‘Our Negroes, our Enemies’ – on Kosovo: or how Serbs see Albanians

Vladimir Arsenijevic

BELGRADE / PRISTINA — An essay of the Serbian writer Vladimir Arsenijevic outlines the difficult relationship of his compatriots to the Albanians. The article is from 2007 – but again relevant for the actual discussion. It provides an insight view on the deep rooted racism in former Yugoslavia and Serbia. A useful ‘attachment’ to below reviewed question, if Serbia lost Kosovo deservedly: "For all ex-Yugo-slavs, but particularly for the Serbs, the Kosovo Albanians used to be simply ‘our negroes.’ Nowadays, however, they are cast as Serbia’s arch-enemies – a myth ruthlessly exploited by nationalist politicians, … If anyone in Western Europe asks how all this could have happened, I can tell them, for I have watched and listened to this story unfolding in my country.

The country that used to be mine, the former Yugoslavia, was ethnically and culturally extremely diverse. Marshall Josip Broz Tito used to call this diversity our Yugoslavian ‘melting pot.’ In reality, though, it was never that … the country’s diversity was tragically instrumentalized; it became socially divided, split ethnically and culturally into sub-groups and economically into a hierarchy of better-off and worse-off regions."

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