Federal Minister of the Interior Faeser on the racism incident: Victims left alone again

Nancy Faeser sees no racism in the Berlin police scandal video. This fuels an esprit de corps that makes such failures possible in the first place.


Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) Photo: M. Popov/imago

"I don't see that as racism"says SPD Interior Minister Nancy Faeser when asked about a video in which a police officer yells at a Syrian woman in her apartment in Berlin: "This is my country and you are a guest here!". "Shut up" and "I'll take you to jail" yells officer Jörg K., who has previously been transferred for other misdemeanors, at the woman with an outstretched index finger.

Normally, we could care less about the Interior Minister's feelings if the signal she sends out with her feelings - which are known to often stand in the way of thinking - were not so fatal. The fact that Faeser stabs her party colleagues in the Berlin state government in the back with her feelings – for free.

Nor is the problem that she shows blatant ignorance of the incident by justifying the racist statement by saying that police officers “experience serious forms of street crime”. The incident did not take place on the street, nor was it a serious crime, unless fare evasion - which involved an unpaid fine because of it - is now a capital offense.

It is much more serious that the interior minister's statement legitimizes racism in the police force. Instead of fully investigating any discriminatory behavior by officials, it protects offenders instead of victims, thereby fueling precisely the esprit de corps in the police force that makes such misconduct possible in the first place. The victims are once again on their own and are not only intimidated by the police reporting them to the police, but also have to be taught by Germans what counts as racism and what doesn't.

Whether it's sticking to unconstitutional data retention or downplaying structural racism: the Social Democratic Minister of the Interior also stands firmly behind the largely reactionary security apparatus and rejects any hope for progressive changes. One almost wishes for her predecessor Horst Seehofer back: At least it was openly racist.

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