Archive for September 3rd, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thilo Sarrazin: “so Violent in Language”

burqas needn't be boring

burqas needn't be boring (courtesy Tai De)

The following is a translation of a post by Tai De, written last Monday.

Thilo Sarrazin is a member of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), a former Berlin senator of finance, and currently a federal Banker. Germany’s federal Bank apparently expected him to lead a calm life when signing the contract with him, or so the bank’s reaction to his interview with “Lettre International” of last year would suggest – an interview in which he said that he didn’t need to respect someone “who lives of this state, rejects this state, doesn’t take care of his childrens’ education and who keeps producing little headscarf girls.”

Sarrazin’s statements may not be adequate, given his current post. His choice of words discredit him personally, I suppose. Provocations can be useful, but in this case, one gets the impression that as early as a year ago, he was trying to create interest in a book of his which is now being published. In either case, Turks whose daughters wear no headscarfs may feel free to be mortified, too, especially if they are greengrocers (Gemüsehändler). What’s so bad about that job?

I can’t get rid of the feeling that Sarrazin doesn’t want to convince his audience, but rather wants to rip them off in the book shops – and that he despises them. Some of those who now love him for “not mincing his words” hated him not long ago, when he instructed Hartz-IV recipient how to perform miracles in the kitchen, at less than four euros a day.

So here we are now, “dumbing down the natural way”, i. e. thanks to immigration from Turkey and the Arab world, somehow. Maybe that statement is racist, if it intends to say that the migrants were naturally dumb. That’s how Sigmar Gabriel, the SPD’s supreme chairman and sulker, appears to read it. Basically, he had no problem in sparring with Sarrazin’s case about migration, he said – but it was in part so violent in language that a discussion was hardly a possibility.

Which is bullshit. If it’s legally possible and gets sufficient majorities in the SPD’s relevant commissions or local branches, they can of course kick Comrade Thilo out. But they shouldn’t believe that they can thus avoid the issues. Many voters, after all, expect them to deal with Sarrazin’s criticism. After deduction of lots of Sarrazin razzmatazz, blanket insults, and personal vanity, there is still substance enough to be discussed, in order to review Germany’s migration and integration policies – and seen from this angle, Sarrazin’s provocations, the pleasantry of which are debatable, are a real offer. There’s no need to buy his book to that end.

And after the review, the real work would only begin. From the review, one has to draw conclusions for practical policies. Which employee of which welfare office will be obliged to face certain coevals – with or without migratory background – with the cuts in benefits Sarrazin would like to see imposed on those who refuse to work, or to seek education? Sarrazin is – hopefully – accompanied by bodyguards. A welfare office’s employee or director isn’t, unfortunately. And different from Sarrazin, he may live in the same neighborhood as does his reprimanded clients.

It may be part of a welfare worker’s job to bear that. But in some urban districts, such jobs will only find employees who don’t know what they are doing.

Such problems, too, are most probably solvable. The problem is that most controversies, Sarrazin’s included, stop exactly where the issues become tangible.

With an expulsion from a political party, if need be.

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