by Jo Schneider
I write out from a land that (still) surrounds me (as a middle-class, left-wing bourgeois child) as soft as cotton does, and it protects me from bad experiences all around the World. I’ve never been discriminated, at least not openly, and certainly not because of my race, culture or nationality. Tall, thin, white and well dressed, I get through every corner of the world; that has been my experience until now. A doorman at a club has never rejected me, I was never denied as a member of anything, and even USA’s Homeland Security Office wave aside, bored. In my life, the summit of discrimination was some innocuous anti-German needles from a Norwegian exchange student. A joke, really.
What I really appreciate and love from this country, appears to me like an execration in questions like perceiving discrimination: it appears impossible to us, the German Germans (those white-to-the-bone children of German parents and grandsons of German grandfathers), not to be at the sunny side of life; that means, we condescend in will and consciousness with poverty and lawlessness, but that hasn’t got anything to do with discrimination, but with brutishness and the need of collecting experiences.
Is it indeed a sophistry when I say that I’m twice discriminated with this manifest indiscrimination? My words “I want to feel someday discriminated too” at the beginning of this text, may be consciously too out of line, but they comprehend a nuclear point that appears to me as fundamental nowadays, when a decisive debate about Muslim immigrants takes place in Germany: How on Earth could a regular “original German” (as some name them now) understand, how it feels like to be discriminated because of your origin, culture or colour of skin? How should anybody that belongs to the dominant culture and race (which apparently protects them worldwide from discrimination) measure the situation of those, who can’t find a way in to that culture, or even worse, who are rejected to get into that culture?
Without experiencing a daily discrimination, I can only have a slight idea about how obscene it has to feel like, as an aggrieved party, when everyone of those in this land who discriminate collectively the Muslim immigrants, talk about “discrimination” when they are answered with acrid objections –and not just from those immigrants. The experience of a real discrimination regarding religion, culture and colour of skin would scotch the culture of crisis, of breaking taboos, of “we should be able to say…”.
Until that happens (and it could not happen at all, that would be paradoxical), it should be possible to say again that the bourgeois “Original Germans” are clueless wimps, and it would be good for them to be discriminated somewhere (and therefore that this people (we) would surely have to deal with their hubris), and know how it feels like to be a hard-to-integrate minority.
© Jo Schneider
Ralph del Valle