I was with my German girlfriend in Berlin in November.It was my first time in Europe. One night, after having dinner with a father’s friend, I boarded the train to return to my girl’s apartment. It was late, but the train was quite crowded. Since I use a stick and am disabled, I had to sit everywhere. The nearest seat was next to a thriving, possibly drunk middle-aged German man. I went to rest my tired bones.
But I felt a slap on my butt before I could sit down.I immediately wondered who would deny a disabled person a seat on a crowded train. It was the thriving middle-aged man, and although I couldn’t speak to him directly, I knew the reason. I come from Chicago, the most racist metropolis near Boston, and grew up in Southeast Virginia alongside neighbors who proudly flew the Confederate flag and are regularly referred to by white “friends” as “n* gger” in my place; I recognize when someone lacks the ability to see my humanity. Because that’s how racism is. the inability to see someone as an individual and assign characteristics that they may or may not have solely on the basis of race. They see this person as less human. We all do it to a certain extent, but racists are naturally fixated on the race. Mostly because it’s obvious.
I have heard Germans say that some Germans do not like the Middle Ages or African immigrants because they see them as criminals and thieves.I was only visiting, but had the bad taste of being black and disabled. I was hurt and angry and the only thing I could do was take his photo. That’s his Martin Bormann down. I smiled warmly at him to tell him he wasn’t coming to me (because he was) and he smiled back. When our stop came, he tried to get me to fight him. I laughed. Such a tough guy to accept a disabled guy. I tried to make the other commuters aware of what this man was doing, but no one said a word. So this incident alone did not give me the impression that the Germans were working for the abused. They are a very polite yet passive-aggressive people, and as individuals and as a society they do not seem to rock the boat. This explains to me why there can be such a dichotomy in a homogeneous, fairly cultivated, prosperous and vital nation.
Apart from this incident, I probably experience more racism every day in San Francisco than in my twenty days in Berlin.But that was uglier than almost anything I’ve experienced in my entire life in the US. Rarely has a complete stranger immediately shown that he hated me – usually you need to know me a little before you draw that conclusion. I’ve heard crazy people or privileged idiots say racist things, but it’s easy to ignore the stuff. I sometimes say, ‘Those who refuse to see the humanity of others deserve the same treatment’, but that solves very little. The deeply racist past of the Germans is not an ancient story, but remains beneath the surface, largely unconstructed. As my friend (an active anti-racist and anti-fascist) told us, the community organization in Germany comes almost exclusively from the right and dominates the country and many cities (Munich is the birthplace of National Socialism). Until the Germans decide to actively promote the racism of their compatriots and women, little will change. The current immigration crisis only seems to exacerbate the problem.
and for you Europeans who have been discriminated against by other Europeans in Europe, that is not racism.This is nationalism or simple discrimination.