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Racism Rears Its Head in European Remarks on Obama
After saying that he "wouldn't want the Western world to be directed by a black man," he added: "If you say that is a racist comment, you're right. Without a doubt."
Emmerich, 80, was once based in Washington and has also reported for German television and newspapers over a long career. Given a chance to retract his remarks, he declined. In a later interview with the Austrian newspaper Der Standard, he said that "blacks are not as politically civilized." He also called Obama dangerous and implicitly compared him to Hitler, citing his "rhetorical brilliance" and his ability to "appeal charismatically to people."
Emmerich did not return a phone call seeking comment. Rainer Scheuer, a spokesman for ORF, said that the comments were "not acceptable" and that Emmerich was unlikely to be invited back to appear on the network anytime soon.
In Poland, the lower house of Parliament heard a similar interpretation of Obama's election from Artur Górski, a legislator from the Law and Justice party.
In a speech Wednesday, Górski called Obama "the black messiah of the new Left" and a "crypto-communist" who would undoubtedly prove a "disaster." He added: "Al-Qaeda is rubbing their hands with glee that the new president wants peace, not war."
"This marks the end of the white man's civilization," he said. "America will soon pay a high price for this quirk of democracy."
The Polish government and Górski's party later apologized for the outburst. Górski did, too, but said his remarks were not racist, just "political."