Last weekend Chris Pyak announced via Twitter that he was leaving the Free Democrats (FDP) after years spent in the party. His reason for doing so was a speech by FDP leader Christian Lindner in which the politician made inflammatory comments about immigrants.
Linder said that Germans who wait in line at the bakery no longer know whether the person speaking broken German in front of them is a tech specialist from India or an illegal immigrant. The FDP leader claimed that if Germans can no longer be sure that “everyone who stays with us is staying here legally”, then societal peace would be put in danger.
Pyak’s decision to quit the party brought national attention to Linder’s comments. The FDP leader was heavily criticized for implying that Germans have a right to feel insecure when they see a foreign-looking person in the queue in front of them.
In an opinion piece for The Local, Pyak argued that Germany’s foreign population need to become more vocal, otherwise they risk becoming a political football for politicians looking to win votes in a country where being xenophobic can win you votes.
We want to hear your thoughts.
Do you think that German politicians are currently engaging in “dog whistle” tactics, by bashing immigrants to try and sound tough?
Do you feel that Germans have started looking at you with more suspicion in recent years, as the political debate has become more focused on immigration?
And what can internationals living in Germany do to change this? Are we right to demand “no taxation without representation”? Should people who live and work here get the vote after, say, five years – no matter where they come from?