These last two weeks have seen the arguments rage over the New Years Eve events in Cologne – but there is a central truth all sides seem to have lost.
So what have the arguments so far focussed on? Breitbart-apologists (who can only be described as very right wing – they defended Protein World’s sexist bikini advert, for example) miraculously discovered feminism, taking the side of the German women in a move head-spinningly at odds with their usual misogyny-rich ideas. Actual feminists then pointed out the obvious: here was a chance to bash the immigrants again. warn them that tarring all Muslims with the same brush (saying they’re all as bad as the brutes who sexually assaulted women in that city) is a terrible thing to do, not least because rape isn’t only perpetrated by a minority of Muslim men, but also by a significant section of white men too.
Many on the right then shot back with ‘don’t lump white men in with this’ type obfuscation, complaining that white working class men get it in the neck all the time and don’t deserve to here, that in fact members of this particular demographic have become the folk-devils du jour. Proof that they have, the right-wingers argue, is that suicide rates amongst this demographic are higher than any other.
But whoooooaaaa there. Whoa whoa whoa. That’s not true.
Actually, suicide rates amongst a certain section of young Muslim men are much higher. Much higher.
So let’s not forget this central and most important truth. It may be crucial to understanding the situation currently affecting the Western countries and also an array of shores more distant, and more ‘exotic’.