Many thanks to Nash Montana for translating the latest essay by Anabel Schunke from Roland Tichy’s website:
Say it through the refugee
by Anabel Schunke
The migration crisis has unmasked the hypocritical double standard about human dignity in these parts. And it reveals it daily anew. As a text by a Syrian about the homeless in Berlin shows.
“Berlin forgets the homeless”, says the title in Tagesspiegel. At first glance, it’s a headline that recurs and reaches across the full spectrum of politics in the local media. Every year towards fall/winter: the question about the placement and housing of Germany’s homeless. Each year the answer turns out to be as shameful as in previous years. Just like in other countries we look away when it comes to the weakest within our population. Nothing pretty, but also nothing new.
Nevertheless, this text is remarkable. First because the actually rather left-leaning Tagesspiegel has put itself into the politically incorrect minefield of comparing the domestic population with refugees. And on the other hand because the author of the text is a refugee himself. And maybe it is exactly that factor that will close the politically incorrect gap that the comparison had caused in the first place. Because refugees are allowed to say things that we aren’t allowed to say. Just like earlier generations of Muslim immigrants, who in the meantime at times are also called Nazis. The politically incorrect elevates itself through the politically correct use of the refugee as a mouthpiece. An act of genius, in fact, although a deeply dishonest plot.
The good leftist racism
And here as well the good leftist racism shows itself, exactly as described by Gideon Boes: “bad racists, good racists, and Islam.” Meaning: Refugees are not subject to the same impeccable moral expectations of political correctness as are the domestic population and their writers. When the Turkish neighbor forbids his wife to go outside, this is merely a cultural peculiarity, but woe to the chauvinist that “genders” incorrectly at the university. Similarly with our refugee author: while the comparison of asylum seekers with parts of the domestic population may be yucky, and even worse “right-wing populist”, when it is the refugee himself who calls attention to the unfair state of affairs, then that’s totally OK. Finally the Gutmensch editor doesn’t have to wash his brain out with soap anymore after reading approving articles on ‘Tichy’s Einblick’ or ‘Achse des Guten’. Instead he can now say it directly through the refugee.
For a long time we have only been allowed to bloviate in the abstract, theoretical sense about something like dignity, while the Syrian author of the Tagesspiegel article shows us how practically every day dignity is violated in our society:
“In Syria we had no homeless; we had poor people. But in any case they didn’t sleep on the street. They had family or they were beggars who sometimes had more money than you yourself. To see homeless people is entirely new for us here.”
It is he who, through the good racism of a society that is beyond all measures stunted, and that has become paralyzed through political correctness, becomes the child from Hans-Christian Andersen’s tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Who says that which all others secretly think, but he’s allowed to say it because we are ascribing to him those same childish-naïf attributes.
Meanwhile we Germans discuss dignity in theory by means of a fictitious example. Whether it is legitimate to shoot down an airplane carrying 164 people if the death of 70,000 people in a soccer stadium can thereby be prevented. Whether these fictitious people in their fictitious airplane containing fictitious terrorists through facing fictitious doom would lose their fictitious dignity if we fictitiously shot them down while exactly in that moment everywhere and repeatedly in this country many real people have their real dignity groped and infringed upon in a very real fashion.
Inevitably the question comes up about dignity itself. How we define it and who decides it; when it is regarded as infringed upon and when not. Because even our Constitution is not what God gave via a Moses-like middleman to us Germans. And the judges on the Supreme court aren’t God’s messengers. Hence the question about the substance of such a vague concept, and the risks as a consequence thereof, are entirely appropriate, while still not calling into question its basic existence.
Dignity is — as I have said already — a nebulous concept. The danger of its erosion is a constant. Who is doing the eroding is defined in this case through the current political climate: In recent decades in Germany it’s mostly been through the left-green media and minority groups of all kinds — Muslim support groups leading the way — which would all have each other’s backs.
What has resulted from this is a state that lets us discuss right and wrong into the finest ultimate detail — all the way to the remaining lifespan of fictitious airplane passengers and the cost of the lost dignity of these people when we take these last seconds, minutes from them — but all this completely hides the factual condition of our relationship with dignity.
Because of course the Syrian author is absolutely correct. Just like the German “Schmuddelkinder” [“The mucky pups”, the grubby kids, based on a song by Franz Josef Degenhardt, “Don’t Play With the Mucky Pups”, from 1965], who could be compared as well, and whose Schmuddelkind status is only constituted in so far as that they aren’t Syrian refugees. They are not new in this society, and they don’t belong to the sacrosanct Islamic culture to whom one — with sympathetic lordliness — concedes a few faux pas here and there.
It is exactly the same factor that already betrays just where our dignity stands in our country. That it may be that there is a verbal allowance to everyone for it, but that there is an evident difference of judgment concerning the infringement of such dignity. That most of the time we are trying to hide that fact, by drawing comparisons such as those drawn by our Syrian author, and we usually make them taboo.
In doing so, the question that is being raised by our Syrian author in the Tagesspiegel is completely correct. Why are refugees being provided for better than homeless people? Why are we treating our indigenous people worse than foreigners? Or in other words: Why exactly does the emperor not wear any clothes?
Without a lobby
Jörg Baberowski, who has already been branded a right-wing radical (probably because he’s not a refugee) by the General Students’ Committee of the University of Bremen (AStA) commented on his Facebook page: “The homeless don’t have a lobby. Nobody can make a buck on their housing or morally upgrade themselves using them. Far and wide, there is not a Gutmensch in sight who would throw teddy bears at the homeless.”
I’ll go one step further. I claim that the homeless in Germany are no longer the only group without a lobby in Germany. That without a doubt we are not affected by it in as targeted and hard a fashion, but that we in the long run will all have to pay, that our dignity has long since been ordered to be shot down like an airplane.
The migration crisis has unmasked the hypocritical double standard about human dignity in these parts. And it reveals it daily anew. Every time another politician falls to his knees in front of Islam and its representatives while berating those who criticize asylum politics. Every time the chancellor takes out time for the unharmed victims of an unaccounted-for attack on a mosque, while she never even spoke to any of the victims of the New Year’s attacks in Cologne or people who were physically and emotionally affected by terrorism in Germany. Every time our public-sector broadcasters denounce incursions against asylum seekers while they will not show the same patronizing and condescending attitude — not even close — when a sixteen-year-old gets stabbed and the man’s girlfriend gets pushed in the Alster [river] by a “southern-looking man”.
Yes, every single time our dignity gets injured. Every single time one human life gets considered more worthy of protection, more valuable, than another. Every single time our dignity in real time goes through exactly that which we so unconditionally want to prevent when we fight about whether we can shoot down the fictitious airplane or not. That’s what we should talk about. Directly. Not through a veil, and not through the refugee.
Previous posts by Anabel Schunke:
|2016||Jun||8||Some Hates Are More Equal Than Others|
|17||Why Must I?|
|Oct||25||Against the Right: Narcissism and Pseudo-Activism|
|18||I am Worthless — I am German