“There are no places without racism”

Prof. Fereidooni, have everyday racism and xenophobia really disappeared in the world of work?
I don’t think that “xenophobia” is the right expression because most of the people who experience racism in Germany are not strangers, but are made strangers through racism. In addition, the white Dutchman does not experience racism, because being white is an ideal of beauty all over the world; rather, Germans of Color and Black Germans experience racism. We should call the child by name: everyday racism. Racism is a structuring feature of our society. Wherever people come together, racism plays a role. There are no places without racism.

You did your doctorate on experiences of teachers with a migrant background.

Yes, I interviewed 159 people using a questionnaire and then conducted ten interviews; namely with five teachers who stated in the questionnaire that they had frequently experienced racism in a professional context and with five teachers who stated that they had not had any experience of racism in the professional context. The result: Even those teachers who stated in the questionnaire that they had not had any experience of racism in a professional context told me about experiences relevant to racism. My conclusion: Even those who experience racism cannot name it as such, because talking about racism is taboo in our society. Because it is suggested to all of us that racism is a thing of the past or only occurs in the extreme right, we have not learned to talk about racism. We need to learn a language to talk about racism and experiences of racism.

Karim Fereidooni is junior professor for didactics of social science education at the Ruhr University Bochum and advises the federal government in the cabinet committee of the federal government on combating right-wing extremism and racism.


Karim Fereidooni is junior professor for didactics of social science education at the Ruhr University Bochum and advises the federal government in the cabinet committee of the federal government on combating right-wing extremism and racism.
:


Photo: Private

Can “enlightened” people be racist? Does racism have to do with a lack of knowledge?

Racism-relevant ways of thinking, speaking and acting have nothing to do with a lack of knowledge. If so, it would be enough to read three books to become free of racism. But unfortunately it’s not that simple. We are not born racist, but learn to be racist and not because our parents were particularly malicious or our teacher would like to teach us racist things, but rather because apparently normal knowledge is not criticized for racism . There is a little bit of racism in everything we know. Racism teaches us all. Some learn: “I am worth more than other people”; the others learn: “I am worth less than other people”. The so-called “middle of society,” whatever that is, is not free from racism. Just because you vote for the Greens or get involved with refugees doesn’t mean you have nothing to do with racism. The fight against racism starts in your own head.

Does the intention play a role in racism?

Not wanting to be racist is an important start because just as we learn racism, we can unlearn racism. The second process, however, is significantly more complex than the first. In research on racism, however, we are not primarily concerned with what intention people have, but what effect their thinking, speaking and acting has on those affected. Not wanting to be racist does not mean that one is actually critical of racism. Those who do not want to be racist have to deal with their own racism.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Pocket
WhatsApp

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent News

Editor's Pick