How tolerant is Germany? A, well, strange campaign

The ARD, the public broadcasting (state-funded television and radio) in Germany, started an advertising campaign for a theme week of “tolerance”. It was obviously meant to be critical and provocative – but they over-exaggerated a tiny bit, I think.

poster men kiss

On the first picture you see two men, one kissing the other on the forehead. The title asks: “Normal or not normal?” Well, ok so far. This is about homosexuality and the question if we still feel that it is something special and unusual. But why do they only show a kiss on the forehead? Is a real kiss of two men on a street poster too much for the tolerant passersby? Hm?

And if yes, why the hell is it not too much to show this second picture?poster black man fugitive

The description says: “Burden or enrichment?” This is crossing a line for me because it is not obvious that they mean the fugitives arriving in Germany. The photo only shows a coloured man. This makes me feel uncomfortable.

I read some other critical pieces about this campaign saying that there is something arrogant about the term “to tolerate somebody” because it implies that the tolerating person is superior to the tolerated one. This is a very sensible debate, of course it should be discussed, but this campaign struck a sour note.

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