In Germany, #MeTwo takes off as minorities unite against racism
Thousands of immigrants in Germany have taken to Twitter to share their experiences of everyday racism under the hashtag #MeTwo, inspired by a Turkish soccer star who recently quit Germany’s national team citing racism.
The hashtag has become a rallying point for scores of second- and third-generation immigrants in Germany, who have taken to Twitter to share their accounts of everyday racism and how they still struggle to be accepted as Germans.
The hashtag, which echoes the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, was created by Ali Can, a 24-year-old journalist of Turkish descent, following the furor over Turkish-German soccer star Mesut Ozil’s recent resignation from the German national team.
Ozil, the son of Turkish immigrants, quit earlier this month after fierce criticism of his decision to pose for a picture with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In reaction, Ozil attacked the German soccer federation, its president, fans and the media, criticizing what he said was racism and double standards in the treatment of people with Turkish roots. “I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” he said.
Can used the #MeTwo hashtag because he wanted to show that ethnic minorities in Germany often feel connected to two cultures or places at the same time: Germany and the country of their or their ancestors’ origin. By Monday, some 153,000 tweets recounting instances of discrimination had been posted to Twitter, according to the German news agency dpa.
Germany is home to more than 4 million people of Turkish origin, who were invited in the 1960s to help rebuild the country after World War II.
The debate also reflects divisions in Germany over the recent influx of many Muslim asylum-seekers. Since 2015, more than 1 million migrants, mostly from war-torn countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, have come to Germany.