Wednesday, December 03, 2014

RIP Ms. Tugce Albayrak

Germany mourns a true hero today. Ms. Tugce Albayrak, a 23-year-old woman, died earlier this week after she was beaten by a man she had just stood up to earlier for harassing two teen girls. Her story is important to know. Her courage stands out, and the potential sexism and racism in the assault against her says much about how far Germany needs to go as well when it comes to dealing with diversity in its society.

In American society, the great divide is one of race. We are perhaps one of the only western countries that has this racial divide. The rest of the west is divided by ethnicity. Germany has a long history of prejudice and discrimination against its Turkish community. Only in the recent past (2000) did Germany "soften" its laws to allow children born in Germany of Turkish parents to become German citizens (in a reverse sort of way, that is what the Right-Wing wants to see happen in the US--not allow citizenship to children born in the US of non-citizen parents). Germany, like the US, has a long way to go to fully incorporating its minority into its society. With a small population (only 3-4% of the total population), the German-Turks have a long battle ahead of them.

I admire the courage of Ms. Albayrak. Her actions, though, should not have cost her her life. 

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