Monday, September 6, 2010

Just another reason why books change the world

Though many people continually under value the power of the written word, it is just that which is setting of a panic storm in Germany recently.  Thilo Sarrazin, a mainstream politician and member of the Social Democrat party (a main on in Germany) has published a book in which he attacks the immigrant population (the Muslim ones in particular) for Germany's current problems and dared to refer to a lost "Jewish gene" invoking language of the Nazi dialogue which led to Germany's actions in World War II and significantly tarnishing the country's reputation in the world.  One official noted it was worrisome because it was not an extremist making these comments but someone who is a part of the mainstream establishment.  No one wants to see the results of giving such extreme views a popular base once again.

As much as I am for the freedom of expression, I can see why such a political position is worrisome in a country with such a track record.  While many get caught up in the game of politics, it is the words the shape the ideas that fuel the game.  Language informs and shapes people's views and can be particular influential when coming from a trusted source.  Rhetoric is a very powerful art which has shaped history as we know it.  Though some people were quoted as if not quite supporting the position taking in the book but grateful that someone had final confronted the immigration issue in such a direct manner.  Both sides agree the issue cannot be ignored much longer.

Click here to read the original article from the New York Times: Book Sets Off Painful Immigration Debate in Germany

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