This is the second in a five-part series of articles from the German news site Bild based on excerpts from Heinz Buschkowsky’s new book, Neukölln ist Überall (“Neukölln is everywhere”), and interviews with the author.
Part 1 is here.
Part 2 was translated by JLH.
The Bitter Truth About Our Social System
Heinz Buschkowsky writes about why he thinks multiculti is a failure.
Berlin: This book will cause talk! Heinz Buschkowsky (64, SPD) mayor of Berlin-Neukölln, describes the bitterness of everyday life in his district with 41% immigrants, and why he believes that multiculti has failed.
In his foreword, he makes it clear that “facts and circumstances described never refer to all immigrants, all Muslims, all recipients of welfare and all young people.”
Bild is publishing exclusive excerpts.
By Heinz Buschkowsky
I am always surprised in conversations at how casually people assume that it is the natural task of the community to support them, and how they plan their lives and families around that. This perception is especially widespread among single parents.
That it is sufficient service to the community to give birth and nurture is an unshakable justification which rejects any doubt as morally bankrupt.
A considerable portion of the clientele (of Job Centers, etc.) are those who — in the lovely language of the employment agency — are not well-suited to the employment market.
Previously, they were called “people with multiple intervention secrets.” Since this designation seemed too discriminatory, the concept of the “complex profile situation” is used. In plain German, this means nothing more or less than insolvency, addiction problems, anti-social behavior.
Another group comprises the people who regard the social system as an egg-laying hen or, put more respectably, have accepted it as a general basis of life. Welfare benefits take care of the basic necessities of life like rent, food and drink, energy and health costs. And for fun extras, there can always be an opportunity for extra income.
Of course, there has always been what is known in bureaucratese as “benefits by fraud.” Even if it were not the case that people, for instance asylum-seekers, are made accustomed to social benefits and forbidden employment, you cannot complain if they achieve a polished professionalism and are in better command of the legal material than some specialists at the Job Center.
Official revenue cannot be the only source of income in many families. That would lead to many open parking areas in Neukölln which have not yet been occupied and further would be in stark contrast to the electronic entertainments and the vehicles that bring the children to school.
Again and again, the question is asked: how can parents, in spite of being on welfare, manage several jobs, or how do young, unemployed men acquire cars in the €100,000 price range?
The system of payment off-the-books is widespread. It is not the usual swindling and petty fraud that people in desperate situations try — getting a few benjamins past the authorities. It is a system.
Payments to the state are built in as indispensable (understandable) but then systematically circumvented. In these circles, there is no comprehension of the cohesion of community or of the principle: “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”
This thicket is impenetrable. For one thing, our Job Center with 80,000 clients has a downright ridiculous armada of four fieldworkers, and therefore projects an absolutely amusing posture of intimidation. Besides, the familiar network of relationships makes looking in from the outside almost impossible.
This is about spheres of influence beyond our legal order. These are communities which definitely have norms and values — just not ours. And which have their own perception about whom to be “solid” with. It is not the state community — it is the family. Only its interests matter.
German norms are valid only so long as they are useful and/or bearable. Thereafter, they quickly lose significance, replaced by ritual customs and traditional forms of behavior with enormously authoritarian impact. Lifestyles diverging from that are quickly judged bad, sloppy or unbelieving. “They live like Germans” is not a compliment.
The messages we send out on this subject are too weak and approach the absurd. When the Chancellor appeals to immigrants to respect German borders, that is almost a gesture of submission. I do not consider the recently enacted reform of marriage law any differently: since 2009, there is no ban on purely religious marriages.
Seyran Ate, the Turkish women’s rights and human rights lawyer is quite right to criticize: “This opens the door to Muslim polygamy” — four wives are allowed — “and forced marriages in Germany.”
This “marriage light,” before Allah alone, which is not even permitted in Turkey, leads to women being completely without legal rights and unable to claim rights to inheritance or support. In terms of gender equality, a huge step backward to Fred Flintstone.
The reasoning for this just melts in your mouth: “Experience has shown that other (than Catholic and Protestant) religious communities in Germany — despite repeated suggestions from various German authorities — could not be moved to adapt their marriage practices to § 67, 67a of the marital status law” (i.e., church marriage allowable only after official state marriage).
In plain German: Protestants and Catholics conform to the rule. Others, like the Muslims, don’t give a damn for the rule, so it can go to Hell.
I do not believe there can be a greater admission of failure. If we learn from the example, we could make life easier and more comfortable for a lot of little rascals in Germany. It is easy to make rules that no one will follow.
Another noteworthy example shows how quickly and submissively our society is drawing back. In the “youth detention center” in Berlin, the inmates no longer receive any food that contains pork. Reason for the decree: “70% of the detainees have an immigration background. For religious reasons, they may not eat pork. Excess sausages are not profitable.”
Clear. Logical. Whoever supplies the most criminal inmates dictates the menu. I can imagine how it would be if the situation were reversed. If there were only 30% Muslims, would liverwurst and sausages be offered? Hardly. Would not be right.
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb puts it plainly: “I do not discuss the laws of this land with anyone. Anyone who doesn’t like them can find another country, where he can get along better.”
Part 3: The Bitter Truth About Our Schools