Discrimination By Belgian People

Belgium Discrimination

Discrimination By Belgian People

Discrimination By Belgian People

(Last Updated On: May 6, 2024)

World powers have always been hungry for land and riches, no matter if they already have enough of it. One vital source of gaining land and riches is colonization. The seizure of people’s identity, culture, language, traditions, and land have always caused riots and chaos. Decades of riots and protests lead to the independence and formation of new sovereign states. People demand and protest for independence only when the colonizers suppress them or their religious, cultural, traditional, or linguistic values and they fear that their language and culture would fade away into the ocean of history like discrimination by belgian against the dutch.

The independence of a nation also leads to the crumbling of the World power or Empire that previously had dominance over it. If you look deeply into the pages of history, you will find many such examples. The independence of a nation also leads to rivalries, discrimination, and the emergence of more enemies. Such kind of hate usually never fades away and with time, this feeling gets stronger. Such hate targets people on the basis of their race, language, or skin color.

Belgium and the Netherlands as well as being neighbors are also close allies but at the individual level, you will probably see discrimination. This discrimination is because of territorial and language differences. Mostly, people discriminate against Dutch. In Belgium, the country with the most Belgian speakers worldwide, individuals prefer Belgian and discriminate against other nationals and non-nationals who speak Dutch. At offices and schools in Belgium, people prefer Belgian French speakers over Dutch speakers.


Even with the World developing so fast, some people neglect serious issues such as discrimination which leads to the breaking down of society. There are still a large number of “privileged” people who do consider it a problem because they do not have to go through it on a daily basis.

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Whereas, other communities having a different background are often criticized and discriminated against at work, at school, and in public places. Here, we will discuss Belgian discrimination against Dutch. It is discrimination based on the difference of language and territory.

What is Discrimination?

Discrimination is an unfair treatment of members of a society on the basis of their race, religious beliefs, age, gender, language, or any other characteristic. It is a behavior that produces the feeling of inferiority among people of a certain race or religion who are discriminated against.

Discrimination breaks both society and the sentiments of people. It is an unjust differentiation that is based upon hate. Here is an example. A company refuses to hire women for a job. This is because they doubt her capabilities being a woman.

Discrimination, in its essence, is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of individuals or groups based on certain characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, or socioeconomic status. It is a pervasive and deeply ingrained social issue that permeates various aspects of society, including employment, education, housing, healthcare, and the criminal justice system.

At its core, discrimination is rooted in power dynamics and social hierarchies, where dominant groups wield authority and privilege over marginalized groups, perpetuating inequalities and injustices. Discrimination can take many forms, ranging from overt acts of hostility and violence to more subtle forms of bias and microaggressions. Examples include racial profiling, gender-based pay disparities, exclusionary hiring practices, denial of housing opportunities, and hate speech.

Discrimination not only harms individuals directly affected but also undermines the principles of equality, fairness, and justice that are fundamental to a democratic society. It perpetuates social divisions, reinforces stereotypes, and erodes social cohesion, leading to heightened tensions and conflicts within communities. Moreover, discrimination has far-reaching consequences for the well-being and mental health of those targeted, contributing to feelings of alienation, low self-esteem, and psychological distress.

Addressing discrimination requires a multifaceted approach that involves challenging institutionalized inequalities, promoting diversity and inclusion, and fostering empathy and understanding across diverse groups. This entails enacting and enforcing anti-discrimination laws and policies, implementing diversity training programs, and creating safe spaces for marginalized individuals to voice their experiences and concerns. It also requires promoting social awareness and consciousness-raising efforts to challenge prejudiced attitudes and dismantle systemic barriers to equality.

Ultimately, combating discrimination is not just a legal or political imperative but a moral imperative as well. It requires collective action and solidarity to create a more just and equitable society where every individual is treated with dignity, respect, and fairness, regardless of their background or identity. By confronting discrimination in all its forms and advocating for the rights and dignity of all people, we can move closer to realizing the promise of equality and justice for all.

What are its types?

Discrimination has four major types. To make it easy for you to understand, we have explained all of them below:

  • Direct Discrimination: Direct discrimination is the kind of discrimination that targets a person who possesses a protected characteristic. The protected characteristics can also be associative or perceptive. This type of discrimination can sometimes be lawful, only when the discriminator is able to justify it objectively.
  • Indirect Discrimination: This type of discrimination is usually unintended and is less obvious than direct discrimination. It is when a rule, law, or plan is put into practice. The rule or plan applies to everybody whether or not they possess a protected characteristic.
  • Harassment: Harassment is the most obvious type of discrimination. In this type of discrimination, a certain community or an individual is usually targeted by bullying (verbal or physical), nicknames, intrusive questions, and comments. Harassment greatly injures a person’s dignity and confidence making them feel inferior to others.
  • Victimization: This type of discrimination is subjected to an individual who alleges someone of discrimination, supports a complaint about it, arises concerns, or gives evidence. It is usually employees who are subjected to this type of discrimination to their detriment.

Discrimination in Modern World

Discrimination was very common a few centuries back when colonization was on the rise. Till now, people belonging from different backgrounds, are still discriminated but it is very less as compared to the 18th century and the 19th century. During the slavery period, people discriminated against others whom they thought, are of no value.

It is both morally and religiously wrong. In developing and developed nations, discrimination is often condemned and avoided while in underdeveloped nations, it is not even considered a thing and is generally disregarded. Because of people educated on this topic enlightening the young minds, discrimination in the modern World is minimized and will soon be completely eradicated.

Belgium and the Netherlands

Known as the “Capital of the European Union”, Belgium lies in Western Europe. It serves as the headquarters of NATO and the European Union. Belgium has three official languages namely, French, Dutch, and German. It is famous for its Renaissance architecture and medieval towns. To the north of Belgium lies, the Netherlands.

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The Netherlands is a Northwestern European country having Amsterdam as its capital and Dutch as its official language. Both of these countries are close allies and neighbors. Belgium has a considerable Dutch population along with other linguistic communities. Sometimes, due to politics, things are different.

At the individual level, especially due to Belgium being a territory of the kingdom of the Netherlands formerly, tensions rise. These tensions arise mainly because of differences in languages which consequently ends in discrimination by belgian against the Dutch and vice versa.

In the 20th century, Belgium and the Netherlands navigated complex political and cultural landscapes, marked by factors such as autonomous regions and diverse linguistic communities. While Belgium grappled with tensions between its Dutch-speaking Flemish region and French-speaking Walloon region, the Netherlands maintained a more unified linguistic identity with Dutch as the predominant language.

Both nations saw significant political developments, with Belgium witnessing shifts in governance under various prime ministers, while the Netherlands maintained a stable political landscape. Despite their differences, Belgium and the Netherlands maintained strong diplomatic ties with countries like the United Kingdom and the United States, leveraging their strategic positions in Europe for economic and geopolitical advantages.

The German-speaking community in Belgium added further complexity to the linguistic mosaic of the region, highlighting the importance of linguistic diversity and accommodation in both countries’ policies and practices. Through the challenges and opportunities of the 20th century, Belgium and the Netherlands continued to evolve as dynamic and resilient nations, each contributing uniquely to the fabric of European history and identity.

The Belgian Language

The Belgian language landscape reflects the country’s complex history and diverse population. Belgium, situated at the crossroads of Western Europe, is home to multiple linguistic communities, including speakers of Dutch, French, and German. Standard Dutch, spoken predominantly in the Flemish region and Brussels-Capital region, serves as the official language alongside French and German.

The linguistic diversity of Belgium is further enriched by its multicultural population, with individuals of Moroccan origin, African descent, and foreign origins contributing to the country’s vibrant social fabric. Despite linguistic and ethnic differences, Belgium has embraced a model of federalism, with autonomous regions such as the Walloon Region and the Brussels Capital Region, each with its own cultural and linguistic characteristics.

However, tensions over language and identity have occasionally surfaced, reflected in debates over the Belgian constitution and hate crimes targeting minority communities. Nevertheless, Belgium’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is evident in its government services, where linguistic and ethnic origin are respected, and efforts are made to promote social cohesion and equality among all Belgian citizens.

Just like other World languages, French also has different dialects which vary regionally. The Belgian version of French is known as Belgian French. Though most of it same as the original French, there are few variations in spellings and pronunciations.

The Dutch Language

Dutch is a West Germanic language, belonging to the family of Indo-European languages. It is the official language of Belgium and the Netherlands. There are about 25 million speakers Dutch speakers worldwide.

The Dutch language, spoken by millions worldwide, including the Dutch people in the Netherlands and Belgian population, has played a significant role in shaping cultural and linguistic identities throughout the 20th century. In Belgium, particularly in regions like the Brussels Capital Region and autonomous areas with a significant German-speaking community, Dutch serves as one of the official languages alongside French and German.

Beyond Belgium’s borders, Dutch has garnered attention and appreciation, with the United States and the United Kingdom recognizing its importance in international communication and commerce. Prime Ministerial speeches and diplomatic engagements in Foreign Affairs often necessitate proficient Dutch language skills to engage with Belgian and Dutch counterparts effectively.

The linguistic landscape of the coastal plain regions, influenced by historical factors and the European population’s diverse linguistic heritage, further underscores the importance of Dutch as a unifying language. Notable figures like Eddy Merckx, celebrated for their achievements in sports, have contributed to the global recognition and appreciation of Dutch culture and language. As Belgium and the Netherlands continue to navigate linguistic diversity and promote multilingualism, Dutch remains a cornerstone of identity and communication in both nations and beyond.

Discrimination by the Belgian people

Discrimination by the Belgian people has historical roots dating back to the 15th century and continues to manifest in various forms in the present day. Despite Belgium’s reputation for diversity and tolerance, discrimination based on personal characteristics, ethnic origin, and socio-economic status persists within society.

The Belgian Federal Government Service and other governmental institutions have grappled with addressing systemic discrimination, particularly against marginalized groups such as black people and those of African descent. Additionally, linguistic and cultural divisions between Dutch-speaking Flemish people and French-speaking Walloons have contributed to tensions, with discrimination often occurring in the Brussels Capital Region and other autonomous regions.

Furthermore, prejudice against German speakers and individuals of foreign origins remains prevalent, reflecting deeper societal biases. Despite efforts by the Belgian government and international organizations like the United Nations to promote equality and inclusion, discrimination continues to be a pressing issue that requires ongoing attention and advocacy.

Discrimination is what leads to the separation of Belgium from the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In 1815, both Belgium (the Southern Netherlands) and Holland (the Northern Netherlands) were unified into one state to be ruled by King William I. Because of King William being a Protestant, the Catholics demanded him not to interfere in Clerical matters.

The liberals also demanded more freedom. This discrimination resulted in revolts in the city of Brussels in 1830. After William I’s troops were expelled by the revolts, Belgium (the Southern Netherlands) separated from the (northern) Netherlands forming a provisional government. The separation of Belgium from the Netherlands was also a linguistic divide.

During the London conference on November 4, 1830, the great powers recognized Belgium as a separate state with Leopold I becoming its first king. During the reign of Leopold II, the state of Congo in East Africa was transferred under his rule which he administered as personal property rather than a confederate state.

Due to him thinking of the Congolese population as “less-civilized” and slaves, they felt discriminated against. The Congolese people were deprived off of basic human rights. The black people were brutally murdered or starved to death under Leopold II’s rule because of forced labor and slavery. This racial discrimination land linguistic conflict by the colonial government of Belgium led to the independence of Congo in 1960.

Factors that lead to discrimination

Discrimination is a multifaceted issue influenced by a myriad of factors, including personal characteristics, ethnic origin, and socio-political context. In Belgium, as in many other countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, discrimination can manifest based on various criteria, including sexual orientation and language spoken, as seen in tensions between Dutch-speaking Flemish people and French-speaking Walloons.

Historical factors, dating back to the Burgundian Netherlands in the 15th century, have contributed to entrenched biases and inequalities within society, perpetuating discrimination against minority groups such as German speakers and Belgian persons of foreign origins. Political affiliations, such as those between Social Democrats and Christian Democrats, can also exacerbate divisions within society, leading to discriminatory practices in governance and policy-making. Despite efforts by governments and international bodies like the European Commission and the United Nations to address discrimination, disparities persist, highlighting the need for continued vigilance and advocacy in combating discrimination in all its forms.

Any kind of entertainment showing one community superior to another community, in any way (even in comedy) inspires people to discriminate against others. It is also the politics and the media which promote discrimination among people. Promoting discrimination culture should be avoided.


To conclude what we have stated so far, discrimination is a hateful act, and therefore, it should be prevented. In schools and offices, people should be educated on discrimination by belgian against the dutch which is actually synonymous with educating people in telling right and wrong between two paths.

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