Three Stories on Racism

First Story
or
“You are such a rassist, you polish foreigner you!”

At work, i require the ID data if i make a payment for a customer. The customer goes to a bank, the bank calls me, and i ask for the ID data. no faxing, just adding the ID number etc. into my programm.
So, a customer went to a bank and wanted to receive money. Thats good.
I asked the bank colleague for the ID data of the customer. He asked the woman for her passport. She got totally mad and asked why the heck we need her ID? The bank colleague didnt want to get into a fight and let the woman talk to me on the phone.

“I need your ID data, cause its a requirement of the system.”
“You are only asking for my ID cause i am a foreigner!”
“No, i ask for the ID of everyone. No matter what nationality they have.”
“You lie!”
“No, i dont.”
“You are a racist!”
“excuse me?”
“A fucking racistt! last time i didnt need an ID.”

So i am obviously a racist because i ask for the ID. I dont give a flying fuck if you are austrian, or mongolian, or from djibouti. I need the ID. Otherwise the program will block me and i wont be able to do anything with the money.
Since when did it became trendy to call someone a racist? I really dont know. Sometimes i would so love to tell the customers what i think if they are going all nuts about an ID. I need an ID as well. Everyone needs one.

The other time, someone called me cause they fucked up something with a currency. I asked them which currency they would like to have paid out. “Well, according to your last name you’re not austrian. In Austria, you know, we are using Euros.” Wow. I so didnt know that! Well, dammit! My answer: “I am astonished by your ability to judge if i am austrian or not, but you are right, my last name is polish. But if you have issues with that, i am sure i can find a typical Aryan to make sure that everything will be done in the correct austrian way.”
That got me into a little bit of trouble. I didnt care. Sometimes it is just too much. .

Second Story

or
“Silence at the airport”

My mother told me a nice story about a colleague of hers. Like always, if i havent been there myself and witnessed it, i cannot guarantee you that everything happened exactly this way. But i trust my mother, and i hope she trusts the sanity of her colleague.
So, this colleague went to the Viennese Airport and got himself a “Schnitzel” at the local restaurant. If you know the airport, there is one restaurant where you need to get your meal from the counter. He put the Schnitzel on a table, and realised he forgot the fork and knife. He went back to the counter, got his instruments and went back to the table. At the table, an african young man sat and ate his Schnitzel. With a mumbled “What the fuck?” he sat down, staring at the young man eating his meal. Knowing his flight would leave really soon, he just calmed down, without saying a word, and ate too. The same Schnitzel. After the Schnitzel was gone, the stranger got up and got a dessert. He put it on the table and moved it into the middle. Both ate the dessert. Without saying a word.
Now, the dessert was eaten, and the stranger got up and left. The colleague as well, and then (now its getting interesting) realised that he didnt sit down at his table. His Schnitzel was untouched and lonely at a table in the other corner. He ate the Schnitzel and Dessert of the stranger.
The moral? Figure it out for yourself, yesyes?
EDIT: this story has obviously been published in a newspaper, and most likely did not happen to this colleague. i am so going to call that bastard..

Third Story
or
“Conspiracy versus Truth”

I read an article about the Flex here
According to Zara, the Flex staff refused africans the entry to the club.
There have been a couple of emails to Zara claiming that the bouncers of the Flex didnt let them in, because they are black. Zara contacted the Flex owner Thomas Eller and asked him why his bouncers are acting like racists. His answer: The flex is sieged with drug dealers.
When he got asked why turkish and african people are refused to get in, he simply calls this statement stupid and said that there are many black people in the Flex.
You can read a statement of Zara here. (It’s a .pfd file and written in german)
Eller said that the people that didnt get in have been known as drug dealers. According to Zara its racist to say that every african man/woman is a drug dealer.
If you read the comments on the Standard article, the Flex has been known as a rather left winged club. I cant really say if thats true, cause the last time i have been there was something anno 2000.

9 Comments so far

  1. Philipp (unregistered) on April 3rd, 2006 @ 9:22 pm

    Sorry to disappoint you, Daniela, but the second story most likely did not happen to a colleague of your mother – I read it in a newspaper a few months ago… I think it was Heute.


  2. daniela (unregistered) on April 3rd, 2006 @ 9:28 pm

    hmmm…. i’ll tell my mother her colleague is an asshole. thanks for telling me, mister philipp!


  3. Philipp (unregistered) on April 4th, 2006 @ 1:37 am

    No big deal – actually, I’m kind of fond of people who share these stories – about a year ago or so, there was one in the Falter about a black man who got harrassed by a ticket inspector in the subway. The dialogue went something like this:

    “SHOW ME YOUR TICKET, BIMBO!”
    “Bimbo’s a lawyer.”

    Afterwards, lots of people told me this story in a way where it happened to them or a friend of theirs – actively turning the thing into an urban myth, albeit a true one.


  4. nex (unregistered) on April 4th, 2006 @ 9:10 pm

    HEUTE is an asshole, too (unsurprisingly). in actuality, this happened to DNA (and maybe he used the story in one of his books, too, i don’t remember at the moment). later, he remarked that somwhere there must be another guy who’s telling the exact same story, only he doesn’t have the punchline.

    i haven’t been to the flex since these rumours re-surfaced, and no intention of going there soon, so i was quite sceptical. i assumed that the bouncers might know what they’re doing and really only ban known dealers, which outsiders could misinterpret. however, i’ve since looked around and read so many independent reports of face checks going on there. now, unless there’s a conspiracy and these stories are all made up or all these reporters are sock puppets of one evil person or group, it’s true.

    and i wouldn’t be surprised if now most black people who hang out at the flex are in fact drug dealers. because those are the ones who depend on their customers. who have no problems getting in, by the way. the bona fide club goers who just want some amusement will surely rather take their money elsewhere.

    but fear not, flex fans, nothing bad will happen. you see, in austria, it’s perfectly acceptable to be a racist. as long as you pretend that your primary motivations for your racist actions aren’t rooted in your belief in the superiority of the master race, you can continue your racist actions all you want. your arguments don’t even need to make sense logically. “persons belonging to group A aren’t allowed here. therefore, we don’t let in persons who belong to group B, which is different from A.” in vienna, this counts as perfectly convincing.

    and, you see, the flex no door policy against stupid arseholes.


  5. A.S. (unregistered) on April 4th, 2006 @ 11:09 pm

    Ok, the following happened to *me*.

    I am Indian, so obviously brown-skinned. Once in 2003 I was walking towards the Wien-Mitte U3 entrance at near the Landstrasse-Beatrixgasse crossing. Two tourists stopped me and asked which way Hotel Intercontinental was. Since I was carrying a map in my back pocket (these were early days in Vienna), I took it out to explain it to them. Within a seconds, two plain clothes policemen came from nowhere, flashed their IDs and said they wanted to check me, and started frisking me, assuming of course that I was selling drugs. Since I didn’t have my passport on me, I offered to go to my flat with them which was 2 minutes from there, or alternatively show them my bank card, credit card, and since it was the beginning of the month, I also had my salary sheet. All of these had “Dr. A.S.” on them, and the policemen saw them, they quickly said ok, and walked away without a word ok explanation. During the whole process, they didn’t challenge or check the tourists who had been allowed to leave right at the beginning.

    I had been rather embarassed when the clerk at the bank had insisted on including “Dr.” with my name, and for the first time I was kind of glad at the Austrian obsession with titles.
    Since then I always make it a point to carry my latest salary sheet with me at all times.


  6. Daniela (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 7:59 am

    @ Nex:
    last time i went to the flex was ages ago, and i got offered drugs by white AND black men. i didnt bother going there anymore, cause its usually crowded, the music sucks, and everything is way too expensive. i prefer the chelsea or the Rhiz.
    I heard rumours about ex-bouncers wanting to get the flex into trouble. but rumours are just… well rumours.

    @ A.S.
    While i am usually the first one to say that many many austrian policemen are racist, i can only assure you that it happened to me too. I stopped counting how many times i got checked, cause i am pale and therefore i am selling drugs. The logic of this sentence is just priceless. I never had my passport with me, so i had to go with them. Since then, i ALWAYS carry my passport with me. no matter what.


  7. Philipp (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

    Well, I guess I’ll join the club here – when I was younger I got checked constantly during autumn and winter because – this is no joke – I did not wear thick enough clothes for the temperature, therefore I must take drugs.


  8. nex (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 10:01 pm

    i wonder if ladies that wear miniskirts in winter are also frisked for drugs.

    dear metblogs server, may i say ‘drugs’? pretty please? without going through approval? i want the registered accounts back …


  9. loren (unregistered) on April 23rd, 2006 @ 12:10 pm

    the issue in these stories is not racism, but a term made popular by the media, “profiling— namely, using general physical or behavior characteristics to screen out potential troublemakers. the arguement in favor of profiles say that while the majority of people screened are innocent, this process will catch the occasional no-good-ster.

    the problem is that in a community with many racists (i.e, most Western countries), race will definitely be used as a profile. i’m an african-american living in zurich, and i’ve truly lost count how often i’ve been searched by our local law enforcement. on the other hand, i’ve never had a problem getting into a nightclub.

    it’s good this issue is discussed openly. perhaps it will force all of us to re-think our attitudes.



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