Manhunt for prejudice | TIME ONLINE

The man from whom the Hessian police should learn to be less discriminating can be quite a nasty trick. Even in the registration queue, Jürgen Schlicher hails some participants because they are unsure where to register. Who suits him better, however, gets a smile from him and can take coffee. The participants are beginning to suspect that their workshop has already begun.

This is the method of Schlicher, who only plays the stinginess: how powerful prejudices and peer pressure are, he lets people feel on his own. In his Blue Eyed workshops, he separates the brown-eyed from the blue-eyed and swears the former that they could immediately observe that many of the prejudices against the stupid blue-eyed ones are true. And indeed: the blue-eyed succeed even the simplest things such as reading aloud or writing hardly so unsettled they are. And the brown-eyed ones begin to believe that they are better than the others and often do not contradict the workshop leader. How these workshops run is good in the movie The racist in us observe. While the policemen and administrators have this experience, they remain with each other, only on the next day for big discussion may be ONLINE ONLINE.

The issue of discrimination could hardly be more current, says the organizer, the Hessian College of Police and Administration, itself. This is also because in December a case was known in Frankfurt, which goes well beyond everyday discrimination: It is against allegedly right-wing officials the first Frankfurt district, which should have sent racist chat messages. In addition, data was used by a police computer to write threatening letters to a Frankfurt lawyer. The investigations are still ongoing.

Why did not anyone say something?

How could it possibly come this far? Why did not any of my colleagues say something? Although many policemen condemned the far-right news after they were known, they expressed sympathy when colleagues developed prejudices because they repeatedly had to deal with the same groups at focal points. Although the workshop at the Hessian university was already planned before the case became known, it comes at just the right time.

And the need for self-reflection is obviously huge: The hall is full, as a stranger in jeans and jacket stands in front of his audience. 170 people sit on uncomfortable chairs in Mühlheim am Main this Wednesday and pay close attention to the anti-discrimination trainer. They are patrol officers, police officers, and students. Only 25 of them were able to attend the workshop the day before. Today at the University Day on the Anatomy of Discrimination Structures, they want to join the discussion, self-critically.

While Schlicher speaks kindly, it is difficult to imagine the Fiesling from the previous day. He reports from the workshop. Just how much the participants had come into their roles of the discriminated and fellow travelers the day before is explained by an example: A blue-eyed person should sit on the floor because there were not enough chairs. He refused. For three quarters of an hour, the group of brown-eyed people discussed how to get him to – instead of looking around the room and noticing that empty chairs are still standing there. "We could just say there are too many blue eyes," says Schlicher. Or think about whose problem it is when there are not enough chairs: really the problem of those who should sit on it?

Schlicher picks up his audience with another example of prejudice when driving a car. But only when he talks about police work, it is quiet as a mouse in the hall. "Certain people are checked more often," says Schlicher. He is now concerned with his central point: policemen and police create by their prejudices self-fulfilling prophecies. This can be summarized as follows: A patrolman who is convinced that black people commit more crimes, and therefore controls them more often, logically discovered with them more crimes. And many of the behaviors that attracted the police's attention were their own, Schlicher explains. For example, if they treat them from unconscious prejudices worse and therefore people are reluctant. Everyone has prejudices, says Schlicher. It is important to make them aware.

A blue-eyed man had quit the workshop early on because he had not wanted to be treated so badly. After Schlicher's talk, he gets up and asks, "Why did not you other blue-eyed people go too?" And why does the university even organize such a seminar, which is so far removed from the mission statement of the university and the police handling?


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