International

Hungary’s Orbán condemned for ‘mixed race’ remarks

Hungary President Viktor Orban arrives at the NATO Heads of State summit in Madrid, Thursday, June 30, 2022. North Atlantic Treaty Organization heads of state are meeting for the final day of a NATO summit in Madrid on Thursday. (Bertrand Guay, Pool via AP)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is facing backlash for remarks he made about “mixed race” nations at an event over the weekend. 

During a speech at the Bálványos Summer Free University and Student Camp, Orbán, a popular figure among U.S. conservatives who is set to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) next month, said that migration is greatly affecting Europe and the West, positing that “these countries are no longer nations: They are nothing more than a conglomeration of peoples.” 

“In such a multi-ethnic context, there is an ideological feint here that is worth talking about and focusing on. The internationalist left employs a feint, an ideological ruse: the claim — their claim — that Europe by its very nature is populated by peoples of mixed race. This is a historical and semantic sleight of hand, because it conflates two different things,” Orbán said in his speech. 

“There is a world in which European peoples are mixed together with those arriving from outside Europe. Now that is a mixed-race world. And there is our world, where people from within Europe mix with one another, move around, work, and relocate,” he added. 

The far-right Orbán, a key ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, also used his speech to call out Western powers for their support of Ukraine during Russia’s ongoing war in the country. 

The Association of Hungarian Jewish Religious Communities, the largest Jewish organization in the country, said the comments “caused serious concern” within their community. 

“In view of the extremely difficult period facing our country, Mazsihisz considers it especially important to prevent public debates from escalating by maintaining the dialogue,” the organization said in a statement, adding that its president, András Heisler, has requested to speak with Orbán about the remarks. 

“This is not only in the interest of the Jewish community, but also of Hungarian society. Following the Jewish religious laws, Mazsihisz undertakes solidarity with all distinguished communities in the spirit of humanity.” 

Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu called the comments both “unacceptable” and “regrettable,” as reported by Politico.

“It is clear that we cannot agree with them,” Aurescu said.

Orbán, who is currently serving in his fourth term as Hungarian prime minister, was announced earlier this month as a CPAC speaker, with the organization saying in a statement to The Hill at the time that he is a “leading voice’ for those in Europe fighting for “national sovereignty.”

“He and President Trump forged a special relationship since they both understand that we should not be controlled by the [United Nations], the [European Union], radical, woke corporatists or the billionaires who think regular people cannot be trusted to make their own decisions,” the group had said, adding that “we are looking forward to Prime Minister Orban explaining to our CPAC audience and to people around the world how he is successfully fighting the radical Left in Europe.”

The Hill has reached out to CPAC for further comment.

Tags conservative political action conference CPAC CPAC Hungary Hungary Migration Russia-Ukraine conflict Viktor Orban Viktor Orbán
See all Hill.TV See all Video