German Antidiscrimination Agency, an African couple refused access to shop during period of Corona restrictions. Seriously?


Hello at the Federal Antidiscrimination Agency (FADA),

Should one be concerned when reading in an article on a German news website of an incident where a black couple of African decent with daughter intended to do some shopping and access was refused to them by store personnel? This during the period of the Corona restrictions policy.

As reason was cited that only a certain number of shoppers are allowed in the store at the same time. Strangely enough though, several other persons could enter the store while the African couple was still waiting, so the article noted.

The article quotes as follows: “The Rossmann employee explained that there are clear requirements that must be complied with.” The African couple even showed their ID to prove their legal residence. To no avail and they left. This can hardly be explained as a decision of an employee run wild. There had to be an instruction from higher up at ROSSMANN.

I contacted ROSSMANN two times asking for an explanation. ROSSMANN preferred to keep quiet. The typical German way, keeping things hushed up.

For the sake of completeness, it should be noted that the ECRI REPORT ON GERMANY, published on 17 March 2020, laments among others about the FADA the following (emphasis by me):

2. With regard to the promotion and prevention function of equality bodies, the FADA lacks the competence to intervene in the legislative procedure (§ 13j of GPR No. 2). It also lacks substantial competences with regard to the support and litigation function: while the FADA has the competence to assist persons exposed to racism and intolerance by providing information, redirecting them to other organisations and by mediating, it cannot provide them, as recommended in § 14a, c, d and e of GPR No. 2, with legal assistance, represent them before institutions, adjudicatory bodies and the courts, bring cases in its own name or intervene as amicus curiae, third party or expert. The members of the FADA’s network against discrimination cannot provide such assistance throughout Germany either. As pointed out in ECRI’s last report on Germany, the FADA also lacks the power to question persons and to apply for an enforceable court order or impose administrative fines if an individual or institution does not comply with a decision related to its investigation powers (§ 21 c and d of GPR No. 2).

3. Also with regard to the FADA’s independence, ECRI regrets to note certain shortcomings. The head of the FADA is appointed by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs based on a proposal of the Federal Government (§ 26.1 of the AGG), while, according to § 23 of GPR No. 2, the executive should not have a decisive influence in any stage of the selection procedure. In addition, the duration of the mandate of the head is tied to the legislative term of the parliament, and civil society points out that the recent vacancy was not publicised widely and in a transparent manner. In practice, this led, for the second time in the relatively short lifetime of the FADA, to a complaint by an unsuccessful applicant to the administrative court; as a result, the position has been vacant for many months. Furthermore, the law only provides for the drafting of a common report by the FADA and other institutions every four years for debate in Parliament. In contrast, equality bodies should, according to §§ 30 and 35 of GPR No. 2, publish annual reports that are discussed by parliament and government but are not subject to their approval or the approval by any other external party.

I personally have to say that I am not at all surprised about any form of racism in Germany, or as the well known economist Mark Blyth, a Scotsman married to a German, stated about the Germans: “They are all a wee bit racist” at 50:46 in the video. One might wonder what would happen in German cities if there was, god forbid, a black news presenter on TV on prime time? Burning streets and cars are well conceivable.

Black news presenter. Completely inconceivable in Germany

Thank you for your attention and with regards,