Reflections on Germany’s election results

After the German federal election in September 2017 – where the right-wing AfD received almost 13% of the vote (making it the third-largest party in Germany) – GSBTB Open Art Shelter Manager Hania Hakiel shares some personal thoughts and reflections on the result.

I am sad and overwhelmed. Not surprised.

Just last year in a small circle of people I know personally:

  • My Muslim friend got pushed out of the train with a few mean comments on top.
  • A Syrian family was surrounded at the metro station and told they should go back home.
  • Refugee kids tell me how difficult it is to make friends with local children, that they never get invited to the homes of their schoolmates.
  • Asylum seekers who live in Brandenburg are afraid to leave their homes after dark, their bikes are being destroyed, un-welcome signs painted on the walls. They report being treated like Invisibles, even in supermarkets.
  • Muslim women ask me to join them in various offices, because “when they go with a white person, nobody screams at them and the workers are much more helpful”.

Just normal day to day struggles. Nothing big that media would care about…

I am also a migrant. A migrant with the ridiculous privilege of “looking German”, speaking silly German and having no religion. I would love to tell you all, that you are safe and welcomed here. But after these election results, I feel like someone took away my right to say that. Many people do not want me to call “here” my home. I cannot vote. My influence is limited. My voice is the voice of an alien. As much as countries and nations are concepts, they create real systems of oppression or benefit.

You are welcomed in my heart, mind, and action. You are being welcomed into the hearts, minds, and actions of many other people! You are being loved and appreciated. It is as much as I can promise… I wish it was enough to comfort you. I know it is not. We stay together.