Germany’s Post-Cologne Hysteria – The New York Times

Good nuanced commentary by Anna Sauerbrey, an editor on the opinion page of the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel:

… precisely when the country needs a coolheaded conversation about the impact of Germany’s new refugee population, we’re playing musical chairs: Everybody runs for a seat to the left and to the right, afraid to remain in the middle, apparently undecided.

The irony is that the Cologne attacks, by highlighting the issue of refugees and their culture, raise an incredibly important question and at the same time make it almost impossible to have a reasonable conversation about it.

This isn’t the first wave of migrants to postwar Germany, and it’s not the first time that the left and the right have played their respective roles of under- and overestimating the challenges of integration.

The left has long ignored the established correlations between crime and the poverty and poor education that plague refugee communities; the right has long overestimated the link between the refugees’ culture and criminal activity, even when studies show no such link exists (excepting so-called crimes of honor, which are extremely rare).

The real question we should be asking is not whether there is something inherently wrong with the refugees, but whether Germany is doing an effective job of integrating them — and if not, whether something can be done to change that.

None of this, however, fits into a TV sound bite or a tweet. Even if it did, it would probably fail to reach its audience in the heated atmosphere of the moment.

Assumptions have replaced observation, assertion has replaced assessment, and ideology has replaced evidence. With its vision thus distorted, Germany is speeding toward a multicultural society, chased by the mob on the Internet, without any idea of what that society should look like.

We need to regain our sense of balance — or it’s just a question of time until we hit a wall.

Source: Germany’s Post-Cologne Hysteria – The New York Times

Much more nuanced than the Globe’s Margaret Wente:

Germany’s brutal immigrant awakening

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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