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The mayor of Germany’s southwestern city of Tuebingen said Monday that he’s taking some “time out” after coming under fire over the weekend for saying the n-word more than once during a conference last Friday.
ABC News reports Boris Palmer also said he’ll resign from the Green party following criticism during the conference, which prompted some attendees to walk out in protest.
Palmer was already suspended by the left-leaning Green party over his use of the slur in reference to Black soccer player, Dennis Aogo.
Anti-racism activists gathered outside the event, a conference on migration hosted by Frankfurt University, and chanted “Nazis out” in response to his presence.
Palmer then repeatedly used the racial slur and suggested he was being victimized. “If someone uses the wrong word then they’re a Nazi to you,” he told the activists, and suggested that this reputation would stick with him like “the Star of David” that Jews were forced to wear during the Third Reich.
Later in Monday’s statement, Palmer apologized to “those I’ve disappointed” and said that a mayor “should never speak that way.”
The 50-year-old, whose grandfather was Jewish, added that he’s “incredibly sorry” at having given the impression that he downplays the significance of the Holocaust, according to ABC News.
Palmer said he would seek “professional help” to prevent himself from reacting inappropriately when he feels unjustly attacked in the future.
Palmer was first elected mayor of Tuebingen, population 90,000, in 2006 and won re-election running as an independent last year.
He apologized to “those I’ve disappointed” and acknowledged that a mayor “should never speak that way.” He added that he’s “incredibly sorry” at seemingly downplaying the significance of the Holocaust, especially given the fact that his grandfather was Jewish.
Racism in Germany is getting worse
The German Centre for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM- Institute) has published a comprehensive report titled “Racist realities-how does Germany deal with racism?” on everyday racism in Germany.
The institution examined numerous aspects of Germany’s racism problem in the report. According to the findings, 22% of the population has faced racism in their everyday lives, while 35% have not.
Although a large number of Germans reject this view, 49% believe that individuals can be split into so-called “races.” One-third of respondents support the thesis that certain ethnic groups are naturally more industrious than others and that certain cultures are superior.
Furthermore, 27% of respondents believe that socioeconomic disparity can be justified in a society. For a group at the top and another at the bottom, a hierarchical structure is required for them.
Although 90% of the population are aware that racism exists, only 60% believe that racism is solely perpetrated by right-wing extremists
Likewise, the survey demonstrates that racial awareness in the German public differs among different categories. While approximately 60% of the population agree that racism against Jews and people of color exists in Germany, only 44.5% believe that anti-Muslim racism exists.
It also suggests that the German public does not believe racism is a widespread social problem. 33% of respondents think that those affected by racism are actually oversensitive, while 52% believe they are fearful.
More than half of the respondents consider that criticizing racism is a form of oppression of their freedom of expression.