Europe’s Problem

Wow. Read this interview with human rights activist and UN advisor Rebecca Sommer. Her comments remind me of the remarks of nuns in this country who worked with the poor 40 years ago. The experience tended to toughen them up.

This is Europe’s problem. Our immigration problems are minor in comparison, something we can address in a reasonable and humane way if we merely put our minds to it.

18 comments… add one
  • Modulo Myself

    Yes, wow. A person nobody has ever heard of makes blanket unverifiable statements about immigrants on a website that has a ten-part series on the ‘red pill’ and something about ‘Eurabia’. And if you google her name, one of the first hits is The Daily Stormer. Charming. Is this really where you are headed, Dave? To fucking neo-nazi racist bullshit?

  • Egri Nök

    BS. If you google her name you will find her Wikipedia entry that proves her credibility. And yes, you will find hit pieces from neo-nazi websites who INSULT her.
    This level of lazy is stunning. You didn’t even bother to check what they actually had to say about her. This is taking “guilty by association” to a new level.
    Now, you’re a “fucking neo-nazi racist” even when neo-nazis insult you on their websites. Just the fact that they mention you is enough.

  • Andy

    Interesting the conclusions people will jump to by “googling her name” and briefly perusing the hits.

  • Modulo Myself

    For some dumb reason, I did check, and they’re pissed that she tried to take back something she said in the interview, which they loved, as did Dave and apparently Andy. So what’s your point? And I’m not sure how having a wikipedia entry is verification of all of the blanket claims she makes about refugees.

  • Modulo Myself

    Btw, you have a video on your site where a guy actually says that the Muslin Brotherhood penetrated the US Government and was a strong influence in the War on Terror. That checks out to me, totally.

  • I didn’t “love” it. I thought it was interesting.

  • Andy

    MM,

    She gave an interview – the content of that interview stands on its own and should be evaluated on its own.

    Reactions to someone’s comments are a separate issue and that is not something Ms. Sommer or anyone else can control. So the fact that some group – in this case, neo-nazi’s – use some of what she says for their own propaganda doesn’t automatically discredit what she said.

    In the same way, if some Communist rag found one of your blog posts or comments, highlighted it and spun it to their point of view I think you’d agree that it would be unfair to call you a Commie because Google’s search engine showed some results on the first page. That was really the point of my comment – evaluating the interview content by glancing at Google search results and then making sweeping claims it just plain lazy.

    Finally, the other lazy thing you’ve done here is assume that I (and Dave) “love” the interview. If you had read carefully the one sentence comment I wrote you’d have noticed that I didn’t say anything about the content of the interview itself much less given any opinion as to the legitimacy of Ms. Sommer’s view. Actually, I haven’t even read the interview yet.

  • Modulo Myself

    Well, I thought the interview was racist nonsense that was probably 90 bullshit. Every Muslim is a brainwashed liar who betrayed Rebecca Sommers by calling her a ‘stupid whore’. Yeah, sure.

    And Andy I was right about The Daily Stormer. That guy’s point was idiotic.

    My experience with Muslim refugees (from Syria and Iraq) has been very different than Rebecca Sommer’s.

  • My experience with Muslim refugees (from Syria and Iraq) has been very different than Rebecca Sommer’s.

    That actually is part of my point. The profile of the Middle Eastern migrants that Europe receives is very different from the profile of the Middle Eastern migrants that we do. Europe is the natural destination of Middle Eastern and African migrants just as the U. S. is the natural destination of migrants from Central America.

    Is Ms. Sommers characterizing the migrants she encounters in Germany fairly? I have no idea. I found it interesting that someone who apparently has been predisposed to consider these migrant favorably has made such a shift.

  • TastyBits

    Does anybody still wonder why I use poopiehead and stupidface?

    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
    – HST

    @Andy

    Reactions to someone’s comments are a separate issue and that is not something Ms. Sommer or anyone else can control. So the fact that some group – in this case, neo-nazi’s – use some of what she says for their own propaganda doesn’t automatically discredit what she said.

    If we substitute Mr. Trump for Ms. Sommer, would this still be correct? If so, why?

    (These are rhetorical questions.)

  • Modulo Myself

    Also, I have no problem with being called a Commie. Oh how terrifying! This is because a) I do think Marx has some interesting things to say about economics and the bourgeois and b) I don’t believe in any of the Marxist/Leninist/Stailinist/Maoist views of history. So any Communist paper and its fifteen readers could assume that I am both an enemy of the revolution, and somebody who has read the Grundrisse. But by the standards of the person who still thinks Commie is a great insult, having even tried to read the Grundrisse is enough to warrant it.

    So the verdict is that the person who wants to call me a Commie can call me it, free of charge.

  • Andy

    “My experience with Muslim refugees (from Syria and Iraq) has been very different than Rebecca Sommer’s.”

    In addition to what Dave said, it’s not uncommon for men and women to have very different experiences given that Muslim refugees tend to come from societies with very different ideas about gender roles than ours.

  • Modulo Myself

    She’s not talking about differences here, Dave. She’s talking about them as an alien brainwashed horde. This is how racists in America talk about Mexicans and blacks, and oddly enough, the racists are wrong.

  • Andy

    MM,

    I’ve skimmed most of the interview (it’s really long).

    I’ll just say this: I’ve been to around a half dozen Muslim in the Middle East, South Asia and East Africa. I don’t know if her description is representative of Muslim refugees generally, but it’s very descriptive of the countries many come from including most of the countries I’ve actually been to. These are extremely illiberal societies outside of a small coterie of elites. It should not be surprising that a non-trivial number of refugees from these countries hold illiberal views and don’t accept the precepts of secular western democracy, especially when it comes to gender roles, much less women’s rights.

    I think the fact that Ms. Sommers is a women made it worse for her – these are highly patriarchal shame cultures and refugee support organizations should probably have men deal with men and women deal with women. This is a lesson the US military learned the hard way. Ms. Sommers says she’s going to focus her future work on supporting women and I think that’s probably wise.

    I didn’t find her comments racist at all. Some were, perhaps, bigoted against some flavors of Islam and she is probably guilty of painting with too broad a swath with that brush. People do that all the time though, so I’m not particularly bothered by it.

    At the end of the day I think there’s a middle ground between the extreme narratives. All Muslim refugees are neither wolves in sheep’s clothing nor are they closet secularists ready and willing to adapt to Western norms.

  • In addition to what Andy said, she’s German. You say “racist”, I say “German”. Germany is an ethnic state as are Italy and Sweden. There are ethnic Turks living in Germany whose grandparents were born in Germany and aren’t citizens but are considered foreigners..

    The title of this post was “Europe’s Problem” for a reason. With the possible exception of France the countries of Europe don’t know how to be anything other than ethnic states. France’s issues are somewhat different. The foundations of the modern French state include the French language, outward secularism, and general adoption of French culture. It doesn’t matter whether your ancestors were from Africa, the Middle East, or Asia as long as you speak French, don’t display your religion on your sleeve, dress like a Frenchman, and have French attitudes. But that can present a problem for people from traditional Muslim cultures.

    Is that racism?

  • Modulo Myself

    Culture is expansive and complicated. Only in the hands of purists does it become something as inane as an operating system where you have to go around and weigh and measure everything. Anyway, culture everywhere seems to support inclusion, lack of borders, and no purity whatsoever. The push for ethnic states is not coming from any positive conception of what it means to be German or French (or American) but from a resentment-based view on what has been lost. Some of what has been lost is the nineteenth century racism–Germans, after all, reelected Merkel’s party.

  • Andy

    “Anyway, culture everywhere seems to support inclusion, lack of borders, and no purity whatsoever.”

    I’ve found the opposite to be true and your description is counter the definition of culture itself. Cultures are ultimately about group identities and thus are only inclusive when certain conditions are met.

    “The push for ethnic states is not coming from any positive conception of what it means to be German or French (or American) but from a resentment-based view on what has been lost. Some of what has been lost is the nineteenth century racism–Germans, after all, reelected Merkel’s party.”

    There is no “push” for ethnic states – they already exist. More ethnic states exist than those in Europe. And there is also the historical track record for multi-cultural states and it is not a good one.

  • Modulo Myself

    Sorry, I meant to type ‘everywhere now’. Yes, there is a group identity–it’s called belonging to the group that can handle change and flux, and that doesn’t exist through a principle of total war, as if every refugee or immigrant let in represents an assault on the real group. Younger people in American and western Europe are by and large pro-diversity and multiculturalism and against narrow groups id. They’re not idiots. Young people are great, but it’s also realpolitik. We’re just seeing older conceptions of identity die off or fail to have any power outside of cliche.

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