Experiences with racism in Germany

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German females are nearly half in number to german males.

 

Are you suggesting that there are twice as many men in Germany as there are women? That is how your sentence reads.

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Are you suggesting that there are twice as many men in Germany as there are women? That is how your sentence reads.

 

Thanks corrected :D

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I think it can be jarring in Europe for Americans, because there is much less political correctness. In the US (at least the coasts or big cities, where I've spent time), you will rarely never hear anything that might be considered racist. However, that does not mean people don't have racist thoughts - they are just well-trained not to express them.

 

In Europe, on the other hand, educated, middle-class+ people will openly make remarks stereotyping/deprecating Jews or Muslims etc, will dress in black-face, will pull the sides of their eyes to imitate Asians etc - and if you asked them, it wouldn't even occur to them that's it's in any way offensive. The sensitivity level is just completely different, so people behave differently, even if they don't necessarily feel differently. And I think there are positives and negatives to this. In the US, political correctness often goes way too far, restricting honest discussion. On the other hand, it can certainly serve to avoid people feeling unwelcome.

 

I will say that night clubs/discos in Europe are, for sure, more racist. They will very explicitly reject people because of their race - in the US, obviously clubs might try to maintain a certain clientele, but they will be much more subtle about it. Part of this is that racial discrimination is very illegal in the US.

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On the one hand, I agree with you when you say that too much PC restricts "honest" discussion, although I am intrigued by your choice of the word "honest" rather than "productive." On the other hand--there can be a pretty wide discrepancy between honest and productive, and although honest is almost universally seen as a virtue, it is not necessarily always productive.

 

As I progress and travel and gain distance from the US, I start to see some use for political correctness, whereas during the time I lived there, I only saw it as a hindrance. I suppose that owed partially to my age (too young to remember when racist dialogue made its home in the mainstream), and partially to my lack of understanding just how critically our thoughts are affected, if not outright steered, by our ability to put them into words; to articulate them aloud, and receive confirmation of them from our peers.

 

What I mean to say is: the first generation of people whose racist-leaning thoughts were (relatively) abruptly shamed and pushed out of the dialogue of mainstream society may indeed take their prejudices, censored, with them to the grave, yet, their children, raised in an environment where bigoted ideas aren't allowed past the conception phase, may truly spend little or no time on them. I think many of the younger people today, raised by our undercover racist parents, are looking around at each other as adults and appreciating the difference a generation can make. Many people my age are aware their parents hid their prejudices as well as they could, above all, from their children--with the result being the true end to that particular cycle of bigotry. Many of us realize how hard it was for them to do, and are thankful to them for it.

 

It's important to remember that bigotry is active. It requires much more energy to cultivate such thoughts than to simply leave them away. The human brain is lazy; and while it is indeed a fan of constructing narrative fiction to support its preconceived notions, it is usually much happier doing something pleasant like looking at bare breasts or contemplating wide, open spaces. I honestly believe that when we don't teach our children to hate, it will honestly not naturally occur to them. Perhaps that is naive. I hope it isn't.

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Why not?!!!

 

Actually, I think the point being made is that there are relatively few black bosses in Germany... maybe this has to do with racism, and maybe it doesn't.

 

Uhm you do realise that "Afro Germans" are only about 1% of the entire population right?

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Just had our front door glass broken last week and yesterday our front light broken and ripped off the wall. I can only assume it to be angry racists and with no refugees in our town to attack, pick on the one black immigrant. Has anyone else has seen an increase on immigrant (not refugees) attacks?

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40 minutes ago, tobagp26 said:

I can only assume it to be angry racists and with no refugees in our town to attack, pick on the one black immigrant.

First things first, did you inform the police?

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Yes, the police was called and came immediately. They think it was drunk people over the holidays. Security lights and cameras have been installed.

 

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On 12/5/2014, 7:50:44, Prais said:

In Europe, on the other hand, educated, middle-class+ people will openly make remarks stereotyping/deprecating Jews or Muslims etc, will dress in black-face, will pull the sides of their eyes to imitate Asians etc - and if you asked them, it wouldn't even occur to them that's it's in any way offensive. The sensitivity level is just completely different, so people behave differently, even if they don't necessarily feel differently. And I think there are positives and negatives to this. In the US, political correctness often goes way too far, restricting honest discussion. On the other hand, it can certainly serve to avoid people feeling unwelcome.

 

Repressed feelings are never a good thing, at personal level. At professional level, it is part of the job.

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My experience in Germany has been positive so far in NRW, people have been friendly, at least when I talk to them. In some cases, they were very appreciative of my efforts of speaking German to them and then happy when they found out I have been living here less than a year and could manage to hold conversations in German. But it is tough to get any further than that. You are still not "one of them".

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On 1/16/2016, 8:20:09, taylormario said:

But it is tough to get any further than that. You are still not "one of them".

Reminds me of this. :D

1fbf78771ba3d2563dadd26f0abac9c251226ca6

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Interesting piece I heard on NPR covering the reactions of longtime former immigrants to the new arrivals, and the problems they are having as a result of the new arrivals from Maghreb sowing the seeds of mistrust and racism with their numbers and behavior.  

 

http://www.npr.org/programs/morning-edition/#

 

It also speaks (to me at least) how important language is, and not to paint with a broad brush when expressing any frustration or anger about the policies and events of late. 

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On 05/12/2014, 19:50:44, Prais said:

I think it can be jarring in Europe for Americans, because there is much less political correctness. In the US (at least the coasts or big cities, where I've spent time), you will rarely never hear anything that might be considered racist. However, that does not mean people don't have racist thoughts - they are just well-trained not to express them.

 

In Europe, on the other hand, educated, middle-class+ people will openly make remarks stereotyping/deprecating Jews or Muslims etc, will dress in black-face, will pull the sides of their eyes to imitate Asians etc - and if you asked them, it wouldn't even occur to them that's it's in any way offensive. The sensitivity level is just completely different, so people behave differently, even if they don't necessarily feel differently. And I think there are positives and negatives to this. In the US, political correctness often goes way too far, restricting honest discussion. On the other hand, it can certainly serve to avoid people feeling unwelcome.

 

I will say that night clubs/discos in Europe are, for sure, more racist. They will very explicitly reject people because of their race - in the US, obviously clubs might try to maintain a certain clientele, but they will be much more subtle about it. Part of this is that racial discrimination is very illegal in the US.

 

Less political correctness is Germany is all well and good until someone starts laughing at nazi-ness, stiff-ness, piggish-ness, brutish-ness, hypocrisy etc of german society. Then all of a sudden mocking of people is no longer considered fair game. Some of those are even not allowed by law. How is that for controlling "PC-culture".

 

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beleidigung_(Deutschland)

 

I think what you are referring to is more a penchant for good old fashioned othering, bullying and generally not giving a **** about people not in your inner circle if there is no law that forces you too.

 

Hence the laws where you HAVE TO help someone in an accident or you might be prosecuted.

 

Die Straßenverkehrsordnung verpflichtet alle Personen, deren Verhalten am Unfallort mit einem Verkehrsunfall in ursächlichem Zusammenhange steht, sofort anzuhalten und, wenn Personen verletzt worden sind, Hilfe zu leisten.

https://www.roteskreuz.at/wien/kurse-aus-weiterbildung/erste-hilfe/erste-hilfe-tipps-fuer-den-alltag/muss-ich-erste-hilfe-leisten/

 

One wonders why you would even need a law like that.

 

-

 

This always assume the best even in the face of evidence is very ... very ... hmmmmm. Reminds me of that trump whisperer syndrome thingy.

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6 minutes ago, claudeyc said:

One wonders why you would even need a law like that.

Because people who caused an accident shouldn´t be allowed to remove themselves from the scene but should be identified?  And because some might feel the urge to drive on in order not to be held responsible?

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Culture clash beautifully illustrated. Reminds me of that time when my colleagues all tittered at the thought that someone would not simply lie under oath.

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I have no idea on the racism thing, I think it's ridiculous though, that anyone can say Germany does or does not have racists.  Of course it has racists, they exist all over the world in all forms, I very much doubt you will find a country without some racists, just as you'll always find some shit on the sidewalk.

 

As for the staring thing, Germans love to stare, it was VERY jarring for me coming from a country where staring at someone the way Germans tend to stare, would earn you a punch in the face.  I quickly got used to it, but I've never been able to quite get past it, I find it really rude and I can totally see why someone who looks different would feel that it stems from racism.  A few more curious glances than normal I think most people who look different to the majority populous is expected and easy to deal with, but the eye grilling that Germans give you is very unnerving at times. Does it come from racism?  I have no clue, I've often thought of asking people outright why they are staring at me, in the early days, before I realised it was dodgy ground, I used to take out my phone and point it at them as though I was taking a photograph, interestingly only one person ever pulled me up on it (which came to nothing).

 

I think Germans just don't realise that in most of the rest of the world staring is considered an aggressive action.

 

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, DaringD said:

As for the staring thing, Germans love to stare, it was VERY jarring for me coming from a country where staring at someone the way Germans tend to stare, would earn you a punch in the face.

 

I've written this many times before but in my approx 40 years of living here I have NEVER experienced "staring Germans"!

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19 minutes ago, DaringD said:

I think Germans just don't realise that in most of the rest of the world staring is considered an aggressive action.

There are more countries like that. In Portugal it is normal to stare.

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36 minutes ago, DaringD said:

I have no idea on the racism thing, I think it's ridiculous though, that anyone can say Germany does or does not have racists.  Of course it has racists, they exist all over the world in all forms, I very much doubt you will find a country without some racists, just as you'll always find some shit on the sidewalk.

 

As for the staring thing, Germans love to stare, it was VERY jarring for me coming from a country where staring at someone the way Germans tend to stare, would earn you a punch in the face.  I quickly got used to it, but I've never been able to quite get past it, I find it really rude and I can totally see why someone who looks different would feel that it stems from racism.  A few more curious glances than normal I think most people who look different to the majority populous is expected and easy to deal with, but the eye grilling that Germans give you is very unnerving at times. Does it come from racism?  I have no clue, I've often thought of asking people outright why they are staring at me, in the early days, before I realised it was dodgy ground, I used to take out my phone and point it at them as though I was taking a photograph, interestingly only one person ever pulled me up on it (which came to nothing).

 

I think Germans just don't realise that in most of the rest of the world staring is considered an aggressive action.

 

 

 

 

Asia, Africa, Latin America outside of major tourist areas- normal.

Greeks do it a lot as well! 🙈 But I wouldn‘t stare in England...

41014994-2A1D-4BD6-9FA5-AE1E24D67396.jpeg

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33 minutes ago, DaringD said:

I think Germans just don't realise that in most of the rest of the world staring is considered an aggressive action.

I´m German and when my girlfriend was in Germany for the first time she complained about being stared at. I had no idea what she was talking about (and btw she is white and was blond the time -meanwhile she´s grey). I still don´t know what she´s talking about.

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