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Truth in the public realm?

When I returned from walking through the five eastern German states at the height of the immigration crisis in October and November of 2015, I gave several talks to share my findings. Here are the points I made in those talks from the personal observations I had made. Isn't it interesting that some of these are just now starting to get addressed in the public press over two years later?

  • The total number of refugees was understated

  • The gender makeup of the refugee streams was distorted

  • The ethnicity and national origin of the refugees was misreported

  • The education/expertise level of the refugees was exaggerated

  • Cultural disparities were publicly dismissed with “these are not ‘real’ Muslims”

  • The impact on vulnerable groups, such as the Jewish community, was not discussed (taboo)

  • The unintended consequences on four million previous legal immigrants (some third generation) were not considered

  • America’s most famous democratic success story, Germany, failed entirely; neither referendum, nor public input, nor debate, were considered.

  • Germany’s admired education system was disrupted; parents were angry

  • Germany’s fabled security and quality of life was permanently undermined

  • The financial impact on society was disregarded with the flippant “we can handle it”

  • The effect on the national identity of Germany (over 75% ethnic Germans) was basically undiscussed

During that crucial period of time the German press demonstrated near absolute loyalty to the government line: Put an unrealistic positive spin on the story and be careful to not ask questions. I personally witnessed press manipulations and also spoke with many members of the press to ask them to take courage and be unafraid to present a balanced perspective that reflected reality, the actual problems, and the situation. Most reporters who interviewed me made extensive notes and nodded in agreement with my assessment, only to have their stories squashed by their editors. If we don’t address the real implications of issues and their consequence, history tells us we will inevitably endanger our democracy and our future. When truth is repressed there will be an unnatural reaction. Truth always bubbles up in the end.

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