In class yesterday, while we discussed the possibility of global citizenship, I was again struck by how difficult it is to talk about the benefits of nationalism without conjuring the nightmares of fascism.
I thought about Germany slowly suffocating under the weight of guilt and remorse.
“A week before today’s 61st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army, Landeszeitung Lüneburg, a national newspaper in Germany, ran an article about the deportation of a Sinti boy from Lüneburg to Auschwitz. The article was accompanied by a large red ad from one of the biggest energy companies in Germany bearing the tagline (roughly translated): ‘E.ON provides today for the gas of tomorrow!‘ The paper later published an apology to the author, readers, and energy company for the ad placement, claiming they had not checked the content of the ad.”
And I thought about how national identities both struggle with and against time.
“For weeks now [in France], groups associated with the far-right organization Bloc Identitaire have been handing out soup — which they are calling ‘identity soup‘ — to the homeless across the country and in neighboring Belgium. But rather than altruistic charity, critics see blatant racism. Muslims and Jews are forbidden by their religions from eating pork — and excluding these groups, say many, is exactly the point of the handouts…Those offering up the swine swill — who say they are not connected to the far-right National Front party — deny that their charity is in any way racist or discriminatory. Pork soup, they say, is firmly rooted in traditional French cuisine and that they wouldn’t refuse service to hungry Muslims or Jews. ‘With pork in the soup, we return to our origins, our identity,’ Roger Bonnivard, head of homeless-support group Solidarity of the French and pork soup chef, told the Associated Press. ‘On every farm, you kill a pig and make a soup…. The pig is the food of our ancestors’.” (via)