When it’s all said and done, it is quite a wonder that there aren’t any Western countries on the list of 25 least tolerant countries in the world.
It all started with the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. Suddenly, every closet racist in America and their aunt had a focal point for their rage, generously fueled by the various birthers and Tea Party members spouting hate and nonsense every chance they got. After eight years of constant yelling, the public became desensitized to the point that majority of people just stopped reacting to the intolerance spreading through the society. The devastating civil war in Syria and millions of refugees only added another layer of perceived threat and xenophobia to already existing “evil Mexicans stealing people’s jobs, while dealing drugs, raping, and killing at the same time”. Quite an industrious nation, those Mexicans.
Of course, placing all the blame to the right would be unfair. The left did its fair share of antagonizing the people and polarizing the society at large. Various social justice warriors prancing around colleges, demanding their safe spaces and claiming that free speech triggers them, so it should be banned for all, but them. Yes, I am looking at you, Gawker, although you are just the tip of the iceberg.
The first harbinger of the fall was Brexit. The narrative was nothing new, the same old story told hundred times throughout the history, us vs them. The Polish plumbers and Romanian street cleaners were ruining Jolly Old England. People like Nick Farage and Boris Johnson promised everything they could think of, just to get Brits to vote for their scheme, boasting that as soon as they rid themselves of Brussels, everything will be as it was in the good all days. As soon as Brexit vote passed, much to their astonishment, they did what any self-serving politician worth their salt would do. First, they tried to go back on their promises and when that failed, they simply washed their hands of the whole affair, hiding behind The Will of the People, like every other populist before them.
But Brexit was only the warm-up for the real deal. The presidential campaign which saw Donald Trump become a White House resident had many similarities with the Brexit, only on a much more massive scale. Although to be honest, Farage didn’t need to bother with The Wall, since he had the British Channel already in place. Everything else was done following the same recipe, refugees coming to build their mosques, gay lobby pushing their agenda, heinous globalization (especially rich coming from a man who benefited quite well for the same globalization), the whole shebang. And yet again, despite all the media and pundits’ prognosis, the unthinkable happened. Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States. His first 100 days in office were marked with measures we came to expect from the likes of Putin, Orban, and Erdogan, not from Western democratically elected representatives. Although, the United States are rarely listed among the 10 Most Tolerant Countries in the World.
With Marine Le Pen’s disaster at the French presidential elections, the tide seems to be stemmed, at least for a while and France won’t be on road to join the list of 25 least tolerant countries in the world. It would seem that the old saying is true, we’ll always have Paris.
With such examples of intolerance in America and Europe, bastions of multiculturalism and human rights, what can be expected from less developed parts of the world? It just goes to show that no country is free of intolerance, although some examples are more well-known than others. In order to create the list of the worst offenders, we used data from the Legatum Prosperity Index, which measures countries’ prosperity index. Among other things, they take into account personal freedoms (on which we have based our ranking), which include basic human rights, and tolerance and are good indicators of how countries treat their minorities. For country specific info, we used Human Rights Watch site.