Calls for an amendment to the German constitution to remove the reference to "race" after lawmakers declared "there are no" races ", only people"
- The German Basic Law states that nobody should be favored or discriminated against in terms of race
- The leader of the Greens said: "There are no" races ", there are people."
- Even Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives were open about the issue
In Germany, a dispute over the term "race" broke out in the country's constitution when George Floyd's murder in US police custody passed into national politics.
Paragraph 3 of the German Basic Law states: "Nobody may be favored or disadvantaged on the basis of gender, descent, race, language, home and origin, belief or religious or political opinions."
But the Greens aimed at the word "race" this week, pushing for a change in the constitution since 1949 as a bulwark against dictatorships like the Nazi regime, which campaigned for racist politics more than seven decades ago.
"There are no" races ". There are people," said Robert Habeck, Co-Chairman of the Greens, and noted that a "strong sign" against racism would be to delete the term from the document.
In Germany, a dispute over the term "race" broke out in the country's constitution when George Floyd's murder in US police custody passed into national politics
The German Commissioner for Combating Anti-Semitism Felix Klein supported the call and said: "The term race is a social construct that serves to devalue and discriminate against people."
The far-right Left Party and the business-friendly FDP have all backed up the move, and some critics of the term have called for it to be replaced with words like "ethnic origin."
Even Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives have broken their silence on the issue to be open to the issue.
The German Basic Law, which was drawn up after the Second World War, was amended 62 times, taking into account European integration and German reunification.
However, the guarantees of equality before the law are unchangeable.
With the warming of the debate, the Justice Department defended the place for the term in the constitution and stated that "there is clearly no evidence of the existence of different human races or of the acceptance of this meaning".
Even Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives have broken their silence on the issue to be open to the issue
The constitutional writers had actually tried "to send a clear signal against the racial madness," which the ministry advocated, according to the ministry.
Adolf Hitler's regime campaigned for his claims to racist "purity" and claimed the superiority of the "Germanic race" – which he called the Aryan "master race".
In extreme pressure, the regime described the Jews as a dangerous "race" and introduced an extermination program in which six million Jews were murdered.
The right-wing extremist AfD has also spoken out against a change in the constitution.
“If there are races, there should be no objection to the current version of the Basic Law, because then it fits rightly into it. On the other hand, if there are no races, then there is no racism, ”argued the deputy spokesman for the party, Stephan Brandner, in an interview with the RND newspaper group.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said he would not stand in the way of opening a discussion about the change in the wording.
It is "much more important for us to eradicate racism," he added.
The conservative daily Die Welt warned of hypocrisy in the debate.
"Some Germans are now so advanced that they think the word" race "is unbearable … but they will not send their children to schools with many Arabs and Turks, but to places where they can find the same ethnic groups."
"And that is exactly what has to change if you take the Basic Law seriously instead of misusing this noble document … for linguistic self-righteousness."