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Discrimination is a power issue

Experienced journalists surely knew that the presentation of the report by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency would focus on the performance of the new commissioner, Ferda Ataman.

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Discrimination is a power issue

Experienced journalists surely knew that the presentation of the report by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency would focus on the performance of the new commissioner, Ferda Ataman. Even if the report was not written by her, but by Bernhard Franke, who acted as head of the authority until a few weeks ago.

To anticipate: Ataman did their job well. Anyone who would have expected her to suada against the racism that exists in our - as in every - society, was disappointed. Her lecture was factual to the point of boredom. But only up to the limit.

When 13 million people experience racism at work, when looking for a home, when shopping or when opening a bank account, when 13 percent of all women experience sexism in the workplace, when a shameful 50 percent of all people with disabilities or chronic illnesses experience neglect and discrimination in everyday life, then - As Ataman emphasized - curtailed their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of personality development.

Ataman rightly referred to the discrimination against people with a low social status, which has received too little attention up to now, and age discrimination. This also affects the notorious "old white men" and "potatoes".

Discrimination is a power issue. When a woman is asked during a job interview if she intends to conceive, that is discrimination—unlawful. When she then calls the HR manager Chauvi, that's an insult – albeit a valid one – but not discrimination, because the balance of power is clear.

Changing them with the help of the law and education, that's what it's all about. As Ataman pointed out, this is the opposite of identity politics. Rather, it is about “decency in cooperation”. This decency also requires wishing Ferda Ataman luck in her new job.

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