she said. And on top of that, the clerk was Italian? I remember trying to shop in Italy and the dirty looks I kept getting. This was not a intra-cultural misunderstanding.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (5) Thanks(5)   Quote zsazsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2013 at 9:05am
Europe is so racist. Swiss takes the boat though. They're openly racist. 

Here is another recent gem from them. 

Swiss introduce apartheid-like restrictions: Local authorities ban asylum seekers from public places

Refugees prohibited from 'loitering' in playgrounds or visiting swimming pools and libraries


Switzerland’s local authorities have introduced draconian restrictions which ban asylum-seekers from frequenting public places such as school playgrounds, swimming pools and libraries in a move angrily denounced by human rights groups as intolerable and racist.

In the town of Bremgarten west of Zurich, where a new centre for asylum-seekers opened last month, officials said refugees would not be allowed to “loiter” in school playgrounds and would be banned from visiting public swimming pools, playing fields and a church. A total of 32 “exclusion zones” have been drawn up.

Raymond Tellenbach, the town’s mayor, told the German broadcaster ARD: “We have decided on security grounds not to allow access to these areas, to prevent conflict and guard against possible drug use.”

Mario Gattiker, the head of Switzerland’s Federal Office of Immigration which endorsed the apartheid-style restrictions, justified the move to journalists saying: “We need rules to ensure a peaceful and orderly coexistence of residents and asylum-seekers.”

However a spokesman for Switzerland’s non-governmental Refugee Council described the restraining orders as “intolerable and inhuman” and demanded that the authorities suspend the measures. “It is up to the authorities to create an atmosphere of openness,” the spokesman added. The human rights group Solidarité Sans Frontières said the restrictions were “blatantly discriminatory.” However Roman Staub, the mayor of the nearby town of Menzingen said he fully supported banning asylum-seekers from the vicinity of schools: “This is certainly a very difficult area, because here asylum-seekers could meet our schoolchildren – young girls our young boys,” he remarked.

Switzerland plays host to almost double the number of asylum-seekers per head of population of its European neighbours. It counts one refugee for every 332 inhabitants, compared to one per 625 inhabitants on the rest of the continent. Some 48,000 refugees are currently seeking asylum in Switzerland. In June this year voters took part in a referendum which overwhelmingly backed moves to tighten asylum restrictions amid fears voiced by the popular right-wing Swiss People’s Party that the country was being inundated with refugees.

The new rules stipulate that military desertion is no longer a reason for claiming asylum. Would-be refugees can also no longer apply for asylum through Swiss foreign embassies.

The growing refugee population has obliged Swiss local authorities to seek new ways of accommodating asylum-seekers. Several Swiss army mountain bunkers have been decommissioned and turned into refugee centres.

Critics point out that most of the bunkers are miles away from human habitation and that under current rules resident refugees are subjected to a curfew which forbids them from leaving the premises after 5pm. 

Some Swiss politicians have nevertheless complained that the presence of asylum-seekers in remote Alpine regions could have a negative impact on the tourist industry.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote zsazsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2013 at 9:07am
Cocoa 

but how often is racism dismissed because it was not obvious no racist language was used

Oprah does not need to make headlines, she knows this will be controversial and she will be accused of being over sensitive so i am quite sure she understood what was going on as she will have experienced this before
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (5) Thanks(5)   Quote AwesomeAries Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2013 at 9:14am
Originally posted by mizzsandra00 mizzsandra00 wrote:

Billionaire but the world will not let you forget who you are.......


Even if you in a benz you still a nicca in a coupe- Kanye
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (7) Thanks(7)   Quote Derri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2013 at 9:23am
I'm genuinely confused as to how a human being can hate another or refuse another just for the way they look. Just for having darker skin and textured hair? Really? That's why? I mean on a primary and physical level is that what it is for them?

I would love for all of them to fall off the planet right this moment, but it's not because they have leas melanin than I do. So what is it for them? We haven't done anything to them so..what gives?
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