‘I’m an American and I was racially profiled in Berlin 23 times’ – The Local

Nine months later and she had been stopped and checked by police a total of 23 times – while going to a museum, going to the U-Bahn station, or while out to socialize, being picked out of a group of white friends.“It really makes you feel like an outsider. I have never felt so much like an outsider as I have in Germany,” Kambhampati says.“I don’t feel welcome and that bothers me the most because I think about especially the large number of refugees that are coming in and being welcomed into the country… I’ve heard from some that have said they were racially profiled and don’t feel at home. They should feel at home.”But since she’s a journalist who came to Berlin to work for investigative news initiative Correctiv, Kambhampati didn’t let her feelings of frustration stop there.She met with Berlin police department’s press spokesman, who apologized and said the checks could be seen as illegal. But he also noted that officers wouldn’t search a “blond, German-looking person,” before later saying this wasn’t what he meant.Kambhampati first wrote about her experiences in an in-depth article for Vox last month, which can be read here. And now she’s working on an investigation with her colleagues at Correctiv, looking to find others who have had similar experiences.Different histories, different discussionsGrowing up in New Jersey and studying in Ohio, Kambhampati said she had encountered discrimination in the US as well, and similar issues of racism exist in both places. But the different immigration histories of the two countries also seems to have affected how people act today.“In Germany, many people assume I’m from India based on my skin colour rather than considering that I could be from somewhere like the US,” she explained.“I’ve gotten that before in the US, but not as much. Maybe it has to do with the way that different people have come to the US for generations now.“Some people that I’ve spoken to who have experienced racial profiling have been living in Germany their whole lives… and they still don’t feel like they are welcomed into the German society. And that’s largely in part because they’re stopped and asked questions like this.”

Source: ‘I’m an American and I was racially profiled in Berlin 23 times’ – The Local