September 30, 2009

What Cha Looking At??? Got A Problem?!

As everyone knows I had a great time while in Germany.  But one thing I valued most was seeing what it is like outside of my home and culture.  There are many things I've picked up and want to add to my lifestyle.  And there are many things they can have to themselves.  But there were two cultural issues that I will blog about because I find them so interesting.

One thing I noticed immediately was the social differences.  For the most part here in the US we don't stare down people.  And when you get caught staring you either look away, speak, or smile.  Well I noticed they don't do that in many states in Germany.  So much that it bothered me, because of my culture I guess.  But after smiling at people staring me down only too get a cold response I needed to know what's the deal.  It's the 21st Century, I know they have seen a black person before.  So while over there me and my aunt would complain about the rudeness of the local people.  So one day at dinner we are all talking, we tell my uncle it's weird.  He says we only see it because of the racism in the US.  I would agree with that, when you are aware of the existance of racism you will notice it.  It's like buying an new car you don't notice how many people have that car until you buy it.  He doesn't think it's a big deal and we are making too much of it.  He goes on to say that German's love Americans.  But he says they don't like the Africans.  They feel like their country is small and has limited resources, then people come for these large country with resources and use theirs, whether it's jobs, land, or money for welfare and other social programs (Sounds familiar).  So in the same breath that he says racism is not a problem AND he declares that they have a problem with Africans.  Our immediate question was, how do they know we are American and not African???  I mean growing up in the States we can tell for the most part an African American Black (several generations removed from Africa) and an African Black person.  But how would they know?  They don't have 13 percent of their population Black.  Even the Ethiopians (they have a growing population there) there had to do a double take when they saw us there.  When were looking at places to visit in Germany, my uncle said we shouldn't go to Berlin.  I didn't understand why Berlin seems like a tourist city.  But he didn't go into details but he said it wouldn't be safe unless I was in a group.  Later looking up info on Germany I saw news reports and internet postings of racist attacks towards Ethiopians there.

GERMANY: Racist Attack Fuels Fear of Far Right
By Jess Smee

BERLIN, Apr 24 (IPS) - A brutal attack on a black German has left the victim fighting for his life and has reactivated fears about right-wing extremism in Germany.

Ermyas M, a 37-year-old engineer of Ethiopian descent, was attacked early on Easter morning while waiting at a tram stop in Potsdam in the eastern German state of Brandenburg. His assailants called him a "nigger", attacked him with a bottle and beat him to the ground.

The German citizen, who is married with two small children, was so badly injured he is in a coma in hospital.

Spurring headlines, political debate and protests by hundreds of Potsdam residents, the attack is a reminder of an unrelenting problem in Germany. Since reunification in 1990, more than 100 people have been killed in racist violence. Across German towns and cities, neo-Nazi groups routinely protest against foreigners.

In Potsdam, insecurity and anger prevail. "Until now we had an atmosphere here where residents, including black or coloured people, could go out at night without fear," mayor Jann Jakobs told the national daily SüddeutscheZeitung. "Now that has changed."

Not all Germans are racist or mean.  For the most the vast majority were not.  But the looks and rude dismissive attitudes were hard to over look.  But the real race ripple in Germany was with the Turks.  There is a good percentage of people from Turkey living in Germany.  And many German have a strong dislike toward poor Turks who move to Germany.  They say that the social services are so good that they can make a living having babies and getting welfare (once again, sounds familiar).

In a forum post entitled: WHY DO GERMANS HATE TURKS?

One lady writes:

I telly you why...
because they are rude, loud and disrispecting. Sissy pricks that are scared shitless by a fight 1 on 1, which explains why they always show up in packs. They are wannabe gangster that steal old ladies' purses and show it off like they just won an oscar for extraordinary achievements. Sad, innit?

They are not willing to become integrated whatsoever. It's not only turks... in general the islamic fuckers are getting on everyones nerves.

Oh, and since you do not know much about german history, I'm gonna help you out. We are not racists, we're patriots!!! lol
See? It's that easy.
If you have questions, shoot! My other lessons are not so free though

Now my cousins are mixed (African American and German) and one of them mention to me that they hate when people think they are Turkish because of their light complexion and straight hair. They are proud to be of African American descent.  My heart went out to him. They have to learn the same lesson on race that our mothers and fathers taught us here.

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