CLR: Promoting candidate Becali is the same as promoting discrimination
During the televised show Jurnal (News Journal) from 30.10.2012, starting at noon on the Romania TV station, the liberal candidate to the parliamentary elections, Mr. George Becali, within the context of a political debate where he had to enter a dialogue through the telephone with the female representative of a different party, declared, on a tone of voice which exceeds the rules of a civilized dialogue, the following: “Hello, hello, hello…. I have told you to never put me in contact and dialogues with women, ok? You do not learn this lesson, ok? Bye! Good bye! (…) I do not make dialogue with women, ok? You do it amongst yourselves women. I only make dialogue with men. Bye!” Mr. Becali returned to the show and continued along the same line, refusing to speak until he received the guarantee that the representative of the respective party, a woman representative, was no longer in the show. He clarified that he loves and protects women, especially considering that Christ was born out of a woman, in addition, Eve meaning life, just that “…. do not make me confront a woman. Do not make me enter a dialogue with her…”.
Aside from the lack of professionalism of the journalists in charge with managing the show, the assertions of candidate Becali are of extreme gravity. They convey, in the purest and most primitive form, discrimination against women. The expression of a profoundly discriminatory philosophy also comes from the fact that Mr. Becali refers to the generic “woman” when he defines her role, and reduces her to the function of procreating. The violence with which Mr. Becali refuses, right from the start, to talk about politics with a woman, also instigates to hatred on the ground of gender.
Evidently, candidate Becali is in direct collision with the ideas of equality of chances of a democratic and civilized Europe. He is however firstly in collision with the anti-discrimination law, Mr. Becali being for a few years already a “regular customer” of the National Council for Combating Discrimination, probably the most sanctioned public person for discrimination by this institution, Mr. Becali covering in time various grounds of discrimination.
In this context, introducing Mr. Becali in the political battle on the lists of the political alliance with the biggest percentages in the electoral polls also implies the irresponsible political endorsement for the dissemination of discriminatory ideas, thus of the offence to and degrading of the human being which discrimination produces as effect. Democracy entails a firm condemnation of such speech, coupled with the marginalization and finally elimination from the political scene of those who promote discrimination. Responsible politicians are aware that political debates, all the more the electoral ones, are supposed to receive additional attention, having a maximum potential to: in a first scenario, promote and justify prejudice at the level of the regular citizen, or, quite the contrary, in a second scenario, to deconstruct prejudice, thus building a society based on the values of human rights. In a profoundly misogynistic Romania, where the participation of women to the political life is among the lowest in the European Union, the Social Liberal Union has chosen, it seems, the first scenario.
We ask the National Council for Combating Discrimination and the National Council for the Audio-Visual to take measures with regards to the incidents from the show in question. Political impunity must not be paralleled by legal impunity for Mr. Becali and those who manage media communication when they discriminate or, respectively, act as an intermediary for discrimination.
Contact person: Delia Niţă, Anti-discrimination Programme Manager, 0040729120383