Experiences with racism in Germany

265 posts in this topic

How do you guys feel on this topic? The colored people, the mixed-up-with-color-people, what kind of experiences have you had with racism?

 

Right now I'm coming from a small town near Trier. I guess there have been some cases of racism. Hell yeah, but I just overlook it. I noticed that in bigger cities like Cologne its much different, more open, no one stares at me cuz I'm brown. What do you guys say?

 

Do you think it's maybe harder getting a job here cuz of the color?

 

Hit me back people.

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It would appear that the worst racism is always where there is the least education. That statement holds true for ALL countries.

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I wouldn't necessarily say that she's not experiencing racism. It's my understanding that feelings are real, perhaps even when the person is over-analyzing the situation. If one enters the Southern United States and decides to leave the confines of the larger cities, they are definitely more likely to experience racism than in a place with a more cosmopolitan feel. Everyone knows that. I'm sure that it's not much different here in Germany. As the one person above said, the level of racism is directly tied to lack of education and ties to the outside world (or lack thereof).

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To be honest I haven't seen experienced any racism at all. I have spent a long time both in the large cities and in the small cities, including those in eastern Germany. All I have seen is either friendliness or indifference. By the way I am pitch black.

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Everyone knows the Germans stare because...well, because their Germans...not because they are "racist". Her perception maybe real, but the staring may not have anything to do with "racism".

 

Racism is more of considering oneself superior and a person of color inferior. Also it's about discrimation, violence, oppression, prejudice, not staring or curiosity.

 

Clearly, there were no details in the OP post that indicated possible racism, instead what did appear to me were insecurities about being a women of color living in Germany with her thinking this could possibly curtail her options for gaining employment and her thinking the Germans are staring at her because of her brown skin.

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I've only been here a little bit more than a year, but in my experience, there's nothing remotely more "racist" here. People merely aren't over sensitive to the idea of racist comments and jokes and things. I guess in a round about way that might make some people "racist". If anything, i'd accuse people of passive racism, but I don't like the idea of implicating people for being complacent. I enjoy Berlin because people let me be complacent and do what I want here.

 

Short version of what i'm trying to say: people aren't actively racist in general here from what i've seen. People merely aren't shocked and don't get upset when someone makes a comment.

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German men love foreign women. So the men are starting at you cause they are probably dying to get to know you and get with you and the women are staring because of jealousy. This weekend I was out with 2 German guys and the women gave me the most evil looks. I loved it. :)

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Thats partially true and I'd similar experiences as you mentioned, but 'Zurich' (Switzerland) is a bit different when compared to Germany. I mean the attitudes towards foreigners.

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I was referring to German men in Germany. Zurich is a little village compared to the metropolitan cities worldwide, and the people who live there act like villagers. You cannot expect small town people to act open-minded. Generally, I have had pleasant experiences with the Swiss and the unpleasant ones I have ignored. You cannot expect respect from "back of the woods" personalities, and these sorts of people exist worldwide.

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I have noticed that other people i.e. (white people like my husband) do not seem to understand. Lavender R i beg to differ, Starring is racism or a sure sign of it. I know when I am getting dirty looks or dirty stares and the Germans do it a lot. Germany is not the first European country I have lived in but it certainly is the first one I have had constant Admirers. Its unnerving and rude and they dont even look away when you stare back.

 

A-gyrl let me tell ya about something that happened to me a while back: called the Nachhilfe schools in my little town offering English Unterricht. All 4 of them were so keen, "just bring your passport work permit, CV, you dont speak German - it doesnt matter, you will be teaching English not German: We desperately need English teachers, come over as soon as possible" This is over Festnetz by the way. So I go to one school all excited at the prospect of finally getting a Lohnsteurkarte. One look said it all, it was like "oops now Fr. English speaker, we dinnae know you were Black." And then the excuses start coming out, well we have to speak to the boss first, well we dont really need anyone at the moment, we will keep your details and contact you if something comes up (they advertise almost every month!). And that was it. Do you think it happened at this one school, of course not all 4 of them, almost das gleiche.

 

Even in work I get aggro from the Putzfrau won't clean my desk or under it, won't wash my teacup etc unless I specifically ask (noone else has to do this) Super, oder?

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I find that in Germany it isn't racism so much as acceptance. When I worked in London I worked in a big international company with spanish, italian, greek and, yes, german collegues. A lot of the british people working there hadn't been to university and were just normal people. Everyone was treated the same way. The foreigners in our midst were never 'that german girl' or 'that spanish bloke' or 'the italian girl'. They weren't put in a different category to the majority of english people and people chatted freely at work and socialised freely with them. In the two german companies I've worked for the foreign staff have always been separate to the Germans. In my current company they organise social events amongst themselves and don't invite us. A few months ago, one of the german girls had her birthday drinks after work. she went around the office asking specific people to come and ignoring all the non germans. At the work xmas do I sat with the american guy, the french guy and the spanish girl who work in the office and the germans ignored us more or less all night. They often refer to the spanish girl as 'die Spanierin' and not by her proper name. Maybe its because i have only worked in Bavaria and Leipzig and things would be different somewhere like Hamburg or Berlin, but I find this is typical of German people. They don't mind foreigners or immigrants but the vast majority prefer to ignore them and treat them like guest workers.

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I have noticed that other people i.e. (white people like my husband) do not seem to understand. Lavender R i beg to differ, Starring is racism or a sure sign of it. I know when I am getting dirty looks or dirty stares and the Germans do it a lot.

fair Lady, I beg to differ, staring is NOT racism or even a sure sign of it, please read: Staring Germans, why do they do it so?

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I am half German, Half South African (White German dad and Black African mom)...and i have experienced racism in Germany.Every few years i visit family in Germany, in a village near Markdorf, am bodensee. The last time i was there, i decided to go to school for about two months, i was 17 yrs old. Some of the students were fascinated by me, others would just stare.My bad experience came about when while on the bus home, two girls kept calling me NIGGER and laughing at me!I has spent the afternoon crying...Needless to say, my school principal tracked them down and disciplined them!You would think having a German surname would help me integrate easier but that was not the case.

 

I would say the younger generation of Germans seem to be less tolerant than the older generation.I found very surprising that my Grandmother's friends absolutely loved me but i just seemd to struggle connecting with people my age.I will be flying to Germany again this November for another visit and i even plan to study my PHD in Germany in 2010 so my bad experience has not put me off Germany. I just think that alot of Germans, especially in the South are not really exposed to people of different cultures and race.In my grandmother's village, i am the only black person there which i find to be lots of fun.Its just all bout education and the willingness to learn from each other...

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I know staring is not racism I am not dumb but One knows when they are getting stared at coz of how they look, and if you are white and have not experienced it good for you! I have experienced the dirty stares; if you are not Black, coloured, mixed, brown, whatever You Have no clue what I am talking about!

 

As for integration I am well integrated, have learnt die Sprache still get the looks and attitude though.

 

The only thing that pisses me off is that people who are not in your shoes have the audacity to say its bullshit and that it doesn't exist etc, when it jolly well does!

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Staring is racism.

 

Solution: Stare back at how ridiculously dressed die Kraueter are ... "is that the way you look? ... you're the laughing stock of the whole rest of the planet and you're oblivious to it!" Works wonders.

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Thanks Expaticus: I have tried to stare back and give dirty looks back but I tell you these folks are made of Stare-Out Steel! And I am a nice person...

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Then take a digital photo ... and give them the finger. Then they stop staring sofort!

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Aber, ich habe gehort, dass wenn ich mit dem Finger zeige, komme ich sofort ins Gefangnis!! Well not quite sure but aren't all these "signs" crimes? I may be wrong...

 

Anyway at least now I can say, " Gibt es ein Problem?"!

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Unless they're quick enough on the draw and take a photo of you giving them the finger, it's their word against yours.

 

And then, you can say that they called you a scheiss auslaender ... and then drinks and laughs are on them!

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