Racist politician?

Journalistic trick to make a Minister of Education sound racist

„Best proof of everyday racism“: CDU politician Prien triggers outrage with statement about Touré

The CDU politician and Education Minister of Schleswig-Holstein, Karin Prien, has come under criticism for a statement she made about her cabinet colleague Aminata Touré (Greens).

In the discussion about the determination of safe countries of origin in asylum policy, the deputy federal chairperson of the CDU had said on NDR Info on Tuesday about the state social minister Touré: „Of course Aminata Touré is shaped by her own history of flight. But in the end, as a politician, you have to be able to detach yourself from your own fate to some extent and stand beside yourself and also support decisions that hurt you personally.“ [1]

Schleswig-Holstein’s SPD leader Serpil Midyatli on Wednesday accused Prien of a gaffe for which she must apologise immediately. Prien had reduced the Minister Touré in her political assessment of safe countries of origin solely to her personal background as a child of refugees.

Prien’s statement about her cabinet colleague is the best proof of how everyday racism works. „This is absolutely unworthy of a member of a state government that is expressly committed to a humanitarian migration policy. Touré was a native of Schleswig-Holstein, the SPD state leader emphasised.

Prien also came in for strong criticism from the coalition camp. „The statement that a minister of integration should disregard her own refugee history in the assessment of safe countries of origin is insulting and shows internalised racism,“ said the state spokesperson of the Green Youth, Johanna Schierloh.

Touré is denied the competence to decide rationally. „The state government should ask itself whether someone who makes such a statement should be responsible for racism-critical education in schools.“ Prien urgently needs to apologise.

SOURCE: dpa., „Bester Beweis für Alltagsrassismus: CDU-Politikerin Prien löst mit Aussage über Touré Empörung aus“, Tagesspiegel, 8th June 2023, https://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/bester-beweis-fur-alltagsrassismus-cdu-politikerin-prien-gerat-in-kritik-nach-einer-aussage-uber-toure-9947082.html.

[1] This statement was an answer to a question by the interviewer who specifically asked Prien if she thought Touré’s biographical background played a role in the discussion.


The article refers to an audio interview NDR (North German Broadcasting) did with Karin Prien, Schleswig-Holstein’s Education Minister. Prien is asked whether Georgia and Moldova are to be considered safe countries of origin. Integration Minister Aminata Touré had announced before that she would block the proposal.

The NDR radio programme in which Karin Prien was quoted as saying that Touré was influenced by her own flight history and that more rational decisions were needed in politics, sounds as if Prien was questioning Touré’s suitability as a politician.

In fact, it wasn’t exactly like that. The reporter had asked the question: „Is Aminata Touré too influenced by her own history and does not see the reality?“ But the question is not heard in the report.[1] 

It turns out: Not only has Prien not mentioned her Green cabinet colleague with a syllable up to this point in the interview. She also explicitly referred to her own Jewish background in her answer. But this part was also cut out of the answer by NDR Info.

It is a journalistic sleight of hand to obtain certain answers by means of a cleverly suggestive question. It is particularly dubious to leave out the demand in the published version and thus produce a scandal that is actually not one. The full interview was published later to show that Prien’s controversial statement was cited out of context.[2]

about the source:

The “Tagesspiegel” is a daily newspaper from Berlin founded in 1945. It has the highest circulation among Berlin’s subscription newspapers, ahead of the Berliner Zeitung and the Berliner Morgenpost, and unlike the Berliner Zeitung is read mainly in the western districts of the city. It is published by Der Tagesspiegel, which belongs to DvH Medien. The newspaper’s motto is rerum cognoscere causas – „to recognise the causes of things“.


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