Analyzing a racist statement of former Carinthian governor Jörg Haider this paper argues that this is a form of racism that only can be understood when it is contextualized in a historical examination of the ways in which Austria – and Carinthia in particular – has been dealing with the other and with difference. Following Paul Gilroy’s claim that an engagement with racism involves moving simultaneously onto historical and political grounds the authors juxtapose Austria’s imperial history with its more recent policies regarding immigration and asylum seekers. This enables the authors to demonstrate how the positions that had been given to the colonized re-emerge in contemporary discourses on asylum seekers in Austria and are articulated with a re-definition of refugees as guests to legitimize the ‘state of exception’ the governor defines. With the critical examination of the re-emergence of colonial thought in the narratives and political practices in one of Europe’s ‘worksites’ (Balibar, 2004, p. x), this paper makes an intervention towards dismantling the permanence of the colonial heritage.