Yesterday I told my roommate that the UK will vote 52-48 in favor of leaving.
Well, as it turns out I can see in the future. Yay me.
As sad as I am about the results of last night, I'm not going to insult/condemn anyone.
At least I'll try not to.
First up, I know as much about politics as about 80% of the people, which is little to nothing.
Second, this is not about what you voted for. It's about why you voted for whatever it is you voted for.
The following is only my opinion, and I'm not saying that it's necessarily the right opinion, but it's mine and this is my blog so deal with it.
Also, I know that I'm pretty much completely leaving out the economic side of things. Cause I know nothing about that either. Except that I should go and spend some money on amazon.co.uk right now.
I'm just someone who studies cultures and languages and sociology. I have big ideas and big beliefs about pretty much everything but no actual clue on how to turn those ideas into reality.
With that being said, here we go.
I don't know whether it is my upbringing or the fact that I travelled around the world or maybe both, but I am one of those people who has little to no feeling of nationalism.
I was born in Germany, but I would not necessarily call me a German. If anything, I would call me a “Pottkind,” which translates to being someone from the Ruhr Area. And don't get me wrong, I like where I was born, and at times (meaning during a soccer game) I might even feel a tiny sense of proudness. #BVB #echteLiebe
But I would never call my country the greatest one in the world, and I wouldn't want it to be. At least not if being the greatest means someone has to be smaller/poorer/worse off.
I know that I am incredibly lucky to be born in Germany, or the western world in general, and I know that this puts me in a very privileged position.
But what gives me the right to bomb other people or refuse them refuge?! (I know this is slightly off topic, but anyway.) Thankfully, the majority of people welcomes those refugees, whose last chance of survival is putting their wife and children into a boat that might not even make it to the other side.
Of course there are always people who think that in Europe they don't have to work, or that they can behave like the racist or sexist or just intolerant people that they are. But those people already exist in our own culture, it's not just “the others” who bring in the trouble.
As someone who grew up in a city with one of the highest unemployment and immigration rates in Germany, I know what I'm talking about. It doesn't matter whether you're German, Turkish, Polish, Italian, British or whatnot, there's always a small percentage of idiots around.
Immigration and integration are probably the most important thing in this whole debate.
And I'm not saying that everyone who voted “Leave” is a racist moron, I know that the reasons people might have chosen that option are a little more diverse than that. Generally speaking, I try not to generalize people. (Bad pun, very bad pun.)
Again, speaking from experience I can say that mistakes were made and that integration didn't go as planned. If people still cannot speak the language of the country they're in after living there for 20 years, something must have gone wrong. And I'm not talking about having an accent, I'm talking about not being able to say anything but “please” and “thank you.”
Again, the majority of people tries to adapt to the new culture, it's only those relatively few people who stand out negatively that get recognized.
Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say here is that you won't get your country back.
Immigration and integration have been there since the dawn of time. If you go back a couple of generations, I bet you'll realize that you're not as German/British/American/etc. as you might think.
Cultures get merged together, so naturally new conflicts arise and new scapegoats get picked.
Cause we're all selfish idiots at times (me included).
Just look back 70 years: the Jews were responsible for Germany's problems.
No, they weren't, racist assholes were.
Just look back 30/20/10 years: Turkish/Italian/Polish people are responsible for Germany's problems.
No, they weren't, racist assholes were.
Just look at today: refugees from all over the world are responsible for our problems.
No, they aren't, racists and money-hungry assholes are.
What do you expect when you don't even give people a chance to acclimatize to their new surroundings, if you separate them from the rest of society and if you set their homes on fire?
Of course integration is not cheap, and it might not work all the time. And of course there are a zillion other problems each country has to deal with.
I know the EU has a ton of problems and is far from perfect, and I know that a bunch of people voted out just because of that very reason. And to be honest, I can't even blame them for that.
But we’re all in this world together, and it's the only world we have (for now, who knows where we are in 200 years #BeamMeUpScotty). Wherever someone was born, in whatever culture someone was brought up, we can all share the same interests, the same sense of humor, the same taste in music. The more we embrace that sense of community, the better the world will be.
If traveling the world has taught me one thing, it's that I strongly believe that the only way we get out of this whole mess is the elimination of borders, the elimination of separating “us” from “them.”
And I don't mean that we all have to live the same way, but rather respect and embrace our differences and learn from each other. Just because something is different doesn't mean it's bad.
As I said, I know little to nothing about politics, meaning I don't have a masterplan for any of my thoughts. All I know is that something must be done. And maybe this is my inner German speaking, but going back to the past is not the way.
Anyway, let's see what the future holds. I hope it's a bright and peaceful one.
My German passport lets me travel to 173 countries without the need of a visa.
I was born in to the middle class. I never had to starve. I never had to fear for my life.
It's easy to forget that even when you're feeling let down by your government/when you lost your job/when you lost your home, you're still better off than 2/3 of the world's population.