Who were the n***** of Europe? The 50th anniversary of the “Schwarzenbach Initiative against Foreign Alienation” in Switzerland and the anti-racist protest movement in the USA

On 7 June 1970, the Swiss people rejected the Schwarzenbach initiative (“Schwarzenbach-Initiative gegen Überfremdung”), which aimed at limiting the quota of “foreigners” in Switzerland. This initiative, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary at a time when protests against racist police violence in the United States are resonating around the world, remains crucial for Swiss asylum policy and its society’s relationship with the so-called “foreigners”. This situation provides Kijan Espahangizi the opportunity to review what the concept of “racism” means in Swiss society: rather than using the categories of US-American racism based on the experience of slavery, Espahangizi emphasizes the concept of “foreigner” (“Ausländer”), encouraging a more differentiated understanding of racism in the Swiss political system.