A little more than two years ago, I wrote about the the unity that German fans displayed for Jerome Boateng following a racist attack by the Deputy Leader of Germany’s fascist AfD political party. Today, I’m here to demand that the DFB take action against their pet comedian Oliver Pocher, publicly rebuke him, and disassociate the German national team completely from him.
Oliver Pocher and the DFB
“Who is Oliver Pocher?” you ask. To be completely honest with you, I had never heard of him before Friday when Bundesliga scribe Raphael Honigstein sent out the following tweet mentioning him:
FA pres R.Grindel (@DFB_Praesident) has urged Özil to "commit to GER citizenship & DFB values".And here is captain of official DFB fan XI @oliverpocher,whose song gets played at GER games, black-facing @JB17Official as a moron on mainstream TV. DFB values. pic.twitter.com/J1z0ZqAHyN— Raphael Honigstein (@honigstein) July 13, 2018
That is a man in blackface mocking Jerome Boateng. That man is a white man named Oliver Pocher.
Pocher is a rather famous comedian in Germany. Boasting nearly two millions followers across his social medium platforms, he has his own late night show (Die Oliver Pocher Show) on German TV station Sat.1.
He is also deeply embedded in the DFB. Pocher’s song “Schwarz und Weiß” (by crass irony, titled “Black and White” — referring rather to the colors of Germany’s jerseys) plays in stadiums across Germany when the national team is playing. He was the player-coach of the Germany Fan 11 at the World Cup in Russia. The DFB even posted videos featuring him to their YouTube account during the World Cup.
Pocher is doing pretty well for himself, and it’s not as if he has tried to hide the photos of him in blackface. Here is a clearer one on his Instagram.
Here’s another photo of him in blackface mocking Boateng, and here he is again in May 2016. Remember his song “Schwarz und Weiß” that I mentioned earlier? He appears in blackface in the music video for it, this time mocking Gerald Asamoah. For good measure, here he is at the Vienna Opera Ball in 2014 saying the n-word in a television interview with Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner.
As you can see, Pocher is a repeat offender. This is not his first time.
What about the latest (it’s three weeks old!) video about Boateng? It is still up on his Facebook page, so he’s clearly proud of it. Let’s take a look:
Hummels und Boateng heute morgen EXKLUSIV im SAT1 Frühstücksfernsehen über die Aussprache nach dem Mexiko Spiel und wie die Vorbereitung auf Schweden aussieht!Posted by Oliver Pocher on Friday, June 22, 2018
Pocher’s portrayal of Boateng in the clip is quintessential blackface. His version of Boateng is an idiot, who misunderstand simple statements and can’t keep basic facts straight in conversation with the actor portraying Mats Hummels. A sample:
Hummels: “...we have to balance offensive force with defensive stability, and, um, I think, we have to play more intelligently, huh Jerome, right?”
Boateng: “How’s that?”
Hummels: “With our heads.”
Boateng: “I don’t understand.”
Hummels: “Think more.”
Hummels: “Brains, with our brains.”
Boateng: (shrugs) “That’s not what I’d say.”
Later in the conversation, he “confuses” his teammates’ names.
Boateng: “I think Marco Gomez should start...”
Boateng: “Yeah, Mario Reus definitely, too.”
And so on, even taking a selfie “for Jay-Z” while Hummels talks toward the end of the segment.
Blackface is no laughing matter
Blackface was racist, is racist, and will always be racist. This should not be news to anyone in 2018, let alone the DFB. Everyone should know that black face is racist and wholly unacceptable.
At the end of 2017, Jude Wanga wrote about the subject for JOE.co.uk far more eloquently than I could ever do:
Skin colour is not a costume, especially when it has been used to not only categorise humans, but for that categorisation to form the basis of the global oppression of minorities as distinctly inferior based solely on their skin colour.
Imagine the colour of your skin being the reason your history has been erased, your ancestry untraceable and enslaved, your siblings and children discriminated against by the police; at school, at work, in football, at darts. And then seeing the people who subsequently benefitted from this oppression — who claim to be against racism — redeploying the very same tools that helped cement the negative stereotypes you still face today.
The DFB simply can not allow their relationship with Oliver Pocher to continue. It must come to an end. If they’re going to excuse this racism, where would they draw the line? Or, would they even draw a line?
If the DFB is too cowardly to act, then DFB President Reinhard Grindel and General Manager Oliver Bierhoff should resign immediately, and new proactive leadership be installed.