Survival names winner of the 'most racist article of the year' award

March 19, 2008

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An article comparing Paraguayan Indians to cancer and describing them as ‘Neolithic’, ‘out-of-date’ and ‘filthy’ has been named by Survival as the ‘most racist article’ in the mainstream media published in the last year. The award marks March 21, the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The article was published in the Paraguayan newspaper La Nacion. It also describes the Indians as having a ‘withered’ culture, argues that they ‘need to become civilised’, and calls into question their humanity.

The ‘most racist article of the year’ award is the latest feature of Survival’s ‘Stamp it Out’ campaign which aims to challenge racist descriptions of tribal people in the world’s media. The winner will receive a certificate inscribed with a quotation from Lakota Sioux author Luther Standing Bear: ‘All the years of calling the Indian a savage has never made him one.’

Stamp it Out is supported by prominent journalists such as the BBC’s World Affairs correspondent John Simpson, Sandy Gall and George Monbiot.

Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘Racism often underpins, or is used to justify, abuses of tribal people, whether it’s stealing their land, exploiting them or even killing them. This article makes it clear that in the media such racism continues to exist, even among people who are supposed to ‘know better’. This isn’t about political correctness – it has very real consequences for tribal peoples’ livelihoods, land and, ultimately, their lives.’

Read the article in Spanish or English.

Click here to get involved with Survival’s Stamp it Out campaign.

Click here to read Survival’s blog on Stamp it Out