Sunday, April 15, 2007

Racism in the German military

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Germany has come so far... and yet not:

A video aired on German TV has shown an army recruit on firing practice being ordered to pretend he was in New York's Bronx facing hostile African Americans.

Needless to say, such racism does not represent the views of Germans generally, nor even, one suspects, of the German army. And, as we all know, racism is everywhere. Whatever Germany's past, it is hardly a German phenomenon -- consider how race continues to be a defining political issue in the U.S. (well beyond the Imus saga -- although this showed not just the lingering problem of racism but the admirably indignant response to such racism throughout American society).

Still, it is precisely because of Germany's past that such expressions seem so horrendous.

One hopes that the German authorities deal with them with the appropriate indignation and intolerance.

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