Is it a racist word to call someone pale?

Political correctness "We use racist thought patterns and ways of speaking"

"It has always been called Gypsy Schnitzel and I would still order it that way. In parlance it came across that way. My grandparents used to order a Gypsy Schnitzel in the pub. I guess that wouldn't bother the Sinti and Roma that much . "

But it would bother others, wouldn't it?

"Well, I think that referring to traditions is always a very bad argument. Just because something has always been done wrong doesn't make it right. You have to ask those who feel discriminated against. And they do it. No matter in what context" , says Meier-Vieracker.

Everyday racism: like little mosquito bites

In her book "What white people don't want to hear about racism, but should know", Alice Hasters described her experiences with everyday racism as black Germans as follows:

These little moments, they look like mosquito bites. Hardly visible to bear in detail, but in the sheer sum the pain becomes unbearable. These can be attacks or insults like the use of the N-word or statements like 'We are here in Germany'.

Alice Hasters

So if I order an N-kiss from the bakery or a gypsy schnitzel in a restaurant: Am I then a racist? "You have to put up with the question of whether you are not serving a racist stereotype. That we use racist thought patterns, ways of speaking - that is a criticism that we have to listen to if we are interested in working in a non-discriminatory society live, "explains Meier-Vieracker.

Racism has been in our society for a long time

For the humanities scholar, a non-discriminatory society starts with language. The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein already said: Language and thinking are inextricably linked. A brutalization of language, it goes hand in hand with the brutalization of thoughts - and the other way round.

Alice Hasters writes about this in her book:

Racism: It has been so firmly anchored in our history, our culture and our language for so long and has shaped our worldview so much that we cannot help but develop racist thought patterns in our world today.

63 percent: "Too many unwritten laws"

"Political correctness" is the alternative to brutalization. The term first appeared in the United States in the 1980s. At that time, students demanded not only to read books by "dead, white, European men", but also by female, non-European authors. They also called for language codes. In concrete terms, this is based on the attitude to avoid all expressions and actions by which someone feels discriminated against or offended.

For several years now, the term "political correctness" has been rejected by its opponents as censorship and restriction of freedom of speech. In 2019, the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy found that 41 percent of Germans find "political correctness" exaggerated. 63 percent believe that there are "too many unwritten laws, which opinions are acceptable and which are taboo". 59 percent also think that you can actually only "express yourself freely" among friends.

Political correctness is already deeply rooted in society

But the "political correctness" goes much further - says Sebastian. It is already deeply anchored in our everyday life. "One writes 'Dear Sir or Madam' and the other writes that with the gender asterisk. And then you already know: Ok, all right. I have no problem with that. But it doesn't have to be," he says young man. "Or hold the door open. Can I do it now? Or should I not? I don't know for sure. Can you still do it today? Or can you say to colleagues: 'But you look better today than yesterday'. Can you do that? "

The dictatorship has a new name, political correctness, it is the rule of the minorities over the majority.

Klaus Groth "The Dictatorship of the Good - Political Correctness"

Difficult, says Meier-Vieracker from Dresden. "We all have the right to be respected as a person, for what we do, for what we are. And if this claim is not met, it is insulting. And that can turn out very differently. that an insult is one when it is perceived as such. " Sebastian thinks that is very exaggerated. Much more meaning is interpreted in words today than in the past. "I find it strange that there is a certain amount of paternalism, that you are restricted in your thoughts and actions and you have to be careful what you are allowed to say."

"We are not ready to give up our privileges"

And this is exactly where the problem begins, according to linguist Meier-Vieracker. "The fact that people are ready not to see that is also due to the fact that they are not ready to forego the privileges that they so gladly claim for themselves. Simply being able to determine the rules themselves as to how something is picked up What is offensive and what is not. We determine that and not the others. "

That brings us back to the beginning: Is it allowed or not allowed to say the N-word today? Not for the linguist Meier-Vieracker, because it serves racist stereotypes. From Sebastian's point of view, one can say it further. It wouldn't offend anyone. But those who are affected see it very differently. Like Hasters:

Those who avoid dealing with the subject can always excuse themselves with innocent ignorance. Just because you have never consciously thought about your origin, skin color and identity doesn't mean you walk around without prejudice. You just don't notice that you have these prejudices. All of these behavior patterns help maintain the racist system.

MDR Kultur - Das Radio | June 15, 2020 | 12:00 o'clock