Thursday, March 3, 2011

Why multiculturalism WON'T work in Germany

(This was written over a week ago before the shooting of American military personnel at the Frankfurt airport by a young Kosavan Muslim this week.  NOTHING condones that young man's actions.  Life is hard.  The emotions of youth are messy.  That doesn't give anyone the right to go out and take the lives of others.)

A street performer in Tuebingen, an old (think Middle Ages) university town in Germany.
We DO have some free spirits.  I admire their strength in being different in a culture that doesn't value being different.
When I heard on the news that both England and Germany had officially declared multiculturalism a failure last week, I had to laugh.

My mother could have told you this thirty-five years ago.

It's not so much that Germans are more racist than anyone else in the world.  Really.  It's not that they mind you being a different color or religion or nationality so much as they mind ANYONE being different at all. 

It's really nothing personal.   But yes, there is something wrong with you if you don't act exactly as we expect you to. 

Watching the performance on a warm Sunday afternoon.

Thirty-five years ago we asked Turkish men to come over and take over the garbage collection, the street cleaning, the potato picking and any of the other jobs we Germans didn't really want to do.  (The jobs that we ask Mexican immigrants to do in America.) 

We thought this was pretty broad-minded of us, letting darker skinned Eastern Europeans, Muslims even, into our beautiful country.  See how liberal we are?

The problem was you men began to expect things from us, things like bringing your wives and children over too, building mosques and opening kabob stands.  And now, two generations later you own hair salons and newspaper delivery services and your children sit next to ours at school.

This would all be a lot less disturbing if you would try to look and act more like us.

We don't mind the kabob stands so much.  But would you mind switching over to Schnitzel and Bier, please.  Because we really don't know what to make of the smells coming out of YOUR homes.  (Would be delicious if they just weren't so FOREIGN!)

Couldn't resist this quick shot.  Germans as relaxed and casual as I've ever seen them!

I'm tongue in cheek here - because it's easy and its fun - but I have the experience of bringing a WHITE AMERICAN into Germany, of going through the paperwork of getting Damon a work visa so that he can work in a country I and my children are citizens of.  We were greeted - well, GREETED is definitely the wrong word - with such disdain at the audacity of such a request.  You want to WORK HERE?  LIVE HERE?  Because I truly believe the Germans felts we were taking away THEIR jobs.  Like we were taking from their slice of the pie.

I cannot even imagine the treatment we would have gotten if we were darker.  If a German citizen cannot bring her white husband into the country without criticism and disdain, how is multiculturalism ever going to work?

Again, it's nothing personal.  It's not that we don't want YOU.  We just don't want ANYONE different.  We have our ways.  They work just fine.  We don't WANT to think outside the box and we certainly don't want to hear about areas we might be able to improve upon.

We are the way we are.  And that's just the way it is.  (So ist es in Deutschland.)

America has asked for 'your tired and poor.'  (Although there's been some debate on that in recent decades!)

Germany would like anyone who looks and acts exactly like the rest of us.

Or at least knows their place when they don't.
Audience participation is always a doozy.  Get the 8 year old to throw fire.

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