It’s quite straightforward really: Traditional skinheads see foreigners in exactly the same way as any other well adjusted person would do: Foreigners are a totally normal part of our society. They can be our friend or our enemy, just like any German. It’s not rocket science!!
Skinheads do not wish to be associated with ideas like „xenophobia“ and „racism“. The doner kebab stall on the street corner or the Indian computer expert with a green card – don’t they enormously enrich our society? BUT you should be allowed to make criticisms. No religious, ethnic, or cultural group has the status of „a protected species“. It would be a bit over the top if a few guests were to form a torch lit demo, just because you didn’t manage to eat all your pizza at the Italian restaurant. And if you have issues generally with certain cultural groups or nationalities, then you should be allowed to say so, without immediately being tarred with the racist brush.
Foreigners are welcome! But a bit of effort to integrate wouldn’t go amiss! In Germany there are certain rules and regulations which everybody has to respect. Everybody! As the webmaster of this site was walking past a posh shoe shop belonging to his Greek neighbour in the old part of Hannover, we both had a laugh and a joke at the shop window as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Barbara (the Greek) with a twinkle in her eye held a pair of slippers with a floral design to the window for the bootboy to see; the skinhead with a broad grin on his face responded by raising his boot to the shop window. Any bigoted passer by would definitely have assumed that the skin was about to kick the window in:-) Both people were „playing“ with prejudices and in this particular instance having some fun.
„Show your true colours“ (in German „Gesicht zeigen“) is an initiative of the Campaign for a More Cosmopolitan Germany (a registered charity in Germany), an organisation that was founded in Summer 2000 by Uwe-Karsten Heye, Michel Friedmann and the late Paul Spiegel to campaign actively against violence by the far right. The patron was the then Federal President, Johannes Rau. The author of this site sent a mail to this organisation in 2002, shortly before starting work on „Du sollst...“. This was the reply he received:
»Of course we are only too familiar with stories about skinheads. I look forward to viewing your site „www.du-sollst-skinheads-nicht-mit-nazis-verwechseln.de“. By now everybody should be aware of the fact that being a skinhead does not mean you are also a nazi, but this prejudice seems to have taken a firm hold (just like the prejudice that equates migrants with criminality. If your site is compatible with the content of our site (and that is my assumption), then we could do a reciprocal link.«
And the webmaster of this site is happy to display the link below:
The Campaign for a More Cosmopolitan Germany incidentally commissioned the radio ads „Welcome to our German for Germans course“, extracts from which can be heard as an intro to the home page of this site.