„Germany Black & White” by Noah Sow - List of stupid Phrases
Noah Sow

List of Stupid Phrases

The antiracist Black media organization der braune mob has asked Black people in Germany to send in stupid and boring things they have heard to create the “100 dumbest phrases.” The Top 25 are presented in the Book Deutschland Black & White, each with practical suggestions for responses. We present you with some of them here.

For white fellow citizens: Simply click on one of the following phrases if you think it's something you could say.

Where are you from?

This question is only the cork that opens a whole barrel. In one report it was aptly described like this:

Question: Where are you from?
Her: From Hanover …
Question: No, I mean, where do you really come from?
Her: From Hanover, Germany …
Question: But … But you are not German, are you???
Her: Yes, I'm from Hanover/Germany …

If the response to “Where are you from?” is not “Abu Dhabi” but “Bielefeld,” whites react disappointed and unbelieving. As it is commonly known that Blacks are not that strong on truth, the question is repeated several times as to whether the response is really true, just in case, or where father or mother (“Bielefeld” and “Kiel”) or the grandpa (“Warsaw”) are from. If this impudently feisty person still refuses to come up with the right answer, the questioner is allowed to get obstreperous: “You know exactly what I mean!” or “The Black people I know are proud of their roots!” Certainly not everyone has the nerve to respond “Abu Dhabi” right away so as to be left alone. And developing pride in roots in Bielefeld is definitely possible, but requires some practice.

When through with the forced theater of dialog, one can at least reward oneself in asking back: “How often have you asked a white German within a matter of five minutes of meeting her where her grandfather is from and haven’t been looked at as being nuts?”

As “Where are you from?” also implies that someone doesn’t really belong here, no one has to reply honestly. The fact that an arbitrary answer like “I moved here from the Congo last week” normally ends the dialog, as then the questioner starts lecturing on about his holiday or documentary channel experiences, proves that the question is never truly about the person, but rather is always only a matter of the questioner’s curiosity for some exciting and exotic story. With this information, no matter how surreal (people from the Congo very rarely speak in Bavarian dialect after three beers), the questioner is certain to believe he knows enough anyway. […]

abridged excerpt.
You can find the full-length text in the

“Are you going to return to your home country?”

Reply:“What, to Bielefeld?? No!”

“Hey, you are Joy!”

Only possible reply: “Hey, you are the superbore!”

A representative study conducted on four white girls with straight brown hair at a bar recently showed that they also react dismissively when they are not asked their names but instead have their ears bent with who they are supposed to be – especially Sabine from Barmbek, who has such great teeth.

The reason for whites’ inability to distinguish within other groups is that it is obviously not necessary for them to: “the Indians”, “the Turkish”, “the Africans” (the list can be continued) are lumped together all the time here in Germany. If they show up as individuals in real life, the questioners become tense and defensive: “But you look exactly like Joy!” […]

abridged excerpt
You can find the full-length text in the

“I’m sure you are a great singer!”

Reply: “And I’m sure you are a great runner. Try it. Go across that six-lane road over there.”

“Why are you lying in the sun? You are already brown!”

You would also like to scream here: “Think, man!” Whether one’s group is going to remain the master race if it damages the ozone hole until everyone dies from skin cancer is a counter question that inevitably suggests itself but can seldom be uttered without consequence. Therefore an alternative reply would be: “Really? Why has no one told Rex Gildo?” [a white German folk music singer who looked like he spent too much time in tanning booths; explanation by translator] […]

“I think the many coloreds in my neighborhood are a great enrichment!”

Reply: “It would naturally be even better if they danced outside.”

Fun aside, we remember: All humans are equal. Racialization of “skin color” in reality says as much about a person as shoe size or eye color. The only thing that is really different about Black people is that they are treated idiotically by whites.

In biological terms the reply could also be: “I also consider the many people with shoe size 12 in my neighborhood a great enrichment!”

And in societal terms: “I also consider the many people in my neighborhood who have experienced discrimination a great enrichment!”

“Oh! Your Mother is German?
You really take after your father!”

Possible Reply: “Oh, you are the one who’s been hanging out with my father since 1975! That’s why you know so much about everything!”

This sound bite contains so many impertinences (Black = not German; white = German; non-Aryan hue = singular physical feature; to look at Black person = allowed to ask private question and classify biologically) that reply B is certainly justified: “At least in my case I know exactly who it was!” From here on look compassionate and continue with: “Your situation must be really hard … always the suspicion: Was he really my father? I have read that more than twenty percent of white people were not sired by their official fathers. Awful. How do you deal with that?”

“You’re being over-sensitive!”

Reply: “Why do white Germans always start to scream when you say that Germany is filled with Nazis? Do they feel addressed? Why? They’re not the ones being talked about? Why are they so over-sensitive?”

“Do you feel more German or African?”

Reply: “Do you feel more ass or dumbass?”

Alternative: “Do you feel more like a social worker or like a European?”

Or: “If I didn’t have to listen to stupid questions like this one I would at least feel much better.”

(Explain to me exactly, how to “feel German”. Do you feel German? Why? How?)

“Oh, that beautiful hair …” (and then quickly grab it)

Reply: “For someone like you who enjoys being touched by strangers everywhere, it is probably hard to understand that not everyone feels that way.”

Alternative Reply: “I hereby order you to your borders of 1945!”

“Isn’t it dangerous in Harlem?”

Reply: “No, but in Mügeln.” [City in which Indian people were chased and assaulted by a racist mob in 2007; explanation by translator]

“Your German is really good!” (also:
“You speak our language pretty well.”)

Reply: “Thanks, so do you!”

Even better reply: “Unfortunately one couldn’t say that about you!”

“I cannot be a racist, I have a Black wife / Black children.”

This is the stupidest “argument” of all. Reply: “Oh, okay. I didn’t know that screwing removes centuries of cultural imprint!”

(And on the side: If sleeping with somebody or being related to someone were a guarantee for impartial contact without suppression, there wouldn’t be dismembered husbands in freezers, siblings fighting about their heritage, children who bitterly break off contact to their parents, or the impulse to burn the ex’s car.)

“I know exactly how you feel, I feel the same way.”

Reply: “Oh, sorry, I didn’t know you were a Black German as well.”

One might try to find out in socio-scientific studies which impertinences cause which effects, but don’t think you know what life as a Black person is like just because you have had some exclusionary experiences. The often-used comparison “I also once was the only white person in …” is lame because, among other reasons, you cannot have experiences as a member of a marginalized minority if you are not a part of one. As a white tourist in a country where you are disproportionately rich and know that it is not your country (although many behave as if it were), you cannot comprehend how it feels not to be considered a full-fledged citizen by most Germans or to be confronted by abusive terms that are de-humanizing on the basis of visual characteristics. [...]

abridged excerpt
You can find the full-length text in the

“But then I can’t say … xyz … anymore, either!”

Reply: “Of course you can. But then I can consider you an asshole.”

abridged excerpt
You can find the full-length text in the Book

“Why shouldn’t I say NEGER?”
[German version of the “N” word; explanation by translator]

Reply: “You don’t call people ‘Aryans’ either. If you do, disappear before I get the vigilantes!”

The bottom line is that applause and understanding cannot be expected for everything that passes brains unfiltered. When speaking without thinking, one shouldn’t be offended when one ends up looking like an idiot.

provisional translation from
Noah Sow: Deutschland Schwarz Weiß

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