Which politicians are racists

Racism allegation: party expulsion proceedings against German green politician Palmer initiated

Berlin - After a scandal in a racism discussion on Facebook about the former German national soccer player Dennis Aogo, the mayor of Tübingen, Boris Palmer, is threatened with expulsion from the party. According to the "SZ", 161 delegates voted for an elimination procedure, 44 against and 8 abstained. Green country chief Oliver Hildenbrand said in Stuttgart: "The measure is full." With "staged breaking of taboos", Palmer ensures a polarization of the public debate.

The Greens had previously heavily criticized Palmer. "Boris Palmer's statement is racist and repulsive," said co-boss and candidate for Chancellor Annalena Baerbock on Twitter on Saturday. Appealing to irony retrospectively does not undo it. Palmer's statement is part of ever new provocations that marginalized and hurt people. "Boris Palmer has therefore lost our political support. After the renewed incident, our state and federal committees are discussing the corresponding consequences, including exclusion procedures."

Appealed to irony

Palmer had taken the ex-soccer professionals Jens Lehmann and Aogo under protection on Facebook, who had each caused public outrage with statements. The Green politician criticized the fact that a storm of outrage on the Internet could destroy livelihoods and that a "cancel culture" turned people in Germany into obedient speech machines.

Lehmann had to vacate his position on the supervisory board of Bundesliga club Hertha BSC because of a WhatsApp message via Aogo. After a controversial choice of words in a television program, Aogo is resting his expert work on the pay-TV broadcaster Sky.

For his part, Palmer caused outrage with a statement in one of the replies to the post, in which Aogo was accused of being a "bad racist". Palmer also used the N-word and an allusion to Aogo's penis.

He meant that ironically, Palmer said on Saturday. He had taken up an absurd accusation of racism that was raised against Aogo on the Internet and wanted to make it grotesque. He wanted to make it clear how absurd the accusation was. Now the wrong impression is given that he is the author of the sentence and a racist himself, explained Palmer.

More critics

Palmer spoke of "baseless and absurd allegations". The point here is to silence dissenting voices. "Therefore I cannot and will not withdraw." However, he recommended that the party congress approve the motion for a process of elimination. Then he finally had the opportunity to defend himself against the allegations.

Baden-Württemberg's Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann said: "You simply can't make such statements. It just doesn't work." The former head of the Green Party, Cem Özdemir, also heavily criticized Palmer. Actually, they wanted to deal with the green-black coalition agreement in Stuttgart. "All the more annoying that Boris Palmer knocked you out again." It is also a "damned duty" for a mayor to pay attention to the choice of words.

Not for the first time

This is not the first time that Palmer's statements have provoked criticism. In May 2020, for example, he spoke out in favor of more easing of the Corona crisis and explained how to deal with older people: "We may save people in Germany who would be dead in six months anyway." This was followed by an outcry across party lines. The left-wing politician Jan Korte spoke of "pure contempt for human beings".

Even then, around one hundred Greens spoke out in an open letter in favor of Palmer's exclusion from the party. (Reuters, red, May 8, 2021)