Ignoring the fears of ethnic minorities
Germany’s ethnic minorities are quietly seething, said Ferda Ataman. Just a few weeks after a neo-Nazi tried to shoot up a synagogue on Yom Kippur and ended up killing two passersby, the main theme in the media is that many Germans feel political correctness is threatening their freedom of speech—specifically, their right to use racist terms. Hate crimes rose 20 percent from 2017 to 2018, and in the east, voters are throwing their support behind far-right, xenophobic parties who want to expel anyone who isn’t an ethnic German. In response, pundits reach out to these white voters to try to understand what’s driving them to embrace extremists, but they don’t ask minorities—including Asian-Germans, Turkish-Germans, Afro-Germans—how we feel about this scary trend. They lump us together as outsiders, when many of us are third-generation Germans. Germany is our native land, where our grandparents worked, paid taxes, died, and yet many of us have a “Plan B” for fleeing if it all comes crashing down. It’s not fair: We don’t want to leave. Minority Germans are model citizens, well-behaved and not prone to marching in the streets, but make no mistake: “They are angry. I am angry.” And we will make our anger known at the ballot box.