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Old 10-18-2010, 12:51 PM   #1
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Merkel says no to muslims

Merkel says German multi-cultural society has failed - Yahoo! News

Wow.
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:30 PM   #2
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Well, your headline is putting it in a bit too simple, Wilderesque terms, which are not entirely correct.
While I strongly disagree with her and don't see "Multikulti" having failed in its entirety, I cannot help but defend her against claims that she says no to muslims in general.
Then again, when I read that she said who doesn't embrace the Christian values has no place in Germany, I thought "Oh shit, I have to leave the country!" It made me wonder which Christian values to embrace exactly.
Maybe a priest could help me with that question, but I have a feeling I don't really belong to his target group anymore.
As many other European countries, Germany also has problems with some of its immigrants. Mostly those living here in third generation, who are structurally disadvantaged and are neither fully accepted here nor in their home countries. We also have poor immigration sometimes from the first generation on, when people never learned the language and still live the way they left their original home countries (a point Gul raised as well). I felt bad when at the recent soccer match Germany - Turkey Turkish fans in the stadium booed at Mesut Özil every time he was in possession of the ball, because three years ago he decided to play for Germany instead of Turkey. That's a very poor showing by them.
But those problems are grounded in fundamental mistakes that have been made back in the 1960s when the first guest workers from Italy, Greece and Turkey started to come, by invitation, to Germany. The government always saw them as extra working force for those jobs the Germans wouldn't do, as in those days we had virtual full employment and thus people could choose where they would want to work. First, we brought them here but never provided for them going back if times get rough, thinking the economy would always be as strong as it was back then. It shouldn't surprise anyone that when the economy faltered in the 1970s, there was little intention by the Turkish immigrants to go back into the impoverished towns where they grew up, for economical reasons, but also because their families back in Turkey depended on the monthly checque. Second, when those guest workers came here, the government allotted them homes in the main cities, such as Berlin, but didn't allow them to move and settle freely within the cities. That is why we now have city districts where the majority of people is with Turkish or Arabic background and Germans are the minority.
We failed to establish any real form of immigration infrastructure until sometime in the 1990s, and even then what was done was only very poor and chronically underfunded.
This is not to say that the immigrants who refused to learn the language, refused to look for good education for their children and refused to integrate into the society they chose as their new homes, and it most definitely doesn't excuse any small kid to call me an asshole for being a German, or brothers killing their sisters for having a German boyfriend.
But it shows that we are facing a very complex situation, where a simple "Mulitkulti has failed" is not going to cut it.
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:26 PM   #3
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this was disappointing.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:10 PM   #4
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it's not working
reactions from society teaches us this much, whether we agree with the sentiments behind it or not

so yeah, it could be labelled a failure
perhaps it's even the best label for some progress to finally be made on this topic
we need new ideas
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:09 PM   #5
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Wonder how many pages of comments would be here if President Obama said this?
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:13 PM   #6
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Wow don't know what to say to that. I'm really surprised at what she has said.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:27 PM   #7
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I not buying it.


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Merkel says nine to muslims
would have been more believable.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Vega View Post
Well, your headline is putting it in a bit too simple, Wilderesque terms, which are not entirely correct.
While I strongly disagree with her and don't see "Multikulti" having failed in its entirety, I cannot help but defend her against claims that she says no to muslims in general.
Then again, when I read that she said who doesn't embrace the Christian values has no place in Germany, I thought "Oh shit, I have to leave the country!" It made me wonder which Christian values to embrace exactly.
Maybe a priest could help me with that question, but I have a feeling I don't really belong to his target group anymore.
As many other European countries, Germany also has problems with some of its immigrants. Mostly those living here in third generation, who are structurally disadvantaged and are neither fully accepted here nor in their home countries. We also have poor immigration sometimes from the first generation on, when people never learned the language and still live the way they left their original home countries (a point Gul raised as well). I felt bad when at the recent soccer match Germany - Turkey Turkish fans in the stadium booed at Mesut Özil every time he was in possession of the ball, because three years ago he decided to play for Germany instead of Turkey. That's a very poor showing by them.
But those problems are grounded in fundamental mistakes that have been made back in the 1960s when the first guest workers from Italy, Greece and Turkey started to come, by invitation, to Germany. The government always saw them as extra working force for those jobs the Germans wouldn't do, as in those days we had virtual full employment and thus people could choose where they would want to work. First, we brought them here but never provided for them going back if times get rough, thinking the economy would always be as strong as it was back then. It shouldn't surprise anyone that when the economy faltered in the 1970s, there was little intention by the Turkish immigrants to go back into the impoverished towns where they grew up, for economical reasons, but also because their families back in Turkey depended on the monthly checque. Second, when those guest workers came here, the government allotted them homes in the main cities, such as Berlin, but didn't allow them to move and settle freely within the cities. That is why we now have city districts where the majority of people is with Turkish or Arabic background and Germans are the minority.
We failed to establish any real form of immigration infrastructure until sometime in the 1990s, and even then what was done was only very poor and chronically underfunded.
This is not to say that the immigrants who refused to learn the language, refused to look for good education for their children and refused to integrate into the society they chose as their new homes, and it most definitely doesn't excuse any small kid to call me an asshole for being a German, or brothers killing their sisters for having a German boyfriend.
But it shows that we are facing a very complex situation, where a simple "Mulitkulti has failed" is not going to cut it.

Very valid points there. I am an immigrant in Germany - I have been here for 2.5 years. And what have I seen in the time since I have been here is that the ones who bitch and complain the most are the one who simply refuse to intergrate themselves. As far as I am concerned, if you are not willing to learn a language and intergrate into the society, then you shouldn't move to a foreign country in the first place. I am sorry, but it is that simple. Only when you interact with other cultures will you learn to be open to those cultures - you will learn something new, something different. Living in a foreign country yet choosing to only hang out with people from your own culture and/or background, closes the doors to many other things.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:41 PM   #9
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If I lived in a foreign country. I would learn the language and would want to be a valuable part of their society.

My neighbors are from Eygpt. They speak fluent english. Both work and pay taxes. They are of a great value to my country. There children attended public schools, are excellent students. One goes to a university and the other, will attend after high school. She wants to be a doctor.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:45 PM   #10
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When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:01 PM   #11
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I agree, Pearl. I would certainly learn german if I lived in Germany. I wouldn't expect everyone in Germany to speak my native language. Which is english.
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:06 PM   #12
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I think realistically speaking, sometimes that is easier said than done, even when people have the best intentions to integrate into their new communities.

How many of us posting here speak multiple languages completely fluently and can really appreciate the difficulties and cultural shocks of emigration?

I guess I'm a bit more laissez-faire on this issue.
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:09 PM   #13
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When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
are you saying we should feed the Christians to the lions?
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:15 PM   #14
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I think realistically speaking, sometimes that is easier said than done, even when people have the best intentions to integrate into their new communities.

How many of us posting here speak multiple languages completely fluently and can really appreciate the difficulties and cultural shocks of emigration?

I guess I'm a bit more laissez-faire on this issue.
I understand what you are saying and of course, it does take some time. To learn a new language, culture, etc. But, there are those who are going to refuse to do it. I have some spanish speaking people in my neighborhood, who refuse to speak english. Their children need to know it for school. And if you have lived in a country for several years. You should have a working knowledge of the primary language. Spanish to english is much easier than Arabic to english. Heck, even I can read some spanish and haven't taken a course in it for years.
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:28 AM   #15
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are you saying we should feed the Christians to the lions?
What's with you and your sarcasm?
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:06 AM   #16
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I see often where people have managed to shield themselves for generations. I grew up in a conservative Dutch community though I'm American born and so were my parents. These days, Holland is quite liberal and diverse, generally very forward-thinking, but this community I grew up in is like it's own little bubble. The technology has advanced but the attitudes and traditions (and in many cases, the language) are frozen time from 100 or more years ago. Their idea of "participation" in politics does not extend beyond being nominated for Elder or Deacon at church or perhaps observing Synod. The rest of the world might as well not exist. I'm sure this sort of thing happens in many ethnic communities. We cannot assume that just because we were born into citizenship means we are any more integrated or any less influenced by archaic traditions and attitudes.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:45 AM   #17
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maybe he's still bitter over being rejected by laura winslow.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:44 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anitram View Post
I think realistically speaking, sometimes that is easier said than done, even when people have the best intentions to integrate into their new communities.

How many of us posting here speak multiple languages completely fluently and can really appreciate the difficulties and cultural shocks of emigration?

I guess I'm a bit more laissez-faire on this issue.
Sometimes it is easier said than done... Sometimes being the key word. For example if you are 60 when you move to a foreign country. Learning a new language at that age is certainly not easy. But when someone in their 30's move to another country, and their children are born in that country and children grow up not being able to properly speak the language of a country they are living in - that is wrong. And that happens often, and happen usually because their parents only interact with people from their own culture, and they only speak their mother-tongue to their children at home. I have watched things on TV here in Germany - cases of children who are 11 and were born in Germany (their parents are immigrants) and the children can not speak german properly. And I know it is the same problem with large number of Hispanic people in the USA.

I am very familiar with the culture shock because I have lived in 3 countries, with 3 different languages, and 3 completely different cultures and attitudes. But every time I moved I tried to make myself fit-in and not feel like an outsider. But you have to want to do that.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:26 PM   #19
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In Turkey and other countries there is whole diasporas of German retirees moving there to enjoy the sun for their last years. They are proud when the people around start to learn German, start to offer German products and start to provide services that remind those old people of Germany. They hardly adapt to the local cultures and don't even make an attempt at learning the language.
That is the great, sad irony.

What Liesje said is also true. When you go to the US or Australia as a German, and you meet German descendants there who still celebrate their roots, you'll see that they are celebrating something which is in fact 150 years or so old, ie. from the time when their ancestors move over. I always remember the German fest in South Australia, a town called Hahndorf. It was certainly an experience, but what you could see there as German culture was what you may see here at some traditional street festivities when they are celebrating times past. It's got nothing to do with today's Germany.

And when you visit Turkey and talk to the local people there, usually they'll tell you "The Turkish you have there, they are not Turkish for us. They are preserving a culture that doesn't resemble the modern Turkey."

My flatmate, who is Russian, now teaches German at an institution where young immigrants go who have trouble in school and are behind in learning. They can speak some German, if they really want even more than what they usually are willing to, but most lack even the most basic grammar. Often enough, willingly so. Those usually are third generation immigrants who are confused with their cultural identities. The Germans say "You are Turkish", and the Turkish say "You are German". And they are somewhere in between, with hardly any future prospects and living in a country, and a society, they haven't chosen for themselves and which doesn't seem too welcoming.
It's a vicious circle for them, and they have often times given up hope for their situation to improve.

Working with refugees and torture victims etc. adds whole different dimensions to the problem, where people are illiterate and unable to learn either the language nor how to write, even after years in special programs offered.
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:38 PM   #20
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maybe he's still bitter over being rejected by laura winslow.
Nice.

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My flatmate, who is Russian, now teaches German at an institution where young immigrants go who have trouble in school and are behind in learning. They can speak some German, if they really want even more than what they usually are willing to, but most lack even the most basic grammar. Often enough, willingly so. Those usually are third generation immigrants who are confused with their cultural identities. The Germans say "You are Turkish", and the Turkish say "You are German". And they are somewhere in between, with hardly any future prospects and living in a country, and a society, they haven't chosen for themselves and which doesn't seem too welcoming.
It's a vicious circle for them, and they have often times given up hope for their situation to improve.
That's incredibly sad. I wish your flatmate luck with their teaching efforts-hopefully they can manage to reach and help these kids somehow.

Your comment about society not being that welcoming, that's been one of my big arguments in regards to immigration. I've lived in areas where the biggest foreign population we have are Mexicans. And that's it, otherwise generally, it's about as white as white can get in many of the towns I've lived in. And I know that a lot of white people don't really interact with the Mexicans unless they absolutely need to. In Colorado, in the town I lived in, most Mexicans lived up in the affordable housing (my family lived there, too) away from the main town itself, and the town cut off bus service up there for the people (the area I lived in had a lot of really rich people running things, they tended to kinda look down their noses at the "affordable housing" people in general), so they had to find other means to get to work, if they could. They were generally not properly able to interact with the rest of the area. Similar stories in the other towns I lived in-they come in to shop and to go to work or school, and that's about the only time I ever came in contact with any of them. And I'm thinking, "Okay, how exactly do you expect them to integrate into our society when it's set up so that they're essentially isolated from the rest of the town?" Just as they have to put in the work needed to settle into society, so do we.

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Working with refugees and torture victims etc. adds whole different dimensions to the problem, where people are illiterate and unable to learn either the language nor how to write, even after years in special programs offered.
Excellent point. That's something to consider, too.

I fully agree if you move to a new country, you should, if you're able to, learn the language and customs of the area, if for no other reason than your own safety and for necessity purposes. But I can also see the frustration and the issues involved for those who come over and don't assimilate right away, and I have some sympathy for them, too. Both sides need to learn a little give and take.

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