Tag Archives: reverse racism

Criticism of documentary about anti-racism training on ZDF

On July 10, 2014, ZDFneo showed the documentary “Der Rassist in uns”. Volunteers take part in the so-called “Blue-Eyed Training”, which is designed to let participants experience first-hand what discrimination means. Does the experiment really make clear how racism works? Does it help fight and push back against racism? “Miteinander – Netzwerk für Demokratie und Weltoffenheit in Sachsen-Anhalt e.V.” finds no and argues in the article “The authoritarian character. The ZDF Project ‘The Racist in Us'”that the experiment contradicts an “emancipatory educational work”. In our opinion, the approach of Blue-Eyed trainings, which aim to evoke empathy and understanding in White people (“in four hours you can empathize with what racism feels like”), rather trivializes racism experiences of Black people and People of Color. Racism is reduced to an interpersonal level instead of addressing the complex interaction with societal and institutional levels. From our perspective, the experiment neglects not only perspectives of resistance, but also the historically grown, structural character of racism, which Ahmer Rahman’s clip on Reverse Racism sums up well.

Asylum: Game vs. reality

In Berlin-Hellersdorf, the citizens’ initiative Marzahn-Hellersdorf defends itself with T-shirt imprints such as “No to the home” and the dates of the pogrom in Rostock-Lichtenhagen against a planned home for asylum seekers in their district. In Berlin-Reinickendorf, tenants have hired a lawyer to enforce that children from the neighboring home are no longer allowed to play on the playground in front of their house. In Aarau, Switzerland, the city council prohibits asylum seekers from visiting the local swimming pool, sports facilities, library and churches.

At the same time as these racist actions, ZDF is launching the show “Auf der Flucht – Das Experiment” (On the Run – The Experiment), in which German celebrities are to set off “to the countries of origin of asylum seekers in Germany” and thus “experience first-hand [erfahren] what it means to be on the run”. Instead of letting refugees themselves have their say, German state television prefers to produce a program full of racist assessments and descriptions. Nadia Shehadeh has written an open letter to the ZDF television council. It can also be signed here .

Incidentally, RTL and Pro7 are currently broadcasting similarly problematic series: Wild Girls – Mit Highheels durch Afrika and Reality Queens of Safari. The latter has now been discontinued due to low ratings and extensive criticism from NGOs and many others. Not unreasonably, a commenter on africaisacountry wonders “What’s wrong with the Germans?”