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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Whazzup in Europe, Part 2

That last bit about the uncomfortable relationship between "Old Europe" and Islam brought forth some brilliantly insightful comments so I thought "Why not do it again?" but from another perspective.

This time it would be nice if those of us who wish to comment did their homework and read the article. It makes comments more likely to apply to the actual article that way.

Bot

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Germany's Second Unification

By Claus Christian Malzahn in Berlin

Multiculturalism has failed, or so everyone says. So now what? Should Germany toss out its 6.7 million foreigners? Populist barroom politics won't do the nation any good. Germans old and new need to find the will to get along.

Wednesday's edition of the populist Bild newspaper carried a blaring quote from "Germany's leading mind," a conservative historian named Arnulf Baring: "Something's gone wrong with the foreigners," he said. Baring is a respected scholar who's moved right in recent years; he likes to sound authoritarian and patriotic. In his Bild interview on Wednesday he dropped a line that you can now hear in pubs across Germany, ever since news broke last week of student violence in a heavily Turkish high school in Berlin.

"Multiculturalism," Baring declared, "is dead."

Blame for its death, of course, lies at the feet of the "multi-culti" types who thrived under center-left ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder -- all those dim Germans who over the last few decades have bumped faithfully but naïvely from Kurdish Folk Festivals to the Lebanese-run Italian corner restaurant without seeming to notice how both the Kurds and the Lebanese whet their flashing knives, talk smack about their women and plot an unfriendly takeover of the Federal Republic of Germany. Thank God for Baring, who's warned us back from the brink.

But it's time to kill a few myths: Neither the Schröder government nor the dim multiculturalists bear most of the blame for Germany's current integration crisis. The real villain's name is Helmut Kohl. During his long stint as chancellor, from 1982 to 1998, and despite the fact that his daughter-in-law is Turkish, Kohl managed to ignore the immigration problem. Blood laws for German citizenship were kept in place; immigration went unregulated. It grew anarchically through asylum loopholes and laws allowing guest workers' families to come to Germany, while foreign children living here were never asked to go to school. "Tolerated outsiders" didn't need to learn to read or write.

When skinheads burned immigrant dormitories in Solingen, Mölln and Rostock in the early '90s, Kohl never bothered to show his face. The man who understood so much about the power of symbols (like German reunification) never stood for a photograph with the victims or visited a crime scene. Why? Because the victims weren't German? No one really knows.

Kohl's credentials on German reunification are indisputable, but he never seemed to care about integrating "new" Germans. It was Schröder's government that first grappled with the problem -- if a little half-heartedly. Schröder's federal president, Johannes Rau, made a few tentative steps in the right direction when he said he wanted to preside over all the people who live in Germany, not just "Germans." For 6.7 million foreigners here, it was the right thing to say; but it was the kind of gesture which the Schröder government never quite ventured beyond.

Modernizing German citizenship laws so far has been a patchwork effort. Children are still born here who can't be citizens. In his interview, Baring said that patriotism in American immigrant families "crystallizes" within three generations at the latest. But every baby born in the United States -- even the child of an illegal Mexican laborer born in a Texas barn -- has the right to a US passport. The answer to this from immigration hardliners in Germany is wishy-washy; all they can muster is a recommendation to "return juvenile delinquents to their countries of origin."

The fact of the matter is, however, that the "country of origin" for these kids is Germany. Multiculturalism here is a fact. There's no way back to any kind of ethnic purity. And that's something conservatives in Germany are going to have to learn.

Berlin's grand coalition government of the left and right, now in power under Angela Merkel is on the verge of gambling away the second German unification -- namely the civilized merging of legal immigrants into a single German republic.

How, for example, is one supposed to interpret the silence of the Social Democrats on this issue? There are ways out of the "multiculturalism" crisis; all it takes is a will to lead. How about a law allowing the automatic citizenship for every child born in Germany? That would be a novel idea. We've had enough warm and fuzzy words. What Germany now needs is a real, self-critical balance of passions. Neither multicultural pieties nor hysterical fear-mongering will help anyone. And whoever says things have gone wrong with "the foreigners" is still thinking in outmoded terms of "us and them. "

We -- meaning all German citizens -- can't handle another failure of German immigration policies. Foreign-born workers are twice as likely to be unemployed as native Germans; more and more kids with "immigrant backgrounds," as the politically correct phrase goes, are becoming "problem kids." We need nothing less than a national effort to change this trend. Even the (anti-immigrant) governor of Bavaria, Edmund Stoiber, must recognize an urgent selfish need in the face of falling birthrates to educate today's talented Turkish kids into tomorrow's German elite. It would be nice if he could do some practical work in this direction, instead of just sounding alarm bells. Munich, for example -- Stoiber's seat of power -- could use an immigration office.

But successful immigration isn't just a matter of government ministries. The hard work of integrating minds into a coherent German republic needs to be done by the immigrant communities themselves. There's a lot to do on that end, as a recent debate over speaking German in Berlin schools suggests. For their part, immigrant interest groups need to realize that if you don't speak German, you can't do anything in Germany. It really is that simple. And it has almost nothing to do with discrimination. Anyone who wants their kids to have a future in Germany needs to buy them a dictionary and a grammar book today, not tomorrow.

Even a populist rag like Bild, by the way, with its clear language and unmistakable agenda, can play a role our new movement. Germans can express themselves from now on by leaving any issues of Bild that unleash someone like Baring on the newsrack to fade.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 06:34 PM
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RE: Whazzup in Europe, Part 2

Quote:
Botnst - 4/11/2006 8:31 PM
This time it would be nice if those of us who wish to comment did their homework and read the article.
ROFL! [:D]

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 06:03 AM
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RE: Whazzup in Europe, Part 2

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Botnst - 4/11/2006 8:31 PM
This time it would be nice if those of us who wish to comment did their homework and read the article.
Don't go trying and change the rules of the game now.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 07:06 AM
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RE: Whazzup in Europe, Part 2


I suspect the Germans,like many other 'old' European countries had expected that those wishing to immigrate were doing so because they had a desire to join in with their society at all levels,rather than develop festering factions of dissent and discontent.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 10:24 AM
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RE: Whazzup in Europe, Part 2

WTF - what a blow up waiting to happen.

I don't even think 3 generations - more like 2

In the recent imigration waves to Canada over the past 30 years (Cambodia, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia)

It was the second generation that were already becoming doctors, lawyers & indian chiefs.

Their parents worked for almost nothing, worked hard and gave their children what they never had.

When you deliberatly create a caste system with second class citizens, don't surprised when it blows
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2006, 02:42 AM
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RE: Whazzup in Europe, Part 2

Ha! - that 'Melting Pot' song context looms up again.
Some colours just take longer to mix in, and need extra stirring - ask any painter [8D].
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2006, 11:56 PM
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RE: Whazzup in Europe, Part 2

I am not well versed in the legal procedure for applying for citizenship as a German. Or any other European country. While I lived in Germany in the 1960's, the German's were being inundated with guest workers, and it was absolutely clear, if not official policy (political correctness was not quite the phenomena then that it is today) that Germans would only hire guest workers if no German citizen could be found. Today it is a bit less of a common law rule - there are many Germans who realize the guest workers often work harder at the more tedious jobs than workers applying for such jobs with pure German genetic stock. With the economic cooling off of the last few decades, I believe many Germans would have preferred the guest workers be better guests and pack up and leave instead of staying on. I very seriously doubt any Germans from the 1960's thought any guest workers would every consider becoming German by any means.

I think it is a lot less common anywhere in Europe for someone to actually apply for citizenship in an adjacent or nearby country. Since the whole place is much smaller and has a long history of fighting with each other over all kinds of meaningless crap, there is a strong local identity within each country. Which supports a vigorous bias against outsiders, including guest workers. In the typical 1960's German's view of life, changing citizenship for a job opportunity is not a very compelling case. For a long time they enjoyed an economy that required guest workers as there just weren't enough Germans. Today there are too many people and not enough jobs, so I find the fact that Germans view the situation as one where shipping the guests back is viable, even preferable to diluting the gene pool, pretty true to form for virtually all Europeans. Some are just better at expressing themselves in a way where the true intent is not as obvious.

The "old" Europeans were always a generation or two behind America at facing social issues like these. Go over there and see how many people smoke all over the place. It is really enough to make a non-smoker gag to enter a public building. In this case, the Europeans, or at least the Germans, identified a guest worker strategy to sustain their economic growth when there was a shortage of Germans after the war. Now that the situation has changed, and the guest worker rules have been bent or broken by the lack of enforcement by the local authorities, the Germans see no real reason to grant these guest workers citizenship as it was never part of the original plan. Sounds like in this case they caught up with us. Jim
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2006, 12:34 AM
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RE: Whazzup in Europe, Part 2

The Germans and the rest of Europe is in big trouble. They let to many immigrants from the middle east and have big muslim populations. I forget the number of children Europeans have compared to middle eastern but i think it is like 2 middle eastern to every 1 european child born, so over time Europe will be replaced with the native population and overrun with people of middle eastern decent.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2006, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Whazzup in Europe, Part 2

My sister argues that "guest workers" is as bad as illegal workers. Here's why.

Guest workers have no incentive to learn to love the host country as they have no incentive other than for work. But if the guest worker is offered a path to citizenship as a condition of entry, and allowed to work only if citizenship is their ultimate goal, then they will increasingly buy-in to the host country's laws and culture.

In contrast, a guest worker will, at best, feel nothing toward the host country and at worst, feel resentful and angry, especially if children are born in the host country. The kids will become cuturally acclimated to a country in which they are formally unwelcome to remain, thus breeding an underclass of people who hate the host and have no allegience to the Mother country. Sound like Europe?

B
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2006, 02:18 AM
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RE: Whazzup in Europe, Part 2

Botnst: You sisters argument makes good sense to me - I wonder how the 'argument against' can stack up?.
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