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German Discrimination?

Ok, not that I really think Germany is discriminative; however, they did not have the civil rights movement like they did in the United States. First of all, from my experience, Germans will almost aways hire native Germans over foreigners. Is this the case 100% of the time? No, however, it does happen more often than not. First, they make you put your picture on your CV. I find this a little crazy because who cares? I get the point that they want to see if you are capable of going downtown buying a suit and taking a photo but to me, this is ridiculous. Is it a model competition or what? Well, I am not sure because in my photo, I look ok. I am in shape, young, male and white. I have friends that are not and seemed to have had trouble. I think people should be treated fairly and judged in the interview and not on paper but that is my opinion. Second, they make you put your age, marital status, nationality and to top it off, if you have children or not. To me, this is a basis for discrimination. There is NO reason why a potential employer should know these things before they set up interviews. Lastly, there seems to be an idea among Germans that they have the best everything in regards, mainly, to education. If you did not attend a German University then your school will almost certainly be looked at as inferior. Yes, Germany will evaluate you degree and give you a paper stating that it is equivalent to a German degree of the same caliber, however, take it with a grain of salt. I understand that many countries have these biases, but Germany seems to take it to a new level with their CV requirements. I find Germany beautiful and in spite of what many people say, I find Germans nice people. I just think that these are additional barriers you will have to overcome to be successful here. It is not impossible but it is the reality. Thanks,

Contrary to what your post above implies, Germany consistently ranks among the world's best in comparisons of any form of discrimination (e.g. of women, sexual orientation - curiously I found no study on discrimination based on nationality or skin colour). Certainly things are much better here than in the USA!
It is a broad social consensus (democratically proven and thus legitimate) that the kind of anti-discriminatory measures you demand are not needed here.
In addition, it is by no means mandatory to include a picture or family information in job applications if you prefer not to. I never do! Of course the employer is then right to conclude that you are an individualist who puts personal concerns above social standards - and can then decide whether in view of that you are the right person for the job (e.g. not if teamwork is paramount). This is the same as with language skills for a role where communication is essential.
Regarding discrimination based on nationality, EU regulations have formalized this by demanding that any suitably skilled EU national must be hired preferentially above any other. I personally dislike this, but again a broad social consensus has democratically decided so and this is unlikely to change. Also, basically all countries do this to a certain extent - and the USA more so than EU (even before Trump).

Well one needs to realize that there are inherent prejudices everywhere. And yes, good looking people will have an advantage over someone who looks like they just came off of a binge. That’s life. One needs to make a good impression and part of it will be appearance. This goes beyond race but is not illegal nor necessarily wrong. How would anyone judge another person they consider hiring for an important job?

And age is a factor, especially in Germany. It has advantages and disadvantages. One can hardly claim having 25 years of professional experience in a field if they are only 20 years old. For some situations the appearance of an employee who has to look young and dynamic is not going to be fulfilled by someone older. And employers might not want to hire someone they know will be doing a physically demanding job if they are old or that they will be retiring in a few years when they are looking for people they can keep for the long term.

The word discriminate is not bad in itself. It means to distinguish between things. When buying an apple one will look for one that looks good rather than full of rotten spots. Is it discrimination against rotten apples? Sure but good so.  The question is if it is using appropriate criteria? Sex for example is not an appropriate criteria for choosing an accountant but for a sales person for woman lingerie it might be.

Maybe 10 - 20% of the German population holds clear racial prejudices but that is not unusual and leaves 80 -90% being at least open to a degree. But more important might be subtle biases. The closer one looks similar to ones self, the more comfortable most people will be. This can be based on culture, accent etc. but skin color is the most obvious.

TominStuttgart :

The word discriminate is not bad in itself. It means to distinguish between things. When buying an apple one will look for one that looks good rather than full of rotten spots. Is it discrimination against rotten apples? Sure but good so.  The question is if it is using appropriate criteria? Sex for example is not an appropriate criteria for choosing an accountant but for a sales person for woman lingerie it might be.

An alternative, and in this context a more accurate definition of discriminate is: "to make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, sex, or age."

Selectivity is not the same as discriminating IMHO.  To use your example, to choose an apple that does not have rotten spots is not unjust. :)

romaniac :

Selectivity is not the same as discriminating IMHO.  To use your example, to choose an apple that does not have rotten spots is not unjust. :)

It's difficult to draw a line where it is unjust on one side and just on the other!
For example, is choosing a lingerie salesperson based on her (not his!) sex unjust? Or preferring a German salesperson because she can make herself understood without accent? And how about selecting a white salesperson because one deals with a conservative clientele who might not prefer coloured ones (justly or unjustly, but you can't choose or educate your customers)?

It is obviously a problem. I could give you many articles/studies but I'll just entertain you with one. BTW, the German government also has recognized this as a problem and are looking, without success, for ways to make it better. http://www.spiegel.de/international/bus … 13711.html

Hell with it, here are some more examples of people having difficulties. https://www.thelocal.de/jobs/article/is … ket-racist

Tom, thanks for an educated response!

beppi :
romaniac :

Selectivity is not the same as discriminating IMHO.  To use your example, to choose an apple that does not have rotten spots is not unjust. :)

It's difficult to draw a line where it is unjust on one side and just on the other!
For example, is choosing a lingerie salesperson based on her (not his!) sex unjust? Or preferring a German salesperson because she can make herself understood without accent? And how about selecting a white salesperson because one deals with a conservative clientele who might not prefer coloured ones (justly or unjustly, but you can't choose or educate your customers)?

Come on, a black, Turk or any other race could be just as good or better at selling to "conservative clientele" as a white person. BTW, there are many black conservative clientele as well! SO you suggest that only whites are considered to be conservative clientele? Get real! Also, there are many gay/straight men that could sell the shit out of some lingerie. It is this kind of thinking that creates problems and I hope that you are not a hiring manager. Lastly, to curb your accent comment, it is advantageous sometimes to have an accent when dealing with locals! But I understand what you are saying, the rest of us should stick with fast food.

Slash1987: Please tone down your words - we are not in an anger contest here.
And all I am telling you is that your (in my opinion) overly USA-centered worldview does not apply in Europe and things will not change in your desired direction just because you want it that way.

Racial discrimination is not allowed. Thus not taking a sales person just because of his race would not be right. So I would not try to justify it. But there are not really many black people in Germany to begin with none the less well-off conservative ones. Because of this, I think a black person would have difficulties finding a job that focuses on rich clients. Not that all rich people are so conservative to be prejudice but some are. The advantage a black person might have with rich black clients will be greatly outnumbered by the disadvantage that some white conservatives won’t accept them.

Exactly because of controversy, the German government does not collect statistics on race. If one looks at the Wikipedia entry for demographics in Germany one will see statistics for nationality but not race. The biggest foreign community are Turks with 14.9% of the population. Sub-Sahara Africa residents account for 0.5%. Americans which themselves are around 12 to 13% black make up 0.2% of German residents. I’m making no judgment but one should be aware that when talking about blacks in Germany they are less than 1% of the population.

TominStuttgart :

...Exactly because of controversy, the German government does not collect statistics on race. .

Seems to me like a way to turn a blind eye to a situation and pretend it's not there.  While they may claim the minorities are an insignificant number, that doesn't justify the ignorance, especially when Germany allows many refugees to come and settle  :| Fact is, Germany has long racially discriminated, profiled and stereotyped foreigners at the government level.  So of course German companies find it acceptable to do so also.  It's part of the culture, and as they say, take it or leave it.

Race is just one aspect, and I happen to agree with the OP in the sense that marital status, age and the other factors need not be be disclosed.  It without a doubt opens the door for discrimination.

romaniac :

Fact is, Germany has long racially discriminated, profiled and stereotyped foreigners at the government level.  So of course German companies find it acceptable to do so also.  It's part of the culture, and as they say, take it or leave it.

This has been the case until end of the second world war, over 70 years ago.
After that, there was a big shift in attitude and Germany is now much more open and welcoming to foreigners than most other countries. Well, at least that's my opinion (and reflected in rankings).
German companies do NOT, generally, find discrimination acceptable. But as profit-oriented organisations, they often find market forces more compelling than moral standpoints.
And while the majority of Germans also do not accept discrimination, there is a (sometimes noisy and currently growing, which worries many) minority that translate the in-grown human insecurity when dealing with the unknown into verbal (and sometimes physical) attacks against froreigners.

By the way: Focussing on blacks, as you do, is besides the pont - they are really insignificant here. Muslims and refugees are a more relevant topic - and, while still not well, they are treated much better here than in the USA.

slash1987 :

Ok, not that I really think Germany is discriminative; however, they did not have the civil rights movement like they did in the United States. First of all, from my experience, Germans will almost always hire native Germans over foreigners. Is this the case 100% of the time? .....

My experience; I had a guy who worked for me in Germany (a non-German operation).  He married a German lady and they decided that Germany (as opposed to his native Scotland) was where their future was.  He was a highly skilled, qualified (UK) carpenter, but when he tried to find work locally, his qualification was unknown in Germany; he had to go through the full German apprenticeship scheme (3 years) in order to get work in his profession, which he did.  I know that EU rules have made cross-border qualifications more easily recognised nowadays, but qualifications are still a big thing in many EU countries and many offer schemes for foreign qualifications (not all though) to be recognised, but if you turn up with an unrecognised foreign qualification (particularly non-EU), you can expect to have some problems until you gain recognition or re-qualification.

So, no discrimination, just not willing to take a risk that they didn't have to, which is probably still a key requirement for all businesses.

What’s clear to me is that there is a discrepancy between official government proclamations and how they way they actually run their policy. They make laws and often have campaigns making people aware of the evils of racial and cultural discrimination. I think they actually do a good job of this. The problem is that when it comes to how government officials and police treat foreigners, especially with darker skin, they don’t always practice what they preach. There is plenty of racial profiling.

But I can say that many aspects have gotten better over the years. I’ve spent a lot of time in Germany since the early 80’s and see how the society has loosened up. This includes attitudes toward foreigners. Germans used to hardly ever see a black person other than an American GI and certainly had no contact to young German speaking ones. The Turks that immigrated here almost exclusively were blue collar workers. Now the following generations are often going to University and getting white collar jobs.

Eating non-German food used to mean getting a pizza from a real Italian place. Now one has Chinese, Thai, Turkish, Indian etc. readily available. Just the interaction and familiarity with foreigners, at least in the cities has helped improve the attitudes of most. The foreigners need to integrate to fit in but the learning process was probably just as great for many Germans.

Another factor is that Germans travel a lot. Once upon a time it was southern Europe, now they go all over the world. Actually going to other places and cultures has of course opened their eyes a lot. Romaniac often contributes useful comments on the German forum as I believe he formerly lived here. But some of what he is now saying about refugees sounds like he is repeating the right-wing propaganda that is so readily getting spread. And unfortunately such press has created real fears.

The flow of refugees has greatly slowed. These are people fleeing war and death and they commit no more crimes per capita than the rest the population. It’s not fair to use the example of a few bad ones to collectively judge them all. There are lots of refugees in Stuttgart. I have some living next door and there a multiple homes for them in my neighborhood. Yet I haven’t had a single problem.

And I cannot say that about the junkies in the area; most of whom are German. And the foreigners begging and stealing in Stuttgart (yes I know this first hand) are nearly all gypsies and NOT refugees. But it’s true that blacks are so few that they are hardly an issue when talking about potential cultural conflicts in Germany. The reason I addressed much of my comments on blacks is that this was the original question; a black person questioning how it is to live in Germany. My conclusion is that it’s OK but not always easy. Anyone with a thin skin might reconsider coming here but then I don’t know lots of places where there are no racial conflicts. I wouldn’t want to scare anyone away but they should come with open eyes not expecting a utopia.

beppi :

By the way: Focussing on blacks, as you do, is besides the pont - they are really insignificant here. Muslims and refugees are a more relevant topic - and, while still not well, they are treated much better here than in the USA.

When did I focus on blacks Beppi?  :huh: Also, this isn't a Germany is better than USA or vice versa issue...I really wish you leave your comparisons to (and disdain for) USA out of it.   The topic is simply discrimination in Germany.  Can we stay on that please?

romaniac :
beppi :

By the way: Focussing on blacks, as you do, is besides the pont - they are really insignificant here. Muslims and refugees are a more relevant topic - and, while still not well, they are treated much better here than in the USA.

When did I focus on blacks Beppi?  :huh: Also, this isn't a Germany is better than USA or vice versa issue...I really wish you leave your comparisons to (and disdain for) USA out of it.   The topic is simply discrimination in Germany.  Can we stay on that please?

I was the one who focused the thread on blacks, not Beppi. And the reason is that it was in response to the initial question of how it is for blacks to live here.

I have to say that I don't see Beppi's comment as a disdain for the USA. It is a fair and relevant comparison to point out that while Germany has its problems; many other places are as bad or worse.  But Romaniac, I would respectfully caution you on your quips about refugees, which are unfounded and inappropriate. We can do without anti-refugee propaganda here.

TominStuttgart :

I was the one who focused the thread on blacks, not Beppi. And the reason is that it was in response to the initial question of how it is for blacks to live here.

I have to say that I don't see Beppi's comment as a disdain for the USA. It is a fair and relevant comparison to point out that while Germany has its problems; many other places are as bad or worse.  But Romaniac, I would respectfully caution you on your quips about refugees, which are unfounded and inappropriate. We can do without anti-refugee propaganda here.

Excuse me Tom, what exactly did I say that was anti-refugee propaganda?

"Seems to me like a way to turn a blind eye to a situation and pretend it's not there.  While they may claim the minorities are an insignificant number, that doesn't justify the ignorance, especially when Germany allows many refugees to come and settle  :| " That’s what you wrote Romaniac, which indicates your displeasure they are allowing refugees. But they do not turn a blind eye towards discrimination; there are plenty of public awareness campaigns against it. The problem is that they don't always practice what they preach. And the reason Germany doesn't collect racial data is because there is the history of Hitler misusing it. But yes, there is then the problem of not having reliable statistics when talking about the subject. On this issue they are maybe being too politically correct - but it is not that they are simply ignoring the subject.

TominStuttgart :

"Seems to me like a way to turn a blind eye to a situation and pretend it's not there.  While they may claim the minorities are an insignificant number, that doesn't justify the ignorance, especially when Germany allows many refugees to come and settle  :| " That’s what you wrote Romaniac, which indicates your displeasure they are allowing refugees. But they do not turn a blind eye towards discrimination; there are plenty of public awareness campaigns against it. The problem is that they don't always practice what they preach. And the reason Germany doesn't collect racial data is because there is the history of Hitler misusing it. But yes, there is then the problem of not having reliable statistics when talking about the subject. On this issue they are maybe being too politically correct - but it is not that they are simply ignoring the subject.

Tom with all due respect, I believe you did not comprehend my post.  I simply indicated that "Germany allows many refugees to come and settle".  It's a statement of fact, is it not?  How you read that and made the leap to anti-refugee propaganda is puzzling and frankly, out of line.  I indicated neither pleasure nor displeasure over the policy.  That's not for discussion here.

My point about mentioning the refugees, was in line with Beppi's comment.  Many refugee's come to Germany, who may be victim of discrimination in Germany, likely more so than blacks, as they're in greater numbers.  The article linked to by slash1987 affirms this is happening.  Yes, it happens elsewhere also, that's besides the point.

To truly understand and deal with a problem, sufficient data must be collected.   One cannot say that there's not much of a problem without verifiable quantitative data to sustain such a claim.

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