Multicultural politics not a global phenom
Feb 26,2008 00:00 by UPI
PARIS -- Racism is a limiting factor in many European countries' politics as Americans may vote for their first black presidential candidate, The Washington Times said.

"It's true, we need to work harder and be more determined to erase the prejudices people have of us," Zohra Bitan, the daughter of Algerian immigrants, told the Times. Bitan, 44, is seeking to be the first minority mayor of the Parisian suburb of Thiais.

Minorities, blacks and Muslims hold key offices in the United States and elsewhere but the influence of those groups is only just beginning to develop globally, the Times said in its Tuesday editions.

Ethnic Turks, who make up about 10 percent of the German population, hold less than 1 percent of the seats in parliament, there is only one minority in the 577-seat French Parliament and only 15 members of the 1,384-member British parliament are minorities.

Diane Abbot, who was the first black woman elected to British Parliament in 1987, said the problem of minority influence transcends perceptions of multiculturalism.

"The problem is racism, really," Abbott told the Times.

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.