Is Europe Really The Promised Land?

Often times than not, when referring to race relations and IR relationships we usually talk in terms of America and reference our American Experiences. Every once in a while someone from Europe will chime in and talk about race relations there. It is usually to say how much better it is over there and how race is more or less relevant there. I have a hard time believing that though. I was reading about the Lewis Hamilton controversy over at Acting White. The French always seem to have issues regarding race. Even now racism there doesn't seem to be an obsolete practice. There is recent history of race riots, only two or three years ago there. Then when have Georges Freche who feels there are too many blacks on the french football/soccer team and refers to Algerians as "sub-human". In France and Spain you have soccer and other sports fans refer to black players as monkeys, showing up in black face, and saying racist and vile things to them as taunts. Is Europe really all that enlightened about race relations, or does it think it is enlightened because unlike the US they don't have the extensive history of slavery and Jim Crow? Of course it doesn't seem like many European countries are apologizing for colonization either.