It Will Be A Long Debate

Generally, for as long as there is nothing left to debate about.

Migrants

When “Germany” debates something, especially “terminology,” they will do so until the cows come home. And then leave home again. And then come back home again. And so forth.

For 15 years now, the term used by German statisticians and politicians alike to denote foreigners and their descendants has been “people with a migration background.”

That was the label given to people who weren’t born into German citizenship. And to people whose mothers or fathers were not born German citizens. Today, that applies to a quarter of the population.

After two years of discussing how Germany could better acknowledge its status as a society of immigration, a SPECIALIST commission of 24 politicians and academics appointed by the government has submitted its report to Chancellor Angela Merkel. One of its recommendations is to stop using the terms “migration background” or “immigrant background.”

People should use the term “immigrants and their descendants,” commission chair Derya Caglar said. “In my case, this would mean that I am no longer the migrant, but rather the daughter or descendant of migrants.”

And We Don’t Like Swabians Either

You already knew that Berlin’s Left had problems with all of those annoying, gentrifying foreign out-of-towners who won’t leave town. Now Ärger (resentment) has broken out with gentrifying German out-of-towners from Swabia (the region around Stuttgart in southwestern Germany) who won’t leave either.

Swabians go home!

More specifically, “native” Prenzlauer Berg Berliners of the poltically correct kind are pissed off these days about the confusion that reigns whenever they want to order their local breakfast buns in the morning (called Schrippen here). The upwardly mobile Swabians who now live here too prefer calling them by the name they use for them down south in their own neck of the woods: Wecken. And this is just plain wrong. Or something. And an issue. A German issue even. A classic German petty bourgeoisie issue even, even.

In fact, this German petty bourgeoisie issue has become such a German petty bourgeoisie issue that Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Thierse (SPD) himself felt compelled to note in a recent newspaper interview that “I’m annoyed whenever I go to my local baker and find out that there are no more Schrippen for sale, only Wecken. In Berlin we say Schrippen – and the Swabians ought to get used to that.”

This would be funny except that he meant it. Which makes it funny after all, come to think of it. And I’m not even making this stuff up, people.

“Ich ärgere mich, wenn ich beim Bäcker erfahre, dass es keine Schrippen gibt, sondern Wecken. In Berlin sagt man Schrippen – daran könnten sich selbst Schwaben gewöhnen.”