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Konrad Werner: If you vote for a racist person, you might be racist

The AfD and their voters hate Germany's integration commissioner because they don't believe in integration. That's the whole point.

Image for Konrad Werner: If you vote for a racist person, you might be racist
Photo courtesy of Metropolico.org (CC BY-SA 2.0)

If you listen to fascists, you know what they’re going to do. Hannah Arendt once said something like that. This week, Alexander Gauland – one of the AfD’s leading candidates in next month’s election – said that Germany’s integration commissioner, Aydan Özoguz, should be “entsorgt” in Anatolia. Entsorgen is what Germans have to do with any Müll that won’t go in the gelbe Tonne. It breaks their hearts.

He said this – to a campaign rally crowd in a small town called Eichsfeld – because, back in May, Özoguz wrote in the Tagesspiegel that a “specifically German culture, beyond its language, was simply not identifiable.” Because: “Historically, regional cultures, immigration and diversity have formed our history. Globalization and the pluralization of living worlds have led to a further multiplication of that diversity.” That is sort of a good point about regional cultures. Nation states are political constructs, not cultural ones, if you ask me. Most ideas or prejudices or images that define national characteristics are actually just local things, food mainly, magnified to represent the whole country. Countries are just outdated political ideas that were invented in the 19th century so we could justify building empires.

Anyway, Gauland disagrees with this, and has been bringing up Özoguz’s statement a lot during the election campaign. “A German-Turk says this,” he told the people of Eichsfeld. “Why don’t you invite her to Eichsfeld and tell her what specifically German culture is? After that she won’t ever come back here, and we will be able, thank God, to entsorg her in Anatolia.”

Özoguz is from Hamburg, but that, reckons Gauland, isn’t where she should get “entsorgt” – because, well, look at her, she’s a little bit brown and she’s got Zs in all the wrong places. That’s because he’s a racist man, and people vote for him because they’re racist too. Trau dich Deutschland – trust yourself to be properly racist again.

Despite the massive row he caused – even Merkel said something this time – and the fact that he might face legal action, Gauland did not repent. “I stick with it – people who have these opinions don’t belong in this country,” he told Die Welt. He would like “Mrs. Özoguz to return to where she is apparently better suited.” Return!

The point Gauland was really making, though, is that Aydan Özoguz’s job – integration commissioner, that means being in charge of integrating different cultures into society – is a massive lie. Gauland and the AfD and their voters don’t actually believe in integration. They just want all the brown people to fuck off and die in another country so they can eat bland food and be white in peace. That is all there is to it. Das wird man wohl noch sagen dürfen.