Playing games: German integration commission and Left politician excel at mediocrity

Several mainstream German politicians have sharply criticized the Federal Government’s integration commission and its recently presented final report. “The expert commission not only deliberately ignored its task, but instead took a relatively one-sided position on general integration-political issues without being asked to do so,” a CDU politician Christoph de Vries told a German daily.

The task of the commission was to “show how much immigration Germany can sustain under which framework conditions with a view to integration”, explained the member of the Bundestag to daily Die Welt. The starting point for this was the Federal Government’s definition of a “target corridor” of up to 220 000 immigrants per year.

The expert commission for integration includes 25 members under the leadership of the integration officer Annette Widmann-Mauz (CDU). It presented its final report recently in which the main recommendation was to stop using the term “migration background”. Instead, the panel wants everyone to speak of “immigrants and their (direct) descendants” in future.

“Verbal acrobatics about migration terms instead of a substantial discussion of integration deficits helps neither the migrants nor the majority society”, complained de Vries. Furthermore, the commission described integration as “a task of the state and society at large” and “not as a responsibility of migrants”.

Integration deficits are “largely ignored and integration ability is rejected as a category, although there are scientifically recognized indicators such as labour force participation, educational qualifications or delinquency” to measure the success of integration the CDU member complained.

Another member of Angela Merkel’s CDU, Christoph Bernstiel also accused the commission of having “completely missed” its actual goal. The paper reads “in many places like minutes from an academic debating club” that “focuses on denouncing terms”. The question “whether the term migration background is discriminatory” is of secondary importance. His party colleague Marian Wendt made a similar statement: “Instead of pointing out problems and suggested solutions, the report of the expert committee prefers to deal with terminology”.

The criticism of integration researcher Ruud Koopmans also goes in the same direction: “Unfortunately, the integration commission follows the academic fashion of discussing terminology rather than the underlying phenomena,” he told Die Welt. “The belief that new words can create a new reality is predominant. Any new term for a migration background would be perceived as stigmatizing again after five years.”

This kind of appalling arrogance – this time from a Left politician – has also struck ordinary voters. While many citizens are fighting for their livelihoods because of the harsh Corona measures, Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow played games on his cell phone during a Corona online conference in which the lockdown extension was debated, which has caused fierce criticism nationwide. The pandemic has quite literally been a matter of life and death, in which the livelihoods of millions and perhaps the future of an entire generation of students are at stake.

The state politician openly boasted on social media that he was “up to level ten” of Candy Crush during the Corona summit of state leaders and the Chancellor. Candy Crush is a puzzle game that is played on smartphones.

Meanwhile, the number of left-wing extremist acts of violence has risen sharply in the past year. The authorities registered 1 359 corresponding violent crimes, as reported by Welt am Sonntag, citing a response from the federal government to a request from FDP member of the Bundestag, Linda Teuteberg. This corresponds to an increase of 29 percent compared to 2019. At that time, 1 052 acts of violence were recorded. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, a total of 9 973 left-wing extremist crimes were identified in 2020. The number is thus roughly on a par with the previous year.

Teuteberg told the newspaper that “the tendency in left-wing extremism to increasingly violent acts is also worrying – there is no ethical superiority of any variant of violent extremism and any trivialization of criminal activity as activism should be forbidden”.

Last year, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution observed a radicalization of the left-wing extremist scene and warned against the “emergence of terrorist structures in left-wing extremism”. “Serious physical injuries to the victims up to possible death are accepted approvingly,” it said in an internal analysis.

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Saxony came to the same conclusion: In Leipzig in particular, “the violence-oriented left-wing extremist scene is reaching a new level of escalation through the criminal and violent acts it has committed”.

Lower Saxony’s police chief Axel Brockmann warned of a qualitative and quantitative increase in left-wing extremist violence .

And while leftists debate terminology and play games during debates, politicians of the AfD are targeted by violent left-wing extremists. The latest victim is Marie-Thérèse Kaiser from the AfD Rotenburg. Suspected left-wing extremist perpetrators vandalized the house in which she lives and a car parked in front of it.

A suspected attack on the car of a Saxon AfD politician is currently being investatigated by the State Criminal Police Office (LKA) Saxony. The reason for this are several missing and loosened wheel nuts on the car of the AfD district chairman of North Saxony and Bundestag candidate, René Bochmann, the AfD announced last week. According to the Saxon AfD, Bochmann noticed while driving that the steering wheel was moving uncontrollably. He was only barely able to prevent a collision with an older passerby.

According to the AfD, the perpetrators are from the left-wing extremist spectrum. Jörg Urban, the AfD state chairman in Saxony, reacted in horror: “This cowardly attack leaves me speechless. Here the death of a politician and other bystanders was accepted approvingly! Apparently some opponents of the AfD have long since abandoned a democratic basic order.”

The attack continues a long series of crimes against members and supporters of the AfD. People are regularly assaulted and sometimes seriously injured. Election posters for the AfD are always the target of widespread vandalism and AfD information stands have been destroyed and party’s electoral activists have been beaten and kicked.

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