In a utopian world everything is simple. Liberalism is good. People are happy and healthy. Everyone love each other. There are no wars or conflicts.
However, real life is more complex and even within Europe (or more widely Western World) we have different opinions and views.
One of that complex issues is immigration and the “migration crisis”. Hand in hand with this topic comes recently published article: “Why France’s Victory Matters — Liberalism triumphed over a history of ethno-nationalism”. Mixing sports and politics — what can’t be wrong with it?
Let’s just summarise it: France — liberal, tolerant and with a “diverse lineup” won the World Cup 2018 over Croatia — white, “fascist” (yes, you read that right!) and God knows what other crimes they have committed. This is quite common and dominant view in the Western World (as Croatia among other Slavic countries is part of the EU — lets put a line somewhere where the former Iron Curtain was to define “Western World”). The author of the mentioned article is actually “Canadian Francophile” as he described himself— a prime example of modern, liberal Westerner.
So why Central Europe wasn’t and still isn’t home for all the African migrants? Why Croatian team and many other Central European teams are so homogeneous?
We can find partial explanation in the article. However, why partial? Well mainly because when you rewrite history you want to highlight good parts and hide all your sins in the shadows — like you mention “Independent State of Croatia — a fascist puppet state led by Ante Pavelić”, however you will not find any word about author’s much loved France and it’s collaboration with Third Reich. Just turn the head away from unpleasant facts.
Let’s not do this here and start from asking a simple question: did Croatia or any other Central European country build their wealth on slavery, abuse of other non-white people? Was there any form of ethnic segregation that you could recently find in, for example, nowadays uber-liberal USA? No, there were no separate doors for white and non-white people in Croatia, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia… even Russia (let’s not forget about Soviet crimes) was more tolerant and didn’t segregate people based on colour of their skin. Fact.
What about our, liberal democracies that bring peace and tolerance, apparently? Francophonic World — France, Belgium and Canada — either colonies and/or killing indigenous people — check. Slavery — check. Anglo-Saxons — UK, USA and Canada — either colonies and/or killing indigenous people — check. Slavery — heavy checkmark.
Someone could jump in and scream — what about Germany!? — mostly west to the Iron Curtain. Liberal, very welcoming to migrants nowadays with a “diverse lineup” of their National Football Team! Slavery? — well not so common as the other Western countries. However — colonies in Africa — small but still a checkmark. Killing basically everyone during World War II who was not Übermensch (biologically superior Aryan or Germanic master race) — check, co-founders of Nazism (let’s not forget Adolf Hitler was Austrian) — check.
In the end, we have a great post-colonial World that after years of abuse of mostly African and Asian people, came to conclusion that maybe slavery wasn’t that good after all (same story with women’s voting rights) decided to go full steam ahead in the other direction without thinking about consequences again (like terrorism). Something that none of the Slavic countries must be ashamed of. Unfortunately, Ben Freeland skipped over that unpleasant part of the history.
He also skipped about another fact that happened straight after World Cup 2018 — celebrations! In France winning the World Cup caused huge riots and street fights in Paris and other French cities. Let’s admit it — burning cars, smashing windows and shoplifting is a “great” way to celebrate win of multicultural France or just as good as any other excuse to release anger of immigrants, poor and excluded. You could call it payback time for all the years of humiliation. Compare it to peaceful and cheerful celebrations in Croatia for getting the silver medal. Yeah, Croats are “fascist” (sarcasm)!
However, to fully understand why “Croatia’s demographics — it ranks among the most homogeneous societies in Europe” — and why African migrants tend to choose Germany, France and the UK over former Soviet Block countries let’s go back to World War II for a second.
Croatia, as other countries that formed Austro-Hungarian Empire, were multinational. Poland’s interwar Second Republic was multinational too. Nazi Germany made their ethnic cleansing while Allies ignored that (see Pilecki’s Report). After the World War II, half of the World, “thanks” to agreement between Churchill, Roosevelt and their ally “good uncle” Joesph Stalin ended up under new Soviet occupation. None of the Slavic countries agreed to that (except Soviet Russia obviously). Eastern Block, let’s be honest, wasn’t welcoming to anyone (including people who lived there already). Therefore, migration was either not existing or very small.
Once Soviet Union collapsed, Poland, Croatia and other Slavic countries have started to move towards more liberal West. Migration is possible and demographics is changing with the freedom of movement in the EU nowadays. However, this is not going to happen just like that, and with high social benefits and security, countries like France, UK, Belgium or Germany are still more favourable among migrants from Africa than Central European countries.
Summarising, Slavic countries don’t have history of white-supremacy, colour segregation or slavery. There is no hidden guilt in the society. Western countries kidnaped, raped and abused African people and are suffering a form of post-slavery hangover. Moreover, they are pretending to be tolerant (or even over-tolerant nowadays, which again started unwanted threat of terrorism attacks on their own soil) and try to be a moral judge (again). It’s pure hypocrisy. Homogeneity of former Eastern Block was achieved against the will and with no agreement of interested parties. Building tolerant and multinational country takes time and looking at the current terrorism threats and points of attack (surprise, surprise: France, Belgium, Germany, USA, UK) it’s not a brainer that Central and Southern Europe is skeptical about another “great” Western idea: forced relocation of African migrants, who don’t share the same, European, Western values.