Racial Discrimination: Kenyan-German MP Asked to Leave First Class on DB Train

Giorgina Kazungu-Haß, Member of the State Parliament of Rhineland-Palatine representing Neustadt – Haßloch – Lambrechter Tal

After the KFC incident has barely been forgotten, here comes the Deutsche Bahn with the same BS. This is definitely not the first person to talk about racism at Deutsche Bahn, but she’s high profile enough to get the country talking.

Saturday evening after the Rheinland-Pfalz-Tag festivities in Worms, Kenyan-German parliamentarian in the State Parliament of Rhineland Palatine, Giorgina Kazungu-Haß, together with her husband and three of their four children got on the train on their way back home. Pre-empting the trains would be full, Kazungu-Haß, decided to book first class tickets for the whole family. Being a parliamentarian, she automatically has a “Abgeordnete-Netzkarte” – a discount card for government officials.

Chilling in the train and in came the conductor and without asking to see the ticket, immediately demanded that Kazungu-Haß and her family get off that section of the train. According to the conductor, the first class ticket required an extra ticket that he automatically assumed Kazungu-Haß and her family did not have. All this definitely explained very slowly but very loudly lest Kazungu-Haß missed the very difficult German words and of course all this using   the informal address of “du”.

Embarrassed and definitely glad they were the only ones in that section of the train, Kazungu-Haß presented her  “Abgeordnete-Netzkarte” and the tickets to confirm she belonged in that first class section. Shocked that Kazungu-Haß was not only German who clearly understood German but also a parliamentarian, he quickly apologised. Unfortunately, the apology just made the matter  worse but clearly confirmed the basis of whole incident, simple everyday racism. The conductor claimed that Kazungu-Haß had to understand that he was often confronted by people “like her” who had no tickets.

Writing on Twitter, Kazungu-Haß wrote she was definitely not looking for a confrontation with them, but rather hoping her sharing of her story would lead to Deutsche Bahn treating people better.

40year old Giorgina Kazungu-Haß was born on 5th January 1978 in Koblenz to a German mother and a Kenyan father. She has been active in politics since her days in University and has been a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) since 1996, she however worked as a teacher for some time before going into politics full time. She is currently a Member of the State Parliament of Rhineland-Palatine representing Neustadt – Haßloch – Lambrechter Tal, having been voted in during the 2016 elections.

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