Everyone is well aware of the refugee topic in Germany. There are lots of aspects and sub-topics, but one I would like to share is the “Blame the Refugee Game”. Whether it’s on the news or during a dinner conversation, I notice some Germans love to blame everything on the Refugees (“Fluchtlinge”). And there’s a very neat trick of trying to get you to join in and jump on the Bandwagon!
One evening, I was chatting with an acquaintance here in Stuttgart. She herself has a mixed background – part Middle Eastern and part German. We were talking about an area of Stuttgart called Marienplatz, known for its diverse mix of people, and my hood for the past 3 years. She mentioned how she thought it was getting unsafe lately, and said “Since the new Refugee home was built, I notice lots more strange looking people and often feel unsafe. Don’t you feel that way too?”
There are two things wrong here:
1) Her statement is just plain wrong. This is the first thing I told her. Our apartment was right next to the Refugee home and there were absolutely no issues during the entire 3 years with people living at the home. I never felt unsafe, never had any issues except for exchanging shy smiles with people trying to adjust in a new environment. Quite the contrary, the only issues that existed were with the white German homeless/drug addicts drinking and being rowdy at Marienplatz. If anything, they were setting quite a bad example for new people to this country, by sitting around, getting drunk every day, and causing fights.
2) Her own father comes from a Middle Eastern background and likely also came to Germany to start a better life, albeit 30 years ago. How can one with such a background lose the compassion that there might be others who want to do the same thing? This is where I get really angry. If her father hadn’t done the same thing, she wouldn’t be here right now, able to judge people who are now in a similar situation as her father 30 years ago. How quickly people forget their own past!
She was expecting me to join in the “Blame Everything on the Refugees” game. It’s so easy. You mention something that is crappy in your neighbourhood or in your life in general and just connect it to the Refugees (either a Refugee home close by, Refugees walking around your neighbourhood, Refugees at the train station, etc.). And then you can go ahead and bash the Refugees and blame them for why everything in your life is crap.