Racial insults may not be what Black travelers (Africans, Americans, Caribbean people, etc.) visiting Germany should be most concerned with. Former government spokesman Uwe-Karsten Heye said in a 2006 radio interview that dark-skinned visitors to Germany should consider avoiding the eastern part of the country where racism runs high.
“There are small and medium-sized towns in Brandenburg, as well as elsewhere, which I would advise a visitor of another skin color to avoid going to,” said Heye. They “might not make it out alive” if they dared set foot in certain towns, he warned.
Black visitors will also have to be extra careful when they venture outside of Moscow into the rest of Russia. In a chilling warning, the Russia expert of New Republic, Julie Ioffe, said, “There’s quite a bit of violence against people considered to be Black” in Russia, raising new fears about the safety of Olympic athletes, visitors and media attending the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Ioffe warned that nowhere in Russia is safe for a person of color to visit, outside of Moscow’s city center.
Immigrants are often set upon by groups of men wielding metal bars, chains, brass knuckles, broken bottles, knives and wooden clubs. The victims suffer from broken bones, damage to sight and hearing and extensive bruising, reports the Racist Violence Recording Network, composed of 30 aid and human rights groups.
Spain has a long-standing reputation for virulent racism, and many tourists of African descent complain of their poor reception by Spanish citizens. The nation was singled out by United Nations Special Rapporteur on racism, Mutuma Ruteere, who called on Spanish leaders to take greater steps toward eliminating racist and discriminatory practices against Africans and other immigrants in the country.
The world is not yet colorblind, and Italy is no exception. Anyone not noticeably of European descent will likely be looked down upon by Italians. Oftentimes a darker-skinned tourist will only have to deal with imposing stares, however; some Black women report a rather high incidence of gawking that leads to inquiries for prostitution.
Many people of color who have lived in Thailand can attest to the problematic racial attitudes commonplace in the country. Thais have an aversion to dark skin in general, and are prejudiced against people of African descent or anyone who has a darker skin tone, even among themselves. Black people frequently face discrimination in the workplace and are targeted for scrutiny from police. According to some travelers, it is legal there to discriminate on the basis of skin color or ethnicity.
A person of African descent traveling to China should not be surprised if they are repeatedly stared at or even swarmed by crowds of curious Chinese who will treat them as a spectacle by taking pictures, touching their hair, rubbing their skin, and asking questions that reflect their ignorance and lack of interaction with Black people.
Racism against Blacks may be the strongest form of prejudice in China. Chinese racism is linked to ignorance, class divisions, ethnocentrism and colorism that exists within Chinese society. Many people in China look down upon other Chinese of darker skin, and believe the whiter skin has more beauty.
In China, Black people are viewed through stereotypes, and most Chinese assume Blacks are poor, uneducated, violent, play basketball, are barbaric and wild, and even eat each other. The most common Chinese slur used against Black people means “black ghost.”
1. South Korea
Racist mockery of Black people is very common in the public sphere in South Korea. When a Black person turns on the television in Korea, they can expect to experience Koreans using blackface and other stereotypical depictions to mock African people, the Diaspora, and Black culture in general.