Since a "black sheep" is a symbol for someone that doesn't fit in with the mainstream as in "she was the 'black sheep" in her family", it is not necessarily racist. Are the 70% foreign criminals in Swiss jails primarily black? The article doesn't say.
Aren't you extrapolating from American folklore/etymology?
Yes. Do you have an article that says the foreigners in Switzerland are in fact black? The article you linked doesn't mention it.
Is it American? I tried to find the origin of this phrase and failed. Do you have a citation for this?
My guess is it has a British origin. Only a guess.
The black sheep of the family expression goes way back
In 2004 Switzerland had roughly 1.5 million registered foreigners of which 50,000 were from Africa. So this poster appears not to be born of racism but of nationalism and, of course, security ("Pour plus de Securite" or "For more Safety" ) as it relates to nationalism. Interesting that the offending slogan was written in French since a majority of native speakers speak German. I see that a german language version of this poster ("Sicherheit Schaffen" or "Bringing Safety") was denounced in May of this year.
Perhaps the security-related difficulties with immigration that France has recently experienced has some resonance with French-speakers in Switzerland? (or Sarkozy is behind the whole mess!)
I had already found the Charles Macklin quote, but that's 'black sheep', not 'black sheep of the family'.
And a lot of Africans are caucasion. What percent are black?
I would agree it's nationalism.
I think the term black sheep originates from the fact that black sheep were useless to sheep farmers as their wool could not be dyed. Its perfectly possible that black sheep in most European cultures at least means something useless.
Colour prejudice is a subset of racism. It seems the Swiss have a problem with all foreigners irrelevant of their colour.
So it may be xenophobic, but not racist?
Quoted from this article.
That's the Switzerland that I have always imagined. Open to asylum seekers and outraged by this over the top nationalistic campaign aimed at punishing the innocent with the guilty. Deportation for the criminal activity of others, even a family member, is pretty harsh. The People's Party is now going to focus it's attention on reducing crime... this will be an interesting time in Switzerland, no doubt.
But not wanting to become a member of the EU?
xenophobic is fear of strangers/foreigners whereas racism is rooted in a belief that your race is superior to others. The People's Party are simply racist though they may play on the xenophobic nature of others to garner support.
I think that is as close as we will come. It was the first time that "black sheep" was used in text in reference to a person.
A lot of AFRICANS are caucasion. Do you mean descendants of European colonist from Africa?
No, I was thinking mainly of Arabs in N Africa. Arabs are caucasian.
You could argue that Arabs are Asians as well. In fact that is what they are referred to as in Europe. The Arabs colonists N.Africa, they were not indeginous to that part of the world Sub-Saharan Africans were.
Separate names with a comma.