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Assault of Black politician shines spotlight on lack of racial diversity

The killing of George Floyd in the United States and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests around the world have given reason for some awkward, long-overdue soul-searching in the European Union about the treatment of its Black and ethnic minority citizens.

Earlier this month, Margaritis Schinas, a senior member of the European Commission, told the Financial Times that an incident like the killing of Floyd and the demonstrations that followed were “not likely to happen in Europe at this scale.”

“I do not think that we have issues now in Europe that blatantly pertain to police brutality or issues of race transcending into our systems,” Schinas said. “But we do have an issue in Europe, which is the issue of inequalities and income distribution — making the best for everyone of what we have.”

Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana told an EU debate on racism that police in Brussels had “brutally” pushed her against a wall. But a recent account from another European leader suggests otherwise. 

Pierette Herzberger-Fofana, a German Member of the European Parliament and who is Black, said in an EU debate on racism earlier this month that she had been the “victim of police violence” in an act she believed had “underlying racist tendencies.”But a recent account from another European leader suggests otherwise.

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