Things could have been worse for the Gambian national, according to the Suddeutsche Zeitung. The bus was en route to the Dorfen train station, near Erding, when the African man tried to board. He was first denied entry until a local woman stood up to defend him. The driver had no choice but to allow the Gambian aboard, but only if the man took a seat in the back, because the “front seats are reserved for white people.”
When the woman’s stop was coming up, she moved to the exit, and was told by the driver to “take your monkey with you.” The man was also told the bus was not going to Erding train station - his final destination point. Rather than endure further embarrassment, the man exited with the woman and had to walk the rest of the way to the train station.
It was there that he met the bus driver again, and asked him how come the bus went that way. In response The driver responded by verbally attacking the man again. The incident has been kept under wraps since February by German authorities as usual. According to Gerhard Karl from the Commissariat for State Protection, who spoke to the Suddeutsche Zeitung, disciplinary action was taken against the driver. His salary was docked for 30 days.
However, the bus driver wasn’t fired, and he insists he insulted no one. Nevertheless he accepted his punishment. He likewise denies ever telling the Gambian to sit in the back of the bus. When approached by a Sueddeutsche Zeitung journalist, who asked him to comment on his racist "monkey” statement, the driver cut him short, saying: “I’ve paid my punishment, for me the matter is done.”
The German constitution forbids racial discrimination, but a legal framework remains missing to actively prevent it.
"As a black person in Germany, you encounter racism on every level of society. At work, looking for an apartment, or in political matters. And in private life, of course," said Tahir Della, a Munich-based photographer and board member of the Association of People of African Origin in Germany (ISD). The group, founded in the 1980s, aims to bring African-Germans and their projects together and opposes racism.
In Germany"People ask me on the street if I have any drugs," says an African immigrant in Frankfurt. "Or - and this is even with the authorities - it's expected that I'd be better able to respond to poorly spoken German rather than proper German. This may seem harmless at first glance, but it gives black people a negative reputation and contributes to the lack of understanding about the status of people with dark skin in Germany.