Saturday, January 26, 2008

leather hotpants yes, immigrants no!

From Spiegel comes word that Germany is not a multi-ethnic paradise.

here is one lovely anecdote from the piece:

"I recently interviewed an asylum seeker from Cameroon who was living in Potsdam, just west of Berlin. He said he was so used to people calling him "n****r" or making ape sounds at him that he no longer paid attention. The thing that really got to him, though, was being followed around shops or the local library by staff expecting him to steal something. Or seeing how guests in a cafe would remove their clothing from the coat stand he had just put his jacket on."


As for the title of this post, well feast your eyes people and don't forget to tip your server!





3 comments:

Christoph said...

Wow! I'd like to say a few things in favor of my compatriots, but it's hard in the light of this article.

I wonder why I never came across this kind of xenophobia. Okay, I'm German, so maybe I'm just not aware of it? But then, I have foreign friends and they do just fine in Germany. I think this might be partly because it seems to be a regional problem. Foreigners are much more accepted in the west(where I lived) than in the east of the country.

Another thing is that the quoted article seems to exaggerate. For instance, the Leitkultur debate that is mentioned came up years ago and was quickly abandoned after protests from large parts of the German population.

Interesting is looking at politics to assess the degree of xenophobia of Germans: Right wing parties do usually poorly in general elections. Since 1961 the highest share a right wing party could gain in a federal election was 2.1%. Compare this to the success of Jean-Marie Le Pen with the supposedly much more open French.

Also, just yesterday, the Hessian prime minister Roland Koch suffered heavy losses in a state election, despite (or because of?) his tries to gain votes by foreigner bashing.

Overall, I agree that there are problems with the way Germans and foreigners live together. There clearly is too much hatred of foreigners. Also, I fully agree that our strategy of integrating immigrants was a gross failure. At the same time though, I don't think we are that mad brute as which the article depicts us.

Angus said...

Hi Christoph: thanks for your interesting comments about your own experiences. The article does imply that the problems are mostly in the east. KPC readers would probably also like to know if you've seen anything like what's shown in the photo in your experiences

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