Letter to the editor Lars Patrick Berg MdEP – “May “Schwarzfahrer” be said?” StN 10.07./11.07.21

Dear Mr. Weißenborn,

I took note of the article in the StN with interest about terms that can be described as racist or derogatory, as well as about the role of authorities and municipal institutions in removing certain words from common usage.

While we must certainly be wary of accepting casual racism as the norm, these proposals seem to be nothing more than utterly empty political gestures fueled by political correctness. We can probably all agree that racism is rampant in parts of our society and that concrete measures need to be put in place, but these proposals are an empty gesture towards the problem without having any significant effect.

We can see the same approach to gender and sexual orientation – empty words and gestures that allow the ruling parties (Greens and CDU) to appear to be addressing the issues without actually doing anything useful. We have endless and meaningless discussions about gender-neutral terminology while ignoring domestic abuse and sexual violence.

The majority of our citizens will use such terms not because they are racist, but because such terms are in daily use. They may become obsolete over time, but let’s get to the real issues of discrimination and politics of the day before we dive into what Orwell would probably call “Newspeak”.