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Friday, March 24, 2006

Coon Picnic (Nas)

Nas: Coon Picnic (These are Our Heroes)

While Nas talks about heroes who do not properly fulfill their obligations as a role-model I would like to draw your attention to a group of people whom I would seriously label heroes. They stood up in a battle which they could not win. Unlike their counterparts in Georgia or the Ukraine they had no favourable national media on their side, no money or other support by national companies or magnates and no assistance by Western-based organizations. Yet, they put themselves out on display and into harms way.

The thing that impresses me most about these people are their numbers. If you look at peaceful uprisings in the past (Prague, Beijing, Leipzig, Belgrad, Kiev) we are talking massive amounts of people. Yes, it is brave to counter armed forces and a repressive government, but if you are one of 100,000 it is one thing and if you are one of 200 it is another. These people are heroes and deserve our utmost respect and I sincerely hope for them (and maybe for us too) that - while they have not managed to oust Lukashenko for now - that they have laid the seeds for his removal in the near future.

Most of you will have heard of the current fad within Germany's community of blimpish (I had to look that up, couldn't come up with a translation for reaktionär) secretaries of the interior (I should maybe add that the specific elements regarding immigration in Germany are delegated to the state level explaining the plural and the differing methods) to demand that foreigners before they become naturalised have to pass a questionnaire in order to ensure that they accept German values and have immersed themselves in the culture here. In itself the prinicple idea is fine I guess but a problem lies within the implementation of this whole thing. The way this is going it is just simply worrisome.

Baden-Württemberg started and now wants islamic foreigners only to answer 30 questions regarding their opinion on things like polygamy, homosexuality, terror and violence in general. Now, apart from my astonishment at these bureaucrats who seem to believe that fanatic muslims are generally stupid and do not realize how they are supposed to answer these questions in order to pass the exam, this of course is completely disciminatory.

Not be outdone Hesse has come up with their own questionnaire with 100 questions, some percentage of which the applicant is supposed to be able to answer. The trouble with this version is that, while it is not geared towards islamic immigrants solely, the questions are just ludicrous sometimes. Deutsche Welle has put a simplified version online (I scored 9/10, but this really is an easy version). The thing that makes some of the questions so laughable is the fact that they are simply way too hard. I would claim that choosing 10 of the hardest questions a majority of German citizens would fail this test.

All of this points to a fundamental problem in German society I believe. The German population is dwindling, our (European in general) society grows older, we need immigrants. What then do we need to do? Make sure people want to come and want to integrate. I am not saying there should be no pressure on immigrants - regarding their learning of the language for example - but a grand coalition of moronic politicians pretends that this is a one-way street on which Germany need not travel. Check the Turkish national team (football), Bastürk, Dawala, Hamit Altintop, Halil Altintop, Sahin, and these are only the players I can come up with at the top of my head, are all born in Germany. If you listen to interviews they give, their German accents can compete with the best of them and are definitly more pronounced than mine is. The point being? These guys all decided to play for Turkey not for Germany, they obviously do not feel enough at home here to do differently.

We cannot continue to alienate foreigners, we have to welcome them. The one-way street has to be turned into a two-way route. This is inevitable but sadly enough not enough people realize this.

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