"Racism Inception": Dieter Nuhr embarrasses himself with book review and admits mistakes
- The cabaret artist Dieter Nuhr has let off steam in his show about a book by the Cologne author Alice Hasters.
- The problem: He apparently hadn’t read it at all beforehand.
- And also otherwise his contribution is full of technical errors.
Berlin. Did you know that a German author’s seemingly intellectual book, of all things, is partly to blame for the rise of Donald Trump? Did you not know? Also not true. But that’s about the sound of one of Dieter Nuhr’s punch lines, which he presented to his viewers on Thursday night in the program "Nuhr im Ersten".
In the piece – broadcast between appearances by Wolfgang Trepper and Simone Solga – Nuhr tries to figure out why millions of Americans have already voted for Donald Trump again. After a small digression he comes to the thesis: Probably the leftists are to blame.
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As evidence for this assumption, Nuhr presents a book that he was offered at the airport. It is entitled "What white people don’t want to hear about racism" – the book cover is displayed on a screen. The book "might even have interested him," says Nuhr. "But for me the title was a bit too racist. To believe that the color of one’s skin (whether white or black is irrelevant) automatically brings with it a certain attitude. Now that is classic racism."
Then Nuhr talks about the author of the book: "The woman seriously claims that as a white man I am automatically a racist. And this is seriously discussed in the USA. The book was a huge hit in the U.S. And honestly, I believe that this form of pseudo-intellectuality of an arrogant left is largely responsible for the fact that there could be something like Donald Trump."
Book has not been published in the U.S. at all
Now there is a little catch to the whole thing. Because the book, which Nuhr describes in his piece, does not come from the USA at all. It was also not a "big hit" there, on the contrary: It has not even appeared there so far. The title of the book, unlike what Nuhr said, is "What white people don’t want to hear about racism, but should know."And the author of the book, namely Alice Hasters, comes from Cologne.
After its publication in September of last year, Haster’s book became a bestseller and is frequently available at airports and train station bookstores. In the autobiographical book, the author explains how racism shapes her everyday life as a black woman in Germany. Because racism, Hasters said, is not just a problem on the right-wing fringe of society.
For Dieter Nuhr this fact is doubly unfortunate. Because in his TV show he very obviously discusses a book that he himself has not read at all. At the same time, he reveals exactly what is described in the book: He steps into a racism fetlock without even realizing it – by locating black author Alice Hasters in the U.S.
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On Twitter the sequence from the broadcast reliably provides for a proper backlash. Hasters tweeted smugly in the evening: "Did you know that my book was a ‘huge hit’ in the U.S.??"
And author Samira El Ouassil posted an excerpt from Nuhr’s show, which she captioned, "This is truly the perfectly formed Dunning-Kruger effect of one’s own blindness, and ironically provides fantastic evidence of why Alice Hasters’ book is necessary, and I hope that after Nuhr’s completely obtuse review, the current edition will be sold out tomorrow."
"You know what the staircase joke is?", analyzes the political scientist Natascha Strobl, "he murmurs something about ‘huge seller in the USA’ (. ) because he suspects that this is a German translation. Because it locates Alice Hasters in the USA. So much for that. He would have read the book better." "Additionally funny, because he obviously does not want to hear what it says, thus proving the title," adds Marina Weisband. For El Ouassil, the issue is simply "an unfathomable rassinception".
Twitter user @surfgard analyzes, "White man who only knows the title of a book and thinks the German author is a U.S. based on name and skin color criticizes the arrogance of claiming he doesn’t want to know about racism as racist. No punch line." And Hazel Brugger comments: "Reading educates (but you have to read the books and not walk past them and tell yourself afterwards that you are too educated to read them)."
Jo Lendle, publisher of Carl Hanser Verlag, which published Hasters’ book, also commented on Facebook. Dear Dieter Nuhr, in your broadcast yesterday you came up with something quite special. You had the original idea to accuse a book of racism against white people. And this is because of its title (. ), Lendle writes.
"Refreshingly, you were kind enough to point out that the book is a ‘huge seller’ in the U.S. Will be already so, you thought to yourself (and your editors it did not go differently). After all, you’ve heard a lot about the book, and that Black Lives thing is over there after all. But, dear Nuhr, it’s all in your head. The racism is here, you’re just bathing your hands in it. While the book is indeed a ‘huge seller’. But just with us. Alice Hasters is a German author, she wrote it in German, unfortunately we have not sold the English rights yet. Racism is near. Listen to yourself very carefully. Somewhere in this empty, echoing room, he makes a very soft peep."
Then Lendle announces that he will send the book to Nuhr: "You always like to debunk something. How about something different from your prejudices? The book is in the mail to you."