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Victim slams court's racial spot-check ruling

The Local · 28 Mar 2012, 14:03

Published: 28 Mar 2012 14:03 GMT+02:00

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Speaking to The Local, the 25-year-old student said he was disappointed by the verdict which has provoked a storm of outrage. One human rights lawyer called for the judge to be dismissed, while his own lawyer says he will take the case to the Constitutional Court if necessary.

“I don't want to believe it – that my country now supports this, it is terrible,” the student said.

“The police have been told they can do this – no-one is thinking of the person getting hurt. I just wish every kind of racism would stop; it is horrid how people are treated by those who think they are lesser.”

The student, who asked not to be identified, said he often took the train from Kassel, where he studies, to visit family in Frankfurt.

“Over the last three years I have been asked for my identification about 15 times on that train,” he said. “It was making me sick.”

The check in question came on December 3, 2010, on the train he had taken so many times before.

“I had got myself a cup of tea and was returning to my seat when my way was blocked by the two police officers who asked me where I was going. I told them I was going back to my seat.


“I did not understand why my answer made them so angry. They treated me really as if I was not a person, it was humiliating.”

The officers asked him to show his identification, but could not tell him why they were asking – and without a reason he refused to cooperate.

“It made me very angry, with such an anger I had not had before. You see them when they enter the carriage, they act like hunting dogs tracking down a piece of meat; they walk past 100 people and stop at my seat.”

He said he decided to make a stand and refused to show them his identification without good reason. The altercation ended with him telling the police their methods reminded him of those used in Nazi times by the SS.

The police took him off the train and to a police station where they said if he did not cooperate and show them his ID they would lock him up.

'Lock me up!'

“Lock me up! The only thing I probably did was to ‘look illegal'.”

And despite never getting a good explanation of why he should, the student eventually showed them some ID in order to get out and go home.

But the SS comment resulted in a charge of slander, which was dismissed by a court on Tuesday. Crucially, one of the court hearings produced the admission that the police officers had checked his ID because he was black – and for no other reason.

This was challenged by his lawyer Sven Adam, who told The Local, “It is a scandal. It's unconstitutional and illegal – one cannot be forced to identify oneself if there is no suspicion or danger.”

Adam said he was determined to appeal the verdict, and would take the case to the Constitutional Court if necessary.

'Fertile grounds for racism'

“The decision will certainly provide fertile ground for racism on trains and on the streets,” he said.

But on Tuesday the Koblenz administrative court ruled that such reasoning was acceptable, prompting harsh criticism.

"This is of course complete nonsense," human rights lawyer David Schneider-Mensah told The Local. "And the judge who passed this verdict is clearly not fit for his office and should be dismissed."

“Of course there are objective criteria which the police can use to decide who to spot-check – people who are behaving suspiciously, for example," he added. "But any criteria based purely on people's appearance are illegal."

Schneider-Mensah has fought many similar cases in the past. "Most police spot-checks in Germany are illegal in my experience," he said.

"The police often appear to be running secret border checks, which are outlawed by the EU, since the Schengen agreement clearly means that we have no border controls."

A spokesman for the court told The Local that the judge had decided spot-checks were only effective when carried out according to an officer's assessment of the person's appearance.

“There is no way they can check all 500 or so people on a train, they have to be selective,” he said. People who appear to be foreign were more likely to be breaking German immigration and residency laws than those who seemed German, he said.

Trains going to large cities such as Frankfurt and Berlin were the most likely to be checked, since they are most used by people breaking such laws, he said.

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Your comments about this article

14:46 March 28, 2012 by boopsie
What a silly reaction from the black german who brought the case - the courts decision had nothing to do with racism and everything to do with immigrant control which is sorely needed in an EU with extremely porous borders.

We know how the editors of The Local feel about this story when they use the word "victim" in the title of this piece. He was nothing of the sort no matter how hard he tries to play the victim card. Congratulations to both the court and the police and to the government that instituted this profiling policy of immigration control. Lets see if they have to back down when the politically correct outcry over this case reaches its crescendo as manufactured by the left.
15:01 March 28, 2012 by Peepopaapo
@ boopsie: I'm with you - in my opinion his reaction towards the policemen and his reaction concerning the court's decision is pretty much exaggerative. I'm not a racist at all (even though I know that many people in here will try to put boopsie and me on the low level of racists), but in my opinon the policemen just did their job. If I were in Africa and the black African policmen would check me, because I'm white and they fear that I could be an illegal immigrant I would not have any problems with that at all.
15:08 March 28, 2012 by freechoice
He should raise money, I would gladly donate 100 euros for his cause! To fight against racial profiling practiced widely in this country!
15:42 March 28, 2012 by catjones
boopsie & Peepopaapo...I'm with you. Racism shouldn't be random, it should be institutionalized, tolerated and accepted.
15:48 March 28, 2012 by sglennon
@Peepopaapo - actually, you quite specifically are a racist. Just like those policemen were, just like your hypothetical African policemen would be.

I'm pleased for you that you have obviously lived a life without ever having been discriminated against on the basis of how you look, but at least try to imagine what it must be like to have to deal with something like that on a daily basis.

@boopsie - so it's not possible for a black person to be German, and all illegal immigrants are easily identifiable because they're the ones that aren't white? Whether you think immigration laws are too relaxed or not (they're not, in my not-humble-at-all opinion), picking random foreign-looking people over non-foreign-looking people doesn't really seem to be a well thought-out solution, now does it?

People like you two, and like those policement and that judge, make me feel sick, and like I don't want to live Germany any more.
15:48 March 28, 2012 by joysonabraham
Perhaps nothing like this might have happened,

if the black man thought in another way. " I look foreign and there are so many illegal immigrants who just looks like me and shall help the police with their duty by showing the ID card".

and if the police introduced to the man in another way. " Hi how are you, can i see your ID" . If he don"t intend to show the ID to anyone why should he carry it. I guess police introduced in a ice way. German police is one of the best behaving officials in the continent as far as i know ( I am not an immigrant though, just a south Asian guest worker :)P ). Its all about perceptions of the police and of the guy. Sometimes what you say is not what matters, what other one understood is what matters, period.
15:58 March 28, 2012 by Peepopaapo
@ sglennon: Well, despite of what you are saying I'm not a racist at all, but yes I have a completely different opinion when it comes to the situation this man has experienced.

I'm only a person who thinks in a pragmatical way.

You are free to leave Germany and go elsewhere.
16:17 March 28, 2012 by kofiflay
I had my id checked when i was traveling from Frankfurt to Berlin with my wife.

You can imagine the facial reaction of the people sitting at the other side ; like oh is he a terrorist or something. My wife gave out my id because she was keeping it and the police had to make a call and say out my name so loud for everyone in the train to hear.

If a police have to check me without any justification and if there is one, for me been black, then I will also say it reminds me of the SS by the Nazi's.

@joysonabraham I understand your comments because you probably never got checked. I was the only one in the cabin who was checked though I saw other ''foreign looking'' persons in the cabin including Asians.
16:36 March 28, 2012 by derExDeutsche
Racial Profiling sucks. But it is everywhere, and discriminates against all races. Its not a 'racist' issue. I am a fair haired and skinned European looking person who lives part of the year in a Latin American country that issues European Tourists a 90 day Tourist Visa. Many tourists overstay their Visas. So, Myself, and anybody that does not strike the Police as 'Local' quite frequently get asked for Identification and Visa stamps. In fact, By Law you are supposed to carry a copy of your passport and entry Visa Stamp at all times. This is the case in many many countries. German Tourists and everybody else understands and respects this law while in my country of residence. I have yet to hear a German or any other tourist accuse anyone of Racism over it.
16:53 March 28, 2012 by Peepopaapo
Post #9

"German Tourists and everybody else understands and respects this law while in my country of residence. I have yet to hear a German or any other tourist accuse anyone of Racism over it."

Thank you derExDeutsche and I would certainly be one of them.
16:55 March 28, 2012 by darwiniandemon
As an visible minority, specifically Chinese, I never once got checked during my 3 year stint. And this is when I traveled almost weekly on the ICE between Köln and Basel. It IS selective/racial profiling one way or another.

Whenever there's a South Asian or Black person in the same carriage, they always get controlled and I always get skipped. Not even a glance.
17:01 March 28, 2012 by kofiflay
@derExDeutsche I personally don't care about a police checking me for my id, but it surely is strange coming from a country called Ghana where a foreigner is rarely asked to provide an id unless he needs a service that requires one. Saying this I don't mean to say my country is free of discrimination/racism but whenever things like this happen all well meaning people have to talk against it. You admit it sucks and that's how I feel too. However if someone feels otherwise and its taken to a court of law and a judge says based on a person colour, discrimination is allowed then I beg to differ.
17:43 March 28, 2012 by boopsie
I have absolutely nothing against racial profiling and I think its necessary when the government doesn't have the time or infinite resources to check everyone. At the moment islamists are a problem so lets use what limited tools we have to check those that are most likely arabs who are the most likely to be violent jihadists. We also have problems with illegal immigrants finding their way into Germany from, among other places, Africa. If I were a cop in Germany in a situation with only enough time to make a spot check I absolutely pick out arabs or black people first. Thats logical - get over it.
18:24 March 28, 2012 by kofiflay
Thats your logic and you are entitled to it, your constitution allows that and your constitutions seeks to protect the human dignity aswell irrespective of colour or religion or nationality. It sucks but it doesn't break me down to get over it. Your thinking is limited to ''European looking'' and I don't even know what that means to be European looking lol Enjoy
19:12 March 28, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Then the rest of the world could "racially profile" Germans as closet racists. I think in any given DB train there are as many illegals, as there are racists on a group of random Germans.
19:28 March 28, 2012 by Englishted
Does this mean that if I am on a train or anywhere else in Germany I can refuse to show my I.D. to a policeman/woman unless they can give me a reason?

I doubt it .

Interesting sub note in Belgium the police will NOT allow British immigration officers to inspect I.D. or tickets on the train to the U.K. even though it does have only on stop before it goes into the channel tunnel and next stop after that is London.Thus any illegal can enter the U.K. on this route and is also a danger with such a "easy " target for a terrorist act as the tunnel.
19:41 March 28, 2012 by Peepopaapo
@ ovalle3.14: "Then the rest of the world could "racially profile" Germans as closet racists."

Another typical anti-German and racist comment here on thelocal.de .

We are talking about illegal immigration - every state in the world has the right to defend its borders against illegal immigrants. In order to find out whether someone could be an illegal immigrant or not you have to check her or his papers. When she or he shows you her or his passport it's all fine, but in the case she or he does not show you the papers there is the possibility of her or him being an illegal immigrant. Everyone coming to Germany has to know that you should always keep your passport/visa with you - in case of having one it's all fine and the police will just say thank you and go by.
19:45 March 28, 2012 by kofiflay
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:41 March 28, 2012 by justanotherhuman
So, let's assume you are in charge of border patrol, and your country has a predominantly non-white population. Your country also has an immigration problem, especially due to people with fair skin color. In this case, if you can't check everyone and have limited time, do you think it is racist to ask people with white skin color for id/paper, or do you think your doing your job?

And yes, I've been checked traveling to and from Germany on the train before. Doesn't feel nice because it feels like your presumed guilty until proven innocent, but I also think their doing their job. If the same verdict were to occur in areas other than illegal immigration and border control, I'd bet we'd see a whole different reaction, both in the news and on this very forum.
20:51 March 28, 2012 by ovalle3.14

I agree with everything you said, but I'm still a little confused about the correlation between skin colour and legal status.
22:59 March 28, 2012 by puisoh
I am not black, I am Asian. In the first two years after I moved here after marrying my Germany husband, he insisted that I carry a copy of my Passport with my residence permit. I thought it was unnnecessary but the explanation given to me was, since I didn't speak any German (yet) and in case I am checked, I could at least show papers. So, the message is, it appears to be quite normal for Germans to expect their authorities to check people randomly, even a woman! And I have been checked before.

When the black student answered, 'I'm going back to my seat... ' instead of Frankfurt or Kassel, of course the policeman felt mocked at. I personally find the answer rather stupid.

Germany is not yet a true melting pot and I suppose they don't want to be .. so such steps are necessary before they become UK or US. And since the beginning of time, the whites are always the elites, these are facts that we cannot change.... look at Asians and even Africans lightening their skin .. what does that tells us??
01:38 March 29, 2012 by boopsie
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
13:46 March 29, 2012 by kofiflay
@puisoh Look at the Europeans tanning their skin :(

Not all Africans bleach and not all Europeans tann. Its a matter of prefence, you got it all wrong
14:20 March 29, 2012 by Berlinbear
What does an illegal immigrant look like? East European? African? Assuming that anyone who doesn't "look" German is absurd and outright racist. While the police are busy profiling "dark skinned" citizens, right wing Neo-Nazis are literally getting away with murder (Zwickau). Just because the law says police can do this, doesn't make it right. Sooner or later, Germany will learn from its "dark" past. There were lots of laws in favor of killing people between 1933-45, but I doubt anyone thinks that was a good thing. As an African-American living in Germany, I don't have a problem with police asking for my ID as I have nothing to hide, however, at the same time I would question their actions. My problem is with the court ruling that appearance is justification for categorizing foreigners (legal or illegal), from Germans. I'm sure if you turned the tables, and police started checking every white citizen's ID with the premise that they are looking for people with ties to right wing parties or illegal activity, then you'd probably understand the frustration this young man experienced.
16:17 March 29, 2012 by chicagolive
Ohhh quit with the illegal immigrant crap if that was the case they would be only checking people who are white since the majority of illegals in Germany are fair skinned. No people you can wipe all the honey in the world on this but it still smacks of DDR/Nazi behavior because they are intentionally only targeting 99% of the times blacks.
17:16 March 29, 2012 by Michael R
@Boopsie...superb comment, couldn't agree with you more.

Some people just carry a big chip on their shoulder and play the blame game at every opportunity.
19:05 March 29, 2012 by christopheuk25
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
00:11 March 30, 2012 by chicagolive
We caught several terrorist last month all German all white in Pakistan most foreign(non Arab)terrorists are of German or British(white) descent. Most Arabs don't like blacks and vice versa so you will hardly find a black terrorist, but you can find plenty of white disenfranchised Euro boys. Reality is harder to except its easier to just put the blame at the darker one in the room
09:04 March 30, 2012 by gremar
Haha, you all sound so foolish discussing the colour of the skin. Arabs don't like blacks?! Your type of character would never creep out of the box you're in.
10:09 March 30, 2012 by raandy
Peepopaapo I see you have been reincarnated with a new name but same old crap as before, and yes you are a racist if you support color as a profiling method.
10:41 March 30, 2012 by LecteurX
@ christopheuk25 - oh really? so Anders Behring Breivik, was he black or muslim? He killed 77 people last year. Uwe Bornhardt, Uwe Mundlos and Beate Zschäpe: black or muslim?

You supremacistic idiot.

Seriously the quality of comments on this website is going down the drain.
13:41 March 30, 2012 by boopsie
Yes LecteurX if the quality of comments on this website is going down the drain then your posts are "exhibit A". Most of the terrorists in the world today are in fact muslim, something even you can't dispute. And the black muslim terrorists in Nigeria are threatening the stability of the government just for starters.

Please don't make inane comments just because you can't face and/or won't admit to the facts. It confuses people who don't know any better. Thanks.
18:42 March 30, 2012 by Prufrock2010
@boopsie -- You wrote "What a silly reaction from the black german who brought the case - the courts decision had nothing to do with racism and everything to do with immigrant control which is sorely needed in an EU with extremely porous borders."

Since there was an admission made in court that the person was specifically targeted because he was black, how can you assert that the incident had "nothing to do with racism"? I was a prima facie exercise in racial profiling, which is de facto racism.
19:03 March 30, 2012 by boopsie
It wasn't a decision that implied racial inequality, it was merely stating that a black skinned man was more likely to have immigration issues than a white man in gemany.
21:16 March 30, 2012 by Prufrock2010
So racial profiling isn't racist if it's used as a justification for xenophobia, is that it? That's an odd argument to make. It sounds like it was spawned in Arizona.

Do you leave here in Germany? If so, you're clearly an immigrant who believes that white immigrants are fine but immigrants of color should be subject to invidious discrimination. If you don't live here, what's your dog in this hunt? As an immigrant, I'm curious about these matters.
09:01 March 31, 2012 by Kolfinna
I'm sure it is irritating for the 25 year old black student. I would probably feel the same way, however, as long as he has nothing to hide he has nothing to fear. It will get to the point where the police will not be allowed to ask ANYONE of a DARKER skin-colour for papers...in fact the word "black" or "muslim" will probably disappear entirely, as in many cases it has when describing a perpetrator in a crime. Remember the case of the "Flying Imams" in the U.S.? Well, we all know what their goal was and they succeeded.
09:05 March 31, 2012 by HerLinder

you need your head examined. you are not funny. you do not entertain me.

and if you really mean what you say about racism, you are very sick indeed.

what is it that troubles you, psychologically, that you need to write these things?

maybe you should find another paper to read and stay off the Local.
09:07 March 31, 2012 by Kolfinna
And we all know that every other continent in the world is allowed to be "RACIST", and that's accepted by everyone. When in China, Saudi Arabia or Africa a white could expect to be "singled out" because he looks "different" than the majority. So what? In Saudi Arabia non-muslims ARE treated differently than muslims. That's also allowed and ACCEPTED by everyone.

Europeans are the only ones who are not allowed to have any racist tendencies.
11:38 March 31, 2012 by boopsie
@ Prufrock2010

The principle of racial profiling by the police in germany has nothing to do with xenophobia and everything to do with enforcing immigration law. Blacks are more likely as a group to have immigration issues in germany than whites.

If you are an immigrant in germany Prufrock2010 you should show a bit more gratitude for a generally tolerant society here. Immigration screws the workingman by cheapening the price of labor so one can see how many of them might resent your presence here. One wonders why folks like yourself who seem to have a bit of education don't choose to remain at home where help with the huge social and health issues are sorely needed.
00:47 April 1, 2012 by Prufrock2010
@ boopsie -- I notice you didn't answer my questions, but decided to attack.

You did write, however, that "Blacks are more likely as a group to have immigration issues in germany than whites."

Do you have credible data to support that statement? What do you mean by "immigration problems?" Are you referring to "assimilation problems" or crime? Are you unaware of problems in Germany created by immigrants from Russia, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, Belarus, Bulgaria, Turkey and a whole host of other countries, the populations of which are white? I perceive your argument is not one of immigration problems, but of race.

Then you wrote: "Immigration screws the workingman by cheapening the price of labor so one can see how many of them might resent your presence here. One wonders why folks like yourself who seem to have a bit of education don't choose to remain at home where help with the huge social and health issues are sorely needed."

Since you know nothing about me, let me say this: Germany IS my home. It's my adopted home. I am here because the place I used to call home is the embodiment of the racist views you represent. I prefer to live in a multicultural society. The place I used to call home, which I suspect is the place you still call home, is not about to embrace such concepts. If anything, it is becoming more racist by the day. And as for taking work away from Germans, I can assure you that my work here has put more Germans to work at well-paying jobs than it has deprived others of work. I'm a legal resident here and, on occasion, a job creator. I pay taxes here. I contribute to society here, and enjoy being part of the social fabric that encompasses all races and nationalities. May I ask the same of you and expect an answer this time?

The country I come from is beyond repair. Germany isn't. At least it isn't unless it adopts policies such as those you advocate.
01:09 April 1, 2012 by boopsie
Sorry Prufrock2010, your answer doesn't wash - no country is beyond repair unless people like you give up on it. Running from problems is a cowards way out. Unless you are part of the solution you are part of the problem.

Now that you're here you may be putting a few germans to work but a german in your job could do the same unless you have very special skills no other german has. You may have job experience but you are robbing a german of his chance to gather job experience and you are denying that experience to the country of your birth. Thats a lose - lose proposition the way I see it.

And sorry, no you may not expect the same of me and you will not get an answer. My personal information has no bearing on the validity of my opinions.
21:36 April 1, 2012 by Prufrock2010
Your opinions have no validity, boopsie, as they are baseless. But you're entitled to them nevertheless, just as we are entitled to draw our own inferences from your racist rants and your nonresponsive answers. I hope you do stay in America. It suits you.
01:50 April 2, 2012 by boopsie
Thanks for letting me know my opinions are baseless and of no validity Prufrock2010 and thanks for giving me permission to have them. If thats the best you can do the rest of us will draw our own conclusions.

With your befuddled resentment and strange self serving logic I hope stay in germany. Now you're their problem.
23:44 April 2, 2012 by Prufrock2010
My resentments are not in the least befuddled, boopsie. They're extremely clear and focused. And I do intend to stay in Germany. Thanks for the good wishes.
02:50 April 3, 2012 by boopsie
You do have my good wishes Prufrock2010. I hope I was of some assistance in helping you see that perhaps your attitude contributed to the way you felt abused in the U.S. or wherever. These kinds of problems have a habit of following people with your um... special sensitivity around. As a wise man once said "No matter where you go, there you are". Don't let history repeat itself by holding onto grudges, real or imagined.
10:58 April 3, 2012 by Prufrock2010
You're too kind. But you're mistaken. I've never felt "abused" anywhere, nor do I feel threatened by people of color or white folks, for that matter. I do appreciate the candor in your Freudian projection, however. Someday, if you ever get to Europe, you may have the opportunity to heed your own advice. In the meantime I wish you a happy and prosperous life in the multicultural world that you so ardently embrace. I know that's the world that you and all good Americans are striving to create.
12:30 April 3, 2012 by boopsie
Sorry to disillusion you Prufrock2010 but I've l'ved in Germany for over 20 years. And whenever the subject comes up I point out to european friends that they have much more to lose through multiculturalism than they have to gain and its heartening to see that more and more of them are coming to just that realization as evidenced by many of the posts on this forum. The reaction to importing cheap foreign labor is growing and europeans can be thankful that the very easy cry of racism is no longer sufficient. To paraphrase Churchhill the preservation of the culture of Christian europe will be a very near thing.
13:34 April 3, 2012 by Prufrock2010
You don't disillusion me at all, boopsie. In fact, you've confirmed that you are exactly what I suspected you were. Thank you for that.

The cheap foreign labor you decry -- would that be coming exclusively from black African countries (which would account for your racist comments) or predominantly from eastern European countries (which would speak more to your overall xenophobia)? I can certainly understand how many in this forum would be nervous about some foreigner coming in and threatening their menial semi-skilled jobs, but an urbane and sophisticated immigrant such as you should not feel the least bit threatened by such factors, particularly after living and thriving in Germany for more than 20 years. That you encourage lesser minds to reject multiculturalism while taking heart from the white supremacist rants on these threads is disappointing, to say the least. A global sophisticate like you must surely know that multiculturalism is here to stay, and you should be enriched rather than threatened by it. I know I am.
15:08 April 3, 2012 by boopsie
Don't be disingenuous Profrock2010, in your previous posts above you were sure I was an american living in the US. And now are you going to claim that was only a ruse to get me to say l I ive in germany? Spare us.

You're right though that I am fairly well traveled and if I've garnered any sophistication along the way its taught me that contrary to the PC line run in the mainstream media multiculturalism is not interesting except for immigrants that desperately want to raise their stand of living by immigrating to a place where mostly they don't and don't want to fit in. So they become an anchor that drags down western civilization into the swamp of and political and religious ignorance. Cheap labor is a very high price to pay for the economic, educational and social liability that results. My child's class is retarded by the immigrant children who can neither speak nor write german and whose parents have cultural values that have nothing to do with ours. It will be many years before these people's productivity to society outweighs the disruption and the costs.

Why should german people have to put up with these phenomenon? German is not a traditional immigrant destination like the US (whose citizens in places like Arizona are now discovering that enough is enough). Its business that profits from cheap labor and the folks in charge don't think the downside effects them because they live in protected communities. So the quality of life for the rest of us suffers, if you don't count the doner stands.

I not a racist by any means, I'm a culturalist. I hope my comments on this forum might give some courage to readers who have noticed the problems and who might be persuaded to say and vote that enough is enough.
00:05 April 4, 2012 by Prufrock2010
When you say you're a "culturalist," what you mean is that you're a monoculturalist. The white culture. The white Christian culture. Your approbation of the transparently racist and xenophobic policies of Arizona reveal exactly what you are and what your values are. That's fine with me. I prefer to know my enemy.

My previous posts were by no means disingenuous. Your attitudes are one-hundred percent reflective of the worst of American society, as you have just confirmed with your laudatory comments about Arizona's policies. It wasn't until you volunteered that you have been living in Germany for more than 20 years that the irony occurred to me. I just have to ask: doesn't it make you crazy, as a right wing American, to be living for 20 years in a socialist country? Doesn't it infuriate you, as an immigrant, to send your children to school to be educated with other immigrants' children? I see your dilemma. I feel your pain. The future has caught up with you and has passed you by. That must be a very lonely place.
02:01 April 4, 2012 by boopsie
Nope, I mean western civilization. I love Jazz for instance and think its one of america greatest cultural gifts to the rest of the world. Quite a few black friends feel the same way I do about this issue by the way and we like to think that our attitude is a realistic appraisal of the current cultural threat.

Don't think our culture is so hot? Try having a heart transplant in a middle eastern country. Think western culture shouldn't be the dominant one in europe? Check out how most arabs severely restrict their women in public life. Perhaps you would prefer chinese culture with its contempt for democracy, human rights and personal freedom? Shall I go on (and on)?

Favoring Arizona's strict policy apprehending illegal aliens makes me racist and xenophobic? Thats a bit of a stretch even for you. Or perhaps you're an open borders kind of guy? Luckily the present government doesn't feel that way. Yet.

I hate to disillusion you but germany is a capitalistic country and most germans accept the primacy of western culture without question. The school situation is an annoyance but we think special tutoring is a good solution. Too bad the poor immigrant kids that need help the most and their parents are not interested. Why should they be interested when they despise our society as godless and unclean. These kids are the future of a lower class of german and when they get older they will drag the rest of germany down with them if they can. So much for the future.

You should give thanks every day Prufrock2010 that you are lucky to live in western civilization. If you don't think its culture is the best, why not move to a culture you like better? With you myopic view of reality you may very well fit right in elsewhere, say Nigeria or Haiti (watch out for them zombies!).

Or maybe you should just stick around for a few years until Sharia law is adopted throughout europe. With the increasing muslim population you shouldn't have too long to wait.
15:51 November 2, 2012 by onemark
Most if not all of these comments miss one very salient point. The black German gentleman making the complaint said he had been checked for ID fifteen times over a three-year period - an average of five times each year. And that was just on the train. It would be interesting to learn how often the police checked his ID in other situations as well.

I've lived in Germany since 1989 and have never been checked for an ID that often - not least because I'm white - but I'd be royally pissed off if I'd been subject to that many ID checks. I suggest that any normal human being, irrespective of colour, would be pissed off, too - it's just human nature.

I also suspect that most of the people commenting here are also white, so obviously we have no idea what it feels like to be checked for ID so often.
16:20 November 2, 2012 by horseshoe7
I think the 25yr old student, a German citizen by the sounds of it, is annoyed that he can't feel at home IN HIS OWN COUNTRY.

Let's just call a spade a spade - it is telling of a culture's mentality if they think it's ok to stop random people because they don't "look German" i.e. Germans don't yet see the multi-culturalism of their country.

In my experience as a tall, blue-eyed, lanky white guy, even I experience the xenophobia that permeates German society. As soon as people hear my not-so-strong-at-all accent when speaking (near perfect) German, people switch to horrible English. I kindly tell them I've been here 6 years and there's no need for English as they aren't doing anyone a favour. Or people are noticeably less friendly upon figuring out I'm foreign. This is a dubious claim however because I live in Berlin where the people aren't exactly known for their polite manners or hospitality.

The longer I live here the more I see the benefit in taking a German with you to any appointment at a government office. It always just goes more smoothly. Hmmm, wonder why... argue all you want but for me I have the empirical evidence to draw such a conclusion.

When you take a country like Canada, who have embraced the concept, and apply this story there, it would definitely be considered racism.

Because it is. Dress it up however you want to, or justify it however you see fit, doesn't change the fact that it's blatant racial profiling. The policeman even admitted that the check took place on this basis.

And on a practical level, what illegal immigrant can easily afford a Deutsche Bahn ticket? :-)

Another question I'd put forth is to all the people saying the person is whining and playing the victim card - have you ever been in a position like this 25yr old student ON A REGULAR BASIS? Maybe then you'd have some understanding of where he's coming from.
21:36 November 2, 2012 by michael valerio
Typical behavior of blacks. Best thing you can do is deport them back to where they belong. We should have done that here in the U.S. decades ago. Now look at us.
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