“It’s terrible about Rösler and the Taz, isn’t it?” I say to my German friend.
“Oh, yes,” she says. “Absolutely ridiculous.”
“It’s just awful,” I say. “I don’t know how they thought they could get away with it.”
My friend stops.
“You think it was terrible that the FDP tried to censor the questions, don’t you?” she asks, carefully.
I look at her. Oh, fuck, I think. German people will literally never stop surprising me with the shit they don’t find racist. This particular German friend was sooooooo anti-Sarrazin that I had actually expected she would be semi-normal on the topic of Germany’s Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, Philipp Rösler. But no. Asking an ethnic minority politician why he was 33 the first time he “went back” to his “homeland” will have to be added to blackfacing, Negerküsse and segregating Kindergarten kids according to their language skills aka ethnic background – the “Things German People Don’t Find Racist” list. Sometimes I don’t think Germans find anything racist except for Nazi demos in Hellersdorf, the actual Holocaust and Rosa Parks not being allowed to sit down on the bus.
“I think the questions were pretty racist,” I say, carefully.
“No, Jacinta,” she says, impatiently. “They were about racism.”
“Yeah,” I say. “They were pretty judgmental questions by two white women about racism. Questions that Rösler didn’t want to answer. Talking about racism in a way he wasn’t prepared to do. It was disgusting. Some of them were near the knuckle, some of them were racist because he didn’t want to talk about racism in those terms, some of them were victim-blaming – and some of them were just old school racism. The ‘Heimatland‘ question was fucking disgusting, what should he have said to that. He would’ve been justified in slapping them, I think.”
“Oh, he’s an idiot, though, Jacinta,” my friend says. “He’s not this nice guy. And we’re allowed to say he’s an idiot even though he looks Asian. That’s the true nature of the discrimination in German society: that people think they’re not allowed to call him an idiot because of his Asian appearance.”
Okay, not wanting to be controversial here but that is not the true nature of discrimination in German society. Okay? The racial abuse that Rösler has received, all of it, from the FDP, from German comedians, from Der Spiegel, from the Taz, is fucking disgraceful. It’s disgusting. I literally thought he had a Vietnamese accent at first, coz I’d heard all these comedians doing stupid racist about-as-funny-as-Dinner-For-One German style “jokes” about him. He doesn’t have a Vietnamese accent. He’s fucking German. He was fucking adopted. This is his country. For fuck’s sake. Seriously, Germany, despite Sarrrazin, despite the Kinderbuchdebatte – I’m still ashamed of you. You’ve let yourselves down, it’s been absolutely despicable. I am actually ashamed of you. But what I’m most ashamed of is those left-leaning friends who aren’t outraged, disgusted and ashamed, too – just because he happens to be in the FDP.
Let’s be honest here: had Rösler answered any of those questions honestly, he wouldn’t be the leader of the FDP now. He wouldn’t even be a politician. “When did you first notice you looked different to other German children?” Like, what the fuck? The only dignified response to that is: “When did you first notice you were a total fucking cunt?” He couldn’t answer those questions honestly – they weren’t designed to be answered properly, they were designed by white people to humiliate him. And I’m sure they thought they only wanted to humiliate him for not having been “honest” about race and racism in the past, but the lack of solidarity and empathy, the level of judgement, the tone of contempt indicates that subconsciously part of the need for humiliation, on an unconscious level at least, was born out of a resentment towards a non-white person who aspires to be in a position of power.
Okay, so he couldn’t answer those questions honestly because the FDP’s a racist party and Germany’s a racist country. I can say it, he can’t. He’s trying to win an election.
My question is: who the fuck is Taz to try and force him to? Who the fuck do these people think they are? White people who have no idea what it feels like to be so unaccepted in your own country that even the fucking Taz – the most PC newspaper in the whole country, remember – thinks you’re an Ausländer. And then they go and judge him for his attempt – his pathetic attempt, to be honest – at survival. It is such a head-fuck. At least Thilo Sarrazin only thinks he’s genetically superior – these people think they are intellectually, morally and spiritually superior, every day, in every way.
I’m not Rösler, huh, I don’t gotta win any popularity contests, I don’t have to please German society, I don’t even care, really, if I end up getting deported. I can say what I want about race and racism. I’m always being told by German friends that I go on too much about race, am too paranoid, too angry, too… too bitchy, basically. So you know. I really don’t buy this whole “Why was it hard for him to answer those questions?” disingenuous bullshit. But, still, I don’t gotta play nice, I can tell you what I think about race and racism in Germany. I think Germany is a racist country and I think most white Germans are unable to talk about race in an honest way. I think it would be incredibly helpful if white Germans were to stop lecturing non-white Germans on what is and isn’t racist because yous* don’t have a fucking clue, basically. You don’t know what it’s like to be Rösler and have to ignore racism every single second of every single fucking day. Seriously, you don’t want to know.
Stop it. Stop telling people what is and isn’t racist. Like, when I have a plumber over, I don’t start lecturing him on toilet design. Stop it. Grow up. White Germans – Brüderle, the people at Taz, all my mates – they need to shut the fuck up, grow the fuck up, and fucking listen.
*my feminist yous from two weeks ago, remember?