The Berlin police have released a rap video clip. In the tune entitled ‘Here For Each Other’ (‘Füreinander Da’), immigrants and police officers sing and rap lyrics opposing hatred. The song promotes tolerance and togetherness with a chorus saying the following, in German: “We are here for each other, we set an example against hatred”.
In the clip, a rapping police officer says “I work for the police, but I can still be your buddy. We take part in soccer tournaments with the youngsters here, and we can mediate, should any problems arise.”
There are several purposes behind the video clip, recorded by residents and police officers in Berlin’s precinct 36, the ‘Gesundbrunnen’ area, which is part of the ‘Soldiner Kiez’ quarter of the German capital. Promoting mutual understanding between inhabitants of different nationalities and ethnicities is the most important one. Also viewers are supposed to see the police in a different light and respect them.
The production of this rap video clip was one of many activities organized by ‘KbNa e.V.’, an association founded years ago, with the purpose of promoting tolerance and opposing violence and hatred. The lyrics of the tune say exactly what the organization stands for.
Headed by Yousef Ayoub, the ‘KbNa e.V.’ also organizes block parties and awareness events. The association is part of a bigger project entitled ‘Strengthening of the Cooperation of Youth Aid and Police in order to Prevent Violence in the Soldiner Kiez Quarter’. Yes, it is a very long name indeed.
In precinct 36, the association also organizes sports events for girls and female police officers. Furthermore, theater plays about civil courage, activities at playgrounds, sports events and even educational programs are part of the program.
While the rap video is new, the cooperation between residents in this part of Berlin and the police is not. Seven years ago, in 2011, Yousef Ayoub signed a cooperation agreement with precinct 36 in order to “reduce prejudice and reservations.” According to its website, the organization also wants to “build bridges between young migrants and the police”.
On Youtube, the rap video clip got some positive comments. But a lot of people complained, saying it was “more embarrassing than anything I have seen before” and a “shame”. One person said the police “should work for law and order on the streets instead of doing something like this”. Most critics had anonymous user names, some were obviously part of the far-right. Grave spelling and grammar issues highlighted the ‘genius’ behind some of the criticism.
In the past two decades, there have been comparable activities in other Berlin police precincts and other German cities as well. Many precincts also introduced ‘de-escalation teams’. They promote cooperation, instead of confrontation, during protests and similar events.N