Racism Shadows Germany's World Cup Party

Is it safe to go to the World Cup soccer tournament?

The question is obsessing the German online media as the country prepares to host an estimated 3 million visitors for the month-long competition that opens June 9.

Beneath the anticipation generated by the upcoming showcase for the planet's most popular sporting event lies a greater question generated by the recent influx of millions of non-European immigrants. "So Is Germany Racist or Not?" asks Spiegel Online.

The debate was[initially ignited by Uwe-Karsten Heye, a former government spokesman, who told a radio station that there are towns around the capital Berlin "where I would not advise anybody with a different skin colour to visit" during next month's World Cup.

"They might not leave alive," he said.

Heye's comment was denounced by government officials and provoked "broadly negative reaction," according to Die Welt, a conservative daily and one of the country's leading newspapers. But other commentators defended Heye, according to a BBC survey.

Heye "told the truth," said Der Tagesspiegel, a leading liberal daily. The Berliner Zeitung said his warning was justified because there are indeed many places in Germany which "nobody can in all honesty recommend to a black African as a destination for an outing."

BZ said Heye should have also talked about the role of politicians, judicial authorities and the media in fuelling xenophobia.

The Guardian of London cited an attack this weekend on a Turkish-born politician, Giyasettin Sayan, known for his pro-immigration views, as lending credence to Heye's worries. Two youths hit Sayan over the head with a bottle and cursed him as a foreigner last Friday in the Lichtenberg district of east Berlin, "an area well known for its far-right hooligan scene."

Then on Monday, the government released a police intelligence report showing that the number of racially motivated acts of far-right violence rose by 23 percent to 958 last year while the number of far-right extremists deemed willing to engage in violence rose by 400 people to 10,400.

In Malaysia, the Bernama news agency noted the "ongoing heated debate amongst German politicians on how to curb immigration and make it more difficult for foreigners to be naturalised as Germans." These "endless discussions have contributed to a general anti-foreigner mood in the country and, more often than not, it is the innocent foreigners who suffer."

The story has been picked up around the world, including in China, Nigeria and Pakistan.

When Angola's team arrived in Germany on Sunday, they were greeted with the news that a neo-Nazi group is planning a march in Leipzig on June 21, the day Angola is scheduled to play Iran. Israel's Ynet News says German neo-Nazis admire Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad for questioning whether the Holocaust actually happened.

By Jefferson Morley |  May 23, 2006; 7:40 AM ET  | Category:  Europe
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Comments

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I agree with the politician. You can notice the negative feelings toward anyone colored right at the airport before you walk out of the terminal. You should be careful where you travel in Germany, especially at night.

Posted by: James | May 23, 2006 09:20 AM

So the big story then is that there is the possibility of a racist incident at the WC, boy the Post is really on top things now. Never mind that you couldn't find one person out of a hundred in the US that could even tell you when the WC takes place or who the who (or if for that matter) the US is slated to play. Football, not American football, or cricket, or golf or sailboat racing is rightly called the "world's greatest game". The world's game is played by, as Henry says, people who came up from the street, not from country clubs and boarding schools, not soccer mom's little darlings. Football fans are the best fans in the world. They love their team, their town and country in ways that American's simply don't understand. The WC is the greatest sporting event of them all, far excelling all others, including the Olympic's wondrous bobsledding, horse back riding, and ski jumping. In actual fact, Football is the most profoundly non-racist of all sports. It brings together the best real athletes in the world, from all races and all places. Contrast that to say American Football or basketball, where the game is constructed so that only a bunch of physical freaks, the vast majority of which are of one race (though no one who has the nerve to point out this obvious discrepancy can survive), can excel. Overt racism is illegal in Germany and I am confident that the German's can deal with it appropriately, while the covert racism of American sport is to taboo to tell. Americans decrying racism in Football, what a total farce.

Posted by: Kantos | May 23, 2006 09:24 AM

Kantos - Way to spin a thread about racism in Germany into a banter about what you think the best sport in the world is. I'm still trying to figure out how you got from a news story that's all over the European press to how America doesn't "understand" soccer.

So are you saying there's no racism at sporting events in Germany, or Europe for that matter? If so, then why does FIFA have to denounce displays of racism and racist violence at European events. This is a quote straight from FIFA's web site:

"FIFA has been aware of the racism problem for some time but recent events, especially in Europe, have given the need for concerted action an added urgency."

Care to respond to that Kantos?

Posted by: Chris | May 23, 2006 09:59 AM

Here's a link to their web site:

http://www.fifa.com/en/fairplay/fairplay/0,1256,1,00.html

Posted by: Chris | May 23, 2006 10:01 AM

Kantos obviously has never heard of the "Futbol War" between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969.

Posted by: historian | May 23, 2006 10:25 AM

"Soccer was invented by European ladies to keep them busy while their husbands did the cooking."

Posted by: KOTH | May 23, 2006 10:34 AM

Kantos has also apparently not been watching La Liga this year, where Barcelona's star forward and African Player of the Year Samuel Eto'o almost walked off of the pitch after he had had enough of the racist taunts of Zaragoza fans. Just one of many incidents this year alone.

Posted by: RK | May 23, 2006 10:42 AM

Kantos, what you and other hardcore fans need to understand is that browbeating speeches are not the means by which to help develop an appreciation for professional soccer amongst the sports fans and media of this country. You are using tired arguments that haven't and will never work on Americans. Think of any other aspect of American culture and imagine someone screaming at the top of their lungs, "BUT THE EUROPEANS ALL DO IT DIFFERENTLY, WE SHOULD TOO!" Knowing Americans sports fans, does that strike you as an effective tactic?

As to your racism argument, it's the fans were talking here, not the leagues, their rules, players, coaches, etc. There are recent, documented incidents in England, Spain and Italy, such as fans taunting dark-skinned, African players with "monkey noises", fans using fascist salutes, etc. Furthermore, you can see for yourself by simply looking at the faces of any European football crowd, there are real, exclusionary forces at work.

No one's saying that the NFL or any other American sports league, or their fans, has a perfect record on race. But try spouting racist sh** at the next Redskins game and see what happens to you. That is a measurable difference between American football crowds and European football crowds, whether you like it or not.

Posted by: Travis | May 23, 2006 10:47 AM

Let's see......neo-Nazis in Germany a revelation worthy of tainting the World Cup? Ah, No....... I would be more concerned about the hooligans and wackos coming from the UK, Italy and Holland to "cheer" on their teams.

Posted by: Futbol Dude | May 23, 2006 10:51 AM

Actually, I believe it's the neo-nazi hooligans from the UK, Italy, Holland, Spain, etc. that has everyone in a frenzy. Not just the German groups. They are planning on joining together at the games. Whether or not they do is yet to be determined. However, it's been my experience that the morons who joing these groups are more talk then anything else and are basically cowards who quiet up once they are outside their protective group or their comfort zone.

Posted by: Chris | May 23, 2006 11:06 AM

Historian, what are you talking about? What does that war have to do with racism? If you were a historian you would know that Football had little do with that war and that the causes of it had nothing to do with racism. Do some research.
Just so we know what we are talking about, there is a difference between the racism during games that FIFA decries, which is almost entirely verbal, and the potential violence during the WC in Germany.
During games, fans of the home team will make monkey noises as black players from the visiting team touch the ball. They don't do it when black players from the home team touch the ball. This is abhorent racist behavior that needs to be stopped and has no place in any sporting event.
From what I know, it does not exist in northern europe, but Spain and Italy are culprits of this behavior. In a friendly match between the English and Spanish national teams in fall of 2004 at the Bernabeau in Madrid, almost all 80,000 fans made monkey noises every time black English players touched the ball, no black people play for Spain. During league play, black players are singled out by fans on a regular basis and no spainard I have ever met, and I used to live there, is willing to admit that it is racist. In fact, after the game against England the discussion in the papers was not about racism, but about how England, Germany, and France were making a big deal out of the game because they wanted to sabotage Madrid's chances at getting the Olympics.
In italy, several club teams have been punished for their fans behaving this way by not being allowed to sell tickets to home games. I do not think it has happened in an international game.
I cannot speak definitively to the potential for violence in Germany. But I can say, as someone who has been to Germany and been friends with many Germans, that I have never met people more eager to not offend.
Germany will be on her best behavior. The police will be quick to crack down on any inappropriate activity and the people will put on their most welcoming faces. This is Germany's opportunity to prove to the world that the country has changed since the middle of the last century, I think they will do it.

Posted by: b | May 23, 2006 11:18 AM

It might initially seem reasonable for Amercans, especially Blacks, to look at the racism in Germany, revealed in the rise of neo-Nazi activities, and simply think of it as what happens with the unrestrained attitudes of Whites. After all, this view is consistent with 'Whites as racists' and the rest of a German history, which delivered two world wars and the holocaust.

However, before we become too rooted in our smugness over the obvious hatred preparing to play it self out on dark-skinned world-cup fans in Germany, let us switch the 'shoe' to the other foot. What would happen if millions of, mostly White, soccer fans descended on California, or some other state-side host?

Instead of 'no-go' areas around Berlin, we would expect the warnings to extend to places like South Central Los Angeles, Compton, East Oakland and Richmond. Might we fear the version of our own violent dysfunction that we are now contemplating for Germany? After all, the violent crime rates in these parts of California, at times, feels like war.

We might also worry that our criminal element might too easily coax from their home turf, beckoned by the thought of so much 'easy' prey. Police departments would be on heightened alert. Civil liberties would certainly take a hit, in the name of keeping the lid on the 'boiling pot'. These thoughts are not so far-fetched.

It is true that the street gangs of California would probably be more interested in profit from any crime they might commit, rather than the satisfaction a racist beating provides for a neo-Nazi skinhead, but that distinction is most likely unimportant, in either venue, to the recipient of the violence, or worse, their bereaved families.

So as we approach, with hope, the next month of world cup soccer in Germany, let's remember that no place has a monopoly on problems or solutions, and that our 'shoes' are more interchangeable, in this world, than we sometimes first consider.

James C. Collier

Posted by: james c. collier | May 23, 2006 11:22 AM


I don't know if KANTOS read the blog/article, but its about racists in germany not racism in football, so your rant comparing soccer/football to us sports is misguided. Secondly the article was about germans decrying racism, not americans. I don't know if you ever watch la liga in spain, but that have full fledged racist chants with thousands if not tens of thousands of fans singing along. You would never hear or see anything like that in an american arena. By the way I love soccer, I will be in germany for worldcup and i'm not white/caucasian.

Posted by: NWP | May 23, 2006 11:36 AM

James, your "shoe" analogy makes absolutely no sense. First of all, the US has hosted numerous mutli-city events including soccer tournaments. I don't recall no-go warnings being extended. Second, your argument only assumes that black peopel commit crimes, which is racist in an of itself. Third, no-one said the US has a monopoly on solutions to racism. We have our own problems and that would be absurd.

Why is that whenever the US reports on racism in Europe it attacked as being smug. Are we not allowed to report on it? If the news story is worthy of being reported on throughout the European press I would think it's worthy of being reported here.

Posted by: G | May 23, 2006 11:45 AM

I got you all going and that is half the point. Sure racism is a problem for Football. I roughly quoted Henry to make that half point, but of course he has been at the forefront in addressing the issue. It is no secret that Eto'o, and other black stars, are the butt of racism at the stadiums. Football fans can be harsh in their judgments and chants that are borne out of their parochialisms. The efforts to curb and ultimately end the prejudicial abuse are both admiral and long term. That is on the fields and in the stands. Off the pitch, politicians and papers of course will try to steal glory from the great gathering for their own petty interests. But that is not the WC's fault, that is fault of the thieves. The other half of the point that I make is this, that the real story isn't the piddling racists incident that will occur, it is that the world's most inclusive game includes players and fans that include the full spectrum, defying racism, surpassing racism to celebrate competition and community. While the world rejoices, the average American, no make that 9 out of 10 Americans, wouldn't even be able name one player on the national team. So while they'd all know Shaq or Jordan, stars of the profoundly racist sport of Basketball, they pick at the foreign fleck and ignore the personal plank.

Posted by: Kantos | May 23, 2006 11:47 AM

Very interesting debate folks. What this ultimately proves is that racism continues to flourish in all cultures. The best way to address it is impress upon those who, in the future, can move to eliminate it... our children.

I am not a huge soccer fan abut my four children play it........in America. I am black, not African-American, and what I'm beginning to hear on soccer fields, and hockey rinks, in our country is disgusting. From whom are these "little angels" learning this behavior. Their parents or those with significant impact on their lives.

So while Kanto may be misguided in his erroneous comparison of the expected hooligan behavior in Germany to sports in the US, s/he does open a good debate about the continued impact of racism, especially institutional racism that pervades every culture on this planet.

I hope we start teaching our children well!

Posted by: O | May 23, 2006 11:56 AM

"I got you all going and that is half the point."

Riiiight. Nice try Kantos.

First, please explain to me how basketball is a racist sport. I just have to hear this one. Second, how does the fact that soccer is not the most popular sport in the US preclude the American press from reporting on a legitimate news story. That makes no logical sense. Is there a litmus test to what one can report on? Seriously, if one is going to report on a news story that just happens to coincide with a sporting event, does that person need to take a test to prove that they are an avid fan? This is great stuff! More please!

Posted by: Chris | May 23, 2006 11:59 AM

G, I do remember 'no-go' warnings during the LA Olympics. Indeed, everyone commits crimes, but the concern at that time was with organized gangs, i.e. the Crips and Bloods. Not sure about your third point.

Posted by: james c. collier | May 23, 2006 12:03 PM

Even IF what Heye said were true, there are places where Germans better don't go. There are even more places, where an unattended German girl better doesn't go. There are yet even more places, where elderly Germans better don't go -- and no German medium gives a damn.

The Turkish politician who was mugged is known for asking Turkey to recognize the Armenian holocaust, so I bet it's a Turk-on-Turk thing, but the media can't have that or can they. A "hate crime" is SO much more sexy.

To learn more about the hypocritical German attitude of barking up the wrong tree go to:

http://editrixblog.blogspot.com

Posted by: The Editrix | May 23, 2006 12:22 PM

I think the point of the story was to point out that parts of Germany outside, not inside, the soccer stadiums may be unsafe for non-whites. I don't know how these posts started centering on racist fans. I think the worry is that local hooligans may target non-white fans/tourists. Having been to Germany with non-white travelling companions, I think that this is a legitimate concern.

Posted by: Chris | May 23, 2006 12:29 PM

Well, this post is about racism in Germany, World Cup notwithstanding.

i was born in deep Bavaria, and grew up there and in the East Bay in California, alternating summers and semesters and such. In Rosenheim (equidistant from Munich, Salzburg, and Innsbruck) i went to school and played basketball and videogames with many Balkans, of whom two were my closest friends, a German-Croat and a Bosnian-Muslim. We all got along well, Balkans, Turks, Germans--everyone was playing basketball during the late 80s and early 90s.

i do not remember any actually racist incidents, which does not mean i wasn't a witness, but may not have picked up on it. In fact, in our rather prosperous area (flush, though, with immigrants due to its proximity to the ongoing wars rending the Balkans) anti-racist sentiment was overtly cultivated in the local youth culture, so much so that the anti-authoritarian punk-types--many the spitting images of skinheads, replete with shaved heads, bomber jackets, and knife-gashed steel-toe Docs--were most likely to sport a "Kaempft gegen Nazis" sticker, with a fist smashing a Hakenkreutz. (Alot of them played ball too, but kinda dirty.)

But my experience is neither universal nor singular; an incident can happen anywhere, but seem more likely in the former East. i am returning this summer after six years (dratted post-college poverty) and bringing my girlfriend to my hometown. Though only a quarter Turkish, she looks much more and is, indeed, a Jew--i do react viscerally when i read about brown folk getting clobbered; sympathetic, protective. But i'm banking on sunny skies over a Biergarten in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps.

Posted by: anthony pedersen | May 23, 2006 12:47 PM

Kantos I think your real problem is that you are intimidated by an organized group that is not mostly white. You claim basketball is racist because most of the faces are black? Are you joking? If whites don't prosper at something then there must be a flaw in the system I guess? I think you have too long been part of an isolationalist 2nd worl... oops I mean European culture where only whites are supposed to be police or mayor or own a house. Come visit PG County Maryland USA, and see all the racist blacks that per capita have higher educations than their white neighbors (must be a racist school system) and actually have the nerve to own big houses with more than one bathroom!

Posted by: Proud to be Black & American | May 23, 2006 01:06 PM

b,

While the war was indeed about things other than soccer, the point is that a soccer game (WC qualifier, no less) and the intense nationalism engendered by it triggered the conflict. (Just as Pearl Harbor, while triggering US intervention, was not the actual cause of WWII).

And you should know that German racism is intricately intertwined with German nationalism/jingoism.

Posted by: historian | May 23, 2006 01:07 PM

The reality of it is racism, sexism and other discriminitory practices exsist every where. Regardless of where you go or what laws govern. My proof is with my own father who is White (Irish) and my mother who is black. My father who was a Roman Catholic Priest William "Bill" Brooks at the time of my and other sibblings birth. He say's he is more ashamed to have fathered kids with a black women, than he is of breaking his vow of celabacy. Now let me say this, if you are aware of any type of the above hatefull attitudes and do nothing about it you are just as guitly...

Posted by: Keith Jones the Bastard | May 23, 2006 01:15 PM

Let's see what reaction this "experimental" post below would generate:

Western racism is the product of western culture and western religious traditions (emphasis on western because eastern christianty is multiracial).

Would the same thing happen in some "civilized modern black state in Africa"? even after their recent bitter experience with western colonialism (that killed and oppressed many of its people), not to mention western-based (dutch) apartheid in South Africa up to 1995?

Posted by: Karim | May 23, 2006 01:33 PM

I have an Indian (from India) friend who were travelling through Alabama a couple of years ago with her husband (from India too) and kids and stopped for food. They went to small town restaurant and were refused food because of their skin color. Same goes for many of my non-white friends who dated white girls/boys down South and never got any farther due to the xenophobic attitude of the guy/girl's families, to say the least. I think Mississippi and Alabama are still considering themselves to be under the Confederate rule :-D.

Posted by: Alive and kicking in the South | May 23, 2006 01:49 PM

Kantos - maybe the American sporting public just doesn't like to watch soccer. I played for over 20 years, its a fun game, but I just don't find it as entertaining as some other sports. Stow the inferiority complex and just enjoy your game, you annoy me.
There's always the possibility that the true beauty of this country is the ability to play ANY sport you desire, and watch it too. Where else in the world do you have that option? Maybe the kids around the world would rather play something other than soccer if they had the opportunity. How do you know?

Posted by: asta | May 23, 2006 01:49 PM

As an American who regularly watches Euro Cup and World Cup I can explain the reason that this particular brand of football does not ever catch on in the U.S.: it's only half a sport, the other half is an acting contest. Fortunately, the rules change about the stretcher spares us all from having to watch the supposedly fatal wounded player (who is clutching the opposite leg to the actually kicked) leap unharmed up off of ground and trot onto the field after the yellow/red card has been issued. But the wild tossing of the body into the air and the other teatrics are still way too prominant. Honestly, half of them get MORE hurt trying to appear to have been tripped or pushed. If they put that much effort into retaining their balance, as they do near the end of a close match when the refs aren't fooled anymore, they wouldn't fall down at all. Anyone who's watched ice hockey regularly just shakes their head and thinks very little of these guys and hopes fervently that the American team choses not to sink to their level. In 2002 Fifa agreed to penalize faking injury as the result of U.S. complaint, but it has been sadly underutilized or it could really change the sport back into being just that, a sport. Since the game is frequently decided on penalty corner kicks (making one also wonder in many games about the point of the preceding 88 minutes) these faked injuries decide too many games. So the point of world cup too often is to put the national pride (and it really is PRIDE) of these countries on the line for an emmy award. It really can be mind-boggling at times. It's like they want to be cheated out of a win so they can really worked up because that's what they do: they get really worked up. Hence the violence.

And I have my tickets and one is for U.S. vs. Guana at N├╝rnberg. The U.S. actually in a relatively tough grouping, so we'll see. But if we lose for not "cheating" I'll much prefer it.

Posted by: Futbol and Americans | May 23, 2006 01:52 PM

Racism is everywhere and there are always areas/populations of any metropolitan area where there is overt ill-will towards the minority group by the majority group. Personally, I think it's probably helpful of the German media to let people visiting know they have these, though it would be better to tell where these places are. Visitors are less likely to be surprised then and can better protect themselves.
Additionally, as an American woman I can say I'm not overly interested in football/soccer but will watch the odd game on the Spanish-language channels as the announcing is far superior to that found in the English-speaking media. Maybe it's just that simple...better announcers who actually seem excited and interested in what is going on.
As far as the doings of the NFL, I really couldn't care less.

Posted by: why all the debate...this seems rather simple | May 23, 2006 02:44 PM

I don't think there would such overt violent racism if the German government simply asked the people whether they wanted to live in a multicultural society. It's too often assumed by secular liberal government that everyone wants to live in a multicultural society but the fact is not everyone wants that. Whenever you bring in foreigners you change the social fabric and this is generally more problematic for older cultures that already have a relatively stablized population. I'd like to see Europe retain it's ethnic and cultural demographics and not become an extension of African or Middle Eastern culture and people.

Posted by: Not Important | May 23, 2006 02:48 PM

James C. Collier, I do not think that your analogy fits. First of all we are talking about violence motivated by race. Historically speaking racial violence has genocidal consequences. While somebody getting robbed for their tennis shoes is bad, I don't think its the same as a racist attack. Second, people in Germany will be robbed and pick pocketed regardless of race. Germany does have gangs, theives, drug dealers and robbers. I don't care where you go, people will be victimized by petty crimes. There are places that you can go and almost be assured that you will not be the victim of hate crimes.

Posted by: Dessalines | May 23, 2006 03:44 PM

Not Important, unfortunately for you the majority of Germans do want to live in a multi-cultural society. I think it is incumbent upon racial separatist to separate themselves and live like the Mormons used to. The xenophobic should not be permitted to impose their sense of fear and powerlessness on the rest of us.

Posted by: Dessalines | May 23, 2006 03:47 PM

Karim, I disagree.

I have a friend who's a Ukrainian Catholic ("Eastern Christian"), and who had a large falling-out with me owing to his assertion that "Muslims are predisposed to violence". I told him that I could no longer converse with him if he took that idiotic tack, which doubtless he learned from his parents, along with his assumptions about "most black people - I mean, not the ones I know". Eastern Christianity (at least not the varieties they use in the former Russian republics) is not currently multi-racial. Technically, it's only "eastern" because it's Greek-derived and not descended from Rome. It's true that it was more of a melting pot back in the day, but it's become a little more parochial now.

I majored in Spanish, and if there's one thing that was reinforced it's that the Europeans don't want anyone "not pale" (hell, even the Greeks and Italians are too dark for some!) on their continent. Not unlike the Chinese refusing to admit the archaeological evidence that millenia ago some Caucasians happened to live within China's borders....

Um, yay soccer/futbol! I always cheer for Brazil.

Posted by: Maritza | May 23, 2006 03:48 PM

"Not Important, unfortunately for you the majority of Germans do want to live in a multi-cultural society."

I'd like to see you back that up with proof. It's typical that you would make claims as if you are speaking for the majority. This has nothing to do with fear; it has to do with will.

Posted by: | May 23, 2006 03:54 PM

I guess by your post Not Important that you also would have wished that the Europeans would have stayed on their continent and not usurped the indigenous North & South American populations, thus not destroying and polluting the indigenous cultures.

Posted by: D'oh! | May 23, 2006 03:57 PM

To comment on Futbol by Americans, you obviously have a bias towards soccer and yet continue to watch the game. The theatrics that you talk about is very rare. You do not see it in every professional soccer game and neither does it have a final decision on the game score.

Most soccer games are not decided on penalties, it happens rarely as well. How many World Cup Finals or EUFA Championship League Finals that you can remember were decided on penalties?

What is a "penalty corner kick" that you speak of ? There is a penalty kick and a corner kick in soccer. Two totally different restarts to the game.

May I suggest that you perhaps read the rules or try to understand the game before making biased comments. Please give me your ticket to the USA game as I would certainly appreaciate the game more than you do.

Posted by: Boti Curry | May 23, 2006 03:59 PM

Dear B CURRY,
I love the beautiful game, but diving is the worst part of soccer/futbol and it is rampant. AND YES it does effect the game, did you watch the Champions League final last week? Arsenal scored their goal from a direct kick that they won when one of their players took a dive. He dives and 45 seconds later there up 1 nil.

Posted by: NWP | May 23, 2006 05:32 PM

http://americancomedynetwork.com/FLASH/MexTourism.htm

One thing I really can't believe is this Mexican Tourism ad from Jones American Comedy Network. "Experience Mexico the way they experience the USA". They have it in their podcast too.

Posted by: Steve Waikley | May 23, 2006 08:35 PM

Ok so Germany has some racists people. So does the US, South Korea, Brazil, Italy, France and any other place you can think of. Racism is a human problem not just Germany's. As an American I have to admit I don't really understand the soccer craze even though I like the sport, but I do understand the World Cup ever since 92 when I watched it in Dallas. The experience was incredible. The first game I watched was Nigeria and Italy. Other than my uncle, myself, and my friends I think only five other people knew English, but the kids who were sitting by me and my friends appreciated the grace and speed of the players the same as we did and managed to get it across without any trouble and we all certainly understood that GOOOAAALLL was an excuse to jump up and down like madmen. Those Italians and Africans took a chance coming to the game. Trust me there are areas of Dallas that if you're not dark skinned and speak English you're not coming out alive. If getting an experience like that of 92 means I have to deal with some ignorant racists for a short while so be it.

Posted by: Desmond Stevens | May 23, 2006 11:48 PM

Racism exists throughout the world. For decades, we have focused on the racism of Europeans or European-Americans against non-Europeans or against Americans of non-European ancestry.

Yet, other ethnic groups exhibit severe racism. Consider La Raza, a Hispanic pressure group based on race. La Raza is the Hispanic equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan. The English meaning of "La Raza" is "The Race".

Jose Angel Gutierrez, the person who started La Raza, once shouted, "The border remains a military zone. We remain a hunted people. Now you think you have a destiny to fulfill in the land that historically has been ours for forty thousand years. And we're a new Mestizo nation. And they want us to discuss civil rights. Civil rights. What law made by white men to oppress all of us of color, female and male. This is our homeland. We cannot - we will not- and we must not be made illegal in our own homeland. We are not immigrants that came from another country to another country. We are migrants, free to travel the length and breadth of the Americas because we belong here. We are millions. We just have to survive. We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. It's a matter of time. The explosion is in our population."

Judge for yourself. Go to the following web site.

http://ccir.net/AUDIO/TakeoverOfAmericaCD/Menu.html

Listen to the actual recording of Gutierrez's speech at the following WWW link.

http://ccir.net/AUDIO/TakeoverOfAmericaCD/03.mp3

Note that LaRaza has been one of the primer forces demanding that Washington open the US-Mexican border and that Washington grant immediate citizenship to all illegal aliens from Mexico. LaRaza is supported by most Latinos (and specifically, Hispanics) in the USA.

The difference between racism in Germany and, say, racism in Mexico is that Germany is a magnet for desperate non-Germans. Mexico is not such a magnet. Since there are not many non-Mexicans in Mexico, incidents of violent racism against non-Mexicans in Mexico is non-existent. By contrast, hordes of desperate non-Germans live in Germany. So, there are plenty of opportunities for violent racism against non-Germans.

Of course, we should condemn racism, regardless of who exhibits it. Of course, we should condemn failed societies like Mexico. Racism did not destroy Mexico. The morally bankrupt Mexican culture destroyed Mexico.

Posted by: American of Vietnamese Ancestry | May 24, 2006 03:04 AM

While racial issues are a part of problem, economic issues are also involved. With the advent of the EU, the "traditional" state with its protections has been weakened. Unemployment and the lack of job security have become the norm. Similar to France, Germans use to be guaranteed a job as soon as they finished school. They would work for companies until retirement.
In Germany, it is not surprising that poor economic conditions would led to racial problems. This is how Hitler came to power.

Posted by: P. J. Casey | May 24, 2006 02:33 PM

I think that you all are getting racism - believing ones race is more superior than others - confused with bigotry, which is intolerance, in a nutshell. Or perhaps I'm getting it confused.

There IS a fundamental difference between the two. One could be racist and love their race more than everyone elses but still be tolerant of other races. A bigot, on the other hand, would be intolerant of other races, cultures, or religions, and would act accordingly.

Now the dictionary DOES say: "Discrimination or prejudice based on race." as a definition of racism, but, I tend to believe the -ism or -ist ending leads to the meaning that one loves that particular item more than anything else.

Ah well, its just semantics, I get the point. Any thoughts ?

Posted by: K.J. | May 25, 2006 10:34 AM

Kantos is a maroon

Posted by: Anti-Kantos | May 25, 2006 01:41 PM

In the most places in Europe is racism quite normal. After world war II when lots of immigrants came, a lot of places became more unsafe. The most crime statistics do confirm the problem, the most crimes in Germany but also in other European countries like Netherlands and France are acted by immigrants. That's why racism is quite normal. Just like white people are not safe at night in black neighbourhoods, so are black people not safe in white neighbourhoods. Because the penalty's on crime are much lower in Europe then the US most people feel unsafe. Racism is one of the consequences of that feeling. Everyone knows also about the problems in black US neighbourhoods, American racism problems and not similar possibilities. It might be the soccer world cup that gives attention on the problem. The problem is alreay settled longer, it is a problem most European countries struggle with, and it comes from both sides and is far more complicated then some racists in Berlin.

Posted by: D | May 26, 2006 02:40 PM

Racism exist EVERYWHERE, even in the african american community. I think if whites could go under cover in the african american community and secretly video tape middle class blacks the world would be surprised. If the world was one skin color then we would have classism. People always want to feel above someone and if one entire group can be the group that everyone else use as their "at least I am not Black" to feel better then people will not stop it.
Living in New York, I am often shock by the things "enlightened" new yorkers say about Blacks, Asians, Muslims, even about Eastern europeans.

I understand what the world is now, we will never love each other on a whole, but occassionaly an individual will look beyond race and see someone as equal but Racism will never die. If Africans didn't sell their african neighbors for guns to white sailors over 500 hundred years ago, the whites would have eventually move on to another ethnic/race group and they would have been the one at the bottom of the well. Yes I know many blacks will cry outrage that I as a black person blame african ancestors for black slavery just as equally to european, but unfortunately the situation is not so black and white, one group is not pure evil and one victims....There is tons of proof that right there along the sides of whites, were african chiefs who sold their enimies to whites for more guns to kill their enimies...It continues to this, just look at Rawanda....
We are all racist!!!!! Hispanics cry today of racist views towards them, but As someone who speaks spanish(comes from living in a country 90 miles from Cuba) and is sometimes mistakenly for a Hispanic(my ancestors were slaves and slaveowners) I am often surprised what these same Hispanics say about Blacks, when I tell them I am black , they feel that they are complimenting me by saying but you are Jamaican, you are like us not like them....No, that is Racist behaviour....
I know I am rambling, so i will stop now...lol...but If the leaders of teh world were Africans then whites would have been in the position that blacks are in today and Asians, Hispanics would still be in the same position they are in today (the middle) but instead they would have been hi-lighting there black sides as opposed to their white sides.....
But given all the issues here in America, I still am very GRATEFUL to this country...because It is the closest thing to UTHOPIA on earth.....and yes every day new immigrants come in from more racist countries like in the eastern europeans areas and other european Xenophic countries and bring their Xenophobic views but they HAVE TO LIVE AMONG Blacks and other non whites....because in AMERICA, everyone is welcome, as long as you are LEGAL;>)
I don't care what anyone say, all eurepoeans who criticized americans as being uncultured, etc, where else in teh first world can you find the IDEA, not even the fact but the idea of Condi Rice, Colin Powell(It is not about their political views), where else in 1st world countries can you find a city like NYC having a Black Mayor once, show me the first world country that has a city like ATLANTA, a former slave state that has some of the richest Blacks in America, Look at PG county in Maryland...these concepts don't even exist outside of America....America has its fault but it is still the best compare to the others....a good example, a black french friend of mine, visited me and was SHOCKED to see black newscasters on TV and I looked at her and said but it is common here....not too common, but to a french black is was amazing....when we visited Chicago, she was even more surprised to see two blacks anchoring news....lol....I LOVE AMERICA, I WORSHIP AT THE FEET OF AMERICA and now i will take my rambling back to my books...lol...

Posted by: Jamerican | May 27, 2006 02:38 PM

Jamerican,
America is a great nation that has given the world much. (I have no hesitation in saying this unlike many Europeans!) but your comparisoms are a little unfair. The US is around 20% Black and a sizeable Black community has been here for at least 150 years. Europe is probably less than 2% Black and 5 % Muslim, and the majoriy of those communities have been in Europe around 50-60 years. That is why you get the likes of Condi, Powell etc in the US and not Europe.
Anyway, France is clearly behind the times on this, there is no shortage of Black and Asian newscasters in Britain!

Posted by: Hare | May 28, 2006 08:21 PM

Come on, a couple guys in Germany get hit over the head by a bottle by a bunch of wimpy neo-nazi thugs...ouch! Oh how horrible, the Germans are all evil! I don't condone any crime, but good grief this article lacks perspective. If you really want to know how it feels to be attacked by a real gang, go visit PG County Maryland USA.

Quote from Proud to be Black & American:

"Come visit PG County Maryland USA, and see all the racist blacks that per capita have higher educations than their white neighbors (must be a racist school system) and actually have the nerve to own big houses with more than one bathroom!"

This guy forgot to mention the insane amount of crime in good ole PG county. Like the time I my home in PG was invaded by a gang of teenagers while I was in the home. I was severly beaten and robbed. That sort of thing is SOOOO common in PG county, it doesn't even make the news. I did a search for 2 months of crime in the crime database on the district I lived in Prince Georges County and there were literally hundreds of crimes including murder and several scores of assaults. All of the education and money in the world doesn't seem to help bring down the crime. Why?

The problem is these perps, whether they are black gangstas or neo-nazi wanna be's are glorifying a culture of violence and hate. As other posters have said hate is not restricted to one group of people.

Posted by: Beaten in PG | May 29, 2006 06:38 PM

The book "White Male Privilege" might help fight against racism. Amazon.co.uk has a synopsis.

Posted by: Mark Rosenkranz | June 5, 2006 10:41 PM

Can we all cut the racism exists everywhere BS. We all need to get over this cultural reltavism so that we can properly condemn the evils in the world. Of course all culturs have racism but what we are talking about is overt racism supported by thousands of people. Its disgusting to see Nazi flags at a national sporting event. You may say that that not everybody is holding a Nazi flag but everyone not throwing beer or heckling those people are just as guilty. We have Nazi's here in the US but those people are despised and shunned. Try holding a Nazi flag at Dodgers Stadium.

Posted by: Greg | June 6, 2006 12:42 PM

I do know that racism exsist in the United States too, but you don't see any thugs saying slurs at players at any statidiums. German, Italy, Spain, France, Britain officials were already aware of this problem way before the worldcup events, but yet they didn't do nothing about it. Now all of a sudden, they are taking it seriously. YES, rascism does exist in the US, BUT AT LEAST THOSE PROBLEMS ARE TAKING SERIOUSLY AND ARE BEING DEALT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. IF EUROPE DOES NOT TAKE CARE OF THIS PROBLEM, THERE WILL BE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES AND EMBARASSMENTS TOWARD THEM.

Posted by: kool_kid287 | June 9, 2006 05:01 PM

Well, I have to say racism is alive at the World Cup in Germany. At the USA-Italy game there were italian fans in the stand giving a fascist salute during the national anthems. During the Spain-Tunisia match, I spotted a huge confederate flag waving right in the middle of the spanish section. This is inside the stadium, I can only imagine the behavior in some sections of these countries. The last time I checked there are no spanish clubs sporting the confederate flag as a logo. Please, no one try to say the fan was a southerner from the USA. I think the spanish fans are well aware of the history of the confederate flag in the USA. This flag is a replacement for a Nazi flag, as they know the repercussions of waving a swastika in Germany. Taking into account the current state of racism in soccer in Italy and Spain and the lack of real intervention by the respective soccer federations. this type of behavior is not a surprise.

Posted by: NightTrain | June 19, 2006 08:10 PM

Germany, Italy, France, Britain, Australia,
and many of those European countries don't seem to know how to handle their hitler lovers. I know for sure that those Hitler lovers will never had the nerve to BRING NAZIS /CONFEREDERATE FLAGS IN U.S STADIUMS IN PLAIN VIEW, THEY WOULD BE FACING WITH SERIOUS, BRUTAL CONSEQUENCES. I am sure that most Germans are against racism in their country but since the world cup is taking place in their country, the embarassment, and any negativity that takes places in their country will be affecting them more.

Posted by: kool_kid287 | June 19, 2006 11:42 PM

I as a German have to say there haven't been and racist incidents at the worlcup yet. Of course there is some Racist in Germany but hey we don't have those white power groups etc. that you guys have in the US. Germany is a safe place for foreigners as well as for Germans. Generally it safe to walk on the street at every time of the day and night. There might be some alcohol related fights once in while but if you try to keep yourself out of trouble you are fine. The most problems with racists are in the country sides where they have hardly any immigrants/foreigners. In thoose regions the unemployment rate is higher than in the rest of germany and the people blame it on foreigners. The German cities are multicultural and you have to be more afraid to get beaten up as a Nazi/Racist than as a foreigner. One Example. a few weeks ago there was a demonstration of 45 people from a right wing party in Hamburg. In the end they had to be protected by the police as 900 left wing extremists and foreigners turned up to sabotage their event. When it comes to soccer and racism of course there is people doing monkey noises when the enemies team has a black player. It is all about insulting the other team. Imagine the case the same black player would change to their team they would cheer for him as much as for everybody else. There is even a black guy in the german national team.

Posted by: Norman | June 27, 2006 05:30 AM

funny ringtones

Posted by: desrbm4@mail.com | September 18, 2006 11:05 AM

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