I have tried to keep politics out of my little corner on the web until now. As you all know, the “refugee crisis“, as it has been termed here by the media, has been dominating everyone and everything for months now. Below you will find some unfiltered and stream-of-consciousness thoughts on the matter, hidden behind one of the very rare “read more” tags on this website:
- The refugee problem we are currently experiencing has been announcing itself for decades and has been ignored for just about that same period of time. It definitely also has its root(s) in German/European/U.S. foreign policy. What boggles the mind is how surprised, confused and agitated political circles have responded, simply because they have f*ck all to show for themselves in terms of plans and preparations.
- One of the biggest problems we Germans have is that we have simply never been able to come up with any sort of viable immigration policy (actually, it has been effectively blocked by conservative circles for ages). That’s why we have to treat everyone as an asylum seeker instead of being able to rely on any sort of sensible plan as to how we can handle the masses legally and logistically.
- This is, perhaps, the biggest test of European unity and as things stand at the moment, it’s a stress test of astonishing magnitude. Things don’t look too good on that front, … at all.
- The press has – unfortunately – fallen into the American trap. Instead of delivering news, they have consistently delivered opinion, which is an entirely different beast. I would call most of what is transported by the media “manipulative” (at best), no matter what corner it originated from.
- What is (completely) ignored are the myriad of Germans doing good and helping to the point of complete physical and psychological exhaustion (and I have met and talked to many of them). It is incredible to see how many people are going out of their way to help. By and large, these people are ignored by the media and, if at all, only get page twelve “prominence” (more as a journalistic “alibi”).
- All of the above has given rise to the most dangerous development. It is not, as often portrayed in the media, the “rabble”, the uneducated and the right-wing lunatics gaining prominence. No, it’s the middle class and upper middle class beginning to revolt ever more verbally. The people who have and who are afraid of someone turning them into “have-nots” (no matter how ludicrous that assumption is). As a social studies teacher – and as a citizen – I have actually gone to have a closer look at the protests staged all around the country and what I saw were (mostly affluent and educated senior) citizens giving voice to a confused “angst“, most of which is based on general insecurities furthered by interior politics that have absolutely nothing to do with the issues at hand. It’s a scape-goat kind of thing, again, one that is increasingly instrumentalized.
- All of this has given significant rise to what I would term “ugly vocabulary“, to an extent that it is often frightening. I’m hearing words that I used to only find in the history books that dealt more or less swiftly with Germany’s uglier history.
- I hope I am misinterpreting the signs, but with local elections around the corner in two prominent states, we should be experiencing a shift to the political right that goes far beyond conservative. France and Austria have shown us that it can and probably will happen, but I still hope that we have enough sensible and responsible people (a “silent majority” if you will) in those states ready to counter such a movement. “Protest” is the key word here, with people moving to the right fringe just out of spite … or because they don’t feel they have an alternative.
- As a teacher I am watching 20+ years of education going down the chute quickly when I listen to (affluent) kids parroting what they hear at dinner tables at home.
The other day someone I follow on Twitter posted the following and I’ll leave it to you to translate it. Perhaps thrown out into the digital world on a whim, I think it actually isn’t too far off the mark. And, unfortunately, it might only be the beginning:
Was, wenn wir rückblickend die Generation Schengen sind? Die einzigen, die sich für einen Moment als Europäer verstanden?
— Finja (@FinjaReloaded) January 24, 2016