Part II: Ethnicity and Migration

The Americas

As everybody knows the USA has been a state that has had great problems right from the start. They have always been a country torn by different opinions regarding slavery, e.g. and later the rights of the freed slaves. The founding fathers of the USA in the 18th century had already very different opinions regarding the “wisdom” of importing slaves from a completely foreign continent, i.e. from Sub-Saharan-Africa to the USA.
Even nowadays, after a bloody and very cruel Civil War in the 19th century and the bitter fight for equal rights during the Civil Rights Movement, do lots of African-American people still live in very dire circumstances and are discriminated against.

First the European migrants to America fought the First Nations and forced them to live in complete isolation in reservations. They were considered to be inferior humans, as were the African slaves. Later another such category was added: the Chinese who migrated to the USA. They were welcomed as menial workers and exploited while slaving away on constructing the railway lines across the continent. However, they were also considered as inferior beings.
Nowadays this attitude of discrimination also includes Latin American people who want to migrate to the USA.
If asked whether or not the migration of millions of Europeans to the American continents had been a good thing, hardly any member of the First Nations would say “yes”.
The same applies to Australia in regard to the Aborigines and New Zealand concerning Maoris.

In other words: Migration has always been a two-sided sword.

Migrants have either exploited the local populations and even driven them to extinction. Or often immigrants, people from different backgrounds and cultures have not been accepted into the society of the majority. Or only as a rather lowly paid workforce and only as long as they have done that work.

And nowhere in the world can we find a society that has really integrated greater numbers from different ethnicities and nowhere in the world have different ethnicities accepted each other as really equal.

There are lots of examples of these facts, all over the world, from China in the far east or Myanmar (Rohingyas) to Saudi-Arabia that exploits workers from Pakistan, Indonesia and other places in a horrible way. S-A also fights a cruel war against the people of Yemen. There is the bad example of Ethiopia with a raging civil war. There are the new riots and violence that tear South Africa apart again along lines of ethnicity. There is Turkey that does not accept that the Kurds want to have their own state. There are Syria, Iraq and also Israel where two or more nations/ cultures are constantly fighting each other.

And everywhere in the world where different ethnicities are forced to share a state there have been incredibly cruel civil wars at one time or another, or wars against other states with the worst atrocities committed towards each other. Just think of Rwanda and its genocide.

Even states that had been an entity for quite a long time, though consisting of different ethnicities, have broken apart under the worst imaginable circumstances as soon as the lid was lifted that had kept the wishes of the different peoples under control. Just think of Yugoslavia. It used to be one state after the First World War till the 1990s. Then it broke apart into the different areas of the different ethnicities who have hated each other for centuries so much that they committed the worst atrocities towards one another. Nowadays there exist seven states instead of one.

Singapore has been considered to be racially harmonious for a long time and yet, as the British Economist shows in an article „tensions between the races have simmered for decades“and „several racist incidents“ have happened

Europe and the Middle East needed two world wars to sort out their different ethnicities. After the first one there was nothing left of the “Habsburger Reich” or the “Ottoman Empire”. They just fell apart and/ or were forced into nation states.
After the second one, millions of Germans had to leave their homes in central and eastern Europe and move into one of the two German states. The only kind of “left-over” of a German ethnicity that lives in another nation state are the German speaking people of South Tyrol that belongs to Italy.
Since those two cruel world wars the Europeans (apart from Yugoslavia in the 1990s) have enjoyed peace for the longest period ever in history.

The historian Ian Kershaw views the ethnic homogeneity as one of the main reasons for the lasting peace in Europe. In: To Hell And Back, Europe 1914 – 1949, (Penguin Random House, 2015) he states:
“A determining component of interwar [1920s/30s] political instability had all but disappeared. The border shifts and population transfers in eastern Europe, though carried out amid terrible bloodshed, produced far greater degrees of ethnic homogeneity than had existed in the interwar period. That, too, added to the pacification of the eastern half of the continent, even though this took place under the heavy hand of Soviet repression.” (page 519)

Ethnic homogeneity finally helped to bring Europe the long sought for peace.

The Soviet Union was also not able to keep its different ethnicities under control in the long run. They also left the union and became independent states as soon as Gorbachev refused to use force to prevent this.

All these wars and bloodshed have proven hundredfold that forcing people of different ethnicity and cultures into Multikulti states does not make sense. The opposite: It has also proved to have a high potential for future unrest, civil war and more bloodshed.

And yet, some European parties and their protagonists show a dangerous naïveté when they demand completely open borders, more immigration, more Multikulti, more mixing of ethnicities in European states. Their ultimate aim is a Europe that is completely open, that is a mixture of all kinds of cultures and people of diverse ethnicity, that it is not a home to “Europeans only” any more. They should rather heed the warning history teaches us.

Of course, it would be nice if the world were such a place where everyone could live their lives wherever she or he wants in whatever way she or he prefers. In such an unrealistic dreamworld the individual chooses where he/ she wants to live in whatever way they want and the original population complies with his or her choice. However, that is a dream, a utopia that has nowhere ever in history come true, not even 1% true.

This does not mean, though, that we are completely against migration. We support and accept sensible and legal migration of people who can and want to integrate into the host society, who accept rules that have democratically been installed in a specific country. Who want to become part of that country and help develop it in a positive way by contributing in a positive way to further living conditions there. People who do not only demand, abuse and exploit the host country and its original population.

However, this can never, ever be mass migration and illegal migration. Even if the UNO is always dreaming of such a mass migration without taking into consideration common sense and the wishes of the original populations.

(27. July and 3. August 2021)