Since February 2009 , this blog and Huib's 3 other Euroblogs are together at:

- In Europa Zu Hause [DE]
- L'Europe Chez Soi [FR]
- At Home in Europe [EN]
- In Europa Thuis [NL]

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

How the Wilders Hysteria is Linked to Holland. Who exploits it. And how it can be ended. (4, Solutions)

How will it be overcome, the Wilders agitation and its sisters in many European countries?
My friends say: By understanding the fears of men and women who live in marginalized urban neighborhoods. Elder people, who lost their references, when their children and the local baker left their street. And were replaced by, mostly gentle, Turkish families and their daily providers of vegetables and fruit. For you and me, they say, it is easy and even thrilling, when the local snackbar is replaced by a Japanese Sushi Bar. But imagine, you are old, you have a small pension and little money to spend...
Well, that is how people get scared. The new shop-owners are friendly, no problem. Their vegetables are good. Bur the street becomes a foreign country, with young men claiming their space. As young men have always done. In the fifties, when we were young, we claimed our room as 'rockers', we did so ourselves. In the sixties, we could live with the 'provos' and the 'hippies', for we could understand them, while we did not agree.
But now, our home is enveloped in foreign country. We never asked for being 'integrated' with people who speak Arabic and Turkish. If you like that, take those people with you, in your neighborhoods.
"We want our country back!"
In Holland, from the seventies on, conservative governments left them alone, those people. I know for myself, as I were a Government agent for "urban neighborhood redevelopment". As long as there was no urgent problem, money for integration solutions, was held back. Only when security problems came up, the State got itself involved.
No wonder, that (semi-) criminal groups learnt to profit from that. No wonder, that fundamentalists exploited that situation. Mohammed Boujeri, Van Gogh's murderer, was a product of that dealing and wheeling among authorities and maffiosos.
Restoring the dignity of original habitants as well of that of the newly arrived immigrants, it seems impossible. But it is not!
Mixing the traditions of old immigrants and the richness of the traditions of new immigrants, it is possible! I refer to my experiences in France. In the community of Chatenay-Malabry, in the Île de France region of Paris, an intervention of a theater-group solved the alienation-problem. In the North of France, in the Roubaix-Tourcoing region, a flemish-moroccan jardinage project opened many roads to live together, sing together and ask successfully help from regional authorities.
It is all about understanding people who are on the edge. Make people understand that the Turkish vegetable shop is not something that tramples upon you, but the only solution to have a shop near you.
Have young Moroccans understand, that their fathers' knowledge about trees is essential to the neighborhood. It will show on the central square!
Well, this is how I worked in many parts of Europe. And every time, when we were near to our goal, the project was called off. For there were no more threats to security, for instance.
That is why I like so much my friend Ewoud Butter's posting about the "better party" Wilders' followers should get: A political party that cares as well for the old who suffer under small pensions and isolation within urban relegation. They are left alone. Is that the immigrants' fault? NO! The immigrants are being left alone as well!
That is why I believe, that a better future is possible. Not by giving in to fundamentalism. Not by letting go. But by respecting the practical contribution anyone can give to a common project.

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