The complaint—and the reality—of “discrimination” in today’s Germany

Stewart W. writes:

I recently stumbled across an article in “Der Spiegel Online” titled “How Xenophobic is Germany?,” in which people are asked to write their stories about xenophobia in Germany. Of course, the purpose of the article is clearly to demonstrate how terrible is life in Germany for Citizens of the World; how backwards, nativist, and xenophobic the average German is. There are a few comments, of course, which state, in essence, “if you don’t like it, leave,” but for the most part, they are horror stories.

Despite the tone of the comments, however, I drew a very different conclusion. The “horror” stories are usually about someone’s great offense when a German asked “When will you be going home?,” or, when told that an Asian is German, they ask “Where are you really from?” The shame of having to endure “hurried transactions” must simply be too much for these hothouse flowers to bear. Reading between the lines, it seems that most Germans, despite all of their recent history, retain a sense of themselves as a people, and a wary attitude about the prospect of unassimilable foreigners moving in to their nation. The day to day interactions between people indicate that Germans are not hostile to strangers by any means, but have a healthy desire to see them return home at the end of their visit. I only wish we could develop the same sense.

I was also struck by the insufferable and childish tone of moral superiority taken by most of these contributors. They came to “add to the cultural conversation with [their] artistic practice,” and when they were driven out by intolerance, it was “too bad for the German tax-payer.” Their frail little egos couldn’t handle the fact that most Germans weren’t impressed by their “contribution,” and didn’t care when they left, even though one of these fine people insisted that, “You need us.” And of course, it never occurs to any of these valuable contributors to ask why they don’t seem to be able to contribute sufficiently at home, and must come to places like Germany, England, and the U.S.

My very favorite line is actually written by a German, who states that “Germany has to realize that it is a country of immigration, and to open their eyes.” Well, maybe not.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 05, 2008 01:07 PM | Send

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