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Spain harbors 'racist prejudices,' until Michelle Obama arrives

First lady Michelle Obama, along with her younger daughter Sasha, arrived in Spain Wednesday for a private visit. For the State Department, it seemed like the perfect time to remove a consular notice warning U.S. travelers to Spain that "racist prejudices" could lead to the arrest of African-Americans who visit the country.

The notice was added last year after two African-American government employees were detained by police. But it generated sufficient press attention in Spain before the first lady's visit to merit a review, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

"It was the press attention around her trip that caused us to look at it once again," he said. "And that made us think about that issue. And as we viewed it, we thought it was no longer current information."

He said the incident that prompted the warning took place about 18 months ago. And though such postings are reviewed two or three times a year, it was only during the most recent review that State deemed it no longer relevant.

The notice was deleted on Monday, two days before Michelle Obama's arrival.

By Glenn Kessler  | August 4, 2010; 6:35 PM ET
 
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Comments

It's tough at times being dark skin.
Our color makes us more noticeable amongst lighter skin people and at times the worst
behavior is assumed of us.
It's like what Rodney Dangerfield use
to say; :" We can get no respect."
I supposed too that we are also victims
of a self fulfilling prophecy believed
by 'many other people.'
And to think we are the oldest human race
in the planet.

Posted by: solosource59 | August 4, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

"And to think we are the oldest human race
in the planet."

So - How are you older than my race - It doesn't matter what it is. How is your race older than mine ?

I understand that your trying to twist and knot up the 'out of Africa' premise to say that ... without considering the whole picture. So - where did my race spring from... did I spring from a romantic meeting between beaver and giant sloth 57,000 years ago... did 'your race' greet me and say "Hi, new race - welcome to the world - we've been here since the beginning"

No - I don't think so. We've all been around since the beginning. Think about it - before you say silly things.

Posted by: PulSamsara | August 4, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

You get no respect because you write - and think - stupid things, like what you've written here. Self pitying, rascist garbage. So until you grow up, you'll be treated like a child. Sorry, but that's the way the real world works.

Posted by: rwalker10 | August 4, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Be a good person, and respect other good people, and you will get respect. It does not matter what race you are. We all gotta live together, so we better start showing each other some respect. I still believe that a majority of people are good. Most of the people who post comments on here, and say rude things like--"You get no respect because you write - and think - stupid things" only say this because of bad upbringing, or bad times, make them think and talk like that...solosource59, don't let their rudeness get you down.

Posted by: jmr862003 | August 4, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

For once a great and accurate headline:
Spain harbors 'racist prejudices,' until Michelle Obama arrives

There is so much wrong with this visit and this State Dept "never mind."

Posted by: kls1 | August 4, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Was this notice by the State Dept for Americans who call themselves Africans or other people who might be considered black, whether they were from America or not. Does it have anything to do with the Africansist in America who profile themselves as Africans. Additional information as to the reasons why the State Dept employees were detained would be helpful.

Posted by: lltroy | August 5, 2010 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Warnings like this end up having very little to do with nationality. Japan for instance basically harbors a pile of hate for anyone who's not Japanese. India has _awful_ racist politics going on, and they act like some of the most stupid people on the planet about it. The same is true of Korea, and many other allies of the US. Their cultures are filled with bias that makes civil war era race oriented seditionists look like a bunch of dilettantes.

Posted by: Nymous | August 5, 2010 3:21 AM | Report abuse

More information is needed.Maybe travel to the country and ask about our emigration laws.No mind about skin's colours,sex,religions. We're usualy friendly whith foreing people, visitants allways are wellcome to this beatyfull country even your First Lady. I'm completly sure she will enjoy a nice holydays in Spain...

Posted by: Frayle | August 5, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

As perplexing as it is that the State Department determined that Spain became enlightened and resolved all of its "racist prejudices" in just eighteen months, it's even more perplexing that a U.S. government agency would have the audacity to post such a sign in another country when that particular warning is more true in the U.S. than it is anywhere in the world.

Posted by: dc_res30 | August 5, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

There is NO country in the world where one will not find prejudice of some sort towards a group of people whether due to race, religion or something else altogether.

People seem to NEED someone else to dislike, fear, and hate for some reason. They need them so as to project onto them their angers and fears about issues they cannot control or change. Many people simply need someone else to despise so as to elevate their own selves.

I have known people who have nothing and are the lowest of the low still consider themselves superior to any black man or woman no matter how educated, wealthy or famous that black person is.

Posted by: limpscomb | August 5, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

The Obama's are such 'Sellouts'. I believe in the near future - being called a 'Obama' will be an huge insult to any person of color.

Posted by: question-guy | August 5, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Solosource59, are you saying you are Homo Erectus? You must be very strong. And black as night.

Posted by: biffgrifftheoneandonly | August 5, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

My cousin is black, and when we went to Spain in 2003 they wouldn't let him in a dance club we went to because he was black (giving the excuse that it was his hair style, but he had a normal clean close-cut haircut....)

Posted by: rhymz_worange | August 5, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I am astounded that such language was cleared for inclusion in a travel warning about Spain. While the drafting office at State was in the Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA)--a Bureau that has become increasingly feminized (mostly women) as well as very, very liberal--there is an entire chain of other offices/people that should have cleared on anything like this, and should have had the chance to flag and stop such an absurd notice from ever having been posted. The CA front office, staffers from the Deputy Secretary's and Under Secretary for Political Affairs' offices, etc. This clearance system exists in no small measure to ensure that "adult supervision" is exercised on State memos and releases, so that an overzealous, lower level desk officer (the folks who draft such language) doesn't go off the reservation.

In this case, the regular desk officer for Spain in the European Affairs Bureau (EUR) blew it. He or she should have seen what CA was proposing and stopped it. Geographic bureaus like EUR (the 'core' of State where regional policies are coordinated) frequently have to deal with attempts by functional Bureaus (like CA) to slip crazy language into products or politicize issues overmuch; and "racism", of course, is one of the biggest buzz words and bugaboos of State just as it is in American society as a whole (it's everywhere! Everywhere!).

But the EUR folks dropped the ball and are probably both pissed and embarrassed now.

Posted by: gadstian | August 5, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Racism exists everywhere. If it isn't skin color, it's ethnicity (i.e., Arabs hating Persians and vice versa). If it isn't ethnicity, it's religion, sometimes even within the same religion (i.e., Catholics versus Protestants). Humans are tribal by nature. They always find a way and reason to divide themselves. Being a black man, I know that everyone in the world thinks they are better than me, even if they can't read, write, and can't count to 100. It's sad, so in some ways you carry a chip on your shoulder, you just have to be mature enough to realize that not everyone feels that way towards you.

Posted by: nsu1203 | August 5, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Thats right...SPAIN have their ways with Race...they dont have any black in their Football Team. And, frankly WHATS SO WRONG WITH BEEN RACIST? If you want to preserve your RACE you must look after your Race, right? If every black mix with another race...there will no longer be ANY BLACK leaft. If every white mix with another race, there will be no white leaft. And, the same for the chineses, hindus...and so on and so on...
SO IT IS ABSOLUTLY NOTHING WRONG WITH BEEN RACIST. Racism mean preserving one's own race and there absolutly nothing wrong with that...as long as ONE RACE RESPECT THE OTHER RACE AND LIVE AND LET LIVE.

Posted by: Dalva1 | August 5, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I like the comments by the person who says that the white person who can't even count to 100 thinks that they're better than a black. Oh my, the "brainwashing" is limitless and knows no color! I witnessed this the first time I went to a local college... whites were murdering the English language and manners... there was none to speak of. I was a teenager then, and they were adults ranging from late 20s to mid-fifties!!! As others have already stated, there are groups of people to feel a need to elevate themselves over others; especially African Americans!! Who takes over the Black Culture and claim it is theirs??? Who sings like Al Green and Aretha Franklin now? Back in the 40s, 50s whites had their own musical sounds!! Now, the world knows that they study and learn from Black Artists, who are self-taught and gifted!! And, then spread lies about a blues or jazz singer being second or third behind a white blues and jazz singer to distort historical facts!!

American will lose its greatness because they are fearful and do not treat everybody fairly - slaves built this country and came against their will. A significant number died during the middle passages. The cruelty against African Americans during and now is unparallel... Who made you God?

Posted by: periodot | August 5, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The reason Madam Obama went to SPAIN and not giving a xiisss to her husband birthday is that THIS IS NOT THE REAL BIRTHDAY DATE of the President of The United States. BUT THIS IS TOP SECRET!!! -American public should not know this truth: THE REAL BIRTH DATE, if they discover that...other things will surface. Too many! Thats the true truth! Forget about black COLOR or spanish-prejudice! that's the true color of truth.

Posted by: Dalva1 | August 5, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Dear Dalva1

BWAAAAAAAHAHAAAAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: racerdoc | August 5, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

only 40% of independents think obama was born in this country, the other 60% either dont know or think he was born somewhere else.

so it looks like independents are against dems even on the 'birther' issue, the extreme of the extreme, or so we're told on 'hardball'.

is there any constituency that dems win with now?

Posted by: dummypants | August 5, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

ok, so they arrested two black people...and...then what?

maybe we shouldnt have been so surprised by the "enforcing immigration laws" = racist meme

Posted by: dummypants | August 5, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Couple of questions:

1) With the devastation on the Gulf Coast; the comments by FLOTUS encouraging folks to go to the Gulf Coast to spend money, WHY IS SHE IN SPAIN AT ONE OF THE MOST LUXURIOUS HOTELS IN THE COUNTRY?

2) Who is paying for this venture?

Posted by: wheeljc | August 5, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Why is she visiting Spain and who is footing the bill?

Posted by: bnichols6 | August 5, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Antoinette's airfare alone cost American taxpayers $147,000.00..


Posted by: 2010Rout | August 5, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse


Michelle Antoinetts's entourage has sixty rooms which go for $2500.00 a night each.. How many of those rooms were rented to put her ego in? You Dems still support these clowns?


Posted by: 2010Rout | August 5, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

These two sure love their luxury vacations on our dime. What hippocrites. Why didn't they go to the Gulf or Fla.

Posted by: mightyheidi | August 5, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Reviewing the comments posted thus far it is clear that racism is not limited to Spain. It is also clear that the U.S. educational system is in serious trouble. Most people posting comments cannot spell, and are barely able to string a sentence together.

Posted by: harrisd1 | August 5, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Not suprising that this Administration, which has done everything to worsen race relations, would have something like that posted on the State Department's website.
Now on to HOW - in these harsh economic times, when people are counting pennies, does this First Lady go off to Spain with a bunch of "close friends and family", a bunch of Secret Service, and rental of 70+ rooms at a super, posh millionaire's paradise hotel - HOW do they justify this trip? It is reported this is the 8th vacation between the two Obamas. I'm trying to afford one vacation. They are SORELY out of touch with the financial suffering of this country and it's people. Did we switch from a democracy to one with royalty at the top???

Posted by: ReneesOpinion | August 5, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Since so many people are worried about it. The Obama's paid for this trip out of their own pockets, including all guests' accommodations. They are SELF-MADE millionaires, if some of you have forgotten. Laura Bush took the twins on safari for a month during the previous administration... But then again, they're NOT the Obama's.

Posted by: Travislai | August 6, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

This is so much crap. I am an African American man and my wife is an African American woman, we were in spain for a week during the running of the bulls and when spain won the world cup. Unfortunately we did not make it to pamplona but we wathced the running on tv everyday before we got out to the beautiful city of Madrid. Every single Spanish person we met was kind polite and was glad to be able to be in our company.
The spanish people made you feel more at home then anywhere in America. I can't wait to go again. Oh yeah and we are not rich we are struggling Americans like the most of america, we are just lucky my wife who is a phd student at the u of i has a part time job for Delta airlines.
Please do not believe all the false jargon and rhetoric that people tells you about other countries unless you visit yourself because America will always have you believe fake propganda then actual reality.
Lastly Michelle going to Spain with her girls is a great thing I am glad that as a private citizen she has the opportunity to go and to take her daughters along with her.

Posted by: scorpiopoet28 | August 10, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

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