Members of the Black community in Germany will hit the streets of Hamburg on Saturday, 29 February to protest against the controversial decision of a court that describing people of African descent as “neger” (subsequently referred to as the N-word in this report ) is not necessarily derogatory.
“We, who are referred to by this word, say: ‘The N*word is always degrading and racist!’ Black people associate the term with a lot of suffering, discrimination, violence, inequality and dehumanization!” the organisers say in a statement.
“For this reason, we want to take to the streets on 29 February 2020 to demonstrate that the N-word should be finally classified as what it is: racist, offensive and derogatory. The use of this word should no longer be normal.”
The state constitutional court of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) had ruled on 19 December that sanctioning the leader of the AfD group in the state parliament, Nikolaus Kramer, over the use of the N-word amounted to a restriction of his right to free expression.
According to the court, the N-word could only be considered derogatory depending on the context in which it is used.
The Hamburg protest action, christened Stop N-word!, is organised by Charlotte Nzimiro (Black Power Germany), Michele Leyangha (Africa United Sports Club), Tanja Daisy Scheffler und Christophe Twagiramungu (KölnSPD).
After the scandalous verdict, Ms Nzimiro started an online signature campaign on change.org for the classification of the N-word as racist (Rechtliche Anerkennung dass der Begriff „Neger“ rassistisch ist!) by the Federal Constitutional Court and the State Constitutional Court of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern).
The petition has meanwhile been signed by more than 100,000 people.
“Let us insist that the term is classified as racist in Germany and that the use of the N-word should no longer be normal!” Ms Nzimiro said.
“We are part of this society and, like every other citizen, have a right to human dignity and equality, which are assaulted by this judgment and gives racism in Germany even more scope for expression,” she said.
A similar public demonstration against the N-word took place in Cologne on 18 January. Participants at the rally, some of whom carried banners saying “Stop N*Word!!” called for the legal classification of the N-word as racist.
Click here for more information on the Hamburg protest march on 29 February, the last day of Black History Month.
To sign the petition for the classification of the N-word as racist, click here