The controversy surrounding the appointment of Ferda Ataman to head the federal anti-discrimination agency continues. Ataman has to reckon with the fact that the traffic light factions will not vote for her as a whole. While the Greens signaled after talking to her that they would vote for her, there are still reservations about her in the FDP parliamentary group. A talk with the SPD in the Bundestag is planned. The anti-discrimination agency has existed since 2006. Its task is to educate people about racism and discrimination through research and public relations work and to help those affected.
The small authority has not had a regular management for more than four years. Since the former manager Christine Lüders retired, she has been temporarily managed by the lawyer Bernhard Franke.
The traffic light recently reformed the “General Equal Treatment Act” to end this situation. For the first time, the ADS management is to be elected by the Bundestag instead of just being appointed by the cabinet. Ferda Ataman, who nominated the cabinet in mid-June, has been accused by critics of discriminating herself. Above all, her defense of the word “potato” for white Germans has caused outrage. From the government camp, only the FDP deputies Thomas Sattelberger, Linda Teuteberg and Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki have publicly stated that they would not vote for Ataman. According to information from the Tagesspiegel, at least another dozen FDP MPs are skeptical. Since the election is secret, the risk of deviating from coalition discipline is low.
[If you want to have all the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic live on your cell phone, we recommend our app, which you can download here for Apple and Android devices.]FDP man Thomas Sattelberger, former HR director at Telekom and there for a long time Driver of a diverse corporate culture, tweeted shortly after her nomination that he was “extremely tolerant”. But “I’m not going to elect her to an official office.” This week’s conversation hasn’t changed anything about that. Sattelberger told the Tagesspiegel that he also said that he considered Ataman to be an important voice in the country, and that it was important to him to emphasize that.
“But among the positions for which we have to select the right candidates in Parliament, there are those who are morally more demanding and those who are less.” The office of anti-discrimination officer is “morally extraordinarily demanding, it addresses central issues values of this country”.
He criticizes Ataman’s demand for a migrant quota, which he considers unconstitutional, and her commitment to the concept of structural racism because it is based on the critical race theory, “whose supporters act in a divisive and discriminatory manner under the guise of anti-racism”. The fact that ataman Horst Seehofer’s expansion of his Ministry of the Interior to include “Heimat” came close to the Nazi concept of blood and soil “I found that bad and a bad attack”. This shows that their “judgment is not sufficient for such an office”.
The FDP politician is also critical of the fact that Ataman deleted thousands of her tweets after she was nominated. “Either I stand by what I said, or I explain that I’ve thought about it and think differently today. Or I apologize once. But I was never afraid that I would be held up to something later.”
The often-criticized statement on “blood and soil,” a concept that is older and was then implemented under National Socialism, comes from an editorial by Ataman for the newspaper of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation four years ago. There she personally referred positively to home (“I like the term home”) and writes: “But the real question is: Why are we discussing this question at all? The timing shows: The debate is not a reaction to the major social upheavals”. , i.e. globalization, digitization or the upheavals on the labor market.
“We’ve only been talking about longing for home since many refugees have come. Politicians who are currently talking about home are usually looking for an answer to the rampant ‘fear of strangers’.” In this context, however, “homeland can only mean that it’s about blood and soil: Germany as the homeland of the people who were here first. And therefore also have certain privileges. Here homeland becomes a less frowned upon term for ‘people’ and ‘nation ‘. Heimat is no longer hybrid and purchasable, but code for ‘Germany for the Germans’.”
The election of the ADS boss is due at the beginning of July, presumably in the session week that begins on July 4th. In addition to traffic light votes, Ataman can also count on votes from the left, even from the CDU. Ex-chancellor candidate Armin Laschet, for whom she used to work, congratulated her on the nomination and confirmed that in the new office she could “make optimal use of her many years of experience for diversity in our country”. For Ataman, all of this should add up to a sufficient majority, despite dissenting votes.
Meanwhile, the traditional feminist magazine “Emma” has positioned itself against Ataman. Provided with a leader of the sheet, in which she is presented as a “splitter”, around 30 signatories call for not voting Ataman. The Islam critics Necla Kelek and Seyran Ateş, the former SPD member of the Bundestag Lale Akgün and the Berlin publicist Güner Balci signed, among others.