ON THE STEALING, ROBBERY AND SEXUAL ABUSE ON NEW YEAR DAY IN COLOGNE – Dr. John Emeka Akude
I decided to wait a while before commenting on the latest development in my beloved city of Cologne, Germany, where ladies were robbed of their mobile phones and purses and also sexually abused during the New Year celebrations on the night of the 31st of December last year (2015). It was necessary to wait because it was clear to me from the beginning that the police was not coming out with the facts. Now, the situation is much clearer. It is proven that Arabs and North Africans (mainly Moroccans) were the perpetrators of the above-named shameful crimes. Though we should all do well to resist the temptation of condemning every Arabian or North African.
Notwithstanding the fact that racism (overt and covert) is an everyday experience for those of us non-white German residents, Germany is a foreigner-friendly nation. I have been saying this for years and the recent actions of Chancellor Angela Merkel regarding the provision of succor to Syrian and other refugees underline this fact. Though life here has not been a bed of roses for us (just as it is not anywhere in the world), I am having a very nice time here, despite my being black. When this story developed last weekend, some were quick to quip that it is racist to say that those criminals are foreigners and asylum seekers. Now we know this is true, they really are. And we have to stand by the truth at all times no matter whose ox is gored. I have to say that a crime remains a crime irrespective of the skin colours of the criminals or those of their victims. And crimes should be adequately punished, if only to discourage the continuation of their perpetration and bring justice to the victims.
Majority of us come from countries where the states and the politicians care less about us, where politicians steal the national coffers empty and send the armies and the police to harass, imprison and shoot at us when we complain or demonstrate against their criminal neglect. And when we come to Germany, we meet exactly the opposite situation: the state cares for us. Even when we have not worked and not paid anything into the social security system, the state finances our existence, helps us learn the language and helps us to integrate ourselves into the system by learning trades and finding jobs. This is highly commendable, though the system is not perfect. But where on earth is the system perfect? And that is why I don’t understand why some of us should be abusing these chances instead of using them to make something out of our lives. We should all bear in mind that we are all ambassadors of wherever we come from and our behaviours will have repercussions on other people who look like us. This may be right or wrong, but human beings are just like that. So if we want to be respected by others, we have to start by respecting ourselves.
I will be very happy to see those criminals adequately punished. If the law says that they should be deported, then so be it. Even if deporting them will endanger their lives in their countries of birth, it is still better for the lives of a few criminals to be endangered than to let those few criminals endanger the lives of millions of innocent migrants in Germany. I am saying this because I am afraid that if the German state continues to treat such issues with the usual laxity, Germans may start taking the laws into their hands and at that point, it becomes dangerous for all of us. For example, pepper spray is sold out in Cologne this week. Even though this is a defensive move, it clearly demonstrates a loss of confidence in the state to protect the citizens. Quite often in similar situations, the switch from defence to offense could be very swift. And for those of us who keep referring to the provisions of the German constitution regarding the issue of deportation, I have to say that constitutions are products of specific situations and if a specific situation that formed the basis of a specific provision in the constitution changes, then it makes sense to change the provisions of the constitution in order to accommodate the new situation.
Finally, I have to say that Germany is a very good country and anybody that doesn’t like it should simply get out and not spoil it for us!!!
Dr. John Emeka Akude is a Political Scientist and Lecturer based in Germany. He is a prolific writer and political commentator