Those who oppose the mass settling of migrants into vastly different cultures are characterized by elite leaders as racists, xenophobes, and hate-mongers. Well, maybe a few are. But it's more likely that they've seen what has happened in other communities that have welcomed migrants, and don't want their communities turned into havens for sexual predators and hoodlums wreaking violence on peaceful citizens. Can you blame them?
While we cannot condone lynching of politicians or mob violence by any group, what just happened in Oersdorf, Germany is instructive and illustrates what can happen when people have had enough.
The mayor of a small German town has been assaulted and beaten unconscious after receiving threats because he planned to settle migrants in the area.
Joachim Kebschull, the 61-year-old mayor of Oersdorf near Hamburg, was pushing to house migrants in a property in the town of 900.
According to NDR, the mayor has received a threatening email following the attack. “Whoever is still unwilling to listen now, will certainly feel better,” it read.
Police spokesman Oliver Pohl explained that he had also been sent numerous threatening letters since July, long before the attack.
The following practice is part of the problem.
The planned migrant house has caused serious tensions in the town before, leading to meetings about the issue to be closed due to bomb threats.
It's seldom a good idea to conduct planning meetings about such a contentious subject in secret, essentially shutting the citizens out of the debate.
There are lessons for political leadership here that they had better learn and heed. Among those lessons is that the preservation and continuity of people's cultures are important to them.
The other lesson is that political leadership runs a genuine risk of some form of blow-back from its citizens if it ignores those citizens' valid desires that their towns not be turned into war zones by migrants who choose to be sexual predators.
Hopefully, that point will be taken before further violence ensues.