Thursday, 16 May 2013

Controversial strategy to fight racism in Germany - Gesicht Zeigen in English

Under the slogan: Gesicht Zeigen, Mut Proben, Germany launched a campaign a few years ago to counter racism and right wing extremists.
This is one of the clips they showed.


Hilarious, but not entirely uncontroversial, the clip associates the problem of racism with other issues of social concern, the integration of minorities and deviants, people with disabilities or convicted criminals. It is true that racism is a social problem, afflicting more people among low socio-economic classes, just like crime, violence and certain forms illnesses. The idea of making them look ridiculous is a creative (but only arguably effective) way of fighting racism, while reaffirming the norms of a tolerant, liberal and open society. But some will be taken aback by this. Should we show murderers, pedophiles, drug dealers and convicted criminals in a laughable manner? Is it apt to compare between the way society deals with racists, convicted criminals and persons with disabilities? What about other minorities, those seen by some to take a toll on society - foreigners, the old, the ill, the uneducated, the unemployed, the eccentric etc? What does it say about us, about the way we define what it means to be 'normal,' if we fight racists by comparing them to other forms of deviants? Are we, in some subtle way, adopting and perpetuating certain dimensions of racism by doing so? And if we are, is that bad?

1 comment:

  1. racism is quiet a big issue that needs to be solved, not anytime soon.