“Hart aber fair”: discrimination discussion – which words are racist?

"Hart aber fair": Racism in language – what is allowed to say?

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Whether "Anne Will", "Tough but Fair, "Maybrit Illner" or "Maischberger": political talk shows shape our political debates. Five things to know about theseTalkshows.

Berlin. N-word, Mohrenkopf, gender asterisk: Plasberg discussed discrimination through language on "Hart aber fair. What can be said?

"If we start changing existing works of art, we might as well put a bathing suit on the ‘Venus de Milo’ because she’s naked," Jan Weiler got excited about the question posed by Frank Plasberg on "Hart aber fair," how to correctly deal with a genuine children’s classic today: Would you leave the "Negro King" in Pippi Longstocking or rewrite the book??

Opinions diverged fiercely on the question. "A book is a contemporary witness," found Jurgen von der Lippe and pleaded for leaving it in. "You can talk it over with the kids, after all".

"Hart aber fair" – These were the guests:

  • Jurgen von der Lippe: TV host and comedian
  • Stefanie Lohaus: Publicist, founder and co-publisher of "Missy Magazin
  • Stephan Anpalagan: Journalist and theologian, co-founder of the consultancy "Democracy in Work"
  • Jan Weiler: Writer and columnist
  • Svenja Flabpohler: philosopher, editor-in-chief of "Philosophie Magazin"
  • Andrew Onuegbu (in a one-on-one interview): Chef and owner of the "Zum Mohrenkopf" restaurant

While the journalist and theologian Stephan Anpalagan advocated rewriting, and Stefanie Lohaus rigorously argued that the book by Astrid Lindgren belonged as a "colonial history" anyway in the museum and not in children’s hands ..

"Hart aber fair": What is linguistically correct??

With "Argument about language: What is still allowed to say and what is better not to say?", was "Hart aber fair" on this Monday headed. But in fact it was about much more: about the current status of the Debate Culture in this country, and how it is fueled by the social media outrage machine.

Just how less squeamish people are about each other these days was also evident from the panel itself, which was in regards to linguistic correctness exceedingly diverse positions referred. And could hardly agree on a common denominator.

Guest on Plasberg: language bans lead to totalitarianism

"A public debate on this is right. We need to exchange how we hurt others with words," launched Svenja Flabpohler with a conciliatory contribution. "But the path of the sayable", found the editor-in-chief of the "Philosophie Magazin": Whoever represents an uncomfortable position that does not conform to the mainstream is immediately labeled as a right-wing reactionary – as had happened to her herself when she dared to publicly criticize the Me-Too debate.

Such Language bans would result in rigorism, totalitarianism, "I think that’s dangerous".

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And already Stefanie Lohaus was on the spot, for the Anti-discrimination of all minorities to fight: "Whenever a disadvantaged group demands its rights, the end of the Occident comes immediately. That’s right-wing rhetoric," the feminist journalist confidently replied. That the debate mores had become rougher, she wiped off the table.

In general, Stefanie Lohaus, who by her own admission enjoys working with Gender star writes and with audible Binnen-I always speaks of "spectator-insiders", obviously quite exactly, what was right and what was wrong. Language constitutes our thinking and our feelings, she said. That’s why it’s important "to use them consciously and not to use certain terms.".

Frank Plasberg must ensure discipline

As moderator, however, Frank Plasberg was not only required to discipline his guests as obligingly as possible on this Monday, so that they did not constantly open a new barrel, i.e. associatively switch to the next aspect.

This time he also had the problem that already the choice of words of his language-sensitive guests again and again "presupposes a great deal in order to understand what it is actually about". Eben around a very lively, sometimes acrimonious discussion on the morally and politically correct use of the German language – conducted with the use of many Anglicisms.

So in the meantime it was also a matter of simple word clarifications: What is Framing? ("framing", when a word is used and chains of associations start) What is divers? (different). What cancel culture? (Systematic Boycotting of Individuals for Morally Injurious Misconduct).

"Hart aber fair": when are terms discriminatory and racist?

Thematically, it was a wide field anyway. And all together, actually, too much: Shitstorm on social media as a "humane form of pillorying". Self-censorship in writing to escape this.

And precisely also the conscious renunciation of terms that are no longer considered opportune because they are seen as discriminatory or racist recognized. Like the N-word, which was once used to refer to "men, women and children who were denied being human beings at all," as Stephan Anpalagan interjected in explanation and indignation that the term is still used thoughtlessly.

"A term like Mohr is disappearing like the handle man. Nobody uses the word anymore," attempted Jan Weiler de-emotionalizing the debate. "We need to liberate not language but those discriminated against from real discrimination," pleaded writer. And so create more just conditions.

  • Past broadcast:"Hart aber fair": 30 years of unity – Where does Germany stand??

Berlin state administration publishes "Diversity Guidelines

Will "foreigners" be less discriminated against if they are referred to as "people without German citizenship" from now on – as the new "Diversity Guide." the Berlin state administration prescribes for linguistic correctness? Or migrants as "people with an international history"? And is "driving without a ticket" better than "fare evasion", because it has less negative connotations?

Especially terms like "Schwarzfahren", "Schwarzgeld" or "Schwarzarbeit" had etymologically nothing to do with skin color, Frank Plasberg wanted to explain quickly in between. They come instead from "obscuration" or "concealment".

Andrew Onuegbu: "Don’t need a white person to tell me what hurts me"

How real existing Discrimination The short appearance of Andrew Onuegbu, who also delivered the phrase of the evening, at least in the opinion of Jurgen von der Lippe, showed how this can look: "I don’t need a white person to tell me what hurts me," summarized the German citizen with Nigerian history in a laconic tone.

The Kiel innkeeper, a native of Biafra in Nigeria, had deliberately chosen the name "Zum Mohrenkopf" for his inn "because in the Middle Ages that was a term with positive connotations that stood for good cuisine".

Self-confident and self-deprecating, he even identified himself with the name, and stressed that he also had no problem being referred to by his regulars as "Mohrenkopf" to be called. Changing the name of his establishment was out of the question for him.

Koch experiences "pure racism

Then, in a one-on-one conversation, he told how he had "pure Racism" experienced, politically correctly disguised: One evening, a German couple – black man, white woman – stood in his restaurant and asked him point-blank: "Brother, why are you working for a Nazi??"

Then the well-meaning couple demanded to speak to his boss. He said that he was himself. They did not believe him and sent him away to get the boss. When he returned, and his co-worker also reconfirmed that Andrew Onuegbu was indeed the operator of the establishment, the couple challenged him, "The name has to go, it’s racist".

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