Power column: racist, hypocritical, palmer

Once again, Green Party politician Boris Palmer makes racist comments. Our author is offended by this. That’s why she won’t stay silent this time.

Boris Palmer (Bundnis 90/Die Grunen), mayor of Tubingen and janitor on Facebook Photo: dpa

I have rarely participated in the regular Boris Palmer festivals. The Lord Mayor of Tubingen’s quest for attention seems too childish. Actually, one should not do him the favor of serving that. But this time he’s won, at least as far as I’m concerned. I’m too angry – no, that’s not true: too hurt to remain silent.

Boris Palmer has joined the long line of all those who – openly or covertly – have tried to exclude my daughter from her homeland and define her as a "minority" since she was born in Cologne 31 years ago. Nora has a Kenyan father, consequently a darker skin color than Mr. Palmer.

However, she is as German as he is and once even went through the poet Ludwig Uhland at school, who was born and died in Tubingen. Would that make Palmer more lenient toward her? I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that I am infinitely tired of this exclusion. And it doesn’t stop. It just doesn’t stop.

In a Facebook post a few days ago, Palmer asked what kind of society was supposed to be represented by photos on the Deutsche Bahn website that showed a majority of people with an immigrant background. When the expected – and probably desired – criticism came his way, he claimed that it was discriminatory if groups of people such as old, white men were not shown in such a photo spread.

Hypocritical and mendacious

That is hypocritical and mendacious. Mr. Palmer is too intelligent not to know how advertising works. But I’ll pretend I really do think he’s as stupid as he pretends to be and explain it to him in a way that’s easy to understand. Advertising wants to attract attention, to surprise, sometimes to amuse, sometimes to provoke, sometimes even to disturb. Advertising does not represent reality. Anyone who thinks it does must have a cute picture of the rules of capitalism.

Incidentally, as far as we know, all the people depicted by DB have one thing in common: they are fabulously integrated into this society. Isn’t that exactly what those who claim to be afraid of "uberfremdung" always demand? That doesn’t help people who look different from most people in this country. Foreign remains foreign.

By the way, Mr. Palmer would never use a word like "uberfremdung". He is a professional. That is why he formulates his words in such a way that he is understood exactly correctly – by friend and foe – but nothing can be proven against him, no matter how precise the linguistic analysis. His posts are demagogic masterpieces.

This text comes from the taz am wochenende. Always from Saturday on the kiosk, in the eKiosk or immediately in the practical weekend subscription. And on Facebook and Twitter.

Now he claims, unsurprisingly, that he was "misunderstood." Like almost all racists, all the time. Moreover, he had not introduced the skin color as an essential characteristic, that had come from others. What criterion did Boris Palmer have in mind to recognize people "with a migration background"? (By the way, "migration background" is not so easy to define. But I don’t want to make it too complicated for the mayor. So I’ll leave it at that).

My daughter has been working in London for several years. Until three days ago, she had never heard of Boris Palmer. Probably the ultimate insult for someone like him, no Uhland is likely to help.

An SWR correspondent finds all the excitement exaggerated and recommends: "Lighten up, people!" Easy to say. I will not loosen up on this issue. And I am personally grateful to everyone who doesn’t.

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