Archive | Racist A*holes RSS feed for this section

Die Sehen Doch Sowieso Alle Gleich Aus.

18 Jun

Hach, taz… Ihr lernt auch einfach nichts dazu, ne? Deniz Yücel fand es schon sehr gemein, dass er nicht mehr unwidersprochen N* sagen darf (und sich gar Frauen im Publikum dagegen lautstark zur Wehr setzten, statt zu bügeln – Videospiel-Zitate be damned…), aber das habt Ihr unter “Satire” verbucht, und die darf ja bekanntlich alles. So, wie “Onkel Barracks Hütte” 2008. Oder wie Die Partei mit Blackface. Oder der Dresdner Zoo mit Affen.

showbiz_barack_obama_presidents_chairBarack Obama kommt also nach Berlin, 50 Jahre nach John F. Kennedy, und wird eine Rede halten am Branden­bur­ger Tor, nun in image­schwieri­gen Zei­ten von PRISM und Hunger­streiks von Guan­ta­na­mo-Häft­lin­gen. Es ist zu er­war­ten, dass sich – wie üblich – Oba­mas Rede in Pathos er­giessen wird und man ein bisschen Ameri­can Ex­ceptio­na­lism vor die Na­se ge­knal­lt be­kommt. Das wäre nichts Neues und das wäre auch nicht anders als das, was Politiker_innen weltweit tun (except for the exceptional exceptionalism, maybe) – es ist also keinen besonderen Spott oder besondere Häme wert.

Wozu hat sich nun aber die taz entschieden? Dafür, eine satirische Kolumne zu schreiben, in der Barack Obamas Rede aus Zitaten von Roberto Blancos Liedern besteht.  Mehr noch, diese wird gleich eingeleitet mit einem Bild Roberto Blancos, das folgende Caption trägt: “Der amerikanische Präsident Barack Obama bei der Probe für seine große Berliner Rede.”

Man könnte das unter “nicht lustig” abhaken. Wäre ja nicht das erste Mal bei taz‘schen Satireversuchen. Leider wird hier aber fröhlich Rassismus reproduziert – selbst dann, wenn es als so überspitzt intendiert war, dass man den rassistischen Gehalt dieser Satire als solchen von Beginn an offenlegen wollte.

Barack Obama ist Schwarz, Roberto Blanco auch – das muss als Parallele reichen, um die beiden physisch wie rhetorisch austauschbar zu machen.

Die taz denkt, das sei Satire; vielleicht sogar eine, die Rassismus irgendwie entlarven soll (wie und warum so, bleibt unklar). Dass diese Satire nur deshalb funktionieren kann, weil man sie auf rassistischen Tropen aufbaut, ist der taz dabei egal. Schwarze Menschen wurden seit jeher als ununterscheidbar und deshalb beliebig auswechselbar angesehen; als ent-individualisierte, ent-persönlichte dunkle Masse, der sowohl physische als auch charakterliche Differenzen fehlte – das “anders”/”nicht-weiß” war genug des Markers und der Beschreibung Schwarzer Personen. Die taz bedient sich dieses Klischees, und sie subsumiert Barack Obama nicht nur unter einen von “diesen”, die irgendwie alle “gleich” aussehen, sondern macht aus der momentan politisch mächtigsten Person der Welt nicht mehr als einen phrasendreschenden Entertainer zur Belustigung eines weiß_deutschen Publikums.

Roberto Blanco hat sich seine Karriere ausgesucht, er singt seine Lieder (hoffentlich) freiwillig. Barack Obama ist jedoch kein Schlagersänger, er ist Politiker. Dass es Parallelen/Überschneidungen von Showbusiness und Politik gibt, ist so alt wie langweilig als vermeintliche “Erkenntnis” hier. Dass Barack Obama als “Popstar” gefeiert wurde, ebenso. Nichtsdestotrotz hat man Kennedy damals nicht mit Heino verglichen, und Angela Merkel vergleicht man nicht mit Barbara Streisand.

Das Narrativ, Barack Obama als inhaltslosen Popstar darzustellen, das sich die taz übrigens von US-Republikaner_innen der McCain-Kampagne abgeguckt hat, baut  auf Rassismus auf – und hier schließt sich der Kreis zum Obama-Blackface Der Partei: Obama wird nicht nur entpersonalisiert und entindividualisiert durch Austauschbare-Schwarze-(TM)-Fotos, er wird zugleich zum bloßen Entertainment für weiße Zuschauer_innen degradiert; als jemand, der alberne Lieder (am besten mit ein bisschen Stepptanz) vorführt. Ihm wird Handlungsfähigkeit (agency) aberkannt, er wird zum bloßen Spektakel eines white gaze, zur Parodie eines weiß-definierten Schwarzseins.

Die taz greift hier tief in die Kiste rassistischer Stereotype, Narrative und Tropen – schon wieder. Wer immer noch ein Abo hat bei den “Genoss_innen” [sic], der_die möge es doch spätestens jetzt endlich kündigen. Die taz selbst freut sich ganz bestimmt über feedback unter @tazgezwitscher oder direkt hier.

What Fresh Hell Is This?

30 Jan

Femen Germany, a direct action group engaged in the tremendously important feminist causes of activism against sex slavery, human trafficking and sexualized violence and which has been modeled after the Ukrainian original “Femen,” has made a bit of a name for itself in feminist activism in germany. Incidentally, they achieved recognition by their forms of protest, that, apparently, always include some form of nudity and some form of discrimination. Whereas the biggest german feminist magazine, EMMA, celebrated Femen as a new generation of amazing feminist activists that evil wannabe-feminists from Berlin (!!11) are trying to stifle using all dictatorial means necessary, the fact that this group has been endorsed by EMMA is interesting in itself, given EMMA‘s stances on racism.

Besides the age-old question whether feminist activism in the nude is actually productive (personally, I don’t care if people choose this form of protest, as long as they do it consciously and know what it entails), Femen Germany have displayed an astonishing lack of knowledge and insight when it comes to feminist theory and action of the last three decades while displaying a special talent for being as offensive as possible towards people who are subjected to racism, anti-Semitism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, ableism and other forms of systematic oppression. I might add that one of their most prominent activists, Zana Ramadani, has actually been a member of the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) for two years, and Femen Germany‘s FB page displays countless german national flags (*ahem*).

Femen Germany, moreover, is not only ignorant towards these issues, but – and that’s the crucial point for me – furthers discrimination by their biologistic “theories” and offensive actions: be it with their Niqab performance at last year’s sl*twalk in Berlin or their newest “protest” in Hamburg against sex work, 24 hours before the Holocaust memorial day, where they had the nerve to compare sex work to (german) fascism, actually wrote “Arbeit macht frei” on a wall, and demonstrated carrying torches (!).

Femen Germany, thus, are not only a bunch of racist impersonators as seen at the sl*twalk, they actually don’t have an issue with equating sex work to the industrialized mass murder of the Holocaust. Femen Germany has thus proven that they take their name quite seriously – they truly are the worst…

Thankfully, the feminist activists from e*vibes have written an Open Letter that challenges Femen Germany and asks them many important questions (in german):

“Innerhalb der letzten Wochen sind wir über Facebook vermehrt auf euch als Femen Germany aufmerksam geworden. Vergangenen Montag dann haben wir von eurer Aktion in Hamburg erfahren. Nachdem wir den ersten Schock überwunden hatten, haben wir uns ein Herz gefasst und schreiben euch nun diesen Brief. Ein Brief mit einigen der vielen drängenden Fragen. Auf eurer Seite verlinkt ihr die internationale Seite Femen.org. Das Selbstverständnis, welches dort zu finden ist, haben wir uns einmal genauer angeschaut. Es hat sich gelohnt, denn bereits hier taten sich einige Fragen auf: Können Frauen ohne Brüste Femen sein? Wie definiert ihr „Frauen“? Was ist mit Trans*menschen? „Activists of FEMEN – are morally and physically fit soldiers“ Was bedeutet „physisch und moralisch fit“? Können „nicht physisch fitte“ Menschen Femen sein? Warum Soldat*innen?”

Go read the whole letter here.

Blackface, Round Five.

19 Oct

“As it turns out, blackface has been and continues to be a widespread practice on the German stage. German actors of African descent are routinely passed over for roles explicitly designated for them in some of the largest theatres in the country. This is weakly defended as either a director’s prerogative or a matter of “artistic choice” – and yet, when questioned, no one could offer me an equivalent example of a white German actor having lost a role to a black actor in whiteface.

Clybourne Park.

Now, normally I don’t meddle in the cultural politics of other countries, but when my work and the work of my colleagues – other playwrights – is misrepresented, I do. When we write plays, among other things, we are creating employment for working actors, and often we intend to employ a specific diverse body. Whatever rationale the German theatre establishment might offer for their brazenly discriminatory practice is of no interest to me. For, as little power as we playwrights have, we always retain one small power and that is the power to say no. To say, no thank you, I’d rather not have my work performed in Germany, today, under those conditions.

Lara-Sophie Milagro and her colleague Gyavira Lasana have created an online petition (included below) condemning the ongoing practice of blackface in German theatres and have asked me to ask you, fellow playwrights, to add your name to their petition. I urge you to do so.

But I would go one step further – I would advise you to boycott productions of your own work by German theatres that continue this asinine tradition (The Deutsches Theatre and the Schlosspark are only two examples). A zero-tolerance position is the only position to take, in my opinion, and if we are united then perhaps a few German theatres may take notice and, hopefully, in time, a better course of action.”

Bruce Norris, the Pulitzer prize winning author of “Clybourne Park.” Read the whole article (in german) here (however, cf. Franca’s corrections to the article in the comment section below), and sign the petition against Blackfacing here.

There have been multiple discussions regarding Blackface on this blog if you’d like to have a look, particularly on Berlin’s Schlosspark Theater’s staging of “I’m Not Rappaport:”

  1. “You Know It’s A Bad Idea When It’s Blackface”
  2. “Reasonable Racism”
  3. “Fighting Windmills”
  4. “Blackface, Round 4″
  5. “For Never Was A Story Of More Woe…”

You Walk Alone.

23 Sep

[Content note: rape culture, sexual(ized) assault and violence and language, victim blaming, racism]

Ever since a police officer told a group of of students in 2011 to not “dress like sl*ts” so they wouldn’t get sexually assaulted, women* in Toronto, Canada, started out a quickly spreading action movement against this culture of sl*t shaming and victim blaming by initiating the so-called “sl*t walks” in protest. In an effort to reclaim the word sl*t and (at least partially) regain access to the discourse about women*’s sexuality and rights to bodily integrity, demonstrations titled “sl*twalks” took place in 75 cities worldwide at the end of 2011. In Berlin, germany, the first walk took place in August last year with about 3,500 participants; another sl*t walk marched just last week.

The under­lying rea­sons for a pro­test move­ment like the “sl*twalks,” Fe­mi­nism ™ agrees on that, are tre­men­dously important: the fight against rape culture, sl*t shaming, victim bla­ming, sexual(ized) violence and (street) ha­­rass­ment, objectification, trivialization and the common disregard for women* who are being thought of less than a human being in (public) space. Sl*twalks are a non-centralized, diverse action movement that seems to profit and suffer from the same strategies and in­herent difficulties that the (non?)political concept of “openness” brings with it – a chance for people who are not politically organized to participate anyway, but the inevitable perpetuation of systematic social discrimination when one does not explicitly reflects and/or strongly advocates and acts against it (cf. the remarkably similar – no, that’s not remarkable, that’s irony - problems of the Occupy Wall Street movement). Importantly: having an open movement like sl*twalks that invites as many women* (and men*) as possible to participate, it is not only about preventing discrimination, and, in certain regards when establishing this “open” concept, discrimination is basically part of the deal; the reaction to incidents or even whole structures of discrimination becomes vital, and here is where many sl*twalks fall short.

There has been anti-racist criticism of sl*twalks – and not just once, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. There has been anti-classist, anti-heterosexist, anti-ableist, anti-cis-sexist, … criticism of sl*twalks – and not just once, here and here and here and here and here and here.  And these links are just the result of a quick Google search, by the way – there’s a whole lot more.

Continue reading

(Not) Only In Germany.

27 Aug

I’m afraid I’m again suffering from a bit of racism overkill (mixed with a hint of white people fatigue), so this clearly isn’t a nuanced analysis, this is exasperation talk. Racism is a world-wide problem, it is a world-wide structure of systematic oppression, and, if only due to personal experiences, things are far from being  fine and peachy everywhere else.

And yet, today, this would be my (non-exhaustive) experience-summary of germany’s explicit racism in 2012 so far:

Only in germany…

... is protest against Blackfacing white actors brushed aside as “USian” political correctness and it is possible to state that Black ensemble members don’t make sense for any theater company anyway, due to a lack of “Black roles,” and cultural and theater critics and the general public heartily agree.

… is it perfectly acceptable to be unaware of any form of colonial history and to essentially negate related genocides by stating that the planned murder of people had happened too early to be classified as a genocide anyway - again, to general agreement. Does anyone recognize the bitter irony of stating that anything regarding genocides that happened before 1955 in germany, when this country implemented the UN convention, doesn’t really count? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!

… do people think that we’ve talked about the Holocaust long enough and people really should move on now, because past. Yeah, tell that to Jasper von Altenbockum, who thinks that even fascist pogroms have their perks; and anti-Semitic murder phantasies as “Death of a critic” by Martin Walser may have been called out by former friends (this is when FAZ’s Frank Schirrmacher actually had something valuable to say), but continued to be bestsellers, not ten years ago. Günter Grass just won’t shut the fuck up either.

… does it seem possible that one of the biggest and well-respected national daily newspapers commemorates the 20th anniversary of a fascist pogrom by stating that it had its upsides, namely putting “social romantics” who advocate human equality (…please!) in their place, and “opening up” the door to further immigration restrictions, without facing a substantial backlash and consequences for the author, who isn’t just an obscure guest columnist, but the actual editor in chief of the newspaper’s internal affairs department?

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: