Tübingen's mayor: Boris Palmer causes a scandal at the migration conference with the N-word

Controversy is nothing new for Boris Palmer.

Tübingen's mayor: Boris Palmer causes a scandal at the migration conference with the N-word

Controversy is nothing new for Boris Palmer. Tübingen's mayor is so often wrapped up in them that the Greens eventually had enough of him and wanted to expel him from the party. A compromise was agreed, and his party membership is currently suspended until the end of the year.

Now Palmer has triggered the next tangible scandal. At a migration conference in Frankfurt on Friday evening, he used the N-word several times and then defended his choice of words. This was initially reported by the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (FAZ) from the event, and a video is also circulating on Twitter that shows him in a discussion with demonstrators in front of the building. Palmer also used the term there several times.

In the Twitter clip, Palmer actually wants to explain why he uses the word. However, his statement is drowned out by loud protests from the demonstrators, who chanted "Nazis out." Palmer joined in the calls that he didn't want any Nazis in the country either. According to reports, the group of around 50 people came to protest against the event entitled "Control migration, shape plurality". Palmer was invited as a panelist. He accused the demonstrators: "It's nothing other than the Jewish star. That's because I used a word to which you attach everything else. If you say the wrong word, you're a Nazi. Think about it ."

The N-word in this case means the word "Negro". It's an old term for black people and is now considered racist and offensive. The Duden writes: "The terms Negro, Negress are highly discriminatory and should be avoided."

At the request of the German Press Agency, Palmer confirmed that the statements were made in this way. "I used the method of the protesters to stamp me as a Nazi and racist, to shout down and to exclude me as a comparison," Palmer explained the context from his point of view. He explained to the protesters that Nazis had daubed swastikas on the graves of his ancestors and replied that "their method of ostracism and exclusion is no different from the Jewish star". The 50-year-old didn't want to say more about it on Saturday.

In a Facebook post, Palmer explained that he says the N-word because he doesn't accept language rules. However, "the highly controversial word" is not part of his active vocabulary. "I only use it when there's a discussion about whether you're already a racist if you use it. For me, the context decides that."

According to the FAZ, Palmer later reported at the conference about his exchange of words with the demonstrators and also used the word there several times. He therefore insisted that it was only offensive in context, for example when addressing a black person, but that it could be used in principle. Several conference participants, including psychologist Ahmad Mansour, social scientist Ruud Koopmans and politician Manuel Ostermann, opposed the report, according to the report. Repeating a word that is offensive to others is hurtful and disrespectful. The moderator of the event finally refused to continue with the words: "Mr. Palmer, I don't want anything to do with you anymore."

Despite the scandal, Palmer is said to have held his lecture entitled "Memorandum for a different migration policy" as planned and, among other things, called for benefits in kind instead of money for newly arriving refugees. He later apologized to conference participants for his choice of words.

The organizers of the conference reacted on Saturday morning. "I emphatically distance myself from the statements made by Boris Palmer," quoted the FAZ as Susanne Schroeter from the Frankfurt research center Global Islam. "His behavior severely damaged the very good and differentiated conference and is unacceptable." According to the FAZ, Schröter took over the moderation of Palmer's appearance after the original moderator had refused the politician's statements.