Anti-Discrimination Counseling Service at German University Asked White People to Not Apply for Open Position

An anti-discrimination counseling service at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, initially asked white people to not apply for an open counselor position.

According to WELT, the position was advertised by the university’s general student committee. The posting said that consultations are “oriented toward the needs of the person seeking advice” and involve “the creation of a space in which those affected by racial discrimination can feel comfortable sharing their experiences.”

“Consultations achieve the best results when the counselor is black or a person of color. Therefore we ask white people to refrain from applying for this position,” it read.

After receiving plenty of backlash, however, the posting was changed to read as follows:

“Consultations achieve the best results when people are able to counsel from their own perspective of having been racially discriminated against. Therefore we would like to encourage people who have experienced racial discrimination in particular to apply for this position.”

The open denial of white applicants was in clear violation of university policy and federal German law. Passed in 2006, the General Equal Treatment Act forbids discrimination on grounds of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, and disability. WELT says that a similar provision appears in the Humboldt University constitution.

If there were any white applicants who initially applied and were denied, perhaps they ought to reapply. They are being encouraged by the new posting, after all.