Poland was a Communist satellite that showed its solidarity with Third World Revolutions by offering scholarships to African students. When the country liberated itself from Communism, many people felt free to show racist hostility to people they regarded as burdens from the old regime. Journalist Damaso Reyes on Living While Black in Eastern Europe. It’s not easy.
From Damaso Reyes
“The reaction of some people, especially here in Poland, was that ‘now we have freedom’ and for them freedom is racism. When you can be a racist as a white man. The system didn’t support racism officially but the wave… after the fall of this system… people felt free… there are this group of people that think ‘now we are free now we can be like the rest of white people.. we can be racists’ and these skinheads started developing rampantly. During the Communist system they could not show their heads, they were there but they were downpressed so after the fall of communism they said ‘oh we have democracy now we are free and can act.’…” – Larry Okey Ugwu